In early June, Miami Beach Convention Center hosted the eMERGE AMERICAS technology conference and exhibition, which was attended by about 9,000 participants. Many of them were visitors from other countries who gathered at this event to demonstrate and explore the most recent innovations in information technology. The exhibition organizers created a dynamic environment for widely recognized IT giants and startup companies, which often lead on new breakthrough developments. It was a fertile environment for establishing new connections and exploring business opportunities. Miami-Beach Mayor Phillip Levin said, “Miami is really becoming America’s high-tech capital”.
Belarus demonstrated its high-tech innovations for the first time at an American exhibition. Its booth was one of the largest and demonstrated over 80 science-based innovations from the country’s top research agencies including the Academy of Science, the Ministry of Education, and the High Tech Park. The Belarusian delegation was led by Alexander Shumilin, the Chair of the State Committee on Science and Technology.
At the end of the two-day event, Belarusian companies and organizations signed eight cooperation agreements in the areas of science technology, innovation, and education. For example, KBTEM-OMO JSC signed agreements with American companies to produce stepper motors and control devices for semiconductor wafers. The agreement with Teksoli is to supply US$ 300,000 of product value with the prospect of increasing the agreement value to US$ 10 million. The “Politechnik” technology park, part of the Belarusian National Technical University, signed a collaborative agreement to develop and produce medical devices and equipment.
The Belarusian State University of Computer Science and Radio Electronics and the American software development company Intetics signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in training professionals in the field of information technology, and also in creating scientific labs and joint ventures. Belarusian State University and Adelphi Technology agreed to carry out collaborative research through a student and staff exchange program.
It may seem unexpected that a little-known country like Belarus would flex its technological muscles. It is not entirely surprising, though: Belarus has always been technologically savvy, and many talented scientists were trained at Belarusian educational institutions. Its 10-year-old High Technology Park is highly recognized in the computer world. Just last year, the Park, which employs 30,000 scientists, made Belarus US $1 billion in profit.
The Belarusian delegation included scientists, senior managers, and presidents of the country’s top universities. The event was also attended by the Interim Chargé d’Affaires of Belarus in the United States, Pavel Shidlovsky, the Trade Representative of the Belarus Embassy, Sergey Nagorny, and the Honorary Consul of Belarus in the United States, Mikhail Morgulis.
Steve Wozniak was a keynote speaker at the conference (incidentally, his father was from Ukraine). The famous “Woz”, who founded Apple with Steve Jobs, said in an emotional speech, “Young people being inspired to be entrepreneurs is the most important thing in the world, in my mind.” On the future impact of tech on jobs, Wozniak added, “I don’t think we will ever be the secondary species to machines. … it will replace jobs… but as one job category disappears, another comes along.”
In summing up eMERGE AMERICAS, I can say with confidence that it opened many doors to incredible opportunities for high tech innovation, and it also let us take a sneaky peek at the future. The conference brought together the brightest scientific minds, who are willing to build bridges and promote scientific cooperation, which is incredibly important for the improvement of our lives.
At an interview for the Belarusian TV, I once said: “No project can succeed unless the new generation is participating in it”. The success at EMERGE AMERICAS was a living embodiment of my words.
Even though we are living in a state of crisis, witnessing the never ending military conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and many African countries, I believe that hatred and evil cannot win, and the computer revolution led by the younger generation will help promote peace and prosperity across the world. May God help them!