Edward McDonnell, Director, National Centre for Applied Analytics & AI

Edward McDonnell is the Director of the National Centre for Applied Analytics & AI www.ceadar.ie The Centre which is funded by EI and the IDA has over 80 member companies across a wide span of industries. The Centre’s primary focus is on delivering industry prototypes, technology demonstrators and state-of-the-art reviews. The CeADAR Centre won i-Spaces accreditation from the EU’s BDVA in 2018 and is the EU designated Digital Innovation Hub for AI in Ireland. CeADAR is a founder along with NextGeneration of the annual European Data Science and AI Awards. Prior to being appointed Director of CeADAR, Edward was European Director of Innovation & Technology Research at Fidelity Investments. The role involved prospecting for FinTech technology and investment opportunities across Europe, understanding developments in the European innovation ecosystem, and directing technology trials. Edward has also held various technical and global senior management roles in the Office of Strategy and Technology at Hewlett-Packard Europe based in England. Edward has a PhD in Analytics and AI from the University of Edinburgh, is a Fellow of the IEE & ICS, and is the named inventor on 76 granted patents. He has been awarded several international prizes including the Scientific American top 50 technologies that demonstrate outstanding leadership, Grand Award and Overall Winner for Innovation, Popular Science (USA), Horizon Award “10 Cool Cutting Edge Technologies”, Computer World (USA).

Vincent McCarthy, CEO, Curiosity Studio

Vincent is CEO at the Curiosity Studio, which is a creative consultancy and design studio that specialises in connecting clients and audiences with the latest in science and technology. He is the Co-founder and CEO of The Festival of Curiosity, which is a four-day festival that merges cutting edge arts, science, technology and design together in playful, curious and surprising ways for all ages to enjoy. Over 55,000 people attend 100+ events across 14 city centre venues over four days and four nights every July in Dublin, Ireland. Vince previously was the Curator of Dublin City of Science 2012 at the Irish Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser. He worked with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs as a consultant on science and technology projects in Mozambique. He was a contributor for RTÉ Young Peoples on Science and Technology and features regularly on Irish radio shows

Mary Hearne, Senior Manager, AI Engineering, LinkedIn

Mary Hearne is Senior Manager, AI Engineering at LinkedIn, where she leads efforts to understand what LinkedIn’s 650+ million members read and write about on the platform. Her team blends experience in software engineering and machine learning to extract value from LinkedIn’s data, and to develop and enhance AI-driven product experiences across the feed, notifications, ads, marketing, and others. Mary has been working in the field of AI for18 years, in roles spanning both industry and academia. Prior to her current role, Mary worked in display ads engineering at Google, where she developed technologies for applications such as interest-based ad targeting and publisher and advertiser controls. She holds a Ph.D. in Computing and a BSc in Computational Linguistics from DCU.

Prof. Noel O’Connor, CEO of Insight the SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics

Noel O’Connor is CEO of Insight the SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics. He is a Full Professor, School of Electronic Engineering at DCU, with expertise in multimedia content analysis, computer vision, machine learning, information fusion, and multi-modal analysis. His application domains include content-based information retrieval from large archives, human movement understanding for health and human performance, autonomous vehicles, security and safety, IoT and Smart Cities.

Dr. Ricardo Simon Carbajo, Head of Innovation & Development, UCD

Dr. Ricardo Simon Carbajo is the Head of Innovation & Development at CeADAR. Ricardo leads the IDG group, composed of senior data scientists, which focuses on the development of bespoke advanced data analytics and AI solutions for SMEs and MNCs operating in a large range of verticals (energy, manufacturing, insurance, fintech, healthcare, telecoms, etc). He is also responsible for EU Research & Innovation and actively participates in European colloquiums and events to foster collaboration at EU level. Prior to this position, Ricardo was Adjunct Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow and Post-Doctoral Researcher at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Dublin City University. Ricardo holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Leon (Spain), an M.Sc. in Networks and Distributed Systems and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). His applied research background includes areas such as wireless networking, distributed systems, signal processing, sensor data fusion, real-time data analytics, and advanced machine learning. Ricardo also has experience in entrepreneurship, as the founder of a start-up company in the Industry 4.0 sector. LinkedIn: https://ie.linkedin.com/in/ricardo-simon-carbajo-7141464

Kieran McCorry, National Technology Officer, Microsoft

Kieran McCorry is the National Technology Officer for Microsoft in Ireland and has worked in the technology industry for over 29 years. He is responsible for representing Microsoft to broad audiences in Ireland covering technology leadership, AI, trust, technology vision, strategic alignment, and policy. He has worked across many sectors of the technology landscape including those of collaboration, social media, analytics, mobility, privacy, the Internet of Things, innovation, digital transformation, and intellectual property development. He is a frequent speaker at worldwide conferences and has been a regular contributor to various industry publications. He is the author of four books on messaging technology and holds several patents. He also holds a variety of degrees in computer science, law, and corporate governance.

