Internet praised as one of greatest social innovations at conference

Ljubljana, 10 October - European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc praised the internet as one of the greatest social innovations and the only true democratic tool as she gave an address at the opening of the 19th Information Society conference, marking the 25th anniversary of the internet in Slovenia.

According to Bulc, the anniversary of the internet in Slovenia is also an anniversary of new ideas for cohabitation in the world.

"It was the internet that made it possible to move from isolation circles to open cooperation that transcends borders," she noted, pointing to the internet's potential for transport through its power to connect transport, energy sector and digital world.

The first internet connection in Slovenia was established in November 1991 at the Jožef Stefan Institute as part of the Eureka 8 research project. This made Slovenia one of the 16 countries in the world that had access to the internet 25 years ago, president of the Slovenian internet association ISOC-SI and ISOC EU Borka Jerman Blažič noted.

However, development fell behind over time, said Jerman Blažič, who sees one of the biggest problems in the failure of the economy to get involved in technological changes. "We are faced with the great task of digitalising the Slovenian economy, which is essential if we want to become a part of the EU digital market."

Awards for achievement in the informations society were also handed out at the opening of the conference. Lifetime achievement award, honouring Donald Michi and Alan Turing went to mathematician Tomaž Pisanski, while the award for current achievement went to Blaž Zupan of the Ljubljana Faculty of Computer and Information Science's bio-informatics lab.

The multi-conference is one of the biggest events of this kind in this part of Europe, featuring 12 conferences over five days.