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Digital International Forum V


Background and context

The Digital International Forum is the highest-level annual meeting in Romania of decision-makers and industry leaders from across Europe. We shape the conversation and drive change in cutting-edge fields related to digital progress – from Industry 4.0 to 5G and Artificial Intelligence. A digital Davos of Romania, the Forum is the place where top stakeholders set the digital agenda for the year to come, in consultation with European Commissioners, Heads of State, and Romania’s strategic partners.

Artificial Intelligence is high up on the European agenda. Europe’s global leadership in AI and recovery ability will not come from scale or investment alone, but from Europe’s ability to pursue Artificial Intelligence that is qualitatively superior and uniquely European. But regulating Artificial Intelligence at its dawn carries significant risks and has an impact that goes well beyond Europe and the current context.

The COVID-19 crisis has acted as a boost for AI adoption and data sharing, and has thus created new opportunities. It has also amplified concerns for democracy and social inequality, and highlighted Europe’s vulnerability on data and platforms, calling for action to address these crucial aspects.

The Forum will advance the debate on Artificial Intelligence and will look to answer questions related to the ethical concerns raised by the game-changing technology, while highlighting ways in which it is already forever changing industry, government, and various other aspects of our society.

Digital International Forum IV Opening Session

Securing Europe’s Digital Future  – Digitalization in the automotive and energy panel industries

Digital Romania International Forum III — Women Leadership in Industry 4.0 opening panel

The Future of Work and Production Panel (Industry 4.0, Digital Skills, Smart Manufacturing)

Keynote Speaker: Ian Steff, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

Keynote Speaker: Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society

Digital Romania International Forum II — Startups in Industry 4.0 opening panel


To influence the European debate on Artificial Intelligence

To influence the European debate on Artificial Intelligence

Organized during a global health crisis and when the EU is looking to digital, technology and AI as important contributors to the recovery plan, the Forum is a platform for participants to showcase their perspective on and challenges to upcoming regulation on AI.

To offer participants effective advocacy mechanisms for contributing to the development of Artificial Intelligence

To offer participants effective advocacy mechanisms for contributing to the development of Artificial Intelligence

In line with previous editions, the Forum is a platform for setting the industry’s tone, objectives and focus for the year to come.

To offer Romanian decision-makers the tools and knowledge to push for a Romanian approach to Artificial Intelligence

To offer Romanian decision-makers the tools and knowledge to push for a Romanian approach to Artificial Intelligence

The Forum hosts European decision-makers and industry leaders, whose significant expertise and foresight can inform and guide Romanian policy-makers in pursuing an Artificial Intelligence agenda.

To sketch the outlines of a Romanian Artificial Intelligence Strategy

To sketch the outlines of a Romanian Artificial Intelligence Strategy

The Forum involves Romania’s major strategic partners alongside European decision-makers and local industry-leaders, bringing all relevant perspectives together for a comprehensive and balanced outlook on Romania’s potential contribution to the development of AI.


AI can help small and medium sized businesses gain competitive advantages and enhance enterprise performance, and AI startups and innovators are a key ingredient to Europe’s technological competitiveness. Europe needs a regulatory and investment environment that will transform it into the next global innovation powerhouse in order to compete in the global innovation scene. This session will look at what a successful AI startup environment looks like; how AI technology can help businesses of all sizes increase their competitiveness; the role of the European Union and national governments in fostering an ecosystem of innovation and regulatory efficiency, and the yet untapped potential of the region in producing Europe’s next unicorns.


  • Moderator:Carmen Ianoși, Innovation Policy Officer - Innovation and Start-Ups, DG Connect, European Commission

  • Bogdan Axinia, Managing Director eMAG Ventures

  • Mihai Raneti, Founder & CEO, Cyberswarm

  • Raul Popa, Co-founder & CEO, TypingDNA

  • Wanda Fiat, Co-founder & CEO, Medinav

  • Stefan Iarca, Co-founder, XVision

  • Raluca Crișan, Co-founder & CTO, ETIQ

Driven by visionary leaders, these enterprises are standard-bearers that have proven themselves as European champions and remain a step ahead of the competition. They are a tribute to Romania’s creative and innovative, but yet untapped, potential. They raise the bar and force other companies and entrepreneurs to become better, to work harder, and to think outside the box, in order to succeed and become the next Romanian success stories. How have they done it? What needs to be done for Romania, the region, and within Europe to produce more unicorns and to foster innovation that produces globally-competitive companies?


