Emerging Tech Hub Angers to Host Global Forum

Author: Lane Nieset       

Angers

With destinations like the Castel of Angers (above) and its push into innovative tech, Angers is a city “with one leg in the past and the other in the future.” (Romain Bassenne/Destination Angers)

Often referred to as the “Davos for ICT,” the annual Global Forum is an international think tank event that fosters discussion of business and policy issues affecting the evolution of the digital society and brings together more than 300 key policymakers and stakeholders from 30 countries. Since the event’s debut in 1994, the only French city to host it has been the capital, with more recent events taking place in Copenhagen and Winnipeg, Canada. For the 28th edition, however, the Global Forum will take place — and be part of a “digital week” — in one of France’s leading cities in terms of tech and innovation: Angers.

The Global Forum (7-8 Oct.) is being held in tandem with ICMASim 2019, the International Conference for Multi-Area Simulation, (8-10 Oct.), a new international conference that is expected to attract experts and decision makers in the field of simulation, including scientists, as well as senior officials from the European Commission. “ICMASim is … essential today because it allows [attendees] to improve knowledge and develop technical and behavioural skills in a secure environment,” says Global Forum Vice President Sébastien Lévy.

Angers, a city in western France at the edge of the Loire Valley, is emerging as a key player in tech, particularly artificial intelligence, and has earned the title to prove it. In 2015, Angers received the French Tech Hub label for its startup ecosystem and contribution to the country’s goal of becoming a “Digital Republic.” And in 2017, Angers hosted the 22nd annual meeting of the World Electronics Forum, which brought together 120 delegates from the electronics industry — including many from local companies — helping to thrust the city’s internet of things sector into the global spotlight.

A new congress centre opened in the city early this month and more than 80 events are already on the calendar for the year. The Global Forum is one of the year’s highly anticipated events.

According to the convention bureau’s director, Thierry Gintrand, Angers is a city that has “one leg in the past and the other in the future,” and it’s this “double personality” and inspiring innovative culture that has made Angers a strong voice on the future of tech.