From October 19th to 21st, the Celje Showground is hosting the most important digital event of the year. The 1st Feel the Future Fair for innovative digital solutions brings an exciting programme and examples of innovative solutions in the field of digitalization. 50 exhibitors will showcase technological solutions which simplify daily living and business processes, allowing the visitors to appreciate the influence and necessity of digital development which is shaping our future.

The idea to organize a new fair for innovative digital solutions had been brewing for some time; based on support expressed by the expert public, Celje Fair Plc decided to take on the task of planning the fair. “After nearly a decade and a half Slovenia is hosting a new fair for innovative digital solutions called Feel the Future, which can be seen as an upgraded information technology fair,” explains Robert Otorepec, M.Sc., Executive Director of Celje Fair Plc.

The exhibition portion of the fair will demonstrate solutions to improve efficiency of business and operational processes. Included are solutions for identity management and services for systems integration, business informatics, digital communication and electronics; innovative solutions for management of water infrastructure, waste, energy and industry; solutions for comprehensive management of events and participants; innovative solutions for the education sector; online applications for the digitalisation of commerce; business analytics; operation system for the internet of things; solutions for connecting machinery, factories and other resources; chatbots; and telecommunications service providers. Furthermore, solutions for e-health, e-education and e-mobility will be introduced. There will also be presentations by educational institutions and technical magazines.

In the exhibition space Digital Slovenia Services visitors will be able to familiarize themselves with key public administration eServices through simulations of various life events. Numerous enticing lectures, workshops and discussions will be offered on electronic dealing with the government in various areas of daily life and other digital solutions. The exhibition is coordinated by the Ministry of Public Administration in collaboration with over 10 bodies of the public sector. Visitors to the exhibition space will learn about the process of registering a web page on the .si domain which is celebrating its 25th anniversary; services for citizens on the eGovernment portal; and the pioneer of internet in Slovenia the Academic and Research Network of Slovenia, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary and operates Register.si and SI-CERT. SI-CERT staff will offer a detailed introduction of the national awareness programme Safe on the Internet and provide one-on-one advice on various aspects of online safety.

10 start-up companies to be featured at the fair

Celje Fair Plc, in collaboration with partners Acceleration Business City, Savinjska Region Incubator, Start:up Slovenia, Start:up Maribor and Siemens, held the 2017 iFEEL start-up contest and selected 10 most promising start-up companies which will showcase their innovative idea with the expert and general public. Free presentations at the fair were awarded to the following companies: Inden will present a solution for better cost awareness and comprehensive management of companies’ energy procurement. Optiheat will present a cloud-based smart controller of heat pumps that uses self-learning algorithms to optimise the workflow of a heat pump based on a specific thermodynamic model of a residential building. Simbioza Genesis will introduce Magda, an online assistance centre for seniors. Vastok will showcase AlpStories, a solution for transferring the experience of “prosumerism” from the web to the cosmetics industry – a robot system allows individuals to create their own cosmetics product from home by mixing natural ingredients and offering automated ordering, labelling and personal brand creation. Viar will present Viar360, a solution for quick creation of virtual reality experiences, and 45HC will showcase an online platform for easy and transparent booking of container shipments and complete management from origin to delivery. The company Blue Code developed a mobile payment scheme for European banks, while Eggos is introducing EggBOX, the first mobile and entirely wireless cash register. Feelif will present a learning aid for the blind and visually impaired, and ID.Conference will showcase a comprehensive solution for planning and organisation of conferences.

The top three start-ups that were given the highest marks by the committee will also receive a monetary award by Nova KBM bank. Viar will be awarded 500 Euro, 45HC will receive 300 Euro and Optiheat will get 200 Euro.

Up-to-date professional programme

A key feature of the fair will be up-to-date professional lectures and presentations. Topics of discussion will include smart cities of the future, modern mobility, challenges of digitalisation within companies and the broader society, online safety, e-education, e-health etc.

The keynote speaker on the opening day will be Dirk Arnold, expert, visionary and one of the drivers of mobility development in the future. Arnold is currently Vice President for the BMW i brand and e-mobility. A marketing and corporate communication expert and brilliant strategist, he has been at BMW Group for over 15 years. Owing to his extensive experience and excellent insight into the market trends, Dirk Arnold made the BMW i brand number one in the premium electric cars class and secured its title as the pioneer of electric mobility. As they say at BMW Group, mobility of the future will be sustainable, connected, electrified and autonomous. The future development of the automobile industry is also important for Slovenian companies who are suppliers for German and other automobile brands.

The opening day of the fair will also offer lectures on smart cities and communities; one of the presentations will shed light on the ASPERN smart city project in North East Vienna where a smart city for 40,000 inhabitants is being built. At a round table discussion by the computer engineering company KOPA, General Managers of successful manufacturing companies will share their experiences with digitalisation. In addition, there will be a segment of lectures on online safety.

Friday will begin with a Slovenian-Russian business forum in the field of innovative digitalisation organised by the public agency SPIRIT with active participation by the Russian delegation. Furthermore, there will be lecture tracks on Digital transformation of companies and e-education.

A special track of Friday lectures will be dedicated to Blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is one of the most important forces in digital transformation in the private and public sectors as well as in the general economy. Slovenia has identified the enormous potential of Blockchain technology as a technology capable of tackling complex social and economic problems. But before we can use the Blockchain to its full potential, many challenges will have to be faced, from taxation to money laundering, in Slovenia and in other European and world countries. In the last years Slovenia has taken several measures to create the environment that would allow Blockchain to thrive. Slovenia has been playing an active role in introducing the solutions of Blockchain technologies on the European level as well, in collaboration with the European Commission and most progressive Member States in the area of Blockchain technologies – Estonia, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.

Saturday’s professional programme will focus on e-mobility and e-health, including an opportunity to learn about the portal zVEM and the services of eZdravje.

Thursday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm

Feel the Future is open to visitors from Thursday October 19 to Saturday October 21 between 9am and 6pm. Tickets are 8 Euro for adults, 6 Euro for seniors and 5 Euro for students. Preschool children attend for free.