Rudy Lauwereins, imec

Rudy Lauwereins is the vice president at imec and responsible for the digital and user-centric solutions unit, which focuses on security, connectivity, image processing, sensor fusion, Machine Learning, data analytics and on making technology society proof. He is also director of imec.academy, coordinating external and internal training curricula. He is a full professor at the KU Leuven, has authored and co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, books and conference proceedings and is a fellow of the IEEE.

Sessions

Below is an overview of the sessions where Rudy Lauwereins, imec will participate.

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Erik Mannens, imec and Ghent University

Erik Mannens is Research Valorisation Director at imec & Professor Big Data Science at Ghent University. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science Engineering (2011) at UGent on “Interoperability of Semantics in News Production”. His major expertise is around the fusion of top-down Semantics and bottom-up Machine Learning. He currently co-heads a Data Science team of +50 Semantic Technologies & Artificial Intelligence Researchers. Before joining imec & Ghent University in 2005, he was a software engineering consultant and Java architect for over a decade. His team is also committed to the Open Standardization (W3C), Open Source, Open Access and Open Knowledge movements (OKFN).

Sessions

Below is an overview of the sessions where Erik Mannens, imec and Ghent University will participate.

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Bart Preneel, imec and KU Leuven

Bart Preneel is full professor at the Dept. Electrical Eng.-ESAT of the KU Leuven. He heads the imec-COSIC research group, which has 80 members. He was visiting professor at five universities in Europe. He has authored more than 400 scientific publications and is inventor of 5 patents. His main research interests are cryptography, information security and privacy. Bart Preneel has served as president of the IACR (International Association for Cryptologic Research) and is a member of the Academia Europaea. In 2015 he was elected as fellow of the IACR. He frequently consults for industry and governments about security and privacy technologies.

Sessions

Below is an overview of the sessions where Bart Preneel, imec and KU Leuven will participate.

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Jo Pierson, imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Jo Pierson, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium (Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences & Solvay Business School). He is also Senior Researcher and Unit Leader at the research centre SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology) since 1996. In this position he is in charge of the research unit 'Privacy, Ethics & Literacy’, in cooperation with imec (R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology). Within imec he is Principal Investigator in the Centre of Excellence ‘Humanized Technologies’. He lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Hasselt University and University of Amsterdam, covering socio-technical issues of digital media design and use. Drawing upon media and communication studies, in combination with science and technology studies, his interdisciplinary research focus is on data, privacy, public values and user empowerment in online platforms. He is also elected member of the International Council of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Sessions

Below is an overview of the sessions where Jo Pierson, imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel will participate.

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Prof Dr Chris Van Hoof, imec and KU Leuven

Chris Van Hoof is Senior Director Connected Health Solutions at imec in Eindhoven and Leuven, where his teams provide innovative solutions for patient monitoring, preventive health and disease interception. Chris has taken connected health from embryonic research to a business line serving international customers. Chris likes to make things that really work and apart from delivering industry-relevant qualified solutions to customers, his work resulted in five startups (four in the healthcare domain). After receiving a PhD from the University of Leuven in 1992 in collaboration with imec, Chris has held positions as manager and director in diverse fields (sensors, imagers, 3D integration, MEMS, energy harvesting, body area networks, biomedical electronics, wearable health). He has published over 700 papers in journals and conference proceedings and has given over 100 invited talks. Chris is also full professor at the University of Leuven.

Sessions

Below is an overview of the sessions where Prof Dr Chris Van Hoof, imec and KU Leuven will participate.

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Jan Adriaenssens, Director City of things - imec

Jan Adriaenssens is director, City of Things at imec. He is fascinated by the role that technology plays in our society and by the impact it has on our lives. Jan studied mathematics in Antwerp and philosophy in London. He gained policy experience as a senior researcher at the Flemish Science and Innovation Council, moving subsequently to the office of the Flemish Minister for Innovation, initially as an adviser and then as deputy private secretary to the Minister. After this, Jan worked at the iMinds research center (which merged with imec in October 2016): first as Strategy & Innovation director and then as vice president Policy & Society. 

Sessions

Below is an overview of the sessions where Jan Adriaenssens, Director City of things - imec will participate.

Flemish science agenda
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Looking inside individual cells

There is great technological progress being made in the study of the smallest of elements of living organisms. This topic demonstrates the tremendous impact of the latest single-cell technologies on cell research, with the focus on single-cell sequencing. Single-cell sequencing shows, for example, which cancer cells develop resistance to therapy and allow cancers (that had seemed to be successfully treated) to recur, often accompanied by metastases.

Moderator: Matthew Hold, KU Leuven and VIB

Location: Okapi 2

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Diether Lambrechts, KU Leuven and VIB

Diether Lambrechts is group leader in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology and Professor at the KU Leuven. Diether Lambrechts was trained as an engineer at the University of Leuven and worked under Peter Carmeliet on the role of vascular endothelial growth factor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for his PhD and postdoc until 2007. He then worked at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford, England, before joining VIB as an independent VIB group leader. Since March 2015, Diether Lambrechts also acts as director of the VIB Center for Cancer Biology in Leuven.

Stein Aerts, KU Leuven and VIB

Stein Aerts is Professor at the Center for Human Genetics at KU Leuven and Group Leader at the VIB Center for Brain and Disease Research. His lab focuses on deciphering the genomic regulatory code, using a combination of single-cell and machine-learning approaches. He was awarded the AstraZeneca Foundation Award for Bioinformatics and holds an ERC Consolidator Grant.

Ana Cvejic, University of Cambridge

Ana Cvejic is a Faculty member at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and an Honorary Faculty member at the Sanger Institute. In 2008 Ana received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol. She then moved to the University of Cambridge/Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to start a Postdoctoral Fellowship, with Professor Willem Ouwehand. In 2012 Ana was awarded the CRUK Career Development Fellowship to start her independent group. In 2015 Ana was awarded ERC Starting Grant and in 2016 EMBO Young Investigator award. With the principal expertise and research interest in the molecular regulation of blood stem cell fate choices Ana’s research sits at the intersection of molecular biology, genetics and systems biology and it closely couples experimental approaches and “big” biological data analysis.

Martin Guilliams, Ghent University and VIB

Martin Guilliams obtained his PhD at the Free University of Brussels (VIB-VUB), in the Lab of Patrick De Baetselier and did his first postdoc at Centre d'Immunologie Marseille-Luminy (CIML, Marseille, France) in the lab of Bernard Malissen and his second postdoc at the VIB Center for Inflammation Research (IRC, Ghent University - VIB, Belgium) in the lab of Bart Lambrecht. In 2015 he obtained a Tenure-Track Professorship at the Ghent University. In 2017 he obtained an ERC Consolidator Grant and became an independent Principal Investigator (VIB PI). He leads a research team that focuses on the functional specialization of macrophages in homeostasis and disease within the VIB Center for Inflammation Research (IRC, Ghent University, Belgium).

Matthew Holt, KU Leuven and VIB

Matthew Holt is based at the VIB-KU Leuven Centedr for Brain and Disease Research. He originally trained as a biochemist at the University of Liverpool, before pursuing research into the physiology of synaptic transmission at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, obtaining his Ph.D. degree from the University of Cambridge. He followed this with post-doctoral training in the lab of Reinhard Jahn at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany. Since 2012, he has been an independent VIB group leader and Professor at the KU Leuven, working on the role of astrocyte-neuron interactions in control of CNS function.

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Blood vessel malformations: from old molecules to new medicines

In recent years the discovery of new genes underlying hereditary conditions affecting the major blood vessels in the human body has been accelerated by the availability of new sequencing technology. These molecular breakthroughs allow better clinical diagnosis and early detection of mutation carriers that are at risk for catastrophic vascular events. Even more important, these discoveries unveil unprecedented avenues for treatment strategies.

In this session, we will illustrate how this paves the way for true personalised medicine and highlight how new molecular insights have ameliorated our therapeutic arsenal in vascular disorders. We close the session with a short debate on the future developments.

Moderator: Prof Dr Bart Loeys, University of Antwerp

Location: Okapi 1

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Dr Claire Shovlin, Imperial College London

Claire L. Shovlin, Professor of Practice (Clinical and Molecular Medicine) is based at the Hammersmith Hospital campus of Imperial College London. Her career started with a First Class Honours Degree in Genetics (Cambridge, 1984), and her early research (Imperial 1993, Harvard 1993-1996; Edinburgh 1996-1999) focused on identifying new genes in which pathogenic variants cause human disease- this has led to a current major programme designed to offer new therapeutic strategies to HHT families with specific molecular defects. For the last 18 years she has also pursued a complementary approach, aiming to identify not only new gene-based influences, but also environmental phenotypic modifiers.

Prof Dr Miikka Vikkula, de Duve Institute, UCLouvain

Prof Miikka Vikkula obtained his M.D. at the University of Helsinki in 1992 and his Ph.D. in molecular genetics, in 1993. He was a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School 1993-1997, during which time he became interested in vascular and lymphatic anomalies. With his wife, Prof Laurence Boon, Plastic Surgeon, Co-ordinator of the Vascular Anomaly Center, Brussels, he discovered the gene for familial venous malformation (1996), and since then many others. They settled in Brussels in 1997, where Dr Vikkula developed his own laboratory. He obtained a “docentship PhD” in 2000, and was nominated Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine (UCL). He is a member of the Directorate of the de Duve Institute since 2004, and a full professor of Human Genetics since 2013.

Prof Dr Bart Loeys, University of Antwerp

Bart Loeys is professor at the Department of Medical Genetics of the University Hospital Antwerp and University of Antwerp. He trained as a pediatrician at Ghent University Hospital (2002) and as a clinical geneticist at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore USA (2005). He obtained his PhD in Medical Science at Ghent University in 2004 on genotype and phenotype study on inherited defects of the elastic fiber. He has specific expertise in genetics of cardiovascular disease and connective tissue disorders and in particular aortic and arterial aneurysmal disease. He discovered a new aortic aneurysmal disorder,  now called Loeys-Dietz syndrome. He holds a prestigious ERC consolidator grant and is a senior clinical investigator of the FWO, Fund for Scientific Research Flanders. Main focus of the research is the discovery of the genetic basis of human cardiovascular diseases and the understanding of their pathogenesis based on genetic insights with the ultimate goal to develop novel treatment strategies.

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The rise of the circular economy: a research agenda

A circular economy (CE) turns goods that are at the end of their service lives into resources for others, closing loops in industrial ecosystems and minimising waste. CE is a resource-driven concept of sustainability. It is currently a very popular concept promoted by the EU, several national governments and industrial actors; prominent stakeholders include recyclers, miners, designers, material scientists, industry, consumers and policy makers. 

However, the scientific and research content of the CE concept is superficial and disorganised. Proponents tend to look at the world purely as an engineering system and have overlooked the economic factors in the circular economy. It can be argued that certain circular economy activities can increase overall production, partially or fully offsetting the benefits, referred to as the circular economy rebound.

During this session, an interesting mix of experts with different backgrounds are brought together to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the Circular Economy and to formulate a research agenda. A sound and well-balanced circular economy research agenda will contribute towards our aim of sustainability and in shaping our material future.

Moderator: Prof Steven Van Passel, University of Antwerp

Organizer: Prof Steven Van Passel, University of Antwerp and prof Karel Van Acker, KU Leuven

Location: Toucan 2

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Nancy Bocken, Lund University and TU Delft

Nancy Bocken is Professor in Sustainable Business Management and Practice at Lund University, IIIEE in Sweden. She focuses on different approaches for sustainable business innovation such as experimentation and business model innovation. She is also Associate Professor at TU Delft, Industrial Design Engineering where she was awarded the TU Delft Technology Fellowship, and is Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership with develops and delivers executive programmes and education in sustainability leadership. Nancy co-founded HOMIE who are involved in ‘pay per use’ business models, starting with washing machines, to drive sustainable consumption and ‘circularity’.

Prof Jouni Korhonen, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Jouni Korhonen published his Ph.D thesis in 2000 and has since worked in several international projects, platforms and expert groups in sustainable development research and education. Jouni’s current interests include corporate environmental management, industrial ecology, cleaner production and circular economy. In 2012, Jouni was appointed as the full professor of Industrial Ecology and New Recycling Technologies of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He has also worked as a Visiting Researcher at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, USA. He is currently working as Associate Professor in the area of Sustainable Production at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Prof Steven Van Passel, University of Antwerp

Steven Van Passel is Professor Environmental Economics at the University of Antwerp (Faculty of Applied Economics, Department of Engineering Management, 100%) and at Hasselt University (Faculty of Business Economics, Centre for Environmental Sciences, 10%). Steven Van Passel has a PhD in Agricultural Economics (Ghent University, 2007) and masters in Economics (KU Leuven, 2005) and in Bioscience Engineering (KU Leuven, 2002). His research concentrates on the economic and sustainability assessment of clean technology and agricultural systems and on the interaction between economy, technology and ecology. As an environmental economist, he is interested in conceptual and methodological aspects of assessing sustainability, the valuation of environmental and energy technologies and the economic impact of climate change.

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Ageing healthily

Ageing is one of the great challenges for the future. How will we care for a larger group of people who are in need of help? Will we be able to pay for that? Not every person who is 65 years and older needs care. The age at which we become dependent on care seems to have shifted to later in our lives. There are differences: some population groups stay healthy for longer. What is this due to? Can we do something about it ourselves? Is this ageing of the population a success of the medical and social progress, or is it a challenge?

