16.00 - 17.00
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, when emerging European countries began implementing market economy principles, the region was seen as a low-cost manufacturing destination. Fast forward three decades and most of emerging Europe is no longer a synonym for cheap labour. On the contrary, since Eastern European technical skills have traditionally been strong, the industrious and technology-oriented workforce has brought about a surge in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, IT and research and development in the last decade. Also, years of backwardness caused by half a century of centrally planned economies have ironically helped the region make a leap ahead of their Western European peers in a number of areas. Could emerging Europe become the innovation powerhouse for the ‘Old Continent’?