  • Măriuca Talpeş - CEO Intuitext, Co-founder Softwin, Bitdefender

  • Oleg Roibu - Group General Counsel, eMAG

  • Ioana Vieru - Global Corporate VP, UiPath

  • Mihai Raneti - CEO & Founder, CyberSwarm Inc.

  • Session host: Mantalena Kaili - Policy Advisor & co-founder of the European Law Observatory on New Technologies (ELONTech

At the global level, countries are racing to develop and adopt AI for business growth and productivity gains, thus growing national competitiveness on the global scene, with long-term and significant implications for the strategic and geopolitical landscape. Artificial Intelligence’s prodigious potential to fuel economic expansion has pushed countries and trading blocs to design AI frameworks and establish strategic partnerships that support the drive to AI and digital transformation.

As two worldviews on the future of the internet and AI are emerging — one centered on trust, rights, and values, and another one centered on state control and disregard for fundamental rights — the digital future of the world is at play. How can Europe and Romania work with strategic partners to promote a future where technology develops for the people? How can Europe, the U.S., and like-minded partners counter Chinese assertiveness in defining the future of AI? What are Europe’s competitive advantages on the global scene, and how can the West work together to maintain a rules-based international system in the era of AI?


  • H.E. Therese Hydén - Ambassador of Sweden in Romania

  • H.E. Ingrid Kressel Vinciguerra - Ambassador of Estonia in Romania

  • H.E. Andrew James Noble - British Ambassador to Romania

  • Christian Plate - Chargé d'Affaires a.i., German Embassy in Bucharest

  • Amir Sagron - Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel in Bucharest

  • Session host: Dragoș Pîslaru - Member of the European Parliament

Europe needs to build trust in the use and deployment of AI, and its citizens need to be involved in the process of defining the rules and safeguards on AI and new technologies. Issues related to AI need to be thoroughly debated with and explained to the general public, in order to both educate people about the benefits of technology and to combat disinformation about what AI can and should be used for, including what the red lines for AI deployment are. AI should be used for the wellbeing of citizens, and citizens are tasked with holding their governments accountable for any missteps in deploying or failing to regulate the misuse of technology. This session will engage European citizens in a debate about the benefits and risks of AI, about its potential misuses (such as disinformation, mass surveillance, and social scoring) and possible solutions to counter such misuses, and on citizens priorities for the deployment of AI, including feedback on current legislative initiatives.


  • Raja Chatila - Professor Emeritus, Sorbonne University, Paris

  • Limor Shmerling Magazanik - Managing Director at Israel Tech Policy Institute

  • Richard Benjamins - Chief AI & Data Strategist at Telefonica

  • Ella Jakubowska - Policy Advisor at European Digital Rights (EDRi)

  • J. Scott Marcus - Senior Fellow, Bruegel

The number of Governments that are either considering or have already started using Artificial Intelligence to improve decision-making, to increase productivity, or as a result of COVID-19, is growing fast. The public sector can gain significant benefits by integrating AI into every aspect of their work in the long-term, with the technology set to transform how government employees work, as well as the very nature of that work. Government must also ensure all aspects related to privacy, accountability, transparency, security, and most of all, control of AI-driven systems in such a way as to encourage public sector innovation and a transformation of public services in line with the digital age, while, at the same time, protecting citizen’s rights and privacy.