Moderator: Prof Anja Declercq, KU Leuven

Location: Toucan 1

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Jannique van Uffelen, KU Leuven

Jannique van Uffelen is a public health researcher with a background in Exercise Therapy (BHealth, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, 1998), Human Movement Sciences (MSc, VU Amsterdam, 2001) and Epidemiology (Msc, VU Amsterdam, 2006). After obtaining her PhD at the Vrije University Medical Centre in Amsterdam (2007), she held several research positions in Australia. She currently is professor at the KU Leuven. Jannique’s program of research, entitled ‘Active and Healthy Ageing’, consists of a series of studies addressing 1) patterns and determinants of sedentary behaviour and physical activity; 2) associations with health; and 3) development, implementation and evaluation of lifestyle interventions to promote health and wellbeing.

Prof Bart Vanrumste, KU Leuven

Bart Vanrumste received a MSc in electrical engineering and MSc in biomedical engineering both from Ghent University in 1994 and 1998, respectively. In 2001 he received a Ph.D. in engineering from the same institute entitled ‘EEG Dipole Source Analysis in a Realistic Head Model’. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow from 2001 until 2003 at the electrical & computer engineering department of the University Of Canterbury, New Zealand. From 2003 until 2005 he was post-doctoral fellow at the department of electrical engineering (ESAT)  in the STADIUS division at KU Leuven. In 2005 he was appointed professor in the engineering technology department at the ‘Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen’ in Geel and the ‘Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg. Both institutions are now integrated in the faculty of engineering technology of KU Leuven. Bart Vanrumste currently teaches courses in digital signal processing, digital image processing and machine learning. He is member of the eMedia research lab at Group T, member of the ESAT-STADIUS division and principle investigator of imec. His research interests are decision support in healthcare in general and  ICT applications in active assisted living in particular. His current research activities focus among other on multimodal sensor integration for monitoring of older persons and patients with chronic diseases. He is senior member of IEEE engineering in medicine and biology and member of the international society for bioelectromagnetism.

Prof Anja Declercq, KU Leuven

Anja Declercq studied applied economics and sociology and has a PhD in sociology. She currently is a professor at the faculty of social sciences (sociological research unit) and the head of the elderly care research unit at the LUCAS research institute, both at the KU Leuven. Her research deals with the organization of care for older persons, the quality of care and the quality of life of older people, and the analysis of societal changes that have an impact on older people and the care they need and receive.

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Quantum revolution

The construction of a digital society is intimately linked to an important scientific revolution of the 20th century: quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics thinks of energy and light or electrical charge and elasticity as consisting of elementary particles, or quanta—the smallest amount of any quantity. Belgium was a key player in the Solvay Conferences and the creation of the NFWO where fundamental research was recognised as being fundamentally important for society. Today, applications of quantum mechanics can be found everywhere, from lasers to electronics, from PET to MRI scans, and in areas where digital information is processed.

In this session, we will discuss the second quantum revolution: the coupling of quantum particles and their entanglement over great distances. All of this is underpinned experimentally and technologically by the possibility of manipulating individual atoms, light particles and electrons at the nanoscale.

Moderator: Prof Christian Maes, KU Leuven

Organizer: Prof Christian Maes, KU Leuven; prof Milos Nesladek, Hasselt University and prof Frank Verstraete, Ghent University

Location: Okapi 3

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Fedor Jelezko, Ulm University

Fedor Jelezko is a director of the Institute of Quantum Optics and fellow of the Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology (IQST) at Ulm University. He studied in Minsk (Belarus) and received his Ph.D. in 1998. After finishing the habilitation in 2010 at Stuttgart University he was appointed as a professor of experimental physics in Ulm in 2011. For his scientific achievements in the field of solid state quantum physics, he has received several honors, in particular, the Walter Schottky Prize of the German Physical Society. His research interests are at the intersection of fundamental quantum physics and application of quantum technologies for information processing, communication, sensing, and imaging.

Prof Jörg Wrachtrup, University of Stuttgart

Professor Jörg Wrachtrup is widely recognised as the ‘father’ of diamond quantum science. He was the first to recognize that diamond could be used as a platform for the exploitation of quantum effects under ambient conditions. His laboratory at the University of Stuttgart has become the central hub for researchers world-wide in efforts to understand both the fundamentals and the possible applications of this technology in engineering, biology and medicine.

Prof Dr Ignacio Cirac, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics

J. Ignacio Cirac graduated in Theoretical Physics and gained his PhD (Complutense University, Madrid, 1989 and 1991 resp). He was Associate Professor (University of Castilla-La Mancha, 1991-1996) and Professor of Theoretical Physics (University of Innsbruck, 1996-2001). Since 2001 he is director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics. As an expert in quantum computation and its application in the field of information, the focus of his research work is the quantum theory of information. He is member of the Spanish and German Academies of Science, holds six honorary doctorships, and has been awarded several prizes, including the Prince of Asturias (2006), the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge (2008), Franklin Medal (2010), and the Wolf prize (2013).

Prof Christian Maes, KU Leuven

Christian Maes is head of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the KU Leuven.  He completed his PhD in 1988 at Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) in mathematical physics. His research focuses primarily on statistical mechanics and the study of non-equilibria. He is a docent for stochastic processes and analytical and advanced quantum mechanics for Master’s students in Physics at the KU Leuven. For further information, see his webpage at https://fys.kuleuven.be/itf/staff/christ.

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Air quality and the impact on human health

Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) as a part of ambient air pollution has a substantial impact on human health, resulting in, for example, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well as respiratory diseases. Overall, the degraded air quality in Europe has been estimated to result in approximately 400,000 premature deaths annually, mostly caused by population exposure to fine particulate matter with a significant share coming from the transportation sector.

In the proposed sessions, the four panellists will discuss recent advances in the modelling and understanding of the impact of PM exposure on human health, with special emphasis being placed on new insights on the effects of the transportation sector, as well as the effect of PM on ageing, while also covering different geographical scales, from the Flemish to the European and global level.

Moderator: Benoit Nemery de Bellevaux, KU Leuven

Location: Gorilla 3

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Tim Nawrot, Hasselt University

Tim Nawrot studied environmental health sciences at Maastricht University and Vermont Medical School, US. In 2005, he obtained his Ph.D. degree in medical sciences from the University of Leuven, Belgium. Nawrot currently works as a full professor of environmental epidemiology at Hasselt University and part time (20%) associate professor at Leuven University. His research focus on health effects of environmental pollutants on ageing including effects in early life. He has published over 200 scientific research papers including top medical journals as Lancet and British Medical Journal. He served as advisor on national and international panels in the field of environmental health including the World Health Organization and participated in the Vilnius declaration (EU summit on air pollution). In 2008 and 2012, he was laureate of Belgian Academies of Medicine for his work on biological ageing and environmental epidemiology, respectively. In 2013, he was awarded a prestigious starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Robert Malina, Hasselt University

(Robert Malina) As Professor for Environmental Economics at Hasselt University I lead the Research Group Environmental Economics within the Centre for Environmental Sciences (CMK), for which I serve as Vice-Director. I am also a Research Affiliate in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). My research is centered on economic, environmental and social assessments of clean technologies and on the valuation of ecosystem services using multidisciplinary approaches. From 2012 to 2016, I worked as Associate Director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at MIT where I was leading research on the economic and environmental viability of different options for mitigating aviation’s impact on the environment. From 2005 to 2012, I was a lecturer/senior lecturer in economics at Muenster University (Germany) and Associate Director of the Muenster University Institute of Transport Economics.

Steven Barrett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Steven Barrett holds a PhD in Engineering from the Cambridge University. He first worked as a University Lecturer at the Cambridge University (2008 - 2010). He is currently professor at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Director of the MIT Electric Aircraft Initiative and visiting professor at the Energy Institute of the University College London.

Dr Lidia Casas, KU Leuven

Lidia Casas is a FWO post-doctoral researcher in environmental epidemiology at the Centre Environment and Health (KU Leuven). She has a degree in Medicine (2003) and specialty in Preventive Medicine and Public Health (2008), a master in Public Health (2005), and a PhD in Biomedicine (2013). Previously, she has worked at the ISGlobal (Spain), the Helmholtz Zentrüm München (Germany), the University of Wisconsin (USA) and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland). She is member of the Belgian Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society, and she is associate editor of BMC Pulmonary Medicine. Her research focuses on the health effects indoor and outdoor pollution, including air pollutants, green spaces, and indoor microbial diversity.

Benoit Nemery de Bellevaux, KU Leuven

Ben Nemery is holder of degrees in medicine, occupational medicine and toxicology. He has been affiliated with the Medical Faculty of the KU Leuven since 1987. He founded the research unit of Lung Toxicology, a joint venture between the departments of Pneumology and of Occupational, Environmental and Insurance Medicine. He teaches toxicology and occupational medicine, mainly at postgraduate level. He holds a weekly outpatient clinic for occupational pulmonary disorders. His research involves experimental as well as clinical-epidemiological studies in the mechanisms of lung disease caused by occupational and environmental pollutants. Recently he has concentrated on occupational and environmental health in the South, especially Africa.

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Explainable Artificial Intelligence

Today, most powerful AI approaches, especially data-mining approaches, deliver black boxes. They typically require big data sets, a lot of computing power and have a large energy footprint. For possible application domains, the black box aspect is unacceptable and has been put at threat by Article 22 of the new General EU Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that requires all AI with an impact on human lives to be accountable. In this Knowledge Makers session, we are going to zoom in on some issues concerning these black boxes and explore alternatives. We will touch upon issues of explainability, transparency, fairness and other aspects related to ethics. 

Moderator: Ann Nowé, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Location: Nightingale 2

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Daniele Magazzeni, King's College London

Daniele Magazzeni is Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at King's College London, where he leads the Trusted Autonomous Systems Hub. His research interests are in Safe, Trusted, and Explainable AI, with a particular focus on AI Planning for Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and Human-Autonomy Teaming. He is co-chair of the first Workshop on Explainable Planning at ICAPS-18, and co-chair of the second Workshop on Explainable AI at IJCAI-18. Daniele is the President Elect of the Executive Council of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS). 

Prof Virginia Dignum, Umeå University

Virginia Dignum is Professor of Social Artificial Intelligence at University of Umeå in Sweden. Her research focuses on the ethical and societal impact of AI. She is a Fellow of the European Artificial Intelligence Association (EURAI), a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, and of the Executive Committee of the IEEE Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous Systems. In 2006, she was awarded the prestigious Veni grant from NWO (Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) for her work on computational agent-based organizational frameworks. She a well-known speaker on the social and ethical impacts of Artificial Intelligence, and is member of program committees of all major journals and conferences in AI.

Ann Nowé, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

(Ann Nowé) I graduated from the University of Ghent in 1987, where I studied mathematics with optional courses in computer science. Then I became a research assistant at the University of Brussels where I finished my PhD in 1994 in collaboration with Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. The subject of my PhD is located in the intersection of Computer Science ( A.I.), Control Theory (Fuzzy Control) and Mathematics (Numerical Analysis, Stochastic Approximation). After a period of 3 years as senior research assistant at the VUB, I became a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (F.W.O.). Nowadays, I'm a professor both in the Computer Science Department of the faculty of Sciences as in the Computer Science group of the Engineering Faculty.

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‘How hybrid are today’s universities?’ Applying the principles of good governance, also as a turning point in the relationship between university and government

Good governance is mainly concerned with steering, managing and controlling, organising and implementing, internal supervision and accountability, and with ‘checks and balances’. This is especially true in ‘hybrid’ institutions—a grouping that includes universities as a result of their varying task profiles.

Good governance is also interwoven with a culture that exists within institution and among their staff. What is it lacking—probably to varying degrees—in Flemish universities? Governance structures and decision-making processes should promote and objectify quality, innovation, competition and performance, making them more transparent. But is there need for new forms of governance, management, policy and personnel management, not only now but also in the longer term (2030–2050)? Does this call for a new vision of better management? And does it include the government?

Good governance thus becomes the counterpart of the claim for greater autonomy of both institutions and scientists. This results in less regulatory pressure from the government and gives for researchers and research groups more room, freeing them from the bureaucracy of the university.

The commitment must be made explicit to reduce the (internal and external) regulatory framework, while at the same time guaranteeing academic freedom and integrity. There is a great deal to be done. And what are the best practices?  Should we not advocate for a new relationship between university and government, a kind of social contract? And for non-mandatory rules and general principles aimed at transparency and comparability between institutions?

Moderator: Prof Dr Jan De Groof, Tilburg University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow and College of Europe (Bruges)

Organizer: Prof Dr Jan De Groof, Tilburg University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow and College of Europe (Bruges)

Location: Gorilla 4

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Dr Isak Froumin, Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Prof David Dill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

David Dill’s research examines the design and impacts of policies for academic quality and university research.  He has explored the influence of norms and values on academic conduct: the ethical dimensions of teaching, the academic culture of universities, the effects of market forces.  He has published comparative analyses of national policies, been an assessor of academic quality assurance in numerous countries, and advised policymakers in Asia, northern Europe, and the US.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, University of Stellenbosch

Jonathan Jansen is a senior professor formerly associated with the University of the Free State, South Africa. Apart from having served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2016/17, he is also the president of both the South African Institute of Race Relations and the South African Academy of Science. 

He started his career as a biology teacher in the Cape after he had completed his science degree at the University of the Western Cape. He went on to obtain an MS degree from Cornell University and a PhD from Stanford. Jansen also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Vermont and Cleveland State University.

In 2013, he was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award for Africa at the Education Africa Global Awards in New York, as well as the University of California's Spendlove Award for his contribution to tolerance, democracy and human rights. The next year, he won the Nayef Al Rodhan Prize from the British Academy for the Social Sciences and Humanities for his book Knowledge in the Blood (published by Stanford University Press). 

