Invited speakers

BBC, Head of Partnership Development, BBC Archives

Bill Thompson has been working in, on and around the Internet since 1984 and spends his time thinking, writing and speaking about the ways digital technologies are changing our world. He is the Head of Partnership Development in the BBC's Archive Development Group, building relationships with museums, galleries and other institutions around ways to make archive material more accessible, and a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art.

An online interview with Bill Thompson conducted as part of the BIG Project:

Big Data from an Audio Visual Archive perspective

RTÉ Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster, Head of Archives

Bríd Dooley - Head of RTÉ Archives, Ireland's National Public Service Broadcasting Archives; largest Audiovisual Archives in Ireland & Member of Executive and former General Secretary of The International Federation of Television Archives FIAT/IFTA.
A media professional with over 20 years in the broadcasting industry, Bríd is a passionate advocate for audiovisual archives.
She joined the RTÉ Digital division in 2012 as head of the newly integrated RTÉ Archives Department and launched the new RTÉ Archives website in July 2012   A key part of her remit within the new digital enterprise is to develop and open up  the archives of RTÉ, extending  their reach to new audiences across new digital platforms and services and working with new partners  across a range of sectors. She leads a multi-disciplinary team across the moving image, sound, photographic & document archives with responsibility for the day to day acquisition, preservation, management, documentation and media archiving services. The department is a significant contributor and support to the day to day business of broadcasting as well as a growing content provider and expert curator of archives across all services on RTÉ digital platforms.
Bríd first joined RTÉ as Archive Project leader for Television in 2000 and initiated the development of a new professional cataloguing and documentation process for the archives in tandem with a conservation and preservation programme for the Film and Television holdings.  As head of the Television Archives since 2003, she further developed the archive services, and has extensive experience and expertise across all aspects of audiovisual archives management, including rights, metadata, media management, collections development, preservation, digitisation, access & more recently, the development of the new document archives.  
She is an active member of an international network of audiovisual archive associations, FIAT/IFTA  and  FOCAL International  During her tenure as General Secretary of FIAT/IFTA, she co-ordinated the organisation's world conferences in Beijing (2009), Dublin (2010) and London (2012). She currently serves as an executive member of the governing council of FIAT/FITA.
Born and educated in County Galway, she holds a BA Hons in Media Studies from the University of Westminster. Prior to joining RTÉ, she worked extensively in UK Television Archives, including ITN, Channel 4 News and GMTV.
About RTÉ Archives
RTÉ Archives is the oldest, largest and most significant audiovisual archive in Ireland spanning the history of Public Service Broadcasting within its collections. With annual growth of circa 20,000 hours of  content, the archive currently  holds circa 320,000 hours of moving image, 120,000 hours of audio, 500,000 + selected photographs and tens of thousands of written documents.  It also holds significant acquired and privately donated moving image & photographic collections, from as far back as the early decades of the 20th Century in Ireland as well as a unique library of commercial sound recordings.  Collectively the RTÉ Archives comprises a unique and compelling record of Irish Life.

Cross-archival content discovery in the digital landscape: an RTÉ , Digital Repository Ireland and the DERI Research Institute collaboration.

The technology and user revolution in mobile, IPTV and social media has significant consequences for our economy, our culture and the way we live. While RTÉ is already a successful Irish market leader in online and mobile delivery, the exponential growth of digital media requires a radical shift in how RTÉ engages and collaborates with audiences.
Audiovisual content is a major challenge for Big Data solutions; while professional archives have consistently worked towards the development of standardised metadata within the closed business environment for different media, the exposure of this  data  outside of the business systems presents major challenges in the opening up these archives to the digital landsacpe.  The   data  is complex, not digital “ready” in non-standardised in format, without common or consistent metadata and ontologies  and subject to complex rights issues.  
RTÉ Digital is developing new ways to repurpose, repackage, discover, analyse and exploit archival content to meet business needs and the ever changing expectations of RTÉ’s audience, and is embarking on a major project in collaboration with the Digital Repository of Ireland and the DERI Research Institute to develop a cross-archival content discovery platform for the semi-automated delivery of curated exhibitions.

Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)

Dan heads up BPIE’s data management, renovation and financing portfolios, building on a broad experience base across the sustainable energy space spanning 25 years, including 15 years in senior positions. In various advisory roles, he has influenced the design of EU Directives, including EPBD, EED, and the UK Energy White Paper, Renewables Obligation and Energy Efficiency Obligation scheme. He has devised and directed numerous certification schemes and evaluated over £500M investment in sustainable energy.  Dan holds Masters Degrees from the University of Oxford and London Southbank University, is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Energy Institute in the UK.

Building the European Knowledge Base on Energy Performance of Buildings

Having a solid evidence base on the energy performance of buildings is a pre-requisite for taking meaningful and effective actions to cut energy use, reduce CO2 emissions and renovate the existing stock of some 200 million buildings in Europe. This presentation outlines the process of collecting buildings data across 29 countries and then designing a data portal to enable users from across the world to access key facts and figures, generate bespoke charts and download data for personal use, research and analysis. The portal, launched late in 2012, aims to be the central and freely available knowledge base for all data relating to European building energy performance. To achieve that goal, BPIE has specified an online data collection form to enable easy upload of national building stock information, details of policies affecting buildings and progress with the challenge of renovating Europe’s stock of buildings with a combined area nearly equivalent to the surface area of Belgium. See also:

Castlebridge Associates, Managing Director

Daragh O Brien is Managing Director at Castlebridge Associates, a company which provides training, training, consulting, project management, and coaching/mentoring services for organisations on Information Asset Management. He was the first person in Ireland to achieve professional accreditation in the ICQP certification from the International Association for Information & Data Quality.

He is a Certified Data Protection Professional and a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society.
He has worked with a range of organisations in the telecommunications, financial services, insurance, local government, education, and central government, in Ireland and overseas, to help them define and execute effective Information Management strategies encompassing Information Quality, Information Governance, and Data Protection.

He is an advisor to the IDMA, a Global Privacy Advocate for DAMA International, a former Director for the IAIDQ, and is an active contributor to the Innovation Value Institute’s IT-CMF. Daragh has lectured in DCU and the Law Society of Ireland. He has also advised a number of academic research projects on aspects of Information Quality, Information Governance and Data Protection.

He is the author of two books (Defining and Executing an Effective Data Quality Strategy and the Data Strategy and Governance Toolkit) and has recently started work on a third, due for publication later this year. He has also contributed book chapters and papers to a number of other publications. He is a regular speaker at conferences in the EU and US.

For 12 years Daragh worked in the Telecommunications industry leading Single View of Customer strategy and execution programmes, and latterly leading Regulatory Assurance functions. His clients now range from Financial Services, Telecommunications, Education services, Not-for-Profits, and SME startups, in Ireland and elsewhere.

The Story of Maturity – How data in Business needs to pass the ‘So What’ tests

Organisations struggle to manage the data they currently have effectively to ensure they are asking and answering the right questions. Simply getting more data does not always solve the problems of what questions the organisation needs to ask and what information is needed to ensure a focus on the correct answers. Daragh O Brien shares an experience from managing telecommunications regulation governance projects and links to the opportunity and risks of Big Data, Linked Data, and Open Data in a discussion that looks at what the “So What” questions are that organisations need to have answered like “So what does that mean?”, “So, what are the compliance risks?”, “So what is our Governance approach?”, and “So, what is the way we can make or save money?”. The presentation includes a discussion of “Value Delivery” concepts and how they  could be a powerful tool for academics trying to bridge the “So What” divide.

