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Creating a spark for electrical engineers with a Lithuanian conference
By MICHELLE MALKA GROSSMAN
07/19/2016
Annually, the society holds its Electricity Conference in Eilat, but why now out of the country?
Electrical engineers from around the world will convene Lithuania on Wednesday, but not for an international convention. It’s for an Israeli Electrical Engineering conference.

Usually, the Society of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Israel holds its annual conference in Eilat, but this time it decided to supplement its yearly schedule with the Business Opportunities Gateway Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania. Apparently, the reason is an over saturated market.

Over the course of four days at the lux Vilnius Grand Resort, engineering and business leaders from Europe and Asia will mix and mingle with their Israeli counterparts, and discuss cyber security, renewable energy, entrepreneurship, smart energy systems and energy efficiency.

Among the forum’s notable speakers are Simon Litsyn, one of the inventors of the USB flash drive; former Lithuanian prime minister Aleksandras Abišala; and former president of Motorola Israel Elisha Yanai.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Emir Koifman, SEEEI’s chairman, said although there are many talented electrical and electronic engineers in Israel (SEEEI alone has 3,500 members), there are not always enough domestic jobs.

The Forum, therefore, is a bold move. Instead of waiting for market and regulatory changes in Israel, the Forum provides the chance for participants to meet with people from places where change has already happened.

Koifman noted that the European regulations, especially in terms of renewable energy, make it comparatively easier for ambitious engineering projects to get off the ground – and provide jobs for equally-ambitious engineers.

Israel Borovich, former CEO of El Al and the forum’s chairman, told the Post the conference is also a way to team up with other countries that have similarly-sized markets.

As dean of the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Borovich said Israel’s booming startup scene has inspired so many students to try “to produce another Google.”

With the bar set so high, he expressed hopes that this passion could be shared through exchanges between students from Israeli, European and Asian universities. He hopes the forum will spark more student exchanges and as such, both Borovich and Koifman were looking forward to visiting Vilnius University on Wednesday.

“All the best universities in America now have [campuses] in different countries,” Borovich noted. He said that shows the importance of building global professional connections, getting inspired by innovation and learning about different cultures and their needs.
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