Prof Dr Jan De Groof, Tilburg University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow and College of Europe (Bruges)

Jan De Groof is professor at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and at Tilburg University  (the Netherlands) and previously at Ghent University (Belgium), teaching international and comparative educational law and policy. His academic work and numerous publications have covered many education rights-related issues but also constitutional and human rights law. His doctoral students, coming from several continents, focus on various aspects of the Right toEducation.

De Groof has been visiting professor and/or taught at universities worldwide. He is founder and president of the European Association for Education Law and Policy (ELA) and co-founded the Russian and South-African Education Law Associations. He chaired – at the request of all regional Education Law and Policy Associations – the two World Conferences on Human Dignity, the Right to and Rights in Education (Amsterdam/The Hague,Brussels).

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Open Science/Open Data

Open science/open data is heavily promoted as a paradigm shift for science and the handling of research data, but the term ‘open science’ sometimes carries completely different meanings. Time to put things straight: what do we mean by ‘open science’, and what are the expected benefits? What is the link between open data and open access, and how far along are we with their practical implementation in Flanders and Europe?

Moderator: Rebecca Lawrence

Organizer: FWO

Location: Gorilla 1

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Dr Tim Smith, CERN Collaboration and Information Services

Dr Tim Smith, CERN, Head of Collaboration, Devices and Applications“

“Head of Collaboration, Devices and Applications Group at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. Tim is an Open Science advocate leading initiatives at CERN and in the wider science community. He drove the launch of CERN’s Open Data Portal to share LHC big data with the world, and the Higgs Boson webcast which shared its discovery live around the globe. He instigated and nurtures Zenodo within the European Commission’s OpenAIRE project as an open data service for world-wide science. Tim holds a Particle Physics PhD, performing research at the LEP accelerator for 10 years before joining CERN’s IT Department.”

Prof Karel Luyben, TU Delft

Karel Luyben is Rector Magnificus Emeritus of the Delft University of Technology as off 2018. He has been Rector Magnificus of the Delft University of Technology from 2010 till 2018. Before that he served as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences for almost 12 years.

In 1983 he was appointed full professor in Biochemical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and from there has gained experience in research, starting a SME, research leadership, leading European organisations like the European Federation of Biotechnology and CESAER.

Among others he is presently the Vice President of the Economic Board Zuid-Holland; the Chairman of the Board of the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences; Chairman Taskforce Open Science of CESAER; a member of the Open Science Policy Platform of the EU; Member of the OECD-GSF Expert Group on Data Competences and Skills for Open Science and National Coordinator for Open Science in the Netherlands. Throughout his career, he has provided and continues to provide consultation services to industries and governments in the areas of Technology and Strategy & Policy.

Prof Dr Tom Coenye, Ghent University

Tom Coenye leads the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology (LPM) at Ghent University. In the LPM, the ‘social behaviour’ (including biofilm formation, cell-cell communication, and host-pathogen interactions) of a wide range of microorganisms are studied, both in single and multispecies consortia, and within the context of a wide range of infectious diseases (including acne, chronically infected wounds and chronic respiratory tract infections in cystic fibrosis patients). Tom Coenye is head of the department of Pharmaceutical Analysis and a member of the Ghent University Research Council.

Stephane Berghmans, Elsevier

Stephane Berghmans is a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine who obtained his Ph.D. studying epigenetic mechanisms of inheritance and developing expertise in genetics and molecular biology at the University of Liege (Belgium). 

As a Vice President of Global Strategic Networks for the E.U. at Elsevier, based in Brussels, Stephane is responsible for building and further developing relationships with academic institutions and EU representatives aimed at creating a better understanding of Elsevier’s role in the advancement of research and science. Deeply engaged in topics that are high on the EU agenda, such as Open Science, gender diversity and research evaluation, Stephane plays an essential role in educating stakeholders in the European scientific and political landscape on how Elsevier, and modern scientific information providers in general, can add value to further developing projects and policy in these areas.

Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is Managing Director of F1000, providers of a series of tools and services to support the research community in writing, publishing, discovering and evaluating new scientific findings. She was responsible for the launch of the novel open science publishing platform F1000Research and subsequently led the initiative behind the many funder- and institution-based publishing platforms that aim to start a new trajectory in the way scientific findings and data are communicated and ultimately research and researchers are evaluated.

She is a member of the European Commission’s Open Science Policy Platform and an Advisory Board member for DORA and FAIRsharing. She has also been co-Chair of a number of working groups focussing on data and peer review, for organisations including the Research Data Alliance (RDA), CASRAI and ORCID. She has worked in STM publishing for almost 20 years, originally trained and qualified as a pharmacist, and holds a PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology.

 

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Blanton the (R)evolutionary

Matthias Heyman, alumnus of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, conducted research into the life and work of jazz double bassist Jimmie Blanton (1918–42). Pursuing this study at the University of Antwerp between 2012 and 2017, he became the first person in Belgium to complete a PhD on Jazz. Without any prior academic training, but drawing on his background as a performing musician, Matthias was looking for the ideal cross-pollination of academic and artistic disciplines. In this presentation, he speaks about the challenges and opportunities of such interdisciplinary research, and also give a musical demonstration of his findings.

Location: Gorilla 5

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Matthias Heyman, Antwerp University

Matthias Heyman, alumnus at the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire, conducted research into the life and work of jazz double bassist Jimmie Blanton (1918–42), at the University of Antwerp between 2012 and 2017. In doing so, he became the first in Belgium to complete a PhD on jazz. Without any prior academic training, but drawing on his background as a performing musician, Matthias was looking for the ideal cross-pollination of academic and artistic disciplines.   In this presentation, he will speak about the challenges and opportunities of such interdisciplinary research, and also give a musical demonstration of his findings.

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Recycling urine: the SATURN concept

Location: Gorilla 2

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Arne Verliefde, Ghent University

Arne Verliefde has been professor in Ghent since February 2011. His research focuses mainly on interfacial phenomena in drinking and process water treatment with a major focus on membranes. However, his research interests also expand to adsorptive and ion exchange processes, and more energy-efficient processes for selective separations between organics and inorganics. Arne obtained his PhD in 2008 at Delft University of Technology on the topic of “Removal of organic micropollutants by NF/RO membranes” and carried out a post-doc at the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology in Sydney from 2008-2009. Arne is currently involved in the “Resource Recovery Technology (R2T) consortium”, and also in “CAPTURE (Centre for Advanced Process Technology for Urban Resource Recovery”, both focusing on resource recovery and zero-waste research. Arne also has a strong research interest in sanitation and drinking water production for developing countries.

Dr Ir Sebastiaan Derese, MSc. Eng, Ghent University

Sebastiaan Derese started his research officially after receiving a IWT PhD grant in December 2014. Before that, he also conducted his thesis research at PaInT, concerning energy-neutral seawater desalination through osmotic membrane processes. His PhD research focuses on full nutrient recovery from human urine through an energy-efficient and robust process, and means to solve bottlenecks including applicability and cost-effectiveness of nutrient recovery strategies. Outside of this PhD research, Sebastiaan has a strong interest in optimization of membrane processes, including pretreatment techniques e.g. micro- and ultrafiltration, as well as reuse and recovery strategies for water and other scarce resources, both in developing as developed countries.

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Ethics in the age of AI

Most companies already deploy machine learning algorithms, which are algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data, but cannot explain their outcomes (they are a ‘black box’).  Although the GDPR does not provide for compliance requirements specific to applying machine learning algorithms, the combined requirements of the GDPR entail that machine learning algorithms need to be designed, developed and applied in a transparent, predictable and verifiable manner (‘Algorithmic Accountability’). This is also in line with recent guidance on deployment of AI issued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Lokke will explain what Algorithmic Accountability means, and how organizations can implement this in practice.  She will further explore the ethical rules in play and how to deploy these to ensure AI applications can obtain societal acceptance and are therefore successful. In June 2018, we saw Google publishing its AI ethical principles to address concerns of their stakeholders, including employees and shareholders. We will jointly review this code in light of the ethical rules discussed earlier.

Moderator: Prof Lokke Moerel, Morrison Foerster

Location: Darwin

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Prof Lokke Moerel, Morrison Foerster

Lokke Moerel is professor of global ICT law at Tilburg University (The Netherlands) and Senior Of Counsel with Morrison & Foerster (Berlin). Her work with large U.S. tech giants on their strategic privacy and ethical issues has made her an expert on big data and artificial intelligence (AI).  Lokke is a member of the Dutch Cyber Security Council (the advisory body of the Dutch cabinet on cybersecurity). In 2016, Ms. Moerel was appointed to be the co-author of the annual public advice to the Dutch government on behalf of the Dutch Lawyers Society (under auspices of the Dutch Supreme Court) on Big Data and the Internet of Things (http://ssrn.com/abstract=2784123). In 2018 Lokke received the International Law Office Client Choice Award for best Tech-lawyer Germany. See for her Tedx talk on AI and Ethics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPyHf4IWDQc

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Is there life on other planets?

The fundamental law of astronomy since Copernicus? There is nothing special about our position in the universe. The sun is a very normal star; they’re a dime a dozen. In fact, the suspicion that there are plenty of stars with planetary systems around them was confirmed 20 years ago. But this raised a question that we’ve been trying to answer ever since: is the universe teeming with life over there like it is over here? 

Are you looking for a scientific answer? There isn’t one. It remains a discussion dominated by believers and non-believers. A search of our own planetary system has delivered nothing. Or more accurately: it just increased our wonder and amazement at our own planet. The next step: making planets like Mars habitable. And that’s no easy task. Even if it looks like the favourable living conditions on the Earth exist on other planets. 

But suppose these circumstances have also lead to the formation of biochemicals. We would be able to track them down with instruments we are now developing. And the results of an investigation like that will leave us looking at ourselves in wonder. The Earth already has a long history behind it. We fell. We stood up again. We made ingenious discoveries. And after catastrophic periods, the Earth always came back to life ... 

This is why astrobiology is an unbelievably interdisciplinary subject: we are the result of a complex and sometimes coincidental link between astronomy, Earth Sciences and biology. Does that link have a universal or a unique character? That, too, is still a question without an answer.

Location: Nightingale 1

Start
11:00
End
12:15

Ben Verhoeven

(Ben Verhoeven) I am currently a science communicator and improviser at my own company ERLNMYR. Previously, I was a researcher in the field of computational linguistics at the CLiPS Research Center, which is part of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Antwerp. My work focused mostly on author profiling and developing deeper linguistic features to use for text classification. Apart from that, I have done research on the automatic semantic categorization of noun compounds. Due to a research stay in South Africa, I had also taken an interest in the Afrikaans language.

Christoffel Waelkens, KU Leuven

Christoffel Waelkens is a full professor in Astronomy at the KU Leuven. He researches the evolution of stars and their environments. Because life is possible in such environments and because there are reasons to believe that life in other environments is possible, the question of the universality of biospheres has fascinated him since he was young. He helped to establish the Flemish Science Agenda and has explained the workings of the cosmos to the broad public on a variety of occasions.

Kathleen Bracke, Universiteit van Vlaanderen

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Artificial Intelligence: Are (human) researchers actually necessary? Will our future colleagues be humanoid robots?

AI (Artificial Intelligence)/ML (Machine Learning) is a hot topic that has captured the attention of researchers all over the world. The impact will be great—technologically, economically and socially.  With our lives becoming more digital every day, big companies use AI to gather and sell big data. Robots, cobots and self-driving cars have already made their appearance. Yet, until recently the concept of having machines work in the same way as our brains do was almost exclusively reserved for the realm of science-fiction.

The human brain is a dream for computer scientists: it has enormous computing capacity, but consumes very little energy. It makes associations based on experiences. However, this last ‘competitive’ edge of mankind is on the verge of disappearing. The first self-learning neuromorphic microchip is here. It composes its own music that can be automatically played. Is this the end of composers, musicians and researchers?

Moderator: Erik Mannens, imec and Ghent University

Location: Okapi 1

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Rudy Lauwereins, imec

Rudy Lauwereins is the vice president at imec and responsible for the digital and user-centric solutions unit, which focuses on security, connectivity, image processing, sensor fusion, Machine Learning, data analytics and on making technology society proof. He is also director of imec.academy, coordinating external and internal training curricula. He is a full professor at the KU Leuven, has authored and co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, books and conference proceedings and is a fellow of the IEEE.

Luc De Raedt, KU Leuven

Luc De Raedt is a professor in Computer Science at KU Leuven, where he heads the lab for Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence. His research interests are in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. He is working on the next generation of programming languages (that have built-in abilities for learning from data), on combining learning and reasoning, on the automation of data science, on verifying learning AI systems and on robotics. He has received an ERC Advanced Grant, is an active editor of journals such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and has coordinated several European and national research projects.

Tony Belpaeme, Ghent University and the University of Plymouth

Tony Belpaeme is Professor at Ghent University and the University of Plymouth University, UK. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He leads a team studying cognitive robotics and human-robot interaction. He currently coordinates the H2020 L2TOR project, studying how robots can be used to support children with learning a second language, and coordinated the FP7 ALIZ-E project, which studied long-term human-robot interaction and its use in paediatric applications and worked on the FP7 DREAM project, studying how robot therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Starting from the premise that intelligence is rooted in social interaction, Tony and his research team try to further the science and technology behind artificial intelligence and social human-robot interaction. This results in a spectrum of results, from theoretical insights to practical applications.

