EDF2013 Executive Panel on Big Data

The EDF2013 Executive Panel on Big Data brings together 6 executives of data and knowledge intense organisations from various sectors in Europes economy.

Big Data is the name of a technological field that is pushing back the frontiers of database technology far beyond current data management systems. Challenges are, for example

  • the sheer volume of data to be handled (soon the amount of data we acquire will bypass the amount of data we can store),
  • streaming of data, heterogeneity of data, and
  • openness versus privacy of data.

Exploiting big data properly is becoming increasingly essential for the strength and competitiveness of businesses and organizations, and significantly influences the quality of service provided by public and private institutions. In the panel we will explore, with six outstanding speakers, the key issues faced in the process of turning large data into high value.

The panel will take place on Day 1 of the conference (9.4.2013) from 10.00am to 11.00am - please see facts & figures as well as details on panelists as follows:

EDF2013 Executive Panel on Big Data
Day 1 - 09.04. 2013, 10.00am to 11.00pm

  • Richard Benjamins, Telefonica Digital
  • François Bourdoncle, Exalead
  • Gary Evans, EMC
  • Michael Gorriz, Daimler
  • Gerhard Kress, Siemens
  • Roberto Viola, DG Connect of EC

Moderated by: Dieter Fensel


Information about the 6 panelists (alphabetical order) of the EDF2013 Executive Panel on Big Data:

Dr. V.R. (Richard) Benjamins is Director of Business Intelligence at Telefonica Digital, the newly created digital branch of Telefoncia. Before that he was responsible for Global BI programs across TEF footprint, and Director of User Modelling, where he was responsible for research and development in areas related to customer intelligence. His responsibilities included the development and technology transfer of products in areas including data mining, big data, targeted advertising, personalisation, and privacy. Richard is a frequent speaker on big data, BI and analytics events. Previously he was Director of Technological Strategy at the same company which he joined in July 2007.

Before that he was director and board member at Intelligent Software Components (iSOCO), which he co-founded in 1999 and he led its international positioning as a Semantic Web company. Based on his work, iSOCO were granted the National Award for Computer Science. Dr. Benjamins has held positions at the Technical University of Madrid, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the University of Paris-South, France, and the Spanish Artificial Intelligence Research Institute in Barcelona.


François Bourdoncle is Exalead's Chief Technology Officer and a pioneer of the search engine market. In 2000, he co-founded Exalead with the goal of revolutionizing the search engine market by providing users with a unified technology platform to access information in the enterprise. He's been the CEO of Exalead until its acquisition by the Dassault Systèmes Group in 2010 for $200M. Prior to Exalead, Bourdoncle was a researcher at both Digital Equipment's Paris Research Laboratory and Digital Equipment's Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, California. He has been an Associate Professor at Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Normale Supérieure for 15 years. While at Ecole des Mines de Paris, he's lead the LiveTopics project in collaboration with AltaVista. Bourdoncle is a graduate from Ecole Polytechnique and is a member of France's Corps des Mines. He holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from École Polytechnique. He is the author of numerous technical papers and publications, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. He has been named to Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 2008 and Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite in 2006. He's been elected French Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005, and is a laureate of the Louis Armand Prize.


gary_evans.JPGGary Evans, CTO EMC Ireland
Gary Evans joined EMC in 2012  as Chief Technology Officer.  This is primarily a customer facing role talking about Cloud Computing, Trust and Big Data.  Gary has spent 20 years working at all levels of the  Information Technology stack across the globe in a wide variety of companies.  This ranged from Banking & Finance in Ireland for Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deutsche Bank. IINET – Australia’s second largest ISP in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and in Glanbia - a Global Food and Nutritionals organisation.  He has spent 10 years working with virtualisation technologies that has led to a firm focus on Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics.

Today he spends the majority of his time in front of IT executives talking about strategy around Cloud and the tradeoffs between private, public and hybrid cloud models.  Big Data and the hidden value of untapped data internal, external or available to your organisation, and the security required to make sure your organisation is protected while going on the journey of Cloud Computing, Big Data and Data Analytics.

Gary holds multiple certificates across various IT and Business functions and is an honorary Fellow for the Irish Computer Society


Michael-Gorriz.jpgMichael Gorriz, CIO Daimler
Dr. Michael Gorriz was born on October 03, 1959 in Neunkirchen, Ferderal State of Saarland, Germany. From 1978 to 1985 he completed his master in physics and a PhD in high energy laser systems.

Dr. Michael Gorriz began his career at the German a erospace company Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm GmbH, later known as the Daimler-Benz affiliate DASA, and which merged into EADS in 1999.

