Conference spotlight: ICT 2010

I just got back from an EU event called ICT 2010 (held 27-29 September in Brussels). It’s run every two years and in fact it is more of a business event rather then a scientific conference.

The goal is to gather people connected to ICT innovation and research in Europe though participation in Europan Commission funding programs.

Throughout the first two days of the conference in which I participated there were a number general talks connected to fostering innovation in Europe (eg. quite interesting keynote & panel on “Driving societal change, opportunities for all“) but also focused panels and so-called Networking Sessions that were run in smaller groups of interest and on particular topics (eg. for one I attended Open Innovation session which unfortunately didn’t really prove that interesting for me). Apart of that large part of the venue was taken by exposition stands that were presenting the projects and research done with EU funding. The interesting part of this was the diversity, the projects showed that ICT research (with some cool outcomes) is being funded in really many areas.

Nevertheless, its worth to note that the key value of this event is not the talks but the opportunity to meet new contacts for future proposals and business. It was very evident that all the participants came there to take out as much value as possible for future funding opportunities. All the time pretty much everybody (over 1k participants) was hunting for new contacts that could later develop into consortiums for EU proposals (2.8 Billion eur for ICT R&D in 2011-2012). This was very clearly visible.

In conclusion the ICT 2010 was quite interesting and indeed a big event. Definitely not to miss for people interested in European research or collaboration with European researchers. From my personal perspective as a PhD student and a university researcher this was a nice opportunity to see what others do and I got some new contacts and collaborations for both academic research and writing/participating in proposals. Oh and an additional bonus: for students the registration is for free making this a truly great opportunity!

Conference spotlight: WISE2009

Finally the EU proposals rush is over. It was a great time with lots of new experiences but now finally I have some time to catch up with other things like doing actual research or .. writing on my scientific blog:)

During October I went to WISE 2009 conference hosted in Poland/Poznan this year. I was presenting a paper on mashups and integration of visual environments:

“Integrated Environment for Visual Data-Level Mashup Development”

here are the slides of my presentation: mashups_wise2009.pdf

The presentation went surprisingly well, and instead of doing a 20 min talk, I think I did 35-40 min since one of the presenters after me didnt show 😀 My paper was really short/simple and more like an idea rather then genuine research (initially I got accepted for a workshop which was then converted to a special session or something). I kept the presentation simple as well and to fill the rest of the time I tried more of a business oriented talk so I had lots and lots of questions and feedback from the audience. Feels nice ! Ok maybe it was less science in all this but I think it was more enjoyable for everybody and I had really a lot more options for collaborations afterwards then when giving the usual geek talk. So there was time for details in f2f talks too. Too bad this is not really my primary research area. In general – good training for presentation skills but I think I’m happy that the paper didnt get accepted for the bigger conferences before, they would eat me alive I’m sure of that 😉

As for the conference – I’m a bit disappointed with it, did not really find much interesting presentations for me during the conference time and well…after WWW earlier this year, I think its gonna be hard to impress me anyway 🙂 For WWW I would be happy going just to listen, for WISE – not really, especially not for this price.

Some of the papers that had quite good presentations were during the Visualization and User Interfaces sessions by a group from Kyoto University – there were few papers by those guys mostly everything connected to mining and presenting or searching information/news about the past. Quite interesting I have to say especially that I talked with one of postdocs from Kyoto about this ealier and I knew what’s the deal.

Oh one more thing that I obviously was most interested in: semantic session – not so semantic at all and felt like listening to people from past era of Semantic Web. I suppose working at DERI and participating in events like LOD@WWW sets high standards 🙂