Dr Stephen Brennan, Chief Digital Advisor to the Irish Government

Dr Stephen Brennan is currently Chief Digital Advisor to the Irish Government and founder and CEO of the healthcare AI company Centuri Analytics.  He was the author of Ireland’s first National Digital Strategy published in 2013.  His passion is the application of data and digital technology to drive innovation and solve big challenges.  He is a member of numerous government fora and the EU commission member states board on digital entrepreneurship.  He has contributed to a number of successful Irish digital technology companies as well as a successful academic career.

Miquel Estapé, Deputy Director, Open Government of Catalonia 

Miquel Estapé brings over 25 years of professional experience delivering digital transformation and innovation projects with a broad executive experience in government and working in consulting firms for several industries. Currently, he is Deputy CEO of the Open Government of Catalonia and Vice-president of the Public Management of Catalonia Association. He has been eBusiness Director of Mazars Consulting, Major of la Roca del Vallès town hall and Vice-president of the Vallès Oriental county hall. He is a Telecommunications Engineer by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the University of London. He is a lecturer in several universities and he is a regular speaker in national and international events about digital transformation, open government, innovation, citizen-centric services, smart cities, data-driven governments, blockchain and digital identity in the public sector.

Gavin Duffy, Founder and CEO, RealSim

Gavin is a geoscientist, who 14 years ago discovered the potential of game engine technology for real world applications. He realised that the data and image handling power of GPU based rendering engines were far more suited to 3D environment simulations than traditional GIS (mapping) or CAD (engineering) software. He set up RealSim in 2008 with the aim of making complex 3D architectural and engineering data more accessible to non-technical decision makers and the public. Organisations like the Port of Cork, Galway Harbour Company and Dublin Airport have all benefited from RealSim’s ability to communicate complex proposals and remove the fear of the unknown. Jersey, the Channel Island, require all planning applicants to submit 3D models for developments over 200 square metres. They assess these models within RealSim’s environment simulation platform, which is widely regarded as the world first fully functioning 3D planning assessment system. RealSim continue to innovate and are harnassing the latest developments in drone mapping and VR technology to create increasingly realistic immersive environments to visualise how we wish to shape our future.

Mark Kellett, Group CEO at Magnet Networks

Group CEO at Magnet Networks, Mark Kellett has been instrumental in growing the Irish telecoms company into a highly respected global connectivity provider. Now active in developing smart buildings, places and cities across Europe, Middle East,Asia and Central & South America, Magnet Networks had the foresight to leverage its expertise in the Smart Buildings area over 7 years ago by forming a Smart Buildings Joint Venture in the UK (Velocity1 Ltd) at a time when the construction sector was under severe pressure

This grew from Mark’s understanding that growing numbers of developers would adopt smart technology in their projects. Subsequently, Velocity1 has enabled London’s Wembley Park to become one of western Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects with smart technology and converged network deployments.

Mark draws on over 25 years’ experience in the technology, telecoms and media sectors. Having gained this with forward-looking firms including Yahoo!, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems and Aer Lingus, he positioned Magnet Networks as a major challenger in the Irish telecoms market.

This thinking is now shaping Magnet Networks’ global strategy and has attracted some of the world’s largest companies as clients. In 2018, Mark was recognised as one of Ireland’s Top 100 CEOs and his commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship means he now serves on Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Advisory Panel.

Aidan Sweeney, Senior Executive, Government, Enterprise and Regulatory Affair, Ibec

As Ibec’s senior executive for government, enterprise and regulatory affairs, Aidan’s focus is on growing enterprise and entrepreneurship, the better regulation agenda, public procurement and infrastructure delivery. He leads Ibec’s interaction with local government, ensuring implementation of the National Planning Framework and housing policy. He is a member of Dublin City Council’s Finance SPC. He is a member of the governing board of Adapt, the global centre of excellence for digital content, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. He was actively involved in the successful campaigns of Ibec and business community, as well as that of the broader civil society, in the referenda on the Lisbon and Fiscal Stability Treaties.  Prior to joining Ibec, Aidan was a Brussels-based public affairs consultant who identified, tracked and progressed business development opportunities across a number of sectors with the European institutions or Member State governments, as well as having spent time in the Delegation of the European Commission in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and University College London.

