Siemens AG, Director Strategic IT

Gerhard 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.

Siemens: Big Data in industrial applications

Siemens does not only stand for innovative products, infrastructure components and automation in manufacturing, energy, cities and healthcare. Siemens is also one of the leading European software companies, with a clear focus on vertical software solutions. In the last few years Siemens has further strengthened its IT capabilities and is heavily investing in big data topics. This effort is driven from the top of Siemens and the presentation will show what is already possible and how big data in industrial applications can change the industrial reality.

SAP AG, Senior Development Manager, SAP HANA Product & Strategy

Ingo runs the SAP HANA product management team at SAP AG in Walldorf, Germany. His team manages the release program, collects requirements from the various stakeholders, and helps prioritize different development tasks. Ingo is a frequent speaker at SAP conferences and has published articles on the topic of in-memory computing.

In-Memory Computing - The need for speed on Big Data

The talk explains the need for speed when it comes to big data.The talks examines the different meanings of speed, and how they impact business. It highlights the alternative approach taken with in-memory computing, and explains the empowerment originating from true speed on big data, based on real world examples.

Further Information


Statoil ASA, Chief Engineer IT

Used to be a programmer within geophysics, continued doing software consulting within oil companies. Working for Statoil for the last 15 years with responsibilities within IT and software architecture. Currently hold the position as Chief Engineer for IT, responsible for technology strategies and professional practices.

Statoil - we need to understand our data

Statoil is an international energy company. This talk will highlight some important business challenges and issues related to data utilization. Analysing seismic reflections is the main exploration tool for an oil company, this is largest data volume in the company. Environmental monitoring is essential for Statoil in order to achieve its target of zero harmful discharges, the sensor data needs to be collected, analysed and distributed. The size of computer security logs explodes, the need to understand and detect events related to security increases.

Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland

Professor Mark W.J. Ferguson commenced as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland in January 2012 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland in October 2012.
Previously, Mark Ferguson was appointed Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Manchester in 1984, aged 28, when he was the youngest Professor in Britain. He has held a number of administrative posts including Head of Department and Dean. He played a key role in the internationally acclaimed restructuring of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester. Mark has wide ranging research interests which focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms in scarring and wound healing, developmental mechanisms in normal and cleft palate formation, alligator and crocodile biology. He is the discoverer of scar free embryonic wound healing and temperature dependent sex determination in alligators and crocodiles. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, prizes, medals and honours for his research work, including the 2002 European Science Prize (jointly), The International Association for Dental Research, Washington USA Craniofacial Biology (2000) and Distinguished Scientist / Young Investigator (1988) Awards and the Swedish JJ Pindborg International Prize for Research in Oral Biology (1996) and is the author of 327 research papers and book chapters, 60 patent families and author / editor of 8 books. Mark has supervised over 70 PhD students and been awarded more than £70M in International peer reviewed research grants from major Research Councils and Charities. He has delivered hundreds of plenary lectures at International Scientific Conferences and contributed to numerous TV and Radio programmes on Scientific Research and its utilisation.
Mark has a deep interest in translating scientific research findings into successful commercial entities. He founded and funded (including a £13.5M state of the art building) the Manchester Biosciences Incubator, which has successfully mentored and housed a number of start up companies. Based on inventions and patents from his University research, Mark co –founded (with Dr Sharon O’Kane) Renovo, a biotechnology company developing novel pharmaceutical therapies to prevent scarring and accelerate wound healing. As CEO, since foundation, Mark built and led Renovo from 2 people to a peak staff of approx 200, and from being a small private start up to a listed public company. He was personally involved at every step of this evolution: hiring key staff and Directors, raising £32M of private International Venture Capital, pursuing commercial research and development including clinical trials of potential products , interacting with International Regulatory Authorities, licensing ( including negotiating a US $830M plus royalties deal for the lead drug ), liaising with major banks , analysts and investment funds including an IPO on the London Stock Exchange raising £67.5M, and restructuring Renovo in response to advanced clinical trial data and commercial opportunities.
Mark is currently Honorary Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. Mark has been President of a number of Learned Societies eg European Tissue Repair Society, chaired the first UK Government’s Health and Life Sciences Foresight Panel, and served on many committees eg the UKTI Life Sciences Marketing Board, the Committee of Safety of Medicines Biological Subcommittee and the European Space Agency. He has served on the Board or Scientific Advisory Board of a number of International Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies.
Mark Ferguson, was born in Northern Ireland , attended school in Ballykelly and Coleraine and graduated from the Queens University of Belfast with degrees in Dentistry (BDS 1st class honours), Anatomy and Embryology (BSc 1st class honours, PhD) and Medical Sciences (DMedSc), holds Fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Ireland (FFD), and Edinburgh (FDS) and is a Founding Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). He is a member or Fellow of a number of learned Societies, and was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE) by the Queen in 1999 for services to Health and Life Sciences.

Head of Unit "Data Value Chain" in DG CONNECT

Márta has broad working experience Europe wide in business and public environment. She dealt with initiation and transaction of trade agreements, taught Business Studies, managed social association and did consultancy work. She gathered her interest on ICT while establishing "New Media" by a traditional German manufacturing company.

In 2005 Márta joined the EC  as the Head of Unit of "ICT for the Environment" in DG INFSO and developed her Unit further to "ICT for Sustainable Growth" linked to the integrated climate and energy policy. After her move to Luxembourg in 2008 she served as Head of Unit "Technologies for Information Management" with focus on research and development funding of innovative ICT technologies supporting the creation of intelligent digital objects and knowledge management, later on the efficient management of extremely large scale data including Open Data. Since July 2012 she is in charge of the Data Value Chain Unit and builds up on a strategy to extract the maximum value from data by building on the intelligent use of data sources across the European Union and beyond.

Michael Gorriz

Daimler AG, CIO and Head of Information Technology Management

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.

Deputy Director General at European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

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. Since 2005 to 2012 he has been 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.

Stefan Decker

Professor for Digital Enterprise & Director of DERI, National University of Ireland, Galway

Big Data In Ireland

Big Data In Ireland: Linked Data and beyond.

Telefonica Digital, Director Business Intelligence

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.

He has published over 100 scientific articles ( in books, journals and proceedings, covering areas such as artificial intelligence, knowledge-based systems, semantic web and technology transfer. He has been guest editor of several journal special-issues and co-chair of numerous international workshops and conferences. He is on advisory boards of several start-ups and international research projects. He is general chair of the K-CAP 2013 Conference.

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


Relevant Links:

Big Data - Big Opportunities - Big Risks? And what about Europe?

In this talk Richard Benjamins, Director of Business Intelligence at Telefonica Digital, will review the big data space in terms of business opportunities, risks and challenges, especially for Europe.