Google, Nasa and Harvard among destinations for 2017 RTM

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) is planning its Royal Technology Mission (RTM) to take place 1–6 May. The RTM is an international delegation trip focusing on technology, science and industry. This will be the 24th RTM and the destination is the USA. The delegation consists of close to 30 representatives from research, industry and public authorities. Heading the delegation is IVA’s Chairman Leif Johansson. H. M. The King is participating as IVA’s patron.

The theme for the 2017 RTM is how fast technology development –particularly development driven by digitalisation – is impacting business, research and policies. Special focus areas are fintech, life science and entrepreneurship. The delegation will be heading to New York, Washington DC and Boston.

“The USA has a long history of successfully industrialising and developing new goods and services. In light of the fast pace of technology development, it will be valuable to witness how academia and industry in the US are evolving and developing in this changing environment,” says head of the RTM delegation and Chairman of IVA, Leif Johansson. 

How industry and universities develop their organisations to meet these fast-moving trends will be one of the key focus areas for this year’s delegation.

Joining H.M. The King on the trip will be Ambassador Björn Lyrvall, IVA’s Chairman Leif Johansson and IVA President Björn O. Nilsson. Consul General of Sweden Leif Pagrotsky will also take part in the events in New York and Boston. The RTM delegation consists of a mix of prominent business leaders, leading academics and important individuals from public agencies and other public sector areas.

“The RTM is a forum for forming impressions, new contacts and an international exchange of experiences across sectors,” says IVA’s President Björn O. Nilsson. “The delegates are all prominent figures in business and research, and the King’s active participation in the Mission opens doors to exciting enterprises and organisations that we can learn a lot from.”

RTM programme

On 2 May the delegates will visit IBM to hear more about development in cognitive systems and cloud-based solutions. The delegates will then visit Google where the agenda will include hearing about the future Google experience. There will also be visits to JPMorgon bank and Nasdaq. The day will conclude at the New York Academy of Sciences with presentations on, for example, how connected devices are inspiring children to innovate.

On 3 May the delegation will travel to Washington DC. The day will begin with a visit to Capital Hill where the participants will meet Congressman Randy Hultgren, who is of Swedish descent, to hear more about the work of the US Congress Committee on Science, Space and Technology. During the day think tanks Brookings and ITIF will talk about how they see the business sector developing in the USA in the future. The delegates will also visit Nasa for a tour and presentation at Goddard Space Flight Center. The day will conclude at House of Sweden and a panel debate about inclusive growth.

On the fourth day the delegates will visit National Institutes of Health to hear more about the research it is financing and how digitalisation is effecting research. Visits are also planned to Janelia Research Campus, a research institute, and the well-known incubator 1776.

During the two final days of the RTM the delegates will be in Boston to visit Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. The delegation will also pay a visit to Akamai, one of the real giants in the IT world with enormous capacity to control data traffic.

Before returning home on 6 May, the participants will visit the incubator Masschallenge and AstraZeneca. The RTM will conclude at NuTomony where the delegates will have an opportunity to test self-driving cars.

During the visits there will often be presentations on topical themes as well as a tour followed by an opportunity to ask questions. Fell free to follow the RTM behind the scenes on Facebook

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