Mark Kellett, Group CEO, Magnet Networks

Group CEO at Magnet Networks, Mark Kellett has been instrumental in growing the Irish telecoms
company into a highly respected global connectivity provider. Now active in developing smart
buildings, places and cities across Europe, Middle East, Asia and Central &  South America, Magnet
Networks had the foresight to leverage its expertise in the Smart Buildings area over 7 years ago by
forming a Smart Buildings Joint Venture in the UK (Velocity1 Ltd) at a time when the construction
sector was under severe pressure.
This grew from Mark’s understanding that growing numbers of developers would adopt smart
technology in their projects. Subsequently, Velocity1 has enabled London’s Wembley Park to become
one of western Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects with smart technology and converged
network deployments.
Mark draws on over 25 years’ experience in the technology, telecoms and media sectors. Having
gained this with forward-looking firms including Yahoo!, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems and
Aer Lingus, he positioned Magnet Networks as a major challenger in the Irish telecoms market.
This thinking is now shaping Magnet Networks’ global strategy and has attracted some of the world’s
largest companies as clients. In 2018, Mark was recognised as one of Ireland’s Top 100 CEOs and
his commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship means he now serves on Enterprise Ireland’s
Start-Up Advisory Panel.

Clodagh Barry, Executive, Western Development Commission

Clodagh Barry specialises in Regional Development, Innovation & Enterprise with the Western Development Commission.  Since 2016, Clodagh has led the development of the Smart Atlantic Way, with Insight Research Centre & NWRA, with the SAW Roadmap launched in Roscommon Co Council in Autumn 2018. The roadmap sets out the direction and approach to developing our Smart Region for the next two years.  Clodagh has contributed to the new strategic direction of the Western Region, towards a high-value, low carbon economy, which is an initiative led by the Atlantic Economic Corridor Business Forum.  The Atlantic Economic Corridor is now recognised by and actively engaged with multiple government departments and agencies through the Programme for Government and AEC Taskforce established by Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development. Clodagh has led strategic Enterprise, Innovation & Research programmes of work in NUI Galway, which includes BioInnovate & Explore.  Clodagh has both industry and academic experience, and a background in International Sales & Marketing & Business Development.  She has enabled a number of Irish companies to secure their place in the international market place.  In addition, she has a track record in the entrepreneurial arena, which has created a legacy of successful start-ups in NUI Galway, as well as in Galway city and county.  By 2015, Clodagh’s innovation programme, EXPLORE has delivered 80 new projects, had 500 participants, engaged directly with over 12,000 school children as well as securing over €250,000 in funding.  Clodagh is Founder and Chairperson of The Hub in Headford, where she led an initiative to open an enterprise centre in Headford in 2015, that enabled 4 businesses to hot desk in a rural town.  Clodagh is also a BizMentor, and a member of regional, national and EU expert panels.  In addition to her day job, Clodagh has three wonderful children growing up in the Western region of Ireland.

Jamie Cudden, Smart City Programme Manager, Dublin City Council

Jamie leads Dublin City Council’s smart sity programme and rollout of the ‘Smart Dublin’ initiative. His work cuts across the public and private sector building new opportunities to deploy smart city solutions and demonstrators. He represents Dublin on leading global industry and smart city alliances including TM Forum, Wireless Broadband Alliance, Harvard TECH Innovators Forum, and is the current President of the City Protocol Society. He has presented at events such as GSMA MWC, Dubai IOTx, Barcelona Smart City Expo and IOT world. Jamie holds a science degree from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Geographic Information Science (GIS) from University College London. He previously worked in analyst and mapping roles with the Home Office, Met Police and Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science. He is the current Chairman with ECO-UNESCO, a leading Irish environmental education charity that works with young people across Ireland.

Dr Mihai Bilauca, Head of Digital Strategy & EU Programmes, Limerick City & County Council

Dr Mihai Bilauca is leading the development and implementation of Limerick’s Digital Strategy which aims to lay the foundation for a Smart Limerick City Region. As a result of this strategic approach Limerick has become the first Lighthouse Smart City in Ireland. Having worked for Limerick for overs 17 years, Mihai is now heading the Digital Strategy and EU Programmes departments in Limerick City & County Council. Mihai worked in various roles in the ICT Management for UPC Romania, and for Limerick City Council in senior roles or heading the ICT, Change Management (organisational transformation) or Customer Services departments. Mihai is involved in standardization work for Smart Cities & Communities with international standardization organisations (ISO, CEN/CENELEC, ETSI).

In his spare time Mihai continues his academic research in smart cities, mathematical programming and optimization modelling methods and publishes in ACM and other leading computing science journals and conferences. Mihai received a Master of Science (M.Sc.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from University of Limerick, Ireland and the software engineering degree from “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, Romania.

Dr Carol Gibbons, Director of ICT Commercialisation, Enterprise Ireland

Dr Carol Gibbons is Director ICT Commercialisation & Manager of the Digital Tech Sector portfolio of clients in Enterprise Ireland, a Government Agency responsible for the growth of Irish-owned businesses in global markets. Prior to this, Carol held a number of senior sector positions, spanning a 20 year career in Enterprise Ireland, Forfas and IDA Ireland. Carol has considerable experience in a variety of industry sectors, most notably the ICT sector, where she has worked directly with some of Ireland’s best-known ICT brands, from very early stage startup companies, right through to globally trading multi-national ICT businesses. Carol was a Senior Investment Advisor and has managed a portfolio of clients in Enterprise Ireland’s commercial evaluation division and Enterprise Ireland’s equity department, one of the largest equity portfolios in Europe, in terms of deal flow.

