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CEBIT enters into alliance with Librecon Bilbao

ESLE and Deutsche Messe, the organizers of Librecon and CEBIT, have reached an agreement to stage "Librecon Powered by CEBIT" - the open knowledge and technology forum - in November 2018 and 2020. The agreement was signed by ELSE President Eneko Astigarraga and CEBIT Vice-President Marius Felzmann.

30 Nov. 2017

Bilbao/Hannover. This new edition of Librecon "Librecon Powered by CEBIT" will mark a qualitative leap and it also set to deliver a significant boost to the international positioning of the Basque open source technologies sector

The signing was witnessed by SPRI Director of Technology and Innovation Aitor Cobanera, the Provincial Councilor for Public Administration and Relations, Ibone Bengoetxea, and a member from Bilbao city council – institutions which have indicated their support for the agreement.

Bilbao and Bizkaia are ready to make a mark in the field of free technologies and open knowledge by launching the "Librecon powered by CEBIT" event in November 2018 – a forum set to become southern Europe's leading confab in the field of free technologies. The first edition of the event covered by the agreement between CEBIT and ESLE will be held from 21 to 22 November 2018 in the Euskalduna Conference Center, with the second edition taking place in November 2020.

"The emergence of digital technology has completely transformed our way of connecting, having fun, traveling and consuming. But that transformation is also penetrating areas such as industry, financial services and public administration. We want the new Librecon powered by CEBIT to help to accomplish this revolution and become a stage to promote the creation of new business models based on open source technologies," stated Eneko Astigarraga, President of ESLE.

CEBIT Vice-President Marius Felzmann described the agreement as "a unique opportunity to promote greater knowledge of open technologies and the economic development opportunities provided by free software."

"Librecon powered by CEBIT" 2018 will focus on topics like digital transformation, cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT) and explore the relevant application areas such as public institutions, the financial services industry and the industrial sector.The event will feature several different areas reserved for conferences, product demos, specialized workshops, exhibits and networking.

This major international event is the fruit of an agreement reached by the Association of Free Technologies and Open Knowledge Companies of the Basque Country (ESLE) – producer of the previous Bilbao Librecon Congresses in 2014 and 2016 – and CEBIT, recognized as the leading global fair for technology innovations, staged in Hannover, Germany. CEBIT is annually staged by the prestigious German exhibition and conference organizer, Deutsche Messe.

"Librecon powered by CEBIT" was created with the aim of expanding the international scope of the previous Librecon events and positioning Bilbao as a key knowledge hub for free technologies. At the same time, it seeks to open new channels of collaboration between Deutsche Messe, an entity which organizes a total of 130 annual fairs in numerous professional/industrial fields, and ESLE, the Basque business association, made up of over 40 companies that specialize in free technologies.

So far, Librecon has been staged twice in Bilbao. Both times the event drew 1,500 visitors, with exhibitor displays filling an area of 1,200 m2. The forum attracted international speakers of note, such as the President of Red Hat, Jim Whitehurst, Telefónica CDO Chema Alonso and Taiwan's Digital Minister Audry Tang.

The "Librecon powered by CEBIT" event scheduled for 21 and 22 November 2018 aims to make a qualitative and quantitative leap compared with the two previous events. The organizers expect it to become a showcase for recent advances in the field of free technology and their potential for the creation of innovative solutions and new business models.In addition, the event aims to be a networking hub for international experts to facilitate the democratization of knowledge and promote an open culture throughout the production chain.

Created in 2012 by the National Federation of Free Software Companies (ASOLIF), Librecon has been held annually in various cities throughout Spain such as Zaragoza, Malaga and Santiago. Bilbao has so far hosted two events in cooperation with ELSE – in 2014 and 2016. The agreement signed with CEBIT will provide a decisive boost to converting the event into one of the main open technology fairs in southern Europe.

About ESLE

Formed in 2005, the Association of Free Technologies and Open Knowledge Companies of the Basque Country (ESLE) is a non-profit entity promoted by Basque companies that base their business model on free software and open source software tools.Its partners are involved in a range of different activities, from software development to the implementation and provision of services. They are committed to fostering and disseminating the use of free technologies among society as a whole and responding to the growing need for knowledge demanded by the new information society.

Deutsche Messe AG

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Deutsche Messe AG, which was founded in 1947 with the staging of Germany's first-ever Export Fair. Seven decades later, Deutsche Messe has taken its place among the world's top organizers of capital goods trade fairs, sporting a rich portfolio of events held in Germany and around the globe. With 2016 revenue of 302 million euros, the company ranks among the five biggest trade show companies in Germany. Its portfolio includes such world-class events as (in alphabetical order) CEBIT (business festival for innovation and digitization), CeMAT (intralogistics and supply chain management), didacta (education), DOMOTEX (carpets and other floor coverings), HANNOVER MESSE (industrial technology), INTERSCHUTZ (fire prevention, disaster relief, rescue, safety and security), LABVOLUTION (lab technology) and LIGNA (woodworking, wood processing, forestry). The company also regularly hosts a number of internationally renowned events by third parties, among which are AGRITECHNICA (agricultural machinery) and EuroTier (animal production), both of which are staged by the German Agricultural Society (DLG), EMO Hannover (machine tools; staged by the German Machine Tool Builders' Association, VDW), EuroBLECH (sheet metal working; staged by MackBrooks) and IAA Commercial Vehicles (transport, logistics and mobility; staged by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, VDA). With more than1,200 employees and a network of 58 sales partners, Deutsche Messe is present in about 100 countries.


At CEBIT 2018, everything is geared to generating business, leads and bright ideas. CEBIT is a triple-punch event covering everything essential to the digitization of business, government and society. The innovations on display in the d!conomy section of the show give IT professionals and decision-makers, trade and the public sector the tools they need to streamline and futureproof their operations. The event’s d!tec showcase puts the spotlight on developers and startups. The d!talk conference program features visionaries, lateral thinkers, creatives and experts . The d!campus is heart of CEBIT –relaxed networking, street food and live music. The first day of CEBIT 2018 – Monday, 11 June – is reserved for conference attendees and journalists, with the exhibition opening on Tuesday, 12 June. The exhibition halls will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the d!campus staying open till 11 p.m. Opening hours on Friday are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Monika Brandt

Monika Brandt

Deutsche Messe
+49 511 89 - 31632