Prof Barry O’Sullivan, Director, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, UCC, and the SFI Centre for Research Training in Artificial Intelligence

Professor Barry O’Sullivan, FEurAI, FIAE, FICS, MRIA, is an award-winning academic working in the fields of artificial intelligence, ethics, and public policy. He also contributes to various Track II diplomacy efforts related to AI and applications of consequence at geopolitical and economic levels. Professor O’Sullivan is the founding Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at UCC, Principal Investigator at the Confirm Centre for Smart Manufacturing, and Director of the SFI Centre for Research Training in AI. He is an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, Australia. Professor O’Sullivan is the vice-chair of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group on AI. In 2019 the HLEG-AI published: Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI (April) and Policy & Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI (June). In 2019 he joined the Scientific Board of AI Watch, an initiative of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre tasked with monitoring the uptake of AI in Europe. Professor O’Sullivan is a Fellow and current President of the European AI Association. Amongst other roles Professor O’Sullivan is: member of the Executive Board of AI4EU the European AI-on-demand Platform; Irish NCP for the CLAIRE Initiative; a judge on the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE; and Expert Advisor to the Shanghai AI Technology Association. He advises the AI Alliance in The Netherlands (ALLAI) and the Computational Sustainability Network, a network of universities in the USA, led by Cornell, involving Princeton, Stanford, CMU, Georgia Tech, and others. In 2019 he was appointed by the Minister for Health to the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee.

Parsa Ghaffari, CEO and Founder, AYLIEN

Parsa Ghaffari is an entrepreneur focused on enabling machines to understand human-generated content better, through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. He is the CEO and founder of a Dublin-based startup called AYLIEN, which is a leading provider of text analysis and natural language processing technology to businesses and developers around the world.

Dr. Iain Brown, Head of Data Science for SAS UK&I and Adjunct Professor of Marketing Analytics, University of Southampton

Dr. Iain Brown is the Head of Data Science for SAS UK&I and Adjunct Professor of Marketing Analytics at the University of Southampton. Over the past decade, he has worked across a number of sectors, providing thought leadership on the topics of Risk, AI, and Machine Learning and their ethical applications. During his time at SAS, he has been involved in delivering numerous projects and driving innovation in the fields of AI and the corresponding fields of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language understanding. As an experienced public speaker and published author he has presented at a number of internationally renowned conferences and conventions and has papers published in the European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Forecasting and the Journal of Expert Systems with Applications on the aforementioned areas of expertise.

Tom Halton, CEO & Principal, HMHmmmmm Ltd. CyberConsulting Industry 4.0 Strategy, Security & Sustainability

As a senior technical executive, Tom has worked for and with Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Synchronoss, and Verizon. With 40 years of global and Irish experience, his expertise includes AI, and cloud application development, rollout, product innovation & security. His solutions-focused security experience spans industries and technologies including finance and trading platforms, insurance, logistics, telecoms, cloud services, online consumer platforms, defense, and space. He is a recognised leader in AI, Cloud, Data Analytics and Solution Architecture.

Alessandro Prest, CTO and Co-Founder, LogoGrab

Alessandro is a retired guitar-shredding metal-head, master Lego builder and Co-Founding CTO of LogoGrab, a massively scaling company in the world’s fastest-growing future-tech sector – AI. Even as a young boy Alessandro had a fascination with coding and in his college years he started investigating how AI could help liberate humans from mundane visual tasks and create new opportunities that would otherwise not be possible. So, following his Master’s in Information Technology, he moved on to complete a Ph.D., which focused on artificial intelligence techniques for automatic image and video understanding, with a strong emphasis on machine learning and computer vision. He subsequently formed LogoGrab in 2014 with Luca Boschin, a college friend with a similarly curious mind. It’s a company with a vision to address the growing challenge of providing insights and intelligence from visual media using a ‘People-First’ methodology. It has grown, really big, really fast, with minimal outside investment. When he’s not coding and researching the future of AI, Alessandro escapes to nature, hiking, cycling and skiing with friends.
If you want to discuss Visual-AI you can contact Alessandro at alessandro@visua.com or on LinkedIn.