From 1994 onwards, Dr. Gorriz founded and led Daimler-Benz Aerospace in Mexico. In 1997, he became general manager of the division Enterprise Networks at Nortel DASA. In the beginning of 2000, Dr. Gorriz moved to Daimler’s IT Management area as Vice President IT Business Systems where he was additionally promoted to CIO Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans in 2005. In this function, Dr. Gorriz was in charge of worldwide IT systems within the division of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans at Daimler AG.

In January 2008, Dr. Michael Gorriz took over as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Head of Information Technology Management (ITM) at Daimler AG. He is responsible for strategy, planning and development of all IT systems as wellas the operation of all data centers and communication networks at Daimler AG.

Dr. Gorriz is married and has three children.


Gerhard_Kress.jpgGerhard Kreß joined Siemens Corporate Strategy in 2010 for the corporate program to refine the IT strategy for the Siemens businesses. Currently he is responsible for the Siemens big data initiative, improving the capabilities of Siemens to use industrial data.

Before joining corporate strategy, he spent 8 years working in Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS), managing systems and technologies for the global service desks and in the project management of major IT outsourcing projects.

Gerhard Kreß started his professional career in McKinsey & Company, where he focused on growth initiatives and high tech industries. He holds a German diploma in Theoretical Physics and a Master of Arts in International Relations and European Studies.



Roberto Viola holds a doctor degree in electronic engineering (Dr. Eng.) and a master in business administration (MBA). He is Deputy Director General at European Commission - DG CNECT, with responsibilities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services Directorate, Cooperation Directorate - International and Inter-institutional relations, Stakeholders cooperation, Coordination Directorate - Growth and Jobs, Innovations and Knowledge Base, Media and Data Directorate.

From 2005 to 2012 he was the Secretary General in charge of managing AGCOM (Italian media and telecom regulator). He has been Chairman for 2012-2013 of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG), he was Deputy Chairman for 2011 and Chairman for 2010. He was in the Board of BEREC (Body of European Telecom Regulators). He was Chairman for 2007 of the European Regulatory Group (ERG). He served in AGCOM (1999-2004), as Director of regulation department and technical Director being in charge of, inter alia, regulation in terrestrial, cable and satellite television, frequency planning, access and interconnection of communication services, cost accounting and tariff in telecommunication and broadcasting services. From 1985-1999 he served in various position as a staff member of the European Space Agency (ESA) in particular, he has been head of telecommunication and broadcasting satellite services.

He is Professor of Business models for ICT at the Computer Engineering Faculty – University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He pioneered novel communication systems (UMTS, satellite radio, digital broadcasting) publishing more than 100 scientific papers and holding key patents in the sector.


dieter_fensel.jpgProf. Dr. Dieter Fensel   
In 1989, Prof. Dr. Dieter Fensel earned both his Master in Social Science (Free University of Berlin) and his Master in Computer Science (Technical University of Berlin). In 1993, he was awarded his Doctoral degree in Economic Science, Dr. rer. pol. (Doctorate on Political Science), from the University of Karlsruhe. In 1998 he received his Habilitation in Applied Computer Science. Throughout his doctoral and post-doctoral career, Prof. Dr. Fensel has held positions at the University of Karlsruhe (AIFB), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). In 2002, he took up a Chair of Computer Science at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. In 2003, after receiving a large grant acquired from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), he founded the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and became the Scientific Director. In 2006 he created the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and became the Founding Director. In 2007, he established the Semantic Technology Institute International (STI2), which is organized as a collaborative association of interested scientific, industrial and governmental parties of the world wide Semantic Web and Service community that share a common vision. His current research interests focus upon the usage of semantics in 21st century computer science.

He has published over 250 papers via scientific books and journals, conferences, and workshop contributions. He has co-organized over 300 academic events, and is an associated editor of fourteen special issues of scientific journals.

He has been an executive member in more than 70 international and national research projects with a total volume of several hundred million euro; he worked as scientific or project coordinator in several of these projects.

His experience is however not restricted to research, having taught over 80 courses at various levels of education, from professional academies and technical colleges to universities and scientific conferences. Topics include: Formal Specification Languages, Software Engineering, Data Warehouse, World Wide Web, Electronic Commerce, Agent-based Information Access, Semantic Web and Ontologies, Semantic Web Services, Intelligent Systems and Web Engineering. He was in more than 70 Bachelor, Master, and PhD committees and is a recipient of the Carl-Adam-Petri-Award of the Faculty of Economic Sciences from the University of Karlsruhe (2000).