Ericsson, Research Director

Dr. Fiona Williams is a Research Director of Ericsson, based in Aachen, Germany, driving innovations in communications networks and services and their use in Smart Energy Grids.  She initiates and leads large-scale collaborative programmes and projects in the national and European context and builds up research, innovation and IPR activities for Ericsson, bringing results through to business innovation in products and services and as spin-off companies, where appropriate. She is currently Project Manager of the FINESCE IP in the FI-PPP Programme of the European Commission.  This project will field trial a range of concepts for communications in the Smart Energy sector in cross-border trials in Europe.

She holds board positions in industrial and academic organizations at international level.

She built up the research and innovation unit in Ericsson Eurolab, which has developed a wide range of successful product developments and set leading standards. She moved to Germany in 1991 from Ireland, where she was responsible for the start-up and operations of an Ericsson-Eircom joint venture advanced technology company.  She studied for her B.Sc.(Hons.) and Ph.D. degrees at the National University of Ireland and as a visiting fellow at Imperial College, London.

The next level for verticals!

While big data analysis are enabling new functionalities in a wide range of sectors, many vertical sectors, such as transport and energy are experiencing a revolution as real time communications enables a new generation of systems optimized in real time.  Combining new user focused functionality with new systems functionality is opening up a whole new perspective on big data capabilities!  This presentation will present developments and point to the key implications for data analysis.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), Operations & IT Director

Florian oversees the day-to-day operations of REEEP as well as the  clean energy information portal which has emerged as a key access point for high quality energy information and data sets. Prior to joining REEEP, Florian worked as a project manager and consultant for Siemens Austria, where he managed intercultural projects, and he also founded a web design firm in 2003.
Florian Bauer holds a Master's Degree in IT Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering from the Vienna University of Technology.


Unleashing climate and energy knowledge with Linked Open Data and consistent terminology

The world actually already has virtually all of the data it needs to manage the energy and climate transformation. However, this information is not currently accessible to those who need it most. Policy-makers lack the best data to support decisions, and investors and project developers cannot easily identify and exploit the best opportunities. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Information is scattered in silos – largely in “closed” databases at public, private and academic institutions around the world. Most institutions still share the traditional view that data is an asset. Thus, they also believe that holding data privately and restricting access to it actually creates value for the owner.
  2. Every human being and organisation naturally classifies and categorises things in a way that fits their own world view. This means that the information is not indexed or tagged consistently, and that there is no universal library-style catalogue or directory of the content that is (and is not) available.

Opening up and linking data (Open Data), and then categorising it automatically using consistent terms based on common thesauri ("controlled vocabularies") can help dissolve both of these barriers. Government data on everything from energy consumption to traffic, population and infrastructure is already in the public domain. Making it all available for public re-use is a first step that can unleash whole new waves of development. In parallel, using consistent terminology to classify all online resources - whether public or private - will improve collaboration between companies, across sectors and regions.
The presentation will

  • explain why opening up data and increasing consistency in describing knowledge is essential for the energy transformation
  • give an overview on existing examples of beneficial (linked) open data cooperations,
  • show how terms based on common thesauri can help to increase consistency in describing and tagging documents
  • demonstrate how free and easy to integrate services (such as the reegle tagging API) can help to connect knowledge brokers

Francesco Barbato

Project Officer at European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Francesco Barbato holds a university degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Rome and he is specialized in earth observation systems, image processing and geospatial data management. He worked as a researcher at the Italian research centre E.N.E.A. for the FP5 TRIDENT Project developing online 3D virtual cities, demonstrating the feasibility of innovative technological approaches of what are now mainstream and widely popular geospatial applications. After that experience he worked for 6 years for Eurimage S.p.A. (a Telespazio/Finmeccanica company), a worldwide satellite data and services provider, in the technical and business development teams.
He joined the European Commission in 2008 as Project Officer and he is currently managing a portfolio of FP7 and CIP projects focussing mainly on big data processing, geospatial data processing, and data mining and he contributes to shaping the EU's R&D programmes.

