The European Blockchain HUB officially opened its doors in Ljubljana, Slovenia

5 October 2018

The European Blockchain HUB (EU BC HUB) officially opened Friday, 5th October 2018, in the BTC City Center premisses, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Over a hundred guests from all around the world, including partners, supporting organizations’ representatives, experts in the field, stakeholders, as well as curious visitors, attended the opening.

Guests were welcomed by Mr Blaž Golob, president and CEO of the EU BC HUB, who stated that the Hub marks a new era for the blockchain industry, with ambition to position Slovenia and the region not only in Europe but worldwide.

The opening of the Hub has been welcomed by Mr Zoran Janković, the mayor of the City of Ljubljana himself. Janković expressed his excitement and pleasure for putting Ljubljana, the most beautiful city in the world, in the center of conversation and action around emerging technologies such as the blockchain.

Mr Rex Yeap Zong Xin, EU BC HUB advisory board member, noted that he sees the EU BC HUB as a platform not only to connect Europe and Asia, but countries within Asia as well, in using blockchain to reach out to the rest of the world. He invited to join forces on exchanging information, knowledge, as well as experience, in order to make Europe and Asia a better place.

The EU BC HUB is a cooperative that is currently gathering government, academia, business sector, and individuals, but is nonetheless welcoming interest and cooperation with other stakeholder representatives, as well, in the development of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More specifically, it is open for everyone who shares the values of openness, social responsibility, and general care for others. It is an independent organization established with the purpose to increase the advantages of stakeholders in blockchain technology and the distributed economy, while increasing the advantages of Europe, through regional and global partnerships.

The second part of the HUB opening was dedicated to the stakeholders and board members introducing  the work of the EU BC HUB for the guests and broader audience.

It was noted that currently the EU BC HUB is organising the biggest Blockchain Tour Summit for Sustainable Development Goals, in Eastern Europe. The Tour includes twenty cities in Asia and Europe, out of which the final event will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 17-18 January 2019, with the purpose of presenting outcomes and achievements of the Tour, as well as the future concrete action steps.

Activities of the EU BC HUB are foreseen in three pillars: Advocacy, Capacity building, and Projects. Information about the ongoing activities taking place will be published regularly. (see EU BC HUB online mediums below)

Ms Emilija Stojmenova Duh, Faculty of Electrical Engineering - University of Ljubljana, and president of the management board of the EU BC HUB, highlighted the importance of the Hub by saying: If you want to develop something you have to think about the whole ecosystem. It is not only about the industries and companies, but we should think about the workforce, and the workforce we find among young people. We need to train young people, and this is what the universities do. EU BC HUB is important and necessary because it connects all stakeholders, and with the collaboration with the industry we are getting the right people to work in the companies. There are mutual benefits because people can get quality jobs, as the jobs in the ICT sector are sustainable, and on the other side companies get workforce.’

Mr Tadej Slapnik, president of the advisory board of the EU BC HUB, talked about the activities, collaboration, and the developments over the past three years in Slovenia together with partners at the European level, which resulted with the opening of the EU BC HUB and expanding collaboration within Asia. We are now really building the ecosystem of all relevant stakeholders needed, if we would like to implement technology for the public service, for the business service, for the society. It is also important that the EU BC HUB has the focus on business cases for achieving global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We, in the EU BC HUB, strongly believe that using blockchain technology as a tool for achieving SDGs, is the road  to follow. Let’s collaborate, find synergies, help us find partners - not just in Europe but on global scale, as we are opening nods in Europe and Asia, and in the upcoming years in other continents too.’, said Slapnik.

Mr Mark Kalin, head of innovation office at the BTC Company and EU BC HUB management board member, presented the BTC as one of the first and biggest living labs. They are working on Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, virtual assistance, IoTs, as well as blockchain technology - as currently one of the most popular technology being implemented in the world. The BTC formed an alliance with fifteen most promising blockchain companies in Slovenia and around the world, and are trying to implement blockchain technology in different pillars in BTC. When it comes to the EU BC HUB Kalin explained: In May we had a vision together with government and other funding partners to create EU BC HUB, which would unite governments, NGOs, startups, universities, as well as educate people that the blockchain technology is the next step for us that will bring a lot of changes - and everyone should be informed about what these changes are going to be. We need to keep in mind that it is people creating new technologies to improve the lives of people.’

Stephanie E. Trpkov, World Bank and EU BC HUB supervisory board member, noted that with the target to be a global network, with great client service doing something socially beneficial, the purpose of the EU BC HUB is to facilitate the exploration, development, and deployment of highly transformative technology.’

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