Professor Rob Kitchin, ERC Advanced Investigator, National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis Maynooth University

Rob Kitchin is a professor in the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute. He is currently a principal investigator on the Programmable City project (funded by the European Research Council) and the Building City Dashboards project (funded by Science Foundation Ireland). He has published widely across the social sciences, including 28 authored/edited books and over 200 articles and book chapters, and he has delivered over 220 invited talks. He is managing editor of the international journal, Dialogues in Human Geography, and was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

Frans-Anton Vermast, Strategy Advisor & International Smart City Ambassador, Amsterdam Smart City

Frans-Anton Vermast MBA (1969) has been a Senior Strategy Advisor and Smart City Ambassador Amsterdam Smart City Since 2008. He is an expert in searching for the opportunities of novel appliances and services that make cities a more habitable place for its citizens to live, work and play pleasantly. Furthermore, he specialises in developing Smart Cities as open and user centric innovative platforms as well as holistic and cross silo approaches through collaborative bottom up approaches and citizens engagement. Apart from best and next practises Mr Vermast is not afraid to share some failures and lessons learned to prevent other cities making the same mistakes. His objective for working in projects like Smart Work, Smart Grids, Smart Living, Smart City and Smart Mobility is to create a more sustainable and liveable environment and boost social and economic benefits that will result in more happy citizens. From this role Mr Vermast is active in several roles within City Protocol: member of Board of Directors, thematic Area Director Society and Director Public Affairs. Mr Vermast has extensive Dutch, European and global knowledge and experience in facilitating the participation of local governments, municipalities and communities in these initiatives. He is a visiting speaker at Leiden University & Radboud University Nijmegen and guest lecturer at the Universities of Applied Sciences of the Hague and HAN. He also has a great global training experience both professional and as volunteer for the Liberals.

David McDonald, CEO, Danalto

David has over 25 years of senior engineering, management and operational roles in a range of businesses in the communication and information technology area, now focused in the IoT space. Large scale systems engineering for demanding applications in trading, sensing and core optical networks, are some of the areas of focus in previous appointments. David is the founding CEO of danalto. Along side his sailing and soccer activities, David is interested in webscale identity management in a Massive IoT world, the ebb and flow of centralised and decentralised computing, automation and future economics.

David holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), MSc in Technology Management (Smurfit) and PhD degrees from University College Dublin.

Malene Højland Pedersen, Project Manager, Copenhagen Solutions Lab

Malene is the project manager in Copenhagen Solutions Lab. She has experience from the unit for city data in the City of Copenhagen, where she has worked with, among other things, analyzes and data visualization. She has a background in both social, urban and computer related topics and is educated in both Denmark and England in sociology, smart cities and urban analysis. In Copenhagen Solutions Lab, Malene works with the use of geographical data and data visualization to develop solutions across the city’s administrations. Her main focus is on methods for collecting data on citizens’ movement and how data can be used for urban planning.

Bettina Tratz, VP Analyst, Gartner

Bettina Tratz-Ryan is vice president of research and responsible for intelligent urban ecosystem research which includes smart city and industry stakeholders, as well as the digitisation efforts in manufacturing ecosystems. As part of her smart city research, she analyses the strategic citizen impact and business value of data and information analytics, Internet of Things, open data marketplaces, applications and complex architectures for cities and their industry partners. Bettina has received two Gartner Thought Leadership awards in 2015 for her smart city research, as well as her contribution to the business impact scenarios of smart machines.

Professor Dirk Pesch, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, University College Cork

Dirk Pesch is a Professor in the School of Computer Science and Information Technology at University College Cork and was previously Head of the Nimbus Research Centre at Cork Institute of Technology. Dirk’s research interests focus problems associated with architecture, design, algorithms, and performance evaluation of low power, dense and moving wireless/mobile networks and services for Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical System’s applications in building management, smart connected communities, independent living and smart manufacturing. He is also interested in solving interoperability issues associated with IoT applications. He has over 25 years research and development experience in both industry and academia and has (co-)authored over 200 scientific articles and book chapters.