Dr. Abigail Ruth Freeman, Director, Science Foundation Ireland

Dr. Abigail Ruth Freeman was appointed Director of Strategy and Communications in 2013, and following department restructure in 2018, became Director of Science for Society. Prior to her current appointment Ruth has held a series of positions at Science Foundation Ireland, including Director of Innovation, Communications & Education and Director of Programmes, Enterprise and International Affairs, with responsibility for overseeing all Science Foundation Ireland research funding programmes and management of funded awards, as well as the Foundation’s activities in conjunction with industry and international partners. Ruth joined Science Foundation Ireland as a Scientific Programme Manager in November 2006. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ruth worked as a researcher at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). She holds PhD and Bachelor degrees in Genetics from TCD, where she was awarded a Trinity scholarship, the Eli Lilly Chemistry Prize and the Roberts prize for Biology. Ruth’s PhD research, on population genetics in hybrid zones, was funded by a prestigious studentship from the Wellcome Trust and was carried out at TCD and ILRI, Nairobi.

David Hegarty, Assistant Secretary, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

David Hegarty is an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation where he up the Department’s Enterprise Strategy, Competitiveness and Evaluation Division. He works with other divisions in the Department and with other Government Departments with the aim of ensuring that public policy supports a strong, competitive enterprise sector in Ireland. The Division provides evidence-based support to the work of the Department and works across the government to enhance the business environment in areas such as skills, taxation, essential infrastructures, competitiveness, and productivity.
In conjunction with the Department of An Taoiseach, the Division leads on the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative. Future Jobs Ireland is a multi-year framework focused on key economic challenges facing Ireland including increasing SME productivity and raising labour market participation. It is also about positioning Ireland’s economy and society to deal with the challenges of digitalisation and the transition to a low carbon economy.
An economist by profession, David previously worked in the Department of Finance.

Kieran Towey, Managing Director – Data Scientist and KPMG Analytics lead

Kieran has over 20 years’ experience working as a Data Scientist, delivering data powered solutions to large global and domestic clients. Kieran has a mathematics and statistics academic background and excels in building and growing data, analytics and artificial intelligence capability, including specialist teams and technology solutions. Kieran is a Thought Leader in the field of analytics and has travelled the world, working with clients across all industries and speaking at technology, analytics and AI conferences. Kieran’s expertise lies in designing and delivering data powered solutions that maximise the client value from investments in data and analytics technology, with particular domain expertise in Financial Services.

Dave Lewis, Associate Professor, School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin

Dave Lewis is an Associate Professor at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin and the head of its Artificial Intelligence Discipline. He is also Deputy Director of the ADAPT SFI Research Centre for Digital Content Technology. He leads ADAPT’s programme of industry collaborative research and its multidisciplinary research theme on Data Governance. His research focuses on the use of open semantic models to manage the Data Protection and Data Ethics issues associated with digital content processing. He has led the development of international standards in AI-based linguistic processing of digital content at the W3C and OASIS and is currently active in international standardisation of Trustworthy AI at ISO/IEC JTC1/SC42.

Mark Jordan, Chief Technologist, Skillnet Ireland

Mark is the Chief Technologist at Skillnet Ireland and has held a number of senior leadership roles in the Financial Services and FinTech industry. Having worked in the UK, US, Switzerland & Ireland, he is an experienced and innovative leader possessing expertise in technology deployment, operational management, system transformation, and regulatory compliance.
Throughout his career, Mark has managed and delivered many global strategic transformation programs around system redesign, operational workflow improvements, outsourcing, offshoring and process re-engineering. He also specialises in identifying and developing partnerships and successful commercial engagements with governments, industry bodies and subject matter expert companies.
Mark has an ICMA from the Henley Business School at the University of Reading. He also holds diploma designations from the Securities Institute, Chartered Insurance Institute and The Boston Institute of Finance.
At Skillnet Ireland, Mark is leading the technology skills strategy and agenda. He is engaged with the European Commission, higher education, government departments and industry sectors in Ireland, and is focussed on readying the business for the impact technology will have on the future world of work.