Erik Mannens, imec and Ghent University

Erik Mannens is Research Valorisation Director at imec & Professor Big Data Science at Ghent University. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science Engineering (2011) at UGent on “Interoperability of Semantics in News Production”. His major expertise is around the fusion of top-down Semantics and bottom-up Machine Learning. He currently co-heads a Data Science team of +50 Semantic Technologies & Artificial Intelligence Researchers. Before joining imec & Ghent University in 2005, he was a software engineering consultant and Java architect for over a decade. His team is also committed to the Open Standardization (W3C), Open Source, Open Access and Open Knowledge movements (OKFN).

Tom Van Cutsem, Nokia Bell Labs

Tom Van Cutsem, the Research Director at Nokia Bell Labs in Antwerp, works with his team to research how artificial intelligence  can be applied to software development. As well as this, he built up years of experience in distributed systems, programming languages, the management of data streams and the programming of parallel systems.

Prior to his research career at Bell Labs, he was a docent in Computer Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. As guest professor at Google, he has worked on the evolution of the wide use programme language JavaScript, with concepts from his research in the hands of millions of web-developers today.  In 2008, Van Cutsem received his PhD from the VUB for his research into distributed programming languages. His research was fully supported by the FWO, first as a candidate and later as a post-doctoral researcher.

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A safe digital society with respect for privacy: utopia or reality?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast-growing global phenomenon. Key components are smart sensors and tags that are appearing in rapidly increasing numbers. They are, however, also the Achilles heel of the security of the internet.

Careful and cautious management of the use of internet and data: it all revolves around the security of data and software, processing of private data, biological and patient data, the analysis and integration of big data sets and the ethical aspects, IT-related jurisdiction.

Smart sensors commonly use simple, energy-efficient electronics. But can they handle the complex algorithms needed for adequate encryption and protection of data and privacy? And how will we manage these massive amounts of data?

Moderator: Jo Pierson, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Location: Toucan 1

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Bart Preneel, imec and KU Leuven

Bart Preneel is full professor at the Dept. Electrical Eng.-ESAT of the KU Leuven. He heads the imec-COSIC research group, which has 80 members. He was visiting professor at five universities in Europe. He has authored more than 400 scientific publications and is inventor of 5 patents. His main research interests are cryptography, information security and privacy. Bart Preneel has served as president of the IACR (International Association for Cryptologic Research) and is a member of the Academia Europaea. In 2015 he was elected as fellow of the IACR. He frequently consults for industry and governments about security and privacy technologies.

Yves Moreau, KU Leuven

(Yves Moreau) I am currently a professor of engineering at the University of Leuven. I do research on computational methods for diagnosis and disease gene discovery in congenital genetic disorders. I teach several bioinformatics courses, mainly focusing on probabilistic models in computational biology. I received the Master in Electrical Engineering from the Faculte Polytechnique de Mons, Belgium in 1992. Thanks to a Fulbright grant, I went on to complete a Master in Applied Mathematics at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. In 1994, I moved back to Belgium at KU Leuven ESAT-SCD, where I received the Ph.D. in 1998. Between 1998 and 2005, I was a postdoctoral researcher (FWO) and assistant professor at ESAT-SCD, developing our bioinformatics research. In 2003-2004, I was a visiting researcher at the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis at the Technical University of Denmark. Since 2004, I have been a lecturer and professor at ESAT-SCD. I currently coordinate SymBioSys, the KU Leuven Center for Computational Systems Biology. I am also the program director of the Master of Bioinformatics.

Jo Pierson, imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Jo Pierson, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium (Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences & Solvay Business School). He is also Senior Researcher and Unit Leader at the research centre SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology) since 1996. In this position he is in charge of the research unit 'Privacy, Ethics & Literacy’, in cooperation with imec (R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology). Within imec he is Principal Investigator in the Centre of Excellence ‘Humanized Technologies’. He lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Hasselt University and University of Amsterdam, covering socio-technical issues of digital media design and use. Drawing upon media and communication studies, in combination with science and technology studies, his interdisciplinary research focus is on data, privacy, public values and user empowerment in online platforms. He is also elected member of the International Council of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

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How do we control outbreaks of infectious diseases in a globalised world?

Today’s highly mobile, interconnected world provides unprecedented risk for the rapid spread of infectious diseases. Recent outbreaks (e.g. Ebola and the Zika virus) demonstrated how such diseases challenge human health and well-being and also jeopardise societal and economic security. Such outbreaks are expected to become more frequent in the coming decades with growing globalisation, climate change and migration. Research is essential to providing us with insights into how we can anticipate emerging infectious diseases and how best to battle any outbreaks.

In this session we will give an overview of the multidisciplinary research into 21st-century drivers of disease outbreaks, and we will explain why this research is critical to designing adequate strategies for preventing, detecting and responding to outbreaks.

Moderator: Prof Johan van Griensven, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

Location: Okapi 2

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Prof Johan van Griensven, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

Johan van Griensven graduated with a medical degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, and trained as a specialist in internal medicine in Leuven and South Africa. In 2004, he completed his PhD as a FWO fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Virology at the Rega institute with a thesis entitled: “Gene therapy of AIDS: Gene transfer of Antiretroviral Genes into Hematopoietic Stem Cells Using HIV-Derived Vectors”. He also obtained a Master in Epidemiology from the University of London/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He has worked in HIV antiretroviral treatment programmes in Botswana (for ITM, 2015) and Rwanda (for doctors without borders, 2016-2018). In 2008, he joined the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), to launch clinical research on neglected tropical diseases and their interaction with HIV. His main field of interest is visceral leishmaniasis and HIV co-infection, with clinical trials and nested laboratory studies conducted in Ethiopia. Between 2010 and 2014, he has based in Cambodia as an ITM researcher on HIV & neglected tropical diseases. Since 2015, he heads the unit of neglected tropical diseases at ITM.

During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West-Africa, he led a phase II/III clinical trial on convalescent plasma as treatment for Ebola virus disease in Guinea. He co-launched the ITM outbreak research team and is currently member of the outbreak research team’s steering committee.

Prof Kevin Ariën, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

Kevin Ariën graduated as a Master in Biomedical Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2001 and obtained his PhD in virology in 2005 from the University of Antwerp for his work on HIV replicative fitness at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM) and the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He then continued with a postdoctoral stint at Tibotec-Virco (2005-2006) and as an FWO postdoctoral fellow at Ghent University (2006-2009) before returning to the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp in late 2009. He was appointed head of the ITM Virology Unit in 2014. His Unit was actively involved in the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa with the development of new diagnostic tests and provided diagnostic support during more recent outbreaks in 2017 and 2018 in DR Congo. His current research efforts on tropical viruses focus on the development of new diagnostic tests for the simultaneous detection of a wide variety arthropod-borne viruses and haemorrhagic fever viruses. A more basic research program focuses on virus-host-vector molecular interactome studies with Chikungunya virus, sexual transmission of Zika virus and the mapping of sylvatic reservoirs of arthropod-borne viruses.

Prof Herman Goossens, University of Antwerp

Herman Goossens, MD, is a professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp in Belgium,  director  of  the  research  Laboratory  of  Medical  Microbiology  at  the  University  of Antwerp, and director of the Laboratory of Clinical Biology of the University Hospital Antwerp. He was part-time professor at the University of Leiden from 2000-2008 and has a part-time position since 2017 at the University Medical Centre Utrecht.

He earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Free University of Brussels in 1990 and worked as a visiting scientist at the University of Utrecht, Geneva and Tokyo.

Herman Goossens received the Methusalem award of the Flemish government in 2008 for a period of 14 years. His professional goal is to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research, with a major focus on antibiotic resistance, to enhance the standard of healthcare, public health and professional standards, for the good of the public in large.  His  vision  is  to  build  a  sustainable  infrastructure  for  clinical  research  on  infectious diseases in Europe. He is a popular resource person and opinion leader, much sought after by local  and  international  media  for  views  on  matters  related  to  public  health  and  infectious diseases.

Prof Stephan Günther, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

Stephan Günther is the Head of Department of Virology, the Biosafety level 4 laboratory, and WHO Collaborating Centre for Arboviruses and Hemorrhagic Fever Reference and Research at the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, and adjunct professor at the University of Hamburg. He studied medicine and specialised in virology, microbiology, and infection epidemiology. Dr. Günther’s research is dedicated to viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF), including Ebola virus disease, Lassa fever, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. The Department of Virology is running several collaborative projects with West African countries on VHF in humans and the animal reservoirs.

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Is mathematics contagious? Iterations between immunity, social behaviour, transmission and cost effectiveness

This session covers the multidisciplinary approach to the health economic evaluation of infectious diseases, in which complex components of such an evaluation, with respect to mathematical models of immunology and epidemiology, are investigated in depth, along separate research lines.

Research currently focuses on advanced models of transmission processes between hosts. Recently, however, work has also commenced on the development of mathematical models of immunological processes in hosts, and on the dynamics between behavioural changes and transmission. The ultimate goal is to integrate all these dynamic and mutually influencing processes into a single overall model.

Moderator: Prof Pierre Van Damme, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp

Location: Gorilla 3

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Prof Philippe Beutels, University of Antwerp

Philippe Beutels holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Commercial Engineering (Applied Economics), and a PhD in Medical Sciences (Health Economics). He has over 20 years of academic research experience, mainly in Belgium and Australia, and has advised health policy makers in numerous countries. He published over 200 contributions in peer-reviewed journals and books and delivered over 200 lectures and oral communications at scientific symposia, mainly on topics related to health economics, mathematical modelling and epidemiology. He’s the most cited health economist working in Belgium, and is specialized in the economics of infectious diseases and vaccines (ISI Web of Science citations > 4500; H-index: 35; Google Scholar citations > 7500; H-index: 43). He’s currently Full Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, where he’s the founding director of the Centre for Health Economics Research & Modelling Infectious Diseases (CHERMID), which employs 14 researchers. He’s also Visiting Senior Fellow at The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He’s a frequent adviser for the World Health Organization (WHO), and is currently a member of the Immunization and Vaccines related Implementation Research (IVIR) Advisory Committee of WHO. Philippe Beutels led/leads workpackages on economics in several European Commission projects, including POLYMOD (2004-2008),  SARSCONTROL (2005-2008), ESAC3 (2008-2011), RESCEU (2017-2021). He was Principal Investigator of a range of Flemish/Belgian competitive grants, including “Simulation Models for Infectious Disease Processes (SIMID)” (2007-2011), of the Flemish Agency for Innovation through Science (IWT), as well as several fundamental research projects of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), and applied projects of the Knowledge Centre Health Care (KCE).

Prof Niel Hens, Hasselt University and University of Antwerp

Prof. Niel Hens (M.Sc., Ph.D.) is a biostatistician and mathematical epidemiologist with 13 years of experience in human epidemiology. He is professor at UHasselt in the Center for Statistics and UAntwerp in the Centre for Health Economic Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute and Epidemiology and Social Medicine where he holds the chair in evidence-based vaccinology. He is co-president of the Young Academy of Belgium (www.jongeacademie.be). He participated in an EU FP6 project called POLYMOD on collecting social contact data relevant for the spread of infectious diseases (http://goo.gl/P53Kl6). Using social contact data and serological data he has led the development of statistical methodology to estimate important infectious disease parameters. This resulted in the publication of a successful monograph. He has an excellent track record (http://goo.gl/70fWn7) with over 200 publications in both statistical and epidemiological journals (>5,500 citations) and an H-index of 37 (Google Scholar metrics, September 2017). His current research focuses on exploiting multivariate serological data to estimate infectious disease parameters, which includes estimating within-host mechanisms of passive and vaccine-acquired antibodies, estimating risks of the re-emergence of measles and mumps in Europe and estimating incidence from serial seroprevalence which is at the core of his recently acquired ERC consolidator grant ‘TransMID’. He heads a research group (size ~ 15) on modelling infectious diseases within the Center for Statistics at UHasselt and together with Prof. Philippe Beutels (UAntwerp) he leads an interuniversity research group (size ~ 25) uniting both the institutes at UHasselt and UAntwerp in which he holds positions. 

Prof Marcel Salathé, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Marcel Salathé is a digital epidemiologist working at the interface of population biology, computational sciences, and the social sciences. He obtained his PhD at ETH Zurich and spent two years as a postdoc in Stanford before joining the faculty at Penn State in 2010 at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. In 2014, he spent half a year at Stanford as visiting assistant professor. In the summer of 2015, Marcel became an Associate Professor at EPFL where he heads the Digital Epidemiology Lab at the new Campus Biotech. In 2016, he has also been appointed Academic Director of EPFL Extension School, whose mission is to provide high quality online education in digital technology.

Prof Paul Thomas, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis

Paul Glyndwr Thomas holds a PhD Biological Sciences in Public Health from the Harvard University (2003). From 2004 till 2009 he was postdoctoral researcher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Currently he is adjunct associate professor at the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry, University of Tennessee.

Prof Pierre Van Damme, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp

Pierre Van Damme obtained his MD from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in 1984. He received post-graduate degrees in health and economics, the evaluation of human corporal damage, and a master degree in occupational health. He obtained his PhD in epidemiology and social medicine in 1994, University of Antwerp. He is currently full professor at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences where he chairs the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO, University of Antwerp); VAXINFECTIO is a consortium of four research units within the university: the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology (LMM), the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology (LEH), the Centre of Health Economic Research and Infectious Disease Modelling (CHERMID), and the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV). It is recognized as ‘Centre of Excellence’ of the University of Antwerp and functions as WHO Collaborating Centre for the WHO European Region for the control and prevention of infectious diseases.

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Responsible Research and Innovation

During this debate, you will come to know what the various players in the field of Responsible Research Innovation (RRI) consider to be essential to make research and innovation more responsible. They will give answers based on their own approaches, roles and experiences. And these could differ between all three participants. Just like their expectations for RRI and the way in which they believe it is best carried out.

