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This year’s AmCham Business Development Delegation with representatives of 13 companies focused on the future and identifying new development trends. Delegation members visited Boston, Massachusetts, the global center for innovation and robotics, where over 2,000 development-oriented companies have their head offices, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the former heart of the steel industry, which is today a technological center with over 1,600 extremely successful technological companies.

In Boston and Pittsburgh, the members of the AmCham Business Development Delegation visited the centers of development such as MIT, Harvard, Boston University and Carnegie Mellon University, and advanced companies, where they discovered the development and novelties in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous driving, urban development and new technologies. They gained an insight into the reasoning and operation of development centers that implement key platforms of the digital transformation.

The digital transformation is changing the entire system of production, management and operation. Due to rapid changes, it is important that leaders in economy are aware of the trends, so that they can appropriately prepare and transform their companies. Furthermore, they also gain an extensive insight where the greatest opportunities for Slovenian companies present themselves,” said Ajša Vodnik, MSc, CEO of AmCham Slovenia, at the start of the Business and Development Delegation.

In Boston, the delegation members visited the IBM Watson Health Client Experience Center, the successful company Celtra, founded by Slovenians Maja and Miha Mikek, and the Boston Consulting Group – BCG, where they had an opportunity to discover the initiative by the BCG and World Economic Forum, who have been collaborating for many years in creating the future of mobility in cities with autonomous vehicles (AV). They also met with representatives of one of the best known accelerators, MassChallenge, and the leading hub for robotics, MassRobotics. They also visited one of the most renowned universities throughout the world, MIT, and Boston University, which has a significant impact on the development of photonics, as well as Harvard University.

In Pittsburgh, the delegation members visited the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), Scott Institute for Energy Innovation as part of Carnegie Mellon University, and companies PPG Industries and RE2.

In both Boston and Pittsburgh, the delegation members met Slovenians living in the USA and with representatives of Slovenian communities. In Boston, they had an opportunity to meet Prof. Dr. Lidija Polutnik, a doctor of economics, who consults many multinational firms, Prof. Dr. Jože Bevk, a profession and innovator, who is discovering new nanomaterials, Dr. Andrej Barbič, doctor of chemistry and an expert on patent law in pharmaceutical industry, Janez Mavretič, engineer, who collaborated with the largest companies in the world throughout his career, and Sebastjan Mrak, a doctoral student and assistant at Boston University.  

In Pittsburgh, at the S.N.P.J. Centre, which has been owned by Slovenians for over 100 years, the members were hosted by the Honorary Slovenian Consul Petra Mitchell with the Slovenian Ambassador to USA Stanislav Vidovič and multiple generations of Slovenians.