Clare Dillon, Technology Evangelist, Clare Dillon Consulting

With over 20 years’ experience of leadership development, business strategy and technology evangelism, Clare helps organisations maximise the opportunities presented by the latest trends in technology. Passionate about how technology is changing and shaping the world we live and work in, she regularly speaks on topics related to the latest technology trends, digital transformation and organisational change. In the last year, Clare has delivered keynotes locally and internationally on such topics as Ethics in an AI World, AI Trends in Industry, Agility in a Digital World and Innovation in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Prior to setting up her consultancy business, Clare was a key member of the Microsoft Ireland Leadership Team for eight years as Microsoft transformed from a software product to a cloud services organisation, giving her first-hand experience of leading through times of change. Heading up the Microsoft Ireland Developer Experience and Evangelism team, she was focused on establishing partnerships with software and SaaS companies. The group’s aim was to drive partner success on the Microsoft platform, from both a technical and business perspective. She also led the Microsoft Ireland Cross-site Academic Team, who worked to help build technical skills in Ireland that would support the Microsoft ecosystem and the Irish economy. Before joining Microsoft, Clare was a product manager with Havok and IONA Technologies PLC. She has also served on the board of the National Digital Research Centre, the Irish Internet Association and on the Industry Guidance Board of the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce and the Technology Ireland Innovation Forum.

Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection

Pat Breen TD was appointed Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection on 20 June 2017 having previously served as Minister for Employment and Small Business since 19 May 2016. Pat was first elected to Dail Eireann in 2002 and was successfully reelected in 2007 and 2011. He served as Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade from 22 June 2011 to 3 February 2016. Prior to Pat’s election to Dail Eireann, he was a member of Clare County Council from June 1999 to 2002.

Dr Joan Cahill, Principal Investigator, Centre for Innovative Human Systems (CIHS), School of Psychology, Trinity College

Joan has worked as a Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator with the Centre for Innovative Human Systems (CIHS, formerly APRG) since 2005. During this time, Joan has worked on several projects; (1) New Technologies to Support Assisted Living (National Project, Industry/Academia Collaboration, Oneview Healthcare), (2) ProAct (Horizon 2020), (3) the A-PiMod Project (EU Commission, FP7), (4) the Alicia project (EU Commission, FP7), (5) the Wing Walker project (sponsored by Enterprise Ireland) and (6), the HILAS project (EU Commission, FP6).

In addition, Joan has worked on several industry/academia collaborations. Before joining TCD, Joan worked for seven years in the area of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Design, with a range of software companies and HCI consultancies. After finishing a FAS course in Web Design and Development in 1998, Joan worked as an Information Architect/Usability Engineer for ebeon. Between 2000 and 2002, Joan worked as a Usability Engineer/HCI Consultant for Frontend Ltd. Joan also worked as the HCI Manager for Aircraft Management Technologies (AMT), between 2002 and 2004. During the time, Joan led the HCI re-design of AMT’s electronic flight bag (EFB) product – Flightman.

Owen Lewis, Partner, KPMG

Owen is a Partner in Management Consulting at KPMG in Ireland. Owen has 18 years’ experience, 10 of which were in global roles at Toyota and eight with KPMG in banking, telco and other sectors in the UK and Australia. Owen has led a number of large-scale customer and cost programmes in financial services and other sectors in Australia and Europe, including a global customer and cost transformation programme for a universal bank and a transformation engagement at a major bank in Australia to deliver more effective and efficient services to internal customers. He led a number of strategic programs at Toyota in Europe, USA and Japan over a 10 year period including design and implementation of flexible production scheduling and sequencing processes and systems to enable European manufacturing plants to increase order flexibility. Owen has a PhD in application of Machine Learning to Financial Services (mortgages) to drive improvement in valuation decision-making.