RRI is high on the agenda for the European Framework Programme Horizon 2020. It will not disappear from there any time soon. For the European Commission, RRI means that among others, researchers, citizens, policy makers, companies and service providers will be able to work together throughout the entire research and innovation process.

The goal: to better harmonise the process and results with the values, needs and expectations of the community. There is a great deal of ambition hidden behind RRI. It needs to be on offer throughout the entire framework programme. In the Horizon 2020 work programme, Science with and for Society (SWAFS), it is given five dimensions:

  1. Gender (e.g. the implementation of Gender Equality Plans);
  2. Scientific education (including the implementation of new curricula, new education methods and new instruments to systematically encourage informal teaching in non-education-linked situations);
  3. Open access en open data (e.g. new rules and related practices);
  4. Public engagement (e.g. thinking of new ways to systematically involve citizens and organisations in the community in research and innovation activities by determining agendas, prospect exercises and scientific communication);
  5. Ethics (e.g. implementation of new rules dealing with research ethics, behavioural codes, ethical assessments, etc.).

Moderator: Prof Ine Van Hoyweghen, KU Leuven and the Young Academy

Organizer: FWO

Location: Gorilla 1

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Dr René von Schomberg, European Commission

Dr. Dr.phil. RENE VON SCHOMBERG is a science and technologies studies specialist and a philosopher. He is an author/(co-editor) of 14 books. He holds Ph.D’s from the University of Twente, the Netherlands (Science and Technology Studies) and J.W.Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Philosophy). He has been a European Union Fellow at George Mason University, USA in 2007 and has been with the European Commission since 1998.

Dr Anne Snick

Anne Snick (PhD in Pedagogic Sciences and a Bacherlor’s degree in Philosophy – KU Leuven) works around epistemological and pedagogical questions in response to diverse social challenges. For ten years, she was linked to the KU Leuven as a researcher (with assignments including the European projects Women in Decision Making and ETGACE). From 1995 to 2002, she worked in the Universitair Centrum Kortenberg as coordinator of a therapeutic group for adolescents predominantly from underprivileged families. With that experience, she became the coordinator of Flora vzw, a Belgian federal knowledge network that—through co-creation of knowledge with women in poverty—performed research into systemic causes of poverty, and into levers for a (socially and ecologically) more sustainable system. Anne Snick was also head author of a guide to financial innovation (community funds) for local administrations and organisations.

In 2012, on assignment from the Institute Society and Technology (IST), she was involved with the Wise Sciences project that investigated which conditions of the R&I system can contribute to solutions for complex social challenges. On the basis of the results, the H2020 project FoTRRIS (Fostering the Transition towards Responsible R&I Systems) was developed from VITO, with Snick collaborating as senior researcher. FoTRRIS developed and validated a conceptual and methodological framework for RRI in which system thinking (non-linear systems) and co-creation (or transdisciplinarity) for the ‘common good’ (as described by the Sustainable Development Goals) are central, hence ‘CO-RRI’. Presently, she gives freelance lectures and workshops around CO-RRI in Flanders and internationally. At the same time, she is a committee member of the Club of Rome – EU Chapter.

Prof Willy Verstraete, FWO

Willy Verstraete was born in Beernem on 25 April 1946. In 1968, he graduated from Ghent University as a bioengineer. He completed his doctorate on Microbiology at Cornell University, Ithaca (USA).

Since 1971, he has worked at Ghent University, first as an assistant and  as Professor and Head of the Laboratory for Microbial Ecology and Technology from 1979. In October 2011, he was recognised as Professor Emeritus.

The central theme of his research is Microbial Resource Management; in other words: the subject, working and control of processes mediated by mixed microbial cultures.

Between 2008 and 2012, he was a member of the European Research Council (ERC) in the area of Life Sciences. From 2008 to 2013, he was a member of the Industrieel Onderzoeksfonds (‘Industrial Research Fund’ in English) at Ghent University. From 2010 to 2015, he was Chairperson of the Multiple Research Partnership ‘Biotechnology for a sustainable economy’ at Ghent University. Since 2016, he has been Chairperson of the FWO.

Prof Ine Van Hoyweghen, KU Leuven and the Young Academy

Ine Van Hoyweghen is Professor at the Centre for Sociological Research of the University of Leuven. Her research is in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), with a focus on the social aspects of biomedical innovation in the EU. She is Head of the Life Sciences & Society Lab and founding board member of the Leuven Institute for human Genomics and Society (LIGAS). She is an Alumnus of the Young Academy (JA) of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB) and founding Chair of the Belgian Science, Technology & Society (B.STS) Network.

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Improving transferable skills of (young) researchers and mobility in academia and society

Transferable skills, intersectoral mobility, research careers … These are terms we use more and more to indicate that the classic path of PhDs and postdocs to professorship is no longer clear. Only a small minority of doctorate graduates at Flemish universities are building academic careers in Flanders.

Many researchers are required to choose a different path at some point, either to continue their research in an industrial or social context, or to use the skills they have acquired in completely different job functions, as entrepreneurs, consultants, teachers, policy officers, etc.   

At the same time, industry and the government, and society as a whole, are demanding that research results be used for innovation and progress, welfare and well-being.  

Is it a perfect match, or not (yet)? Who’s next? What could be the role of research councils, universities and research institutions, companies and the government (the labour market) be in honing the skills of researchers and making their mobility more effective? And, finally, what added value can those who return from industry and the public sector bring to the academic world?

This session will present views and testimonials from various actors in the field.

Moderator: Dr Barbara Janssens, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

Organizer: FWO

Location: Gorilla 4

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Dr Janet Metcalfe, Vitae

Dr Janet Metcalfe is Head of Vitae, an international programme leading world-class career and professional development for researchers. She manages Vitae’s activities on the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the UK process for the HR Excellence in Research Award. She led the development the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (2010), which describes the knowledge, skills and attributes of highly effective researchers.

Recent projects include an EURAXESS project on the intersectoral mobility of researchers and the exploration of the wellbeing and mental health of doctoral researchers. Publications includes ‘What do research staff do next?’ on the careers of postdoctoral researchers who work beyond academia. She manages two large scale surveys of researchers’ views and experiences: the Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) and the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS). Janet was a member of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Advisory Group (2013 –2017).

Dr Jan J.H. van den Biesen, EUROPOLARIS

Jan van den Biesen studied as physicist at Leiden University and spent one year as a postdoc at the University of California (Berkeley) before joining Philips in 1983 to work on semiconductor research. Three years later, he was seconded for one year to Hitachi’s central research laboratory in Tokyo. From 1990 to 1992, he was responsible for liaising with Dutch public authorities about Philips’s participation in national R&D programmes. In 1997, Jan van den Biesen became responsible for developing Philips’s policy regarding publicly funded programmes for collaborative R&D and coordinating Philips’s worldwide participation in such programmes.

A vice president of Philips Research since 2000, he became Head of Public R&D Programmes in 2007. In May 2017, he established himself as an independent advisor under the business name EUROPOLARIS—European Policy Advice and Research & Innovation Strategies.

Dr Jacqueline M. Olich, RTI International

Dr. Jacqueline Olich is an administrator, educator, author, speaker, and entrepreneur with experience building partnerships and developing innovative interdisciplinary projects. As RTI International’s Senior Director of University Collaborations, she leads the institute’s University Collaboration Office (UCO), which serves as a catalyst and hub for outreach at the university level, developing and managing partnerships with leading academic institutions. She establishes networks to link ideas and people, oversees the RTI University Scholars Program and the RTI Internship Program, and monitors a $49 million shared research portfolio with North Carolina universities. Dr. Olich received a Triangle Business Journal 2017 Women in Business Award for her commitment to mentorship. Dr. Olich is an adjunct associate professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Leadership Program.

Dr Barbara Janssens, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

Barbara Janssens is Career Manager at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg since 2011. Barbara Janssens studied Biotechnology in Ghent at the VIB and spent some research time at the Uppsala BMC (Sweden), the EMBL (Heidelberg) and the NKI (Amsterdam). After her postdoctoral research in molecular and cell biology (Institut Curie in Paris, France) she worked for Wiley-Blackwell from 2005 to 2010. She was Managing Editor and co-Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology Journal and managed related journals in Lipid Sciences and Engineering in Life Sciences. From 2007 to 2017 she regularly taught freelance workshops on Scientific Writing. She completed several management and leadership training courses (Führungkolloquium Wiley in 2009, Advanced Lehrgang Wissenschaftsmanagement ZWM in 2015, Führungswerkstatt DKFZ in 2017).

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The poetry of science

What do poetry and science have in common? You’ll find out in this lecture: Do scientists write poetry? How can poetry be used to make better sense of the relationship between science and society? To entertain and inspire, Dr Sam Illingworth will present a selection of poetry.

Location: Darwin

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Dr Sam Illingworth, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Sam Illingworth is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. His research involves developing dialogue between scientists and non-scientists through the use of poetry and games. You can find out more about Sam and his research by visiting his website: www.samillingworth.com

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Interview training

During the interview training, you learn the techniques you need to pass through interviews with flying colours. You learn how to clearly formulate your message and how to keep control over your message. This will improve the chance of your message being conveyed correctly by the media. We look at verbal and non-verbal communication and teach you how scientific insights can be translated into clear and accessible language.

Location: Nightingale 2

Start
13:15
End
15:50

Lieven De Maertelaere, Belga News Agency

Lieven De Maertelaere has been working at the Belga News Agency since 2007. Initially a news manager, since last year he has been Manager for Media. Before he came to Belga, he worked at radio station Qmusic as an editor for the radio news. De Maertelaere is also one of the docents for the Belga workshops. He primarily gives media training. 

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So you want to start a company? The spin-out game

Lots of researchers and engineers do it these days: start a company based on their own research or inventions. The prize is great. You see your ideas become reality, save lives or save the planet—and you might get rich along the way. But it’s harder than it looks. You have to work out who owns the invention, who would want to buy it, how to get it to them, how much money it’s going to cost to get going and who, besides yourself, is going to do all the work. You could go broke. Or you could be wildly successful: remember Google was a spin-out from Stanford University.

Interested in starting a company? Come try it on for size at this workshop, run by experts in spin-out companies who have devised a game to illustrate the challenges you may face in starting your own company.

Moderator: Richard Hudson, Science/Business

Location: Gorilla 5

Start
13:15
End
15:50

Patrick Vankwikelberge, University Ghent

Patrick Vankwikelberge joined Ghent University’s Tech Transfer Office to help grow its startup pipeline. Prior to UGent he worked in electronics industry, including positions in Belgium, France and the US. His 20 years of industrial experience mainly covers communication systems and microelectronics gained with companies like Alcatel, STMicroelectronics, and Barco. He was mainly involved with new product introductions, M&A, and partnering with various startups. In 2005 he co-founded Essensium, an IMEC spin-off that raised 7M€ in funding and that focused on real time location systems. He further also served as non-executive director of Sigasi, an electronic design automation startup, and as investment manager for UGent’s Baekeland seed fund. Patrick holds MScEE and PhD degrees from UGent and an MBA degree from the Vlerick Business School.


Richard Hudson has been a leading science and technology journalist in Europe for more than 30 years. In 2004 he co-founded London- and Brussels-based Science Business Publishing Ltd., a media and communications company focused on research and innovation in Europe; he is currently editor-in-chief and vice chair of the Board of Directors. Previously, he was with the Wall Street Journal for 25 years, as reporter, technology editor and, from 1997 to 2003, managing editor of the European edition. He began his career at the Boston Globe.

He is co-author of a book, now a best-seller in 13 languages, on how bad math on Wall Street leads to big losses. He wrote it with famed Yale/IBM mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot: The (mis)Behavior of Markets: A fractal view of risk, ruin & reward.” It won the Business Book of the Year award at the 2004 Frankfurt Book Fair, and according to Die Zeit, was read and “mentioned again and again in conversation” by Angela Merkel after the 2008 crash.

He is a graduate of Harvard College, a former Knight Fellow at MIT, and lives in Brussels.

Jurgen Joossens, University of Antwerp

Jurgen Joossens is head of the Valorisation Office. The core mission of this unit is to support researchers in the protection and exploitation of scientific knowledge. The intellectual property of our university is managed by the Valorisation Office. The valorisation team disseminates the available knowledge and technology and searches for the most suitable valorisation trajectory. This can be either through a license on our intellectual property to a private partner or a  research collaboration and / or by setting up a own spin-off company. The team also provides our researchers with training on entrepreneurship and intellectual property management. The Valorisation Office manages the Industrial Research Fund (IOF) and reports to the Flemish government.

Rudi Cuyvers, KU Leuven

Dr. Rudi Cuyvers is an Innovation Manager at KU Leuven R & D. He is the head of the Spin-offs & Innovation unit, which supports spin-off creation & growth and stimulates the university-industry interaction. He has been involved in the start-up of more than 15 spin-offs, is member of the board of directors in several companies and is an active partner in several network organizations that promote innovation and high-tech entrepreneurship (such as Leuven.Inc, DSP-Valley, Leuven Security Excellence Consortium). He is also actively involved in a number of European projects. He has been coordinator of the EC-supported Spinnova Paxis project and is an active partner in CREA, the network of seed capital funds, and GlobalStart, a project supporting the internationalization process of spin-off companies. Dr. Rudi Cuyvers holds a Ph.D. in Electronics (KU Leuven) and an MBA degree (Flanders Business School).

