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Last night, at the amazing venue of Cuatrecasas in Barcelona, we hosted the Dutch-Catalan Meetup, where we welcomed 80+ Dutch, Catalan and international guests. Dutch honorary consul Mr. Dirk Kremer opened the event with a speech in which he emphasized the strong eonomic ties between (West) Holland and Catalonia and business opportunities in both markets. After that, various great speakers inspired the audience with a discussion about the latest technology trends in artificial intelligence and (cyber)security.

Carles Gómara Director of Innovation at the Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness ACCIO, gave his perspective on ongoing digitalization, which is changing our society rapidly. He used the analogy of the rabbit and the turtoise, to emphasize that however fast technology is evolving, adaptation is always lagging behind. This is true for many technology trends, which we now call big data, artificial intelligence and internet of things, but have in fact been around for a very long time.

 

Using the examples of several “smart home” applications, such as a smart washing machine, Carles questioned the necessity of all this technology in our daily lives. A question that is not always asked at a side-event of a technology conference such as MWC. Without drawing conclusions Carles shared many real-life examples for the audience to consider, adding that like with many things in life “we need time”.

Security issues of IoT

Ernst Bovelander, CEO of Delft-based Brightsight discussed high assurance security evaluations, which is Brightsight’s core business. Many chips, which are used in for instance creditcards, cellphones and passports, have to comply with the highest security regulations, which Brighsight validates. Ernst stressed the importance of securing all household internet of things solutions. Even in the most basic examples such as connected doorbells, a lot of easily hackable technology is involved. Ernst gave a couple of additional examples, and the implications for the 50 billion connected devides that are expected to be operational around 2030. In general Ernst stressed that the security aspect of IoT should not be underestimated. Even as consumers, we should be aware of the risks of poorly secured devices that will be around us more and more.

Dialogue with consumers will be the user interface of the future – Jorge Marquez Moreno, Head of user experience design at Everis

Brightsight is the number one security evaluation lab in the world. It is fair to call Brightsight a global company, as 99% of their customers are based outside the Netherlands and their 170 employees come from 30 different countries. In addition to their head office in Delft, they recently set up an R&D office in Barcelona, where they are quickly expanding.

Jorge Marquez Moreno, Head of user experience design at Everis shared his “AI fears & cheers research” – which was conducted at Everis’ R&D lab in Barcelona. Jorge and his team interviewed end-users about how they experience technology. “We can learn best how to optimize AI-based consumer products by interviewing actual people. Dialogue with consumers will be the user interface of the future”, Jorge argued.

Everis found that consumers’ opinions on AI are heavily influenced by the media. Negative examples such as those of self-driving cars being involved in fatal accidents, or Cambridge Analytica abusing Facebook data to manipulate the democratic process, will stick more than the great services that e.g. Netflix and Spotify provides using AI. On the other hand, Everis found that consumers will cheer for AI when it makes life easier, and even more when it really improves the quality of, or even saves their life, but that the attitude changes when people fear that AI/machines will take over. This fear is especially emerging when AI is perceived to replace human interaction, emotional intelligence and judgement. For example, many people feel ‘tricked’ when they find out they have been talking to an AI- based chatbot in stead of a human. This demonstrates the importance of creating awareness about AI and making consumers understand how they can benefit from this technology.

On behalf of ACCIO and InnovationQuarter, we would like to thank all the amazing speakers and all our Dutch, Catalan and international visitors and partners. It was geat to see the networking taking place, further strengthening the ties between Catalunya and the Netherlands.

MWC Barcelona

At MWC, InnovationQuarter was part of the Holland Pavillion, which was hosted by Enterprise Summit. The Dutch have a great presence at MWC, which made this a great timing for the Dutch-Catalan meetup. We will be at MWC untill Thursday, so if you are looking for opportunities in (West) Holland, find us in in Hall 7.

Brightsight

Brightsight is a Delft- and Barcelona- based company, that offers security evaluations and certificates on behalf of major payment schemes and industry organisations worldwide to ensure the right level of security. These services are provided to IC manufacturers, (embedded) secure device manufacturers, card suppliers and service providers.

Brightsight is a knowledge-based company. Our international team of experts stay up to date with the latest technologies and requirements to ensure the most reliable and efficient evaluation process possible for our customers.

Everis

Everis is a large family with 21,000 professionals across Europe, USA and Latin America. The company has recently set up a Dutch office.

In 2014 everis joined NTT DATA Group, the sixth-largest IT services company in the world with 100,000 professionals and with offices in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Above all, everis believes in its people, their ongoing development and their talent. We are firmly committed to talent and our main goal is to nurture high performing professionals by creating an environment of responsible freedom.

Meet Catalonia Trade & Investment

Catalonia Trade & Investment is the Catalan Government agency for foreign investment and business competitiveness. It promotes innovation, internationalisation, trade and funding of Catalan companies and startups. It also organizes trade missions in countries chosen strategically for their business and technology cooperation opportunities.

In addition, it offers specialised one-stop-shop services to international investors and corporations, attracting foreign direct investment to Barcelona and Catalonia. Headquartered in Barcelona, Catalonia Trade & Investment operates from 40 offices around the world, covering over 100 markets.

Meet InnovationQuarter

InnovationQuarter is the economic development agency for West Holland.

InnovationQuarter finances innovative and fast-growing companies, assists international companies in establishing their businesses in West Holland, and facilitates (international) collaboration between innovative entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes and government.