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Web Summit was held in Lisbon 5-8 November

AI and security hot topics at Europe’s biggest tech gathering

When 70,000 people gathered in Lisbon for the tech conference Web Summit, artificial intelligence, cyber security and autonomous vehicles were a few of the prominent topics, explains Business Region Göteborg’s Erik Behm, who was on hand.  

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The conference, which was originally held in Dublin, moved to the Portuguese capital a few years ago. It brings together entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, corporate leaders, and technology experts.

This is the third year you have been at Web Summit, have you noticed a development since 2016?

“Since 2016 it has gone from 50,000 visitors to around 70,000 this year. Even the program grows every year and this year it had over 20 different conferences. It is becoming more and more structured and business oriented but continues to have a good balance of creativity and an enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit. It offers the best of both worlds,” says Erik Behm, Area & Investment Manager for ICT at Business Region Göteborg, who was at the Swedish Pavillion during Web Summit.

Why was Business Region Göteborg at the event?

“We are one of the initiators of TechNordic, a collaboration between Jyllan, Southern Norway and West Sweden. Together we showed what the Nordics has to offer. West Sweden and the Gothenburg region is located in the middle of this melting pot of innovation, creativity and sustainable development.”

“The Swedish Pavillion has always been a good platform and a magnet for exciting meetings with potential collaboration partners and companies that want to establish in the region. This year was no different.”

“It’s also a great opportunity to capture the latest trends and ideas.”

What were some of the trends you noticed at this year’s event?

“Artificial intelligence was everywhere and in many different forms. It will change many things and not just in the areas that are obvious.”

“Cybersecurity was also popular and that was a theme CombiTech talked about in the Swedish stand, where they gave the example of how to completely switch over to self-driving vehicles. Last year self-driving vehicles was already a hot topic and this year the area has only matured.”

“Web Summit is interesting because it’s not only the usual areas that are included but even areas like sports tech and food tech!”

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