He is a principle investigator of the SFI funded CONNECT Centre for Future Networks, an investigator and steering committee member of the ENABLE SFI research programme on smart communities, a Principle Investigator of the SFI CONFIRM Centre for Smart Manufacturing, and the co-director of the new SFI Centre for Research Training in Advanced Networks for Sustainable Societies. Dirk is a member of the steering group of the Cork Smart Gateway, a smart communities initiative in Cork City and County. He has also been involved in a number of EU funded research projects on smart and energy efficient buildings and urban neighbourhoods, including as coordinator. Dirk has been involved with two startups, is editorial board member of three international journals, and contributes to international conference organization in his area of expertise. Dirk received a Dipl.Ing. degree from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and a PhD from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, both in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Niall Connolly, Research Fellow, Lero

Niall is a research fellow with Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre. As vice chair of the All Ireland Smart Cities Forum, he has supported collaboration between Irish cities, north and south, for the past four years. Niall’s particular interests are in urban digital strategies, smart city governance and business models. Critical to these interests is the ability of cities to adopt technology – to have the skills to understand the technology market place and to be able to reconfigure competencies to exploit technologies. Prior to becoming an academic Niall spent 30 years working in industry, most recently 12 years as an engineering manager in HP.

John Halligan, T.D, Minister of State, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

Within the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Minister of State for Training, Skills Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan T.D. oversees the implementation of Innovation 2020, the Government’s Strategy for Research and Development, Science and Technology. This includes the research and innovation programmes of Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions and Ireland’s membership of international research organisations including the European Space Agency. The Minister’s responsibilities also extend to European research and innovation programmes including Horizon 2020 and the development of the European Research Area. Minister Halligan is responsible for Ireland’s intellectual property regulatory regime, which is aimed at promoting and rewarding creativity, supporting innovative activity and improving the business environment to build IP capacity at firm level and reflects the international IP law environment and best practice. A native of Waterford, Minister Halligan is a lifelong trade unionist and community activist who worked with container freight company Bell Lines for several years before entering politics on a full-time basis. He was first elected to Waterford City Council in 1999 for the Workers’ Party and subsequently ran as an Independent candidate in the 2009 Local Election, topping the poll in his electoral area and, during that term, serving as Mayor of Waterford from 2009 to 2010.

He was first elected to Dáil Eireann in 2011 as an Independent Deputy for the Waterford constituency and, since then, has been a member of a number of Committees including the Committee on Procedures and Privileges, Public Service and Oversight and European Union Affairs. He co-founded the Independent Alliance in January 2015 and this grouping of like-minded Independent politicians entered Government in May 2016, with John appointed Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation at the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills. He was reappointed Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development in June 2017. Within the Department of Education and Skills, Minister Halligan’s areas of responsibilities cover the activity of SOLAS, Skillnets and the Education and Training Boards in so far as it relates to the provision of further education and training, including the implementation of the Further Education and Training Strategy 2014-19 and the management of the National Training Fund, the European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Fund.

Dr. Martin Serrano, (PhD. MSc. Eng. BSc-Eng), Principal Investigator and Data Scientist, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Unit Head Internet of Things and Stream Processing (UIoT) at the National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland. Vice-Chair WG 01 Association for IoT Innovation (AIOTI)
Chair IEEE ComSoc IoT Experimentation Chapter

Dr. Serrano is a critical thinker, innovator and passionate for coaching and mentoring, he is always focused on conducting world-class academic activities, advance the state of the art on research and provide a vision towards transforming academic results into industrial solutions and/or services. He is passionate about his scientific research career, investigating emerging technologies and looking at the return on investment from knowledge generation. He holds a position as adjunct lecturer and is the head of unit on IoT, Stream Processing and Intelligent Systems at the National University of Ireland Galway based at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and with more than 15 years of experience has successfully coordinated a number of collaborative European projects related to smart cities (FP5-FP7/H2020 OpenIoT, VITAL-OS, FIESTA) and drives IoT Experimentation (SSC-Fed4FIRE). He has also co-lead other H2020 projects (BIG-IoT, CREATE-IoT and ACTIVAGE) related to the development of middleware platforms supporting smart technology for indoor spaces and healthcare systems and their deployment in diverse environments respectively. Dr. Serrano is also very active and has participated in Irish National Projects (HEA PRTLI, SFI) and also Enterprise Ireland (EI) innovation projects. Dr. Serrano is a recognized expert included in the Top 25 key people influencing the Internet of Things by Silicon Republic, featured in the Sunday Times by his expertise in Smart City Systems and has been nominated by the Irish Software Association in the category of best researcher career by his Outstanding Achievements, particularly on Semantic Interoperability and Distributed Data Systems. Dr. Serrano has a strong background on applied semantic, data management systems, interoperability, smart technology, services and network management and also knowledge and information management systems. Dr. Serrano has a leading role as Vice-Chair at the Alliance for the Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI), he sits at the Open Agile Smart Cities Council of the Open Agile Smart Cities connected Network (OASC) and he is the chair of the IEEE Communications Society chapter on Internet of Things Experimentation. He has published more than 100 pair reviewed publications and he is the author of 4 academic books in related areas.