Steven Van Hoof, Hasselt University

Marc Goldchstein, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Marc Goldchstein is a Civil Engineer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – VUB). After his studies, he did research at the VUB into (academic) entrepreneurship. He put this into practice by establishing SoftCore, one of the first VUB start-ups. Subsequently, he was involved with two other technology ventures: RAM Mobile Data and Enfocus Software (the latter was a Trends Gazelle selection); while there he fulfilled management functions in Marketing, Sales, and Product Management. Since 2004, he has worked at the VUB as a practical docent in Entrepreneurship and as a member of the TechTransfer department where his role includes training and coaching fledgling entrepreneurs.

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Present your research for ultimate impact

Life’s too short for bad presentations, right? During this workshop you’ll get loads of tips, tricks and examples on how to create clear and convincing research presentations. On the menu:

We will work with presentations that participants send us, ensuring we work with examples relevant to the group. 

Location: Toucan 2

Start
13:15
End
15:50

Toon Verlinden, The Floor is Yours

 Toon Verlinden and Hans Van de Water joined forces in 2012 to establish The Floor is Yours. Since then, they have trained thousands of researchers in the art of giving effective presentations. After all, life is too short for bad presentations, right?  

Toon Verlinden is an international presentation coach and an expert in scientific communication. He is also a freelance science and travel journalist and organiser of the scientific festival Sound of Science.

 

 

 

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Writing for non-scientists and the press

As a scientist, writing for ‘the general public’ is not an easy assignment. If you keep to an academic writing style and only explain the difficult words, you lose your reader. But at the same time, you don’t want to come across as being too simplistic.

In this training course, you’ll be given practical instruction on how to write a press release, blog, opinion piece, newsletter article or other popular scientific texts. Perfect for anyone who wants to better contribute to texts, from the press officer to the scientific journalist or the regular scientist.

More concretely, we will be working with examples, with the short text that you write yourself in advance, and with writing and discussion assignments on your own core message and opening paragraph.

We will concentrate on:

 

fishgrowfeet.be

Location: Gorilla 2

Start
13:15
End
15:50

Ann De Ron, FishGrowFeet

Ann De Ron has been training researchers in popular scientific writing at Ghent University, VUB, Hasselt University, KU Leuven, the Let’s Talk Science Summer School Science Communication programme and the Flemish PhD Cup. She worked for ten years as a journalist at publications including De Morgen, Knack, MO*Magazine and Natuur & Techniek science magazine (which is now the Dutch-language version of New Scientist). Ann De Ron also coordinated WeCom, a communication project for scientists. Her education includes a degree in Biology, supplemented with a BaNaBa in Intercultural Management. 

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I WANT YOU … FOR CITIZEN SCIENCE / You too can contribute to the science of tomorrow!

While Citizen Science is by no means a new phenomenon, since Carlos Moedas took office as European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, the term has increasingly cropped up in the media, on science discussion forums, etc. In an era where open data and open access are hotly debated topics, as a key element of open science, Citizen Science is increasingly receiving attention. By involving citizens in the scientific process, it provides numerous benefits for both science and society. On one hand, it enables scientists, among other things, to collect and analyse data on a large scale. On the other hand, it creates involvement and confidence among the general public. An initiative that is related to Citizen Science and that will be officially presented at the 2018 FWO Knowledge Makers conference is the Flemish Science Agenda. But what does Citizen Science actually imply, are there any particular pitfalls, how could such initiatives be financed, and so on. These issues will be addressed in this scientific debate.

Moderator: Dr Jan Seys, Head of Communication Department, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

Location: Okapi 3

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Prof Roeland Samson, University of Antwerp

Roeland Samson is a Professor in Environmental and Urban Ecology at the University of Antwerp. His research focuses on establishing vegetation in urban areas, primarily in relation to improvements in air quality and the urban micro-climate, plus, with his team, he is studying the use of environmental magnetic techniques for monitoring air quality using plants. In 2014, he was the initiator and coordinator of the AIRbezen Project that put citizen science on the map in Flanders. In the meantime, he and his team have built up great expertise in citizen science using projects such as Curieuze Neuzen and AIRbezen Oost-Vlaanderen. The results of these projects were broadly communicated to the press, members of the general population and policy makers, and have had a clear social impact.

Jo Decuyper, Director RVO-Society

Jo Decuyper studied physics and computer science at the Free University of Brussels. He obtained a MS degree in theoretical physics and a BS in artificial intelligence. He was a researcher in diverse fields including non-linear partial differential equations, neural networks, genetic algorithms, computer algebra systems, parallel computing and qualitative physics. After obtaining a Phd in Science he joined the Flemish Government in 1993 where he became head of the science policy division. In this function he was responsible for policy research, science communication and international scientific cooperation. In 2000, Jo Decuyper joined imec to start the Roger Van Overstraeten Society, RVO-Society. RVO-Society strives to close the gap between today’s technological research and education. The central focus is the societal relevance of technology and science, and in particular the challenge of climate change and the need for a more caring, inclusive society. Recently RVO-Society has been appointed as host for the Flemish Citizen Science office, a task Jo has taken up with great enthusiasm.

Maike Weissplug, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

Dr. Maike Weißpflug is a researcher at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin where she explores the transformations of the science system, especially in the fields of citizen science and open science. A political theorist by training, she also works on human-nature-relations and the Anthropocene debate, focusing on the changing public role of natural history museums. She studied political science, philosophy and German literature at RWTH Aachen University. In her dissertation, she re-examined Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy and her liberating attitude towards the world.

Hans Van de Water, Coordinator of the Flemish Science Agenda

Hans Van de Water is coordinating the Flemish Science Agenda for the FWO. As well as this, he is an international performance coach and expert in scientific communication. Through his company, The Floor is Yours, he trains researchers and professionals to deliver more effective presentations. Furthermore, he is the founder of De Wetenschapsbattle/Battle of the Scientists, a competition in which researchers present their work to primary school children. Together with Toon Verlinden, he wrote the book The Floor is Yours: leren presenteren van brainstorm tot applaus.

Dr Jan Seys, Head of Communication Department, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

Dr Jan Seys is the communications manager at the VLIZ (Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee – or Flanders Marine Institute) and former chairperson of the European Marine Board Communications Panel (2010–2017). The first ten years of his career as a marine biologist were devoted to Belgian and Dutch sea and estuary research, with two years as a manager in a bilateral collaborative sea-science project between Belgium and Kenya. Since 2000, through VLIZ, he has immersed himself in scientific communication and education. From a specific interest in involving the broad public, he has become the driving force behind two sea-related Citizen Science projects in Belgium (SeaWatch-B and the Grote Schelpenteldag or Big Shell Counting Day). Dr Seys is also one of the pioneers of the Ocean Literacy movement in Europe and an organiser of events including the First Conference on Ocean Literacy in Europe (12 October 2012, Bruges) and CommOCEAN 2016.

Marc Goldchstein, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Marc Goldchstein is a Civil Engineer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – VUB). After his studies, he did research at the VUB into (academic) entrepreneurship. He put this into practice by establishing SoftCore, one of the first VUB start-ups. Subsequently, he was involved with two other technology ventures: RAM Mobile Data and Enfocus Software (the latter was a Trends Gazelle selection); while there he fulfilled management functions in Marketing, Sales, and Product Management. Since 2004, he has worked at the VUB as a practical docent in Entrepreneurship and as a member of the TechTransfer department where his role includes training and coaching fledgling entrepreneurs.

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Does art make us happier?

More info soon. 

Location: Nightingale 1

Start
13:15
End
14:30

Ben Verhoeven

(Ben Verhoeven) I am currently a science communicator and improviser at my own company ERLNMYR. Previously, I was a researcher in the field of computational linguistics at the CLiPS Research Center, which is part of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Antwerp. My work focused mostly on author profiling and developing deeper linguistic features to use for text classification. Apart from that, I have done research on the automatic semantic categorization of noun compounds. Due to a research stay in South Africa, I had also taken an interest in the Afrikaans language.

Kathleen Bracke, Universiteit van Vlaanderen

Bart Keunen, Ghent University

Bart Keunen, PhD, is professor in Comparative Literature at Ghent University, Belgium. He teaches graduate and postgraduate courses in European Literary History, Sociology of Literature and Comparative Literature. He studied philosophy in Louvain and literary criticism in Ghent, Berlin and Klagenfurt. He obtained his Ph.D. degree with a dissertation on Representing the Metropolis: A Culture-Sociological Approach to City Images, Chronotopes and Artistic Projects in Literary Prose between 1850 and 1930 (Ghent, 1997). He is president of the Belgian Society for General and Comparative Literature (since September 2000) and co-director of the interdisciplinary Ghent Urban Studies Team (GUST; since January 2002).

Kathleen Coessens, Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel

Kathleen Coessens is a philosopher and artist, known for exploring the crossroads of science and art, human creativity and cultural representations, and tacit, embodied and sensorial knowledge. She graduated with degrees in Piano and Chamber Music from the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris and the Royal Conservatory Brussels. She then attained her PhD in Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. As a forerunner of artistic research, seen from within the arts, she has published philosophical and artistic research, including The Artistic Turn – with D. Crispin and A. Douglas – in 2009, and more recently Experimentation in and beyond Music in 2017.  She supervises PhD students in the arts at the conservatories of Brussels and Antwerp and at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. At the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, she launched the artistic research group CORPoREAL (Collaborative Research in Performance - Reflective Embodied Art Laboratory, 2014). At the Royal Conservatory Brussels, she steers the research line KLAP (Knowing and Learning in Artistic Practices, 2015). She sustains and participates in diverse artistic projects, nationally and internationally. As well as teaching artistic research practices, she is currently the director of the Royal Conservatory Brussels.

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The impact of climate change on ecosystem services

Climate change is already affecting us. We are facing its direct effects in the form of more frequent floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves and hurricanes. But this is only the tip of the melting iceberg: climate change influences our lives in ways we don’t see: it modifies the way ecosystems function. Many of these functions have a direct or indirect influence on our societies: this is what we call ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration, food production and nutrient cycling) and their societal impact can be evaluated in monetary terms.

Knowing how ecosystem functions and services are impacted by climate change is therefore crucial for deciding when and how to apply management, as well as for predicting the economic consequences for society as a whole. In this session, we the most recent effects climate change has had on ecosystem services, as well as in their economic valuation.

Moderator: François Rineau, Hasselt University

Location: Okapi 3

Start
14:35
End
15:50

François Rineau, Hasselt University

Francois Rineau is a tenure track research professor in microbial ecology, in the Center of environmental sciences (CMK) at Hasselt University. After a PhD at INRA Nancy (France), he did a two-and-a-half-year postdoc in the University of Lund (Sweden), another three-year post-doc in the University of Hasselt, got a position of Docent at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, in Paris (France), before getting appointed as a ZAP at Hasselt University. His expertise is in the field of ecology of soil microbes, and in particular on how they contribute to ecosystem services. To tackle this biological question, he uses many different approaches: enzyme assays, genomics, transcriptomics, metagenomics, as well as many spectroscopic tools; and go from pure in vitro tests to field work, through the use of microcosms.  He is now the PI of the new high-tech infrastructure of Hasselt University, the Ecotrons, working on the effect of climate change on ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. He is especially interested in the role of soil microbes in the response of ecosystem processes to climate change. He is also building a complementary, international and interdisciplinary research network (climatologists, ecologists, soil food web specialists, modellers, hydrologists, environmental economists...) to approach this issue in the most holistic manner as possible. 

Patrick Meire, University of Antwerp

Patrick Meire studied biology at the University of Ghent. He started his PhD work at the Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Nature Conservation and Biogeography of the University of Gent first with a research grant from the Belgium National Fund for Scientific Research, later as a research assistant. In 1990 he became senior researcher at the Institute of Nature Conservation, a research Institute of the Flemish Government. Since 1995 he holds the chair of Integrated Water Management at the Institute of Environmental Studies of the University of Antwerp (part time visiting professor) and since 1999 he is full time professor at the University of Antwerp, Department of Biology and head of the ecosystem research group. Since 2008 he is also chairman of the institute of environmental sciences and sustainable development of the University of Antwerp.

Katarina Hedlund, Lund University

Katarina Hedlund obtained a master of Science in Biology from Linköping university, and a PhD in Animal Ecology from Lund university. Her research in soil ecology can currently comprise anything from molecular studies of functional genes and interactions among microorganisms to above- and below ground interactions that involves studies of soil biodiversity and ecosystem services on large scale levels. The concept of ecosystem services and how we can value them use their value in promoting sustainable use of soils and agricultural biodiversity is a key focus of her current research.

Michael MacDonald, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science

Dr Michael MacDonald is originally from Australia, but has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds since 2005. Initially he was involved in monitoring of agri-environment schemes, and research into lapwing breeding. More recently, he has been strongly involved in the RSPB’s ecosystem services work in the UK and elsewhere. He sits on the steering committee for TESSA (Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment) along with colleagues from BirdLife International and Cambridge University. His current work includes a project examining the reasons why farmers engage in conservation-friendly management.

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The challenge of taking CO2 back out of the atmosphere

As evidence grows stronger that unmitigated climate change is and will result in substantial risks and costs, policies for climate stabilisation are being increasingly supported by policy makers, industrial leaders and the general public. This growing momentum resulted in a new and binding international climate agreement at the 2015 summit in Paris. All parties committed themselves to limiting the global temperature rise to well under 2°C, and agreed to pursue further efforts to keep the temperature increase under 1.5°C. This sets a clear challenge for society. Current climate policies are primarily geared towards mitigation (i.e. preventing greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere). However, scenario analysis and model projections reveal that conventional mitigation alone will not be sufficient: we also need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Effectively, in scenarios that meet the Paris goals, global emissions need to be negative by 2070, with CO2 actively being removed from the atmosphere. This necessitates a suitable set of negative emission technologies that can realise the necessary CO2 reduction in a technically reliable, economically cost-effective and socially acceptable manner. So how do we tackle this daunting challenge to society? In this session, leading international experts will share their latest ideas and research on the possibilities, challenges and risks of generating negative emissions.