  • Session host: Siim Sikkut - Chief Information Officer, Government of Estonia

  • Ciprian Teleman, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization

  • Chief Information Officer, Romanian Government

  • President, Authority for the Digitalization of Romania

  • Mario Campolargo, Acting Director-General, DIGIT, European Commission

  • Director General, CERT-RO

  • Gen. Ionel-Sorin Bălan, Director General of Special Telecommunications Service (STS)

  • Gen. Anton Rog, Director General of Romanian Information Service Cyberint Unit (Cyberint)

Artificial Intelligence will have a profound impact on the future of our economies and societies. A key driver of economic development in the future digital society, AI can help us take on societal challenges on a global scale and build a better future for all our citizens. The expectations are high, especially in a post-pandemic world, where technology has become the backbone of our resilience and development.

The European Commission has made digital transformation and Artificial Intelligence strategic priorities for Europe. Europe needs excellence in the digital realm, so that it can remain competitive on the global scale, and trust in technology and its development, so that its citizens adopt technology and adapt to the digital age. This approach relies, for its success, on the combined effort of all EU countries and on finding the right balance between regulation that builds trust and investment that supports research, development, and innovation. With the right approach, the EU can become a global player and standard setter in AI and new technologies. We will answer questions on what the future of AI looks like in Europe, how we can build trust and a human-centric European Artificial Intelligence that is globally-competitive, and what Romania’s role can be in the drive to technological advancement.


  • Session host: Dragoș Tudorache - MEP & Chairman of Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age, European Parliament

  • Prime Minister or President of Romania

  • Margrethe Vestager - Executive Vice President Europe fit for the Digital Age. European Commission

Artificial Intelligence is transforming key industries across the world. From healthcare to manufacturing, automotive to financial services, and from education to defense, companies are investing in the development of their AI capabilities to remain competitive. Early adoption of Artificial Intelligence strategies by global industry leaders has led to expanding business and profits, and, soon enough, AI will be an integral part of all competitive industries.

How will Artificial Intelligence transform various industries, and how can industry prepare for the AI revolution? What are the possible risks companies face when deploying AI? What are the best practices that various industries use in this evolving field? What does the future hold, and what possibilities can AI unlock in key European industries? What is the role and responsibility of digital platforms, and how can they fuel digital transformation?

We will take-on these questions and others alongside global leaders and key industry decision-makers.


  • Session host: Elisabet Crossick, Head of Government Relations, RELX

  • Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, European Commission

  • Christian von Albrichsfeld, Country Head & General Manager, Continental Automotive România

  • eMAG Representative

  • Mihai Raneti, CEO, Cyberswarm

  • Karan Bhatia, Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google

  • Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl - Director General, Digital Europe (TBC)

  • C-Level industry leaders from strategic industries (health, defense, manufacturing, agriculture, robotics etc)

The U.S. and the EU are, for now, global leaders in Artificial Intelligence research and development. R&D in AI is being undertaken in various top universities across Europe and the U.S. Large companies also invest heavily in AI research, often in partnership with leading universities from the field, as industry and academia work together to transform businesses, industries, and the world as we know it. During this session, we will look at how these players are driving AI innovation, and how collaborative research and education hubs fuel AI research by bringing researchers, industry and institutional partners together for a common goal.


  • Session host: Demis Hassabis, CEO and founder, Google DeepMind

  • Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, European Commissio

  • Jean-Eric Paquet - DG RTD, European Commission

  • Prof. Marian Preda, Rector - The University of Bucharest

  • Traian Rebedea - Associate Professor of Computer Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest

  • C-Level industry leaders and top european researchers on AI

While many countries have already adopted various forms of Artificial Intelligence strategies and have sometimes included several new technologies in the policy blueprints, this event will mark the formal release of Romania’s first national AI strategy. The final product of a series of consultations with AI experts, top-level industry leaders, national and European-level decision-makers as well as other stakeholders, the Romanian Strategy on Artificial Intelligence highlights key policy items, political commitments, and actionable projects that can leverage Romania’s potential and stimulate AI development, in line with the EU’s strategic priorities and framework.


  • Session host: Dragos Tudorache, MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age

  • Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania

  • Florin Cîțu, Prime-Minister of Romania

  • Margrethe Vestager - Executive Vice President Europe fit for the Digital Age. European Commission

  • Thierry Breton - European Commissioner for Internal Market, European Commission

  • Ciprian Teleman, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, Romanian Government


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