Antwerp Summer University

4 - 7 Sep 2017

Ready to boost your knowledge of the diamond industry?

Register now for the Antwerp Summer University program, as spaces are limited!

The Antwerp Summer University program focuses on “Innovation & Diamonds” in every aspect of the global diamond industry, from mine to finger. Through a series of Workshops, Keynote Sessions, and a Tech Expo we look at the past, present and future of the diamond industry in all its facets.

Plan your personal Antwerp Summer University program: In the registration form below, select the Keynote Sessions or Workshops of your choice, register for the Tech Expo and reserve your free tickets today.

The Antwerp Summer University is a collaboration between the University of Antwerp (UA), AWDC, the Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses and the Syndicate of the Belgian Diamond Industry (SBD)


When: September 4 - 7, 2017 | Each day from 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Keynote Sessions: Antwerp Diamond Bourse, Hoveniersstraat 51, Antwerp
Workshops: Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Hoveniersstrat 22, Antwerp

Registration is required. Jump to the registration form

Day 1 | Monday, September 4th

10:00 - 10:40 am
KEYNOTE From “diamond fever” to state-of-the-art mining

From the discovery of the first large deposits of diamonds in the early 1900s to this day, diamond mining has always been a business of “insiders”. Few people know precisely how those sparkling diamonds are unearthed and the difficult and often lengthy and complex processes that are involved in the business of diamond mining. In this keynote session, William Lamb, CEO of Lucara Diamond literally unveils how the company that dug up the world’s largest rough diamond existing today, the Lesedi La Rona, implements state-of-the-art technology to bring the world’s most exquisite rough diamonds to the surface.

11:30 am - 12:10 pm
KEYNOTE Challenges of mining in extreme conditions

Mining diamonds is always challenging, but it is even more so in remote areas and the most extreme weather conditions. Sergey Panchekhin, Director Alrosa Belgium explains how the world’s largest diamond producer succeeds in mining and distributing rough supply, as well as managing operations in the unimaginably harsh environment of northern Russia.

1:30 - 3:30 pm   
WORKSHOP at AWDC -1 | Workshop: online trading platform: “Virtual Diamond Boutique” (Fully booked!)

Day 2 | Tuesday, September 5th

10:00 - 10:40 am
KEYNOTE Can robots polish diamonds?

Anyone who works in the diamond industry will say that trading, and especially manufacturing diamonds requires skilled hands and eyes. And although this remains largely true, over the past decades, technological developments have advanced rapidly, creating a diverse array of high-tech tools that assist diamond professionals in sorting, manufacturing and marketing diamonds. Janek Mistry, from India-based and leading diamond equipment manufacturer Lexus, sheds light on how technology and innovation will determine the future of the diamond industry.

11:30 am - 12:10 pm
KEYNOTE Diamond Midstream Inc.: The New Non-Profit Association

Synthetic diamonds have been around for decades, mainly for industrial applications. Over the past few years, the production of gem-quality synthetic diamonds has boomed, and synthetic producers position their product as an alternative to (natural) diamonds. With this growth, the incidence of undisclosed synthetic diamonds entering the diamond pipeline has increased significantly. Synthetic diamonds, however, are just one of several challenges to the midstream. For some 10 years running, the midstream has seen its margins shrink, even losing money some years. Synthetics (especially undisclosed) have impacted not just integrity, but also rough and polished prices. Industry authority Chaim Even-Zohar maps the midstream landscape and the challenges ahead.

1:30 - 3:30 pm   
WORKSHOP at AWDC -1 | Workshop: Technology meets Diamonds: “Mass Customization and other disruptive trends” (Fully booked!)

Day 3 | Wednesday, September 6th

10:00 - 10:40 am
KEYNOTE The age of disruption: Diamond Financing 101  

Disruptive developments, such as evolving regulatory frameworks, (technological) innovation and other forces are rewriting the rules of finance and thus changing the conditions the diamond industry operates in, at high velocity. In an industry that has been operating according to the same set of rules and customs for decades, this new environment is sometimes perceived as a threat. Howard Davies, Vice President of Commercial Development at De Beers takes a deeper look at the fundamentals of the challenges ahead and shares his insights on how the industry can adjust and adapt.

11:30 am - 12:10 pm
KEYNOTE Fintech and Bankability: The Blockchain

It is a fact that industry financing and access to bank accounts has become an issue in recent years. Tightened regulation and requirements regarding compliance and transaction monitoring combined with negative perception have caused traditional banks to pull out of the industry. Can blockchain and fintech increase transparency, decrease complexity and consequently augment bankability for companies that operate in the capital-intensive diamond industry? Leanne Kemp, CEO of Everledger, sheds light on the potential and challenges of the blockchain for the diamond industry.

1:30 - 3:30 pm   
WORKSHOP at AWDC -1 | Workshop: Screening and identification of synthetic diamonds (Fully booked!)

Day 4 | Thursday, September 7th

10:00 - 10:40 am
KEYNOTE Digital Transformation, why SMEs should get on board

Operating efficiently is the key to running a successful company. However, business models are changing through the arrival of new technologies, and newcomers are threatening existing companies with new platforms to create new ecosystems. How can companies in the diamond industry survive this disruption and remain relevant?  What is the solution to greater efficiency while becoming part of the new ecosystem? ‘Digital transformation’ could be the answer. But what does the term mean and how can SMEs get on board? Paul Danneels, Chairman of CIO Net Belgium and Chief Transformation Officer at the Belgian Federation of Notaries, shares his insights on digital strategies and technology.

11:30 am - 12:10 pm
KEYNOTE Illusion or Reality: Why should diamonds be considered an investment?

Yaniv Marcus, founder of The Diamond Investment & Intelligence Center explains how diamonds have evolved into a real asset investment class, and compares their financial performance to that of traditional investments such as stocks, bonds and global indices in the market. What distinguishes an Investment Diamond from other Diamonds?  

What are the opportunities and challenges within the diamond investment industry moving forward? What must be done in order to ensure successful diamond investment transactions with complete transparency?

1:30 - 3:30 pm   
WORKSHOP at AWDC -1 | Chain of Custody vs. Confidence – Case Study, “My Fair Diamond” (Fully booked!)

Day 5 | Thursday, September 8th

1:30 - 3:30 pm   
WORKSHOP at AWDC -1 | DiBox 2.0, Innovative diamond solutions for a visual age

Tech Expo | Tuesday, September 5th - Thursday September 7th

Today’s diamond industry, from mining over manufacturing to grading, is characterized as a blend of advanced technology and centuries-old artisanship. In the framework of the Antwerp Summer University, this Tech Expo focuses on the latest technological developments in the global diamond industry. The Tech Expo has the ambition to become the leading platform for technology currently being developed, as well as for existing technology, including equipment, software and applications used by diamond professionals across the pipeline.


This is a free event, but registration is required.

You may opt to attend the full program, or select the keynote sessions that interest you most.
If you wish to register for more than one keynote session, please add all the sessions you would like to attend to your registration before you click 'proceed to checkout'.