2021: Year of innovations and great achievements
What an exciting year! Despite all great wishes and endeavours, Covid restrictions stayed more or less permanent and the need for digitalization and the use of digital technologies in our everyday life proved once again that our team is on the right path.
For our company it was extremely satisfying that our business and work did not suffer due to Covid restrictions, as we were operating all working days without interruptions, successfully carried out all our projects and reached our goals. Arctur is a fast-growing company, looking for great talents and IT experts all year round. 8 new Arcturians joined our team in 2021, and we reached the number of 50 employees. As we are encouraging young for the engineering and technician profession, we offered 11 students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and gain practical skills through student practice. In mid-2021 the new place to connect art and creativity with business and industry, HUTURE, was opened for visitors. Huture Space provides different possibilities and functionalities for creative work on artistic, but also scientific, technical and business concepts. It offers a unique place where visitors can meet, hold workshops and collaborate on creating new innovations.
Let´s have a look at the highlights of 2021:
• 2021 was an extremely good year for digitising cultural heritage. Our endeavour under the Heritage+ Programme is to bring the pearls of the cultural heritage in its very best digital formats bear fruit. We successfully collaborated together with more than 30 destinations in Slovenia. In thousands of hours of hard work on different terrains and under unpredictable weather phenomenon our team patiently scanned, recorded, photographed and collected all necessary data on each location. With the help of state-of-the-art technologies and our supercomputer, more than 100 models of cultural monuments were built and more than 30 unique tourist experiences, including VR/AR, digital screens, digital projections, holograms and other advanced digital solutions, were developed and offered on the tourist destinations to visitors who now can enjoy 5-stars experiences. To mention a few latest projects, visitors can now discover seven castles in Posavje Region, can enjoy 360° flight over alpine plateau Velika Planina and discover 3D models of traditional huts, explore precious Jože Plečnik´s heritage he left in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, through the VR and AR experience, learn more about the four historical monuments in Vipava Valley with the help of 3D models and promo videos, learn more about the technical heritage of Idrija Mercury mine, or learn more about the history of pretty seaside town Izola through the video mapping and discover Roman part of Izola, Simon´s Bay, through 3D model.
• Our ideas and solutions for Tourism 4.0 were widely presented at several events worldwide, inspiring the community with opportunities for the development of sustainable, healthy and responsible tourism. Our ideas were among others shared at Expo2020, ASEAN Tourism Technology International Conference, SME Assembly in Portorož, IEEE 7th World Forum on Internet of Things, #circularNEXT North America Series Episode on "Circular Smart Destinations and Circular Cities, Atlantur in Gran Canaria. And now, it´s official - Tourism 4.0 became a member of the largest free global encyclopedia Wikipedia. The first three Slovenian tourist destinations, Jeruzalem – Ormož with the municipalities of Sveti Tomaž, Ormož and Središče ob Dravi, Municipality of Ajdovščina and Municipality of Postojna, that have successfully finished the TIM assessment and received an objective picture of the impact of tourism on the local community. Some of the established collaborations were formalized. Here we would like to mention the signed memorandum of cooperation between Tourism 4.0 and AIE Tourism Innova Gran Canaria. Tourism 4.0 was accepted in the global partnership Connect4Climate, co-established by the World`s Bank. Many innovations were offered to the national and international markets. One of them, Smart Camper Stop, won the golden plaquette for innovation by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Northern Primorska.
• Arctur became a proud ambassador of the national campaign I FEEL SLOVENIA. GREEN CREATIVE. SMART. Furthermore, Tourism 4.0 has been selected to be part of the pre-ExpoTalks in the section Tourism & Connectivity. Arctur in collaboration with national companies equipped the SMART and GREEN room at Slovenia Pavilion with massive screens playing 360 video projections and developed an interactive room concept with mapping projection, where visitors can discover Slovenia in an interactive, playful and innovative manner. Arctur is also being part of two thematic sets at Expo: Digitalization and AI and Travel, Connectivity & Mobility, where our company will actively present our sustainable solutions. Arctur delegation visited EXPO2020 in Dubai in mid-December and successfully presented Tourism 4.0 programme and solutions at different events.
• Arctur’s WEB team designs, develops, supports and hosts web pages and web applications for more than 150 loyal clients from business, tourism and public administration. In 2021, more than 30 inspiring websites and web applications were released. To mention some: BeeTheFuture, Dolina Soče, Občina Kanal ob Soči, MNDance Company, WCM Info Gozd, Vrhovno sodišče Republike Slovenije.