Moderator: Filip Meysman, University of Antwerp

Organizer: Filip Meysman, University of Antwerp and Ivan Janssens, University of Antwerp

Location: Toucan 1

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Prof David Beerling, Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, University of Sheffield

Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation and Sorby Professor of Natural Sciences, David Beerling is an internationally renowned expert on the co-evolution of plants and the environment over the past half a billion years. A botanist by training, he pioneered a cross-disciplinary research approach that exploits experimental and theoretical techniques from the life sciences and physical sciences to offer insight into the influence of plants on the Earth’s climate. By combining evidence from fossilised plants, experiments on living plants and computer modelling, David continues to enhance our understanding of plant evolution and its influence on the climate, atmospheric chemistry and geochemical cycles of the past. His work is gaining increasing relevance to understanding current and future global climate change.

Michael Obersteiner, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Michael Obersteiner is Program Director of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. After incubating a small interdisciplinary modeling team a decade ago at IIASA his current research team counts 100 staff members constituting the largest global land use and rural development model cluster in the world.

Michael has been the principal investigator and manager of more than 30 international projects covering diverse policy and science fields mostly focus on developing sustainable development pathways subject to climate risks. He also served as a seconded Staff Expert for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva leading a cross-cut task on socio-economic benefit assessments of Earth observing systems. In addition, he has been a consultant to a number of national and international organizations, including inter alia the European Commission, WWF, OECD, Worldbank and other national and international institutions.

Dr. Obersteiner is the author of over 250 scientific papers (H-index: 61 in google scholar) covering a very wide range of scientific fields. Currently, he serves in UNEP’s international resource panel (IRP) is lead convening author (CLA) of two IPBES chapters and a steering member to UNISDR’s Global Assessment report.

Filip Meysman, University of Antwerp

Prof. dr. ir Filip Meysman is full professor within the Department of Biology at University of Antwerp (Belgium). Within the Global Change Ecology Excellence Centre, his research focuses on biogeochemical cycling, the large-scale interactions between biology, chemistry and geology. Amongst other topics, his research focuses on how marine ecossytemes can be used to extract CO2 from the atmosphere (negative CO2 emissions) and he investigates the intriguing and exciting phenomenon of microbial electricity in the ocean floor. As part of scientific outreach activities, he is coordinator of the citizen science project CurieuzeNeuzen.

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Frontier research into migration and asylum

Migration and asylum are multi-faceted phenomena that spread across space and time, engaging researchers in different disciplines for decades. The interest surrounding this research has been on the increase due to recent events. In this session we will give a diverse spectrum of fundamental research in order to better understand the causes and impact of migration an asylum.

Moderator: Prof Angela Liberatore, European Research Council Executive Agency

Location: Okapi 2

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Prof Ilse Derluyn, Ghent University

Ilse Derluyn obtained her PhD in Educational Sciences at Ghent University (Belgium) and is currently affiliated as associate professor to the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy (Ghent University), where she teaches courses in migration and refugee studies. Ilse's main research topics concern the psychosocial wellbeing of unaccompanied refugee minors, migrant and refugee children, war-affected children, victims of trafficking and child soldiers. She is also actively involved in supporting refugees and practitioners working with refugees and migrants, in policy research and policy-influence. Ilse obtained an ERC-Starting Grant and coordinates an international H2020-project. She published over 100 international publications and several books. Prof. Derluyn is heading the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) and is co-director of the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS).

Prof Maria Koinova, University of Warwick

Hala El Moussawi, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Hala El Moussawi is a PhD student and holders of an FWO scholarship. She has a background in Architecture(BSc. Architecture at the Lebanese University, 2009-2013)and Urban Studies (4Cities MSc. in Urban Studies, joint program of 6 universities: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universität Wien, Københavns Universitet, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2013-2015).

Her research investigates the post-arrival geographies of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Belgium following their housing and employment trajectories. Arguing that the perspective of refugees and their lived experiences are largely understudied, she proposes a longitudinal study that follows a panel of refugees documenting their residential mobility across Belgium. She argues that these trajectories do not only hinge on the individual characteristics of refugees, but also on the interplay between national and local state policies, migrant networks and civil society support networks in different places. These three components constitute local refugee regimes that her project aims to chart, to explain the particularity of the Belgian context in the production of post-arrival geographies of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Her research interests extend to the understanding of informal networks and practices, and she has worked during her masters’ studies on informal public transport in Beirut and Naples, and their relation to notions of the Right to the City, appropriation, and Autogestion. She also closely follows and participates in questions of urban activism and migration activism in Brussels and in Beirut when possible.

Prof Dirk Jacobs, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Dirk Jacobs (born in 1971) is Professor of Sociology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), where he is director of the Group for Research on Ethnic Relations, Migration and Equality (GERME). He is specialised in migration and integration policy and educational sociology.

Jacobs completed his doctorate in 1998 at Utrecht University and since then, has performed in a number of roles, including as a FNRS post-doctorate researcher linked to the KU Leuven. He is the laureate of an ERC grant and has had a seat in evaluation commissions for FNRS, FWO, NWO, the Swedish Research Council, the Finnish Academy and ERC.

Lino Paula, Uitvoerend Agentschap Europese Onderzoeksraad (ERCEA)

Dr Lino Paula, Social Sciences and Humanities Unit, European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Dr Paula is Head of Sector Social Sciences at the scientific department of the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). In this capacity he is responsible for contributing to the management and execution of calls for proposals, evaluations, selection and monitoring of projects in the framework of the Excellence programme of Horizon2020.

Before joining the ERCEA, he was team leader and policy officer at the Research & Innovation Directorate-General (DG RTD) of the European Commission. His responsibilities involved EU policies in the area of Bioeconomy, the activities of the Science with and for Society programme and the activities of the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) programme.

He previously held positions at various Universities in the Netherlands and worked on many international projects and studies pertaining to the governance of the life sciences, in particular focusing on bioethics and public engagement in policy. He holds degrees in Chemistry (M.Sc., Leiden University), Ethics (M.A., Sheffield University) and Science and Technology Studies (Ph.D., Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

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Groundbreaking research leads to added value for society

One of the main reasons to use public funds for subsidising research is the expectation that the funded research, through newly acquired knowledge, will eventually result in new applications that provide added value to society. This added value may be economic in nature, in the form of new investments and/or additional employment, may be of a purely social nature, or even a mixture.

In this session we want to address the various issues related to the societal impact of research. In what way can the return on research for society be increased? What should be the role of subsidy agencies in this process? How can the impact of subsidised research on society best be measured? And how should society best be informed about the results of the research? Finally, we aim to illustrate the impact of research on society with a few telling examples.

Moderator: Prof Koenraad Debackere, Centre for Research & Development Monitoring (Expertisecentrum Onderzoek en Ontwikkelingsmonitoring – ECOOM)

Organizer: FWO

Location: Gorilla 4

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Dr Steven Hill, Higher Education Funding Council for England

Steven Hill is Director of Research at Research England, a council of UK Research and Innovation. At Research England Steven is responsible for research funding and assessment, open research, public engagement and impact. He is the chair of the steering group for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. Steven transferred into Research England from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Previously Steven was Head of the Strategy Unit at Research Councils UK, and had several roles in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, working on evidence-based policy making. Earlier in his career Steven was a university lecturer at the University of Oxford where his research focused on plant biology.

Rudi Pauwels

Rudi Pauwels is a Belgian pharmacologist. He studied pharmaceutical sciences at the KU Leuven, and obtained a PhD with a dissertation on Development of New Anti-HIV Agents. He did research on virology at the Rega Institute for Medical Research. In 1994 he founded the Belgian biotech company Tibotec, together with his wife Carine Claeys, and in 1995 he co-founded Virco. At Tibotec he continued his work on HIV. Rudi Pauwels is also the co-founder, director and CEO of a molecular diagnostic company, Biocartis SA, based in Parc Scientifique EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Prof Stijn Oosterlynck, University of Antwerp

Stijn Oosterlynck is associate professor in Urban Sociology at the Department of Sociology at the University of Antwerp. He chairs the Centre for Research in Ecological and Social Change (CRESC) and the Antwerp Urban Studies Institute. His research is concerned with solidarity in diversity, urban poverty and diversity policies, civil society innovation, urban social innovation and welfare state restructuring and urban social renewal strategies. He coordinated the SBO project Diversiteit en Gemeenschapsvorming (DieGem, 2013-2016) on place-based forms of solidarity in diversity and is currently the coordinator of the SBO project Civil Society Innovation Flanders (CSI Flanders, 2016-2019).

Filippo Addarii, Plus Value

Filippo Addarii is Founding Partner and CEO of PlusValue, a London-based research and consultancy firm that provides bespoke solutions to align public and private interests. Over the last 15 years, Filippo has advised national and international public institutions, corporations and not-for-profit organisations on innovation strategies for socio-economic development and urban regeneration. In 2018, he sees the final strand of his vision come into view: the creation of an impact investing vehicle, the Impact Alliance Fund, currently fundraising for an €80m impact equity fund. Filippo is co-founder of Nethical and was Director of International Strategy at The Young Foundation and co-founder and first Executive Director of Euclid Network.

Prof Koenraad Debackere, Centre for Research & Development Monitoring (Expertisecentrum Onderzoek en Ontwikkelingsmonitoring – ECOOM)

Koenraad Debackere is a professor of Technology and Innovation Management & Policy at KU Leuven since 1995. He has degrees in engineering and business. He was a visiting doctoral student and Fulbright post-doctoral fellow at MIT Sloan School and obtained best paper awards from the TIM Division of the American Academy of Management, the Decision Sciences Institute and the International Association for the Management of Technology. In 2006 he was awarded the Prize for Scientific Excellence of the Belgian Entreprise Foundation (VBO). In 2007 he received an honorary professorship from the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. He is the managing director of KU Leuven Research & Development and chairman of the KU Leuven seed fund, Gemma Frisius. He is co-founder and chairman of Leuven.Inc, the innovation network of Leuven high-tech entrepreneurs. Since 2005, he is the general manager of KU Leuven. In 2015, he was appointed chairman of EIT Health e.V. --- a KIC of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

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Research without borders – International mobility as leverage for your career

In a globalised scientific world, the importance of research mobility continues to increase. A growing number of researchers are spending part of their PhD studies and/or careers as postdoctoral researchers outside the national borders of their host institutions. But what exactly is the added value of international mobility for your CV and the further development of your career? How does integration within the new research group work? Are there any specific obstacles/issues that researchers working abroad face? Is it possible to reconcile family life and a period of research abroad? During a round-table discussion with a number of experienced researchers, we will address these and other issues relating to international mobility.

The researchers taking the floor during this session are all beneficiaries of projects from the FWO Odysseus programme, or incoming or outgoing FWO Pegasus (2012–2016) or [PEGASUS]2 (2015–2020) postdoctoral fellowships[1]. These programmes are aimed specifically at attracting foreign research talent to Flanders and/or offer researchers in Flanders the opportunity to spend part of their careers outside Belgium. As such, they are the ideal witnesses to share experiences on international mobility with the audience.  

[1] Both programmes were co-funded by the EU in FP7 (No 267216) and Horizon 2020 (No 665501) respectively.

Moderator: Erica Lutes, Fulbright Belgium

Organizer: FWO

Location: Okapi 3

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Iuliu Sorin Pop, Hasselt University

Iuliu Sorin Pop is Professor of Computational Mathematics at the Hasselt University (Belgium) and the University of Bergen (Norway). His research interest is in the mathematical analysis, numerical simulation and the upscaling of mathematical models for reactive flow and transport in complex media. Recent research themes include nonequilibrium models for subsurface flows, dissolution and precipitation in porous media, or non-isothermal flow and transport in geothermal reservoirs.

He is Associate Editor for Computational Geosciences and for Journal of Numerical Analysis and Approximation Theory, and was (co-)chair and (co-)organiser of several conferences and scientific meetings. He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and of the interPore Society. Currently he is Program Director of the Activity Group on Geosciences of SIAM. In 2015 he was awarded the InterPore Procter & Gamble Award for Porous Media Research, and in 2016 he recieved an FWO Odysseus Group I grant.

Susan Schlenner, KU Leuven

(Susan Schlenner) My interest in creating molecular and genetic tools to study T cell development and fate in vivo traces back to my PhD during which I was able to equip myself with the methodology required to perform high-level in vivo cellular and genetic studies. I generated new mutant mice that allowed tracing the fate of early T cell progenitors in the unperturbed condition. This work changed our understanding on the developmental plasticity of T cell progenitors.

To become an expert on Treg, I joined the laboratory of Prof Harald von Boehmer at the Harvard Medical School/DFCI. I chose to investigate control over the Foxp3 gene, the master transcription factor for the generation of Treg. My work focused on Smad3, the downstream mediator of TGFβ signalling, and its binding site in the Foxp3 locus. My results were the first to show that previous data based on non-specific knock-out approaches over-estimated the importance of this pathway in the general biology of Treg, while also missing the particular importance found in Treg that inhabit the gut.

To start my independent academic career and achieve my research aims, I joined the Autoimmune Genetics laboratory (head: Prof Adrian Liston). I successfully applied for the prestigious Pegasus-long Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellowship to fund my position (FWO, 2012). Over a few years I have independently moved out from the focus of the Autoimmune Genetics laboratory to build an independent group-within-a-group focused on T cell plasticity. Furthermore, within my research group I have set up a genome-engineering platform using the latest CrispR technology in embryonic stem cells as well as other cell lines, which has developed into the MutaMouse transgenic core facility at the KU Leuven.

