Review: Silicon Alps @ the Global Innovation Summit 2021

Silicon Alps Panel Experts Draw the Future for European Industrial Sovereignty, AI and Cyber Security

During the hybrid event Global Inno­va­tion Summit 2021 that took place on May 18th – 20th, 2021, at Messehalle Graz and online, Silicon Alps held two top-notch panels on European Industrial Sovereignty and AI & Cyber Security in the Quantum Age. The panels followed some prior impulse talks and were part of two major sessions, both featuring high-level speakers from renowned companies in our network.

Session: “Explainable and Trustworthy AI meets Cyber Security in the Quantum Age”

Andreas Starzacher (Silicon Alps Cluster) opened the session with welcoming the panel & keynote experts of our Silicon Alps network. He highlighted the importance of cooperation and collaboration in order to achieve outstanding progress. After his introduction, he gave the floor to Andreas Trügler (Know-Center), who presented the first keynote on Explainable and Trustworthy AI, where he talked about deep learning models that have recently demonstrated remarkable results in diverse tasks, such as image classification or machine translation. He explained that they are increasingly applied where mispredictions might have severe consequences – ranging from industrial predictive maintenance, to heartbeat anomaly detection and stock market forecasts. However, one caveat of deep learning is that a model’s behavior cannot be understood by inspecting its internals. This is where interpretability and explanation methods (XAI) come into play to highlight the contributing factors of a model’s prediction in an understandable human form. He gave an overview of the opportunities and basic ideas of XAI and highlighted how they form an essential building block towards trustworthy AI. Jörg-Peter Elbers (ADVA Optical Networking SE) continued with his keynote on Cyber Security in the Quantum Age and built a bridge from AI towards quantum computers, which promise to solve some of the most complex mathematical problems more efficiently than ever. However, their computing power also puts information security at risk, so he examined threat scenarios and how to protect oneself.

These keynotes served as impulse talks for the top-notch panel discussion led by expert Ulrike Lackner (Know-Center) with further experts from our network:

  • András Montvay (Silicon Austria Labs)
  • Charles Dietz (Sclable)
  • Andreas Sibrai (Sibrai Electronics)

as well as the keynote experts:

  • Andreas Trügler (Know-Center)
  • Jörg-Peter Elbers (ADVA)


Session: “Enabling European Industrial Sovereignty: Technologies for Higher Resilience, Efficiency, and Trustworthiness”

Andreas Starzacher (Silicon Alps Cluster) welcomed once more our panel and keynote experts and gave the floor to Herbert Ritter (AT Styria, Vice President WKO Steiermark), who presented the AT Styria and opened the session together with Mr. Starzacher. A further highlight was the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between EPoSS Chairman Stefan Finkbeiner and Andreas Starzacher & Michael Liebminger (Managing Directors Silicon Alps Cluster), which will serve as a basis for fruitful future cooperations.

Josef Moser (Infineon) opened with his keynote Semiconductor Industry – Frontrunner in Industry 4.0, which looked at the multiple possible impacts on modern production technologies considering Industry 4.0 as a two-dimensional approach, with the automation activities on the one hand and the advances in digital transformation on the other. He talked about the management of complexity, quality requirements or lotsize 1, of global supply chains, predictive maintenance and the optimized use of invested assets – illustrated by practical examples from the new 300mm power semiconductor Fab of Infineon in Villach. In addition, the question arose: What comes after Industry 4.0?

Michael Jerne (NXP) gave a keynote on RFID – Enhancing the Industrial IoT that dealt with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and complementary technologies like NFC (Near Field Communication) & UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) that support efficient and secure implementations of the Industrial IoT. The keynote highlighted opportunities provided by these technologies and addressed key ingredients for an effective and secure implementation.

These keynotes served as impulse talks for the top-notch panel discussion led by expert Dominik Berger (2be1 Consulting) with further experts from our network partners:

  • Stefan Finkbeiner (EPoSS)
  • Przemyslaw Jakub Gromala (Robert Bosch GmbH, EPoSS)
  • Sandra Slavinec (charismaTec, AT Styria)

as well as the keynote speaker experts:

  • Josef Moser (Infineon)
  • Michael Jerne (NXP)


About the Global Innovation Summit

The Global Innovation Summit with its focus on Green Transition, Digital Transformation, and Post COVID developments provided an international meeting place for businesses, innovators, researchers, and funding experts to network, share knowledge and develop new business ideas. Attendees could also learn about world-wide business collaboration and funding opportunities in Eureka and Horizon Europe.

It included a colorful program full of variety. In addition to keynotes and workshops, there were exciting networking opportunities and more.


Green Transition

The Green Deal as an economic, ecological and social transformation process is one of the centre pieces of political discourse at both international and national levels. One objective of the summit is to support the innovative developments towards green transition and the associated importance of the role of research and innovation programmes.


The reconstruction of the economy and international cooperation after the Corona crisis will play an important role in 2021. The summit’s goal is to take stock of the situation one year after the outbreak of the Corona crisis and to reflect on the resulting consequences for the European and international economic and RTI system.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation and its impact is another priority of this year’s summit. Here we seek to promote networking among international SMEs and global companies from the Eureka network during a structured exchange of innovative ideas with regard to digital and sustainable development goals.


Currently under Austrian Chairmanship, Eureka is the world’s biggest public network for international cooperation in R&D and innovation, present in over 45 countries. Since 1985, we have funded and supported the R&D and innovation of thousands of breakthrough commercialised products, processes or services that have positively impacted society and helped economies grow.