The European Data Value Chain stakeholder platform

DataMarket, Founder & CEO

Hjalmar is a successful entrepreneur, founder of four software companies since 1996. Prior to launching DataMarket, Hjalmar worked on new media and business development for companies in the Skipti Group (owners of Iceland Telecom) following their acquisition of his search startup - Spurl. DataMarket is based largely on Hjalmar's vision to make the World's data easier to find and understand.

An online interview with Hjalmar conducted as part of the BIG Project:

Emerging DaaS business models: A case study

Hjalmar will provide a case study of how DataMarket's business model has evolved over time. Initially set out to build a generic data marketplace with a B2C-like approach ("Google for numbers"), the company has since become almost entirely focused on a more traditional enterprise approach. Still providing essentially the same service ("putting market intelligence data at professionals' fingertips") using the same technology, but under a very different pricing, service and sales model.
Relevant Links: (corporate website) (personal blog) (company twitter) (Hjalmar on LinkedIn)

European research cooperation manager of Thales

Julie Marguerite is European Research Cooperation Manager at Thales System and Security Division coordinating the cross-locations cross-domains EU research cooperations of the advance studies labs. Julie is also contributing for Thales to the FI PPP program and to the NESSI European Technology Platform. Prior to this role, Julie has worked as open source community manager at INRIA and conducted a one year internship in the Distributed System lab of Rice University, USA. She holds both a master's degree in computer science and a master's degree in economics and geopolitics.
Further Information:

NESSI view on big data: a new world of opportunities for software services

This talk introduce the view of the European Technology Platform NESSI (Networked European Software and Services Initiative)on big data. Big Data is an important innovation driver arising from the explosion of available data due to new social behaviors, societal transformations and the spread of software systems throughout all economic sectors. This driver relies on disruptive technologies (such as new storage architecture, Cloud Computing, IoT and Analytics) accompanied by a simultaneous awareness and intake regarding the importance of the use of large amounts of data.
Data as such is acquiring economic importance and strategic value. Analysis of data (big data analytics) allows to extract non-trivial information which would not be otherwise accessible. This affects all software-intensive industry sectors but also public services.
In this perspective, NESSI seeks to contribute to address the challenges rising from the use of Big Data and how to overcome those in order to enable new technical and business opportunities for Europe’s software industry and economic sectors.

Policy Officer at European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Dr. Malte Beyer-Katzenberger studied law & political sciences at Trier and Aix-en-Provence universities and at the College of Europe, Bruges. In November 2011, he joined the European Commission, DG CONNECT (previously DG INFSO) and is responsible desk officer for activities around open data, including monitoring the implementation of the 2003 PSI Directive in Member States. Previously, he was responsible also for the policy on open access to scientific information.
Relevant Links

The EU Open Data portal and policy

The EC Open Data Portal ( went online just before Christmas 2012. It is designed to be the open data hub for the European Institutions, beginning with data from the European Commission. The talk will guide conference participants through the portal – and the policy that is behind it.

Project Officer at European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Stefano Bertolo received (1995) a joint Philosophy Ph.D. and Cognitive Science diploma from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey with a dissertation on formal learning theory and human language acquisition. During three years as post-doctoral associate at the Brain and Cognitive Science department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he published a book and several papers on language acquisition. In 1998 he joined Cycorp, Inc. in Austin, Texas where he developed various components of the Cyc system and managed several research and development projects at the intersection between formal knowledge representation, natural language processing and information retrieval and extraction. Since 2004 he has been working as a scientific project officer for the European Commission where he oversees the progress of several research projects in knowledge representation, extraction and inference and contributes to the definition of future EU research directions.  

"Futurium - the virtual lab to co-create futures and policy ideas" at the European Commission's DG Connect

Presentation of "Futurium - the virtual lab to co-create futures and policy ideas" at the European Commission's DG Connect

Further information