With the appointment of assistant professor at the KU Leuven, my main research focus is the plasticity of T cells with particular attention (but not exclusively) to Treg.

Vito Adriaensens, University of Antwerp

Vito Adriaensens is a visiting scholar and adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University's Film Department in New York, supported by a [PEGASUS]2 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Project and the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) through the University of Antwerp’s Research Centre for Visual Poetics

He is the co-author of Screening Statues: Sculpture and Cinema(with Steven Jacobs, Susan Felleman and Lisa Colpaert, 2017); the author of the upcoming monograph Velvet Curtains and Gilded Frames: The Art of Early European Cinema (2018); a co-editor of the Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film special issue The Actress-Manager and Early Film(with Victoria Duckett, 2018); and the editor of an upcoming volume on The Tableau Vivant(2019).

His current research project, From New Stagecraft to New Cinema: Silent Film Performs the Avant-Garde, is an intermedial undertaking geared towards redefining the evolution of cinema against developments in the historical avant-garde in performing arts. Vito is currently also on the executive committee of Domitor, the International Society for the Study of Early Cinema.

Eva-Marlene Schäfers, Ghent University

Marlene Schäfers holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and is currently a FWO [Pegasus]2 Marie-Curie Skłodowska post-doctoral fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Research Group (MENARG) at Ghent University. Her research focuses on the impact of state violence on intimate and gendered lives, the politics of memory and history, and the intersections of affect and politics. She specializes in the anthropology of modern Turkey and its Kurdish regions, where she is interested in the ways in which ethnic and gendered difference are constructed, articulated and governed. At Ghent University, she is co-founder of the Centre for Anthropological Research on Affect and Materiality (CARAM). 

Erica Lutes, Fulbright Belgium

Erica Lutes is the Executive Director of the Commission for Educational Exchange Between the United States, Belgium, and Luxembourg, which administers the Fulbright Belgium, Fulbright Luxembourg, and Fulbright Schuman programs. She is a specialist in European and U.S. higher education. Erica graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2002 with a degree in international relations and attended Yale University from 1999-2000. She holds three master's degrees from KU Leuven in political economy, conflict and peace studies, and international business. Prior to joining the Fulbright Commission, Erica worked on the European Sales desk for Goldman Sachs and served as the staff aide to the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. When not at the Fulbright Commission, Erica is a lecturer at Odisee University College and gives indoor cycling and yoga classes in her adopted hometown of Leuven.

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Rethinking the funding and evaluation of research

Peer review is central to the allocation of research funds. A scientist who needs financial support for their research submits a project that will be reviewed by their co-experts, or peers. Based on an outline for future research, they must judge the merits of the proposed project. The applicant's past performance should help them with this task. Does this guarantee that excellent research is invariably selected, or does it only confirm the expectations of established researchers, making those already successful even more successful? Just how innovative or conservative, how open or defensive is this evaluation method? And is all this work for applicants and reviewers still justified?

The idea of basic funding for researchers is sometimes put forward as an alternative to a system in which researchers are required, time and again, to submit projects to peer reviewers. But how does it work? Will all scientists receive basic funding or professors only? What if the quality of the funded research proves to be inadequate? Will everyone receive equal funding regardless of the needs or the level of research? Will this system keep all scientists equally on their toes? Or should they withhold more structural funding for established researchers who have already proven their scientific excellence?

Finally, the question remains whether peer review or structural funding leaves sufficient room for more daring research. Do we need a programme for breakthrough research that has high ambitions but runs the serious risk of failing to achieve the set goals? Or should we have the courage to break away from how we think about ‘successful’ and ‘non-successful’ being that ‘failures’ are just as

Moderator: Dr Bonnie Wolff-Boenisch, Head of Research Affairs, Science Europe

Organizer: FWO

Location: Gorilla 1

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Prof Véronique Van Speybroeck, Ghent University – Onderzoekers voor een sterker FWO

Veronique Van Speybroeck is full professor at the Ghent University within the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, since October 2012. She also holds a position as Research Professor at the Ghent University since October 2007. She graduated as engineer in physics at the Ghent University in 1997 and obtained her Ph.D in 2001 on a subject dealing with theoretical simulations of chemical reactions with static and dynamical approaches under the supervision of Prof. M. Waroquier. After her PhD she received a postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO and had the possibility to travel to various foreign institutes for short periods. Her current research interests focus on first principle molecular dynamics simulations of complex chemical transformation in nanoporous materials, for which she received an ERC Consolidator grant in 2015.

Prof Stan Gielen, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Stan Gielen studied experimental physics and gained his PhD in biophysics at Radboud University in Nijmegen. From 1980 to 1988 he worked at Utrecht University and during this time he spent periods in the United States at Northwestern University and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1988 he was appointed Professor of Biophysics at the Faculty of Science at Radboud University and in 1995 this professorship was extended to include Radboudumc. Until 1 September 2016, Stan Gielen (1952) was Professor of Biophysics and Dean of the Faculty of Science at Radboud University in Nijmegen. As of 1 October 2016 he is President of NWO.

Dr Bonnie Wolff-Boenisch, Head of Research Affairs, Science Europe

Dr. Bonnie Wolff - Boenisch leads the Research Affairs Unit of Science Europe, a Brussels – based organisation, representing at present 52 Research Funding Organisations and Research Institutes from 28 countries. In her role she provides strategic leadership and guidance to six Scientific Committees: ’Life, Environmental and Geo Sciences’; ‘Medical Sciences’; ’Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry’; ’Engineering and Technological Sciences’; ’Social Sciences’; and ’Humanities’. Dr Wolff Boenisch gained substantial insight in science diplomacy as coordinator of a large multinational research infrastructure initiative in the context of polar and marine research linked to climate change topics. Previously, she was project manager of several international scientific and technologically - oriented consortia where she was responsible for the development and oversight of governance structures and multi – national collaborations. At the start of her academic career Dr Wolff - Boenisch conducted scientific research in the fields of cosmo -and geochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany, and later as a Marie Curie research fellow in the field of paleo - climate research at the CNRS in France.

Prof Véronique Halloin, Secretary-General of F.R.S.-FNRS

Véronique Halloin graduated in civil chemical engineering in 1986 and obtained a PhD in applied sciences in1992. She became full professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2000, at the head of the chemical engineering research group, and hold the position of vice-head and head of the bioengineering school from 2000 to 2006, and vice-rector in charge of research and development, from 2006 to 2008. Since October 2008, she is Secretary General of the F.R.S.-FNRS. She is member of several boards and organizations, such as Science Europe, Academia Belgica, Welbio, the Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation, the Fulbright Commission Belgium, The Federal Council of Science Policy. She also acts as Belgian delegate at the CERN Finance Committee and General Council, and at the Global Science Forum (OCDE).

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Science comics as a means of scientific communication

Comics are a popular art form especially among children and as such provide a potential medium for science education and communication. In an attempt to present science comics in a gallery exhibit I found many science themed comics and graphic books. Here I will provide an overview of already available comics that communicate science, the genre of ‘science comics’, and will provide a quick overview of literature on the use of comics in communicating science, including promises and challenges specific to the medium.

Moderator: Mićo Tatalović

Location: Darwin

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Mićo Tatalović

Mićo Tatalović has just completed the Knight Science Journalism fellowship at MIT, in Cambridge, US. Before that he was a science news editor, first at SciDev.Net and then at New Scientist. He’s originally from Rijeka, Croatia, and is still actively involved in promoting science journalism in the region, through initiatives such as the Balkan School of Science Journalism and Balkan Science Beat. He studied biology at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, and then science communication at Imperial College London, where he researched the role of comic books in communicating science and published a paper Science comics as tools for science education and communication: a brief, exploratory study based on his master’s thesis Communication of science and the representation of science and scientists in science comics.

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Long shall we live in the city

Liveability in the city: what keeps the population awake? 

The population in our cities is rising. The World Urbanization Prospect Review estimated that in 2014, 54% of the global population was living in the urban environment. That percentage will have climbed to 66% by 2050. According to the Belgian land register, just 7.2% of Flanders was built up in 1976, but that figure had risen to 25% in 2010. By 2050, it will be approximately 42%. This urbanisation has great consequences. It’s keeping the Flemish population awake at night. 

How polluted is the air in my city? How can we purify the air? Will better spatial planning solve the traffic problem and the growing flood of traffic? How do we make the roads safer for vulnerable users? Why do we feel unfulfilled and what role does society and cities play in this? What does the city of the future look like? These are questions to which citizens want answers and solutions from the scientific world.

Location: Nightingale 1

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Ben Verhoeven

(Ben Verhoeven) I am currently a science communicator and improviser at my own company ERLNMYR. Previously, I was a researcher in the field of computational linguistics at the CLiPS Research Center, which is part of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Antwerp. My work focused mostly on author profiling and developing deeper linguistic features to use for text classification. Apart from that, I have done research on the automatic semantic categorization of noun compounds. Due to a research stay in South Africa, I had also taken an interest in the Afrikaans language.

Nele Witters, Universiteit Hasselt

(Nele Witters) I am an FWO post-doc researcher within the Environmental Research Group at the Centre for  Environmental Sciences (CMK) at Hasselt University. Originally trained as an economist, I obtained my PhD in Sciences at the same institute in 2011 on phytoremediation as a sustainable marginal land management option. Lately I am committed to multidisciplinary approaches for research and teaching on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services.  I elaborate an innovative framework effectively integrating ecological and socio-economic aspects into the valuation of biodiversity. The European INTENSE project is one example of such interdisciplinary research. It will contribute to a sustainable increase in food production, novel products for agriculture, and new perspectives for European marginalized landscapes by constructing innovative systems-based tools for the development and implementation of integrated food and non-food production serving for intensified land management of these land areas.

Veerle Van Linden, ILVO

Jan Adriaenssens, Director City of things - imec

Jan Adriaenssens is director, City of Things at imec. He is fascinated by the role that technology plays in our society and by the impact it has on our lives. Jan studied mathematics in Antwerp and philosophy in London. He gained policy experience as a senior researcher at the Flemish Science and Innovation Council, moving subsequently to the office of the Flemish Minister for Innovation, initially as an adviser and then as deputy private secretary to the Minister. After this, Jan worked at the iMinds research center (which merged with imec in October 2016): first as Strategy & Innovation director and then as vice president Policy & Society. 

Kathleen Bracke, Universiteit van Vlaanderen

Sven De Visscher, University College Ghent

Sven De Visscher is a lector in Social Work at the University College Ghent. In 2008, he received his PhD in Pedagogic Sciences at Ghent University with research into the social-pedagogic meaning of the home environment for children. His current research is focused on subjects like the child-friendly city, social urban renewal, neighbourhood-oriented work and community formation. He is a member of the scientific committees of the European Network for Child Friendly Cities and the Child in the City Foundation.

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Smart(er) health(care) within everyone's reach: utopia or reality?

Smarter healthcare takes a holistic approach: technologies such as wearables and sensors, embedded in the IoT, genomics, precision medicine over electronic patient records and medical imaging to security and privacy. Researchers in various disciplines, doctors and medical staff, sick and healthy people, companies, decision makers, etc.—they are all stakeholders! Only by collaborating at all levels will we be able to address such crucial issues as:

·         How to prevent people from becoming chronically ill?  

·         How to monitor patient health data in a convenient, reliable, and continuous manner?

·         How to deploy advanced nanoelectronics technology for quick and accurate medical diagnosis?

·         How to help medical staff make better informed decisions based on large amounts of medical data?

·         How to help businesses develop sustainable eHealth solutions?

Moderator: Dr Valerie Storms, Mobile Health Unit

Location: Gorilla 3

Start
14:35
End
15:50

Prof Dr Chris Van Hoof, imec and KU Leuven

Chris Van Hoof is Senior Director Connected Health Solutions at imec in Eindhoven and Leuven, where his teams provide innovative solutions for patient monitoring, preventive health and disease interception. Chris has taken connected health from embryonic research to a business line serving international customers. Chris likes to make things that really work and apart from delivering industry-relevant qualified solutions to customers, his work resulted in five startups (four in the healthcare domain). After receiving a PhD from the University of Leuven in 1992 in collaboration with imec, Chris has held positions as manager and director in diverse fields (sensors, imagers, 3D integration, MEMS, energy harvesting, body area networks, biomedical electronics, wearable health). He has published over 700 papers in journals and conference proceedings and has given over 100 invited talks. Chris is also full professor at the University of Leuven.

Prof Dr Pieter Vandervoort, Hasselt University and Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg

Prof Dr Pieter Vandervoort is a practicing cardiologist at Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg in Belgium and co-founder of the University of Hasselt’s Mobile Health Unit. The unit currently supports several hundred cardiac patients with their home-based rehabilitation program. In the process they set up a “clinical call center” that consolidates and systematically monitors telemonitoring data from various devices and applications (e.g. pedometers, blood pressure, weight, heart rate, medication) and intervenes or alerts relevant clinicians when necessary.

Dr Valerie Storms, Mobile Health Unit

Valerie Storms is program manager of the Mobile Health Unit, a center of expertise in mobile healthcare, build on the collaboration between three organizations; Hasselt University, Jessa Hospital (Hasselt) and Hospital East-Limburg (Genk). dr. Storms is member of the HealthCare research group of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at Hasselt University. She is responsible for research and innovation projects focusing on digital technology development & validation and HTA of new mHealth services. dr. Storms is an active member in different mHealth expert groups. She holds a PhD in Bio-Informatics and a masters degree in Bio-Engineering both from the KU Leuven.

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