On May 31st, ASTP-Proton’s seventeenth Annual Conference will kick off in Budapest and now it is time to reflect on how far our organisation has come and what lies ahead.
Seventeen years ago, the iPhone was but a gleam in the eye of the Apple Corporation, yet today most pre-teeners carry some version of these technology power packs in their school bags. This massive leap forward, which symbolises the speed of technological growth and the expansion of connectivity, works as a convenient metaphor for ASTP-Proton, the work we do, and the ambitions we have.
This year’s theme: Strengthening the Core and Creating Value, sign posts what we aspire to as an organisation, and what we recognise as necessary for the wider knowledge transfer sector.
ASTP-Proton’s Conference offers our guests an open environment to consider, debate and learn about the current expectations and interests of our professional community.
In this year’s opening presentation: Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Opportunity? IBM Watson’s David Cole and Medical Director of Oxford Biodesign Programme, Nick de Pennington, will endeavour to demonstrate the artificial as a reality: exploring the capacities of the technology; its ability to understand like humans do, to learn and keep-on learning. Conference will hear how these cognitive systems are creating a new partnership between humans and technology and will leave us wondering about the career opportunities available to today’s pre-teen, smartphone users.
At the other end of our days in Budapest, we shall hear from one of science’s rare and romantic figures; an astronaut. Andre Kuipers is Europe’s most experience space farer, with two space missions to his name; his second mission is the longest spaceflight in European history. André Kuipers will offer Conference guests a unique look behind the scenes of international human spaceflight. He will share his story about the training, the mission and his exceptional view of our planet, and tell us the lessons he has learned on the importance of team work and cooperation.
The speakers filling our third keynote slot are Louis Bernemen and Wen Hwa Lee. Together, these highly experienced professionals will help us face up to the practical realities faced by many knowledge transfer professionals and offer sage advice on how to keep on keeping on. They shall address the Management of Change and walk us through how to stay motivated, how to succeed through change, and how to foster leadership that can retain a sense of purpose and motivation.
As with each of the preceding seventeen years, one of the biggest benefits of attending ASTP-Proton Conference is the opportunities for networking. Always regarded as an event which strikes a great balance between hard work and good times, Budapest 2017 looks like repeating the pattern. On Wednesday 31st, the day is loaded with networking opportunities; from a TT Primer Session kicking off at lunchtime, up to, and perhaps beyond, the Welcome Reception hosted by the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
Opportunities to meet, network and share are built into the Conference programme so nothing is left to chance. And this year, to enhance your experience, we are launching a Conference smartphone App which allows you to choose sessions and connect with the other guests and speakers.
One word of warning: don’t let the pre-teener in your home near your phone, they might just manage to hack the App.