It's a long way from war-ravaged and weary Mariupol on the once-tranquil but now turbulent Sea of Azov to the splendid solitude of Mín Corrbhuic in the serene hills of Donegal but those two very different locations will be linked next week at a technology festival in Donegal being convened by Belfast's Aisling Events.

Ukraine, of course, is a hotbed of groundbreaking innovation — Grammarly, GitLab and Revolut are all Ukrainian inventions — and the existence of an embattled but ebullient tech community in the beleaguered country makes the inclusion of the blue and yellow nation an essential feature of the 19-21 May tech extravaganza. 

In a coup for the MIT Technology Review Festival of Innovation, Dmytro Shymkiv (pictured), former CEO of Microsoft Ukraine and creator of the country's Digital Ukraine and Go Global initiatives, and until 2018 Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, will join the event live from Kyiv.


Revered as one of Ukraine's most senior business figures, Dmytro now heads up Darnitsa, the global digital pharma company headquartered in Ukraine.

He will give the audience a timely and fascinating insight (in a conversation moderated by this author) into how technology is being used to defend the people of Ukraine in these parlous times and look at how the European tech community can stand with Ukraine. You can see more about the MIT Tech Review Innovators Under 35 Europe Festival - including details of our 35 honourees — on the Festival of Innovation website.

Among the sponsors of the first-ever Donegal tech conference are Údarảs na Gaeltachta, Catalyst, the new Atlantic Technological University, Galway University, The Open University, Ulster University, Unosquare and the Northwest City Region initiative between Donegal and Derry City and Strabane District councils.