Geraldine Larkin, Chief Executive, NSAI

Geraldine Larkin has been Chief Executive of NSAI since March 2017. Prior to this, Geraldine was the Irish regulator in diverse industries including the private security sector. As the first regulator of the private security industry, Geraldine drew heavily on Irish and European standards including in the areas of security guarding, electronic security and cash conveyancing in order to regulate the developing industry. She subsequently oversaw the development of further mandatory standards for specialist aspects of private security services. Previously a career civil servant, she held a diverse portfolio of policy responsibilities including in the areas of policing, crime, anti-drug trafficking, criminal law, human rights and European law. She represented Ireland in various EU and International committees in these subject matter areas. Geraldine holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA – Technology) from the Open University. She was elected and remains a member of the CENELEC Administrative Board since November 2017.

Laura Nolan, Software Engineer

Laura Nolan has been a software engineer in industry for over 15 years and focuses mainly on reliability in complex distributed systems. While working at Google Laura was asked to contribute to work to enable Project Maven, a ML project to automatically extract intelligence from military drone footage. Concerned by the implications of this technology, Laura left Google. She now campaigns against autonomous weapons as a member of ICRAC, the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. Laura holds an MSc in Advanced Software Engineering from University College and a BA(Mod) in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently a part-time postgraduate student in ethics at Dublin City University.

Barry Lowry, Chief Information Officer, Irish Government

Barry Lowry has been the Chief Information Officer for the Irish Government since April 2016 with the primary task of taking forward the Public Service ICT and eGovernment Strategies. These set out ambitions for developing the use of shared services, digital services and data to better serve the people of Ireland and ensure that Ireland is well-placed to benefit from European initiatives such as the Digital Single Market. Barry was previously the Director for IT Shared Services and Strategy and Head of the IT Profession within the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Barry is a Fellow of the Irish and British Computer Societies and is a former winner of the BCS Northern Ireland IT Professional of the Year.

Colin Kane, Director of Customer Analytics, Bank of Ireland.

Colin Kane is Director of Customer Analytics at Bank of Ireland. Colin has over 12 years’ experience in Data and Analytics, 6 + years as a Senior Leader, across a range of Financial Services areas including risk and marketing. Colin has both a commercial and technical mind-set with an MSc in Finance and an MSc in Computer science. Colin is currently responsible for driving data driven decision making and powering personalised customer engagements through the use of Machine Learning and AI. Colin manages a team of over 25 data scientists, analyst and engineers.

Venkatesh Kannan, Technical Manager, Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC)

Venkatesh is the Technical Manager at the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC), Ireland’s national supercomputing centre. Venkatesh also manages the Novel Technologies Programme, which involves defining and accomplishing ICHEC’s strategy with technologies that include conventional HPC, accelerator technologies, parallelisation, and AI. Venkatesh is also the PI on a number of AI projects that ICHEC are undertaking not only in the area of Earth Observation but also, health, finance, and transport.

Pepijn van de Ven, Senior Lecturer, Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Limerick (UL)

Pepijn van de Ven is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, at the University of Limerick (UL). Pepijn received an MSc in Electronic Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) in 2000. He subsequently worked for Philips Research Laboratories investigating new RF front-ends for 3G handsets. In 2002 Pepijn obtained an IRCSET award to pursue a PhD at UL on the ‘Identification and Control of Marine Vehicles Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques’. After finalizing his PhD in 2005, Pepijn had several postdoctoral positions in the area of technologies for ambient assisted living before becoming a Senior Research Fellow in 2007. In 2018 he joined UL’s teaching staff as a Senior Lecturer. Pepijn has secured numerous national and international research awards totalling more than €1.7 million in funding to UL and is currently UL lead on the UK-MRC funded PROACTIVE project with King’s College London and the University of São Paulo.
Pepijn’s research interests are the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to mobile sensing for biomedical applications with a particular focus on the area of eMental Health. Furthermore, Pepijn has a keen interest in mobile app development for Android.


Oisín Boydell, Principal Data Scientist, CeADAR

Oisín Boydell is Principal Data Scientist at CeADAR, Ireland’s national centre for applied data analytics and AI at University College Dublin. His primary interests include deep learning and machine learning, as well as a specific focus on blockchain technology. Oisín leads CeADAR’s applied research group which delivers industry focussed research projects in collaboration with industry partners across a broad range of technology areas.


Terry Canning, founder, and CEO, CattleEye

Terry Canning is the founder and CEO of CattleEye, an autonomous livestock monitoring system for ruminant livestock based on video analytics powered by deep learning Artificial Intelligence. The Belfast based Company has recently raised $1m in seed funding and is working with a team of data scientists who had previously worked in the Health care sector to develop the first version of the CattleEye product. Prior to that Terry founded and successfully exited, FarmWizard, the world’s first SaaS for managing livestock.