• Our experts have been working on 14 co-financed R&D projects (H2020, Interreg, EMFF, Erasmus+, National) and successfully collaborated with partners from several European countries. Let´s mention some: DIVA, ISE-EMH, FF4EuroHPC, Excellerat, Tourism 4.0 for the Black Sea, Tourism 4.0 Demo Pilot, Weave, ADSEE.
• The AISense Gamma PX portal monitor system was successfully installed and the regular operation commenced at Ljubljana Airport in early 2021. The system is tailored to the airport requirements and designed to continuously measure the gamma radiation dose rate in selected places along the routes of baggage and passengers.
• 4PM, Arctur’s digital tool for project management enabling dispersed teams to work efficiently even while working remotely, was upgraded and redesigned to offer a more friendly user experience. This tool supported several big companies in Slovenia and also abroad, and was helpful for managing co-financed projects.
• HPC & Cloud team, in charge of Arctur-2, the flagship hyperconverged HPC & Cloud computing infrastructure, worked with SMEs which are using HPC infrastructure to run simulations. Our network, tools and systems have been successfully running 24/7. We are proud that we successfully concluded the re-certification of ISO 27001- Information Security Management System certificate. Our team is now working on implementing AI in different solutions, working on big data and blockchains. The newest product developed by our HPC & AI experts is OpenOnDemand portal for HPC, a user-friendly dashboard that will be easily managed by SMEs through the browsers, and will be offered in early 2022. In October, we opened our doors to Data Center for visitors to celebrate Exascale Day.
Arctur´s business model is built on the responsibility to our team, partners, local community and environment. Our mission is to help the local community when needed. Despite sharing our knowledge and ideas with others, we also donated skipping ropes for school children in Nova Gorica, to contribute to healthy lifestyle promotion. As we encourage local organizations to use new technologies and participate in various projects, we donated two manuals on new technologies and their use in practice to the France Bevk Public Library ("Handbook of Research on Smart Technology Applications in the Tourism Industry" and "Consumer Behaviour and Marketing "), which will be available to the local population in the library reading room. We supported the Slovenian Society for Dog-Associated Therapy Tačke Pomagačke and created a new website for Inter-municipal association of friends of youth Ajdovščina. During Arctur´s presentation at Expo 2020 in Dubai, the team met with ultramarathon swimmer Martin Strel and supported him with swimming to raise awareness on the importance of clean waters. The biggest humanitarian event Arctur Team supports and visits every year is the sports event Goricatlon, where visitors can raise funds for the socially deprived in the region by running and cycling. Arctur Team ran 65 laps and cycled 126 km, and contributed to raising the fund. This year EUR 5.500 EUR funds will be donated to VDC Nova Gorica, a public social welfare institution, to purchase a new therapeutic device – a special bicycle that will support and fasten up the recovery from the head or the spine injury.
Arctur´s work has been recognised globally, thus the news about us was published in local and foreign media. You can learn about Tourism 4.0 innovations in rtvslo.si portal, about the importance of the digitization of cultural heritage during the pandemic in show Na Lepše, and digitisation of four impressive cultural objects in Vipavska Valley in MMC, presenting Tourism 4.0 in EXPO2020 in STO, about helping SMEs towards Industry 4.0 in Delo and about promoting the use of HPC in business and science in Primorske Novice.
Even though Arctur Team is working in offices located in Nova Gorica and in Ljubljana, and some of our colleagues work remotely, we always find time to join and have fun together. This year our traditional solstice party took place in Bovec. We felt a real adrenaline rush in zipline Bovec, end enjoyed the rest of the day in the embrace of Bovec nature. We were a bit naughty this year, yes, we do admit that, but still, Santa left each of us nice presents under Arctur´s Christmas tree. As Arcturians dedicate a lot of time to sport and fresh air, a new basketball playground was built next to our headquarters in Nova Gorica, and a new basketball team named Arctur Aliens was born.
What will bring us 2022?
Just a few days more are left, and then we will step into 2022. Step by step, full of optimism, great ideas and empowered with a desire to co-create a more sustainable future for all. We are also looking forward to celebrating Arctur´s 30th Anniversary in January – 30 years of creating solutions for a better future in which we all want to live.
Arctur Team wishes you a happy, innovative, creative & healthy New Year 2022.
Let curiosity lead you to new explorations and discoveries!