Allan F. Beechinor, Group Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Meta Data

Allan F. Beechinor, Serial CEO and Founder, Altada Technology Solutions, has 20 years of technology experience in Data Governance, transformation, AI and Data Science, Founding member of Algo Data Analytical and Altada: AI, RegTech, FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech and Blockchain technology solutions. Working closely with University College Dublin, MSc Data Science internship program. Allan is a member of the Artificial Intelligence Thought leader Group of Ireland, worked closely with Irish Government bodies for example Irish Development Authority to develop Ireland’s strategy, “Ireland the AI island and contributed to Ireland’s first National MSc for AI

Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland

Paul is the Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, the national agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning in Ireland. Skillnet Ireland supports over 50 industry representative groups, assisting 15,000 companies and 50,000 trainees each year. Skillnet Ireland operates under a joint investment mandate, where State grants are combined with investments by participating businesses in the 60+ Skillnet learning networks nationally. This enterprise-led approach has received international recognition as a model of best practice from the OECD and ILO, amongst others. Paul has operated at a senior level in commercial environments for over 20 years, including 15 years executive management experience in Human Resource Development. His broad expertise include; Education and Labour Market Policy, Workforce Development, Organisational Strategy and Corporate Governance. He has specific expertise in HR specialisms including: Organisation Development, Learning & Development, Talent Management, Sourcing and Recruitment, Reward Management, Industrial Relations, HRIS and Learning Technologies. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, Paul had responsibility for OD and Talent Development for a large multinational. Paul holds a Degree in Business Studies and a MBA from Dublin City University. He is Adjunct Lecturer in Human Resources at National College of Ireland Post-Graduate Business School and is a respected voice in human resource development in Ireland.

Leo Clancy, Head of Technology, Consumer and Business Services, IDA Ireland

Leo Clancy is IDA Ireland’s Head of Technology, Consumer & Business Services. IDA Ireland is the Irish Governments agency responsible for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). His client portfolio includes 9 of the Top 10 Technology companies in the world.
Prior to joining IDA in May 2013, Leo spent 17 years in the telecommunications industry where he held a number of engineering and management roles. His previous position was with e|net, an Irish regional fibre network provider, where he led the technology function. Leo also worked for 13 years at Ericsson, primarily within Global Services and on leading edge mobile network rollout. Leo holds a degree in Electrical / Electronic Engineering and a diploma in Electronics & Telecommunications.

Jonathan Kidd, Head of Digital Operation and Robotics, Bank of Ireland

Jonathan has been with Bank of Ireland for over 10 years. In his current role he is responsible for the delivery and oversight of the intelligent digital capabilities which underpin the Bank of Ireland’s banking operations. He holds responsibility for development, innovation, technology, architecture and infrastructure, and leads the growing team of Intelligent Automation professionals. His current focus is on how the team can innovate using enterprise RPA coupled with emerging technologies or custom-built components and services to enable the next-level of robotic process automation across key areas within the bank.

Alok Anand, Chief Executive Officer, Acumen Aviation

Alok founded Acumen Aviation in 2009. Under Alok’s leadership, Acumen grew its footprint to be a global group of four companies, providing state of the art consultancy solutions in Aviation Asset Management. Formerly, he was Head of Maintenance Control Centre for India’s first low cost carrier Air Deccan. During his aviation career of 16 years, he held various management positions including Line Maintenance Manager, MCC Manager and worked in various airlines like Jet Airways and Air India. He was part of the team which set-up the initial Air Deccan operations, and raised through the ranks to head its International Maintenance Control Operations. This experience allowed him to develop excellent operational and organizational skills. He is a licensed Aircraft Engineer on various aircraft types, like Airbus and ATR.

Steffen Damborg, Digital strategist and global thought leader, Denmark

Global thought leader and speaker Steffen Damborg holds a master’s degree in corporate strategy and business administration plus an executive education from Harvard Business School. A quick look on his impressive resume reveals his experience from top positions in top organizations. As a strategist and Chief Digital Officer, Steffen has worked with big global corporations and advised them on how to welcome change, digitalization and new trends. The business world is rapidly changing as new technologies and innovations take over our old ways of managing, producing, marketing, selling and the list goes on. Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are just three terms and technologies that businesses should welcome and recognize, yet few know how. Steffen Damborg not only knows these technologies, but he knows how to implement them in organizations and provides valuable practical tools to utilize these new technologies and benefit from them.

Andreea Wade, co-founder, Opening

Andreea is the co-founder and CEO of, an AI-powered engine that provides matching, predicting, recommending and intelligent search technologies for
​the the HR and Recruitment space​. She has a background in programming, journalism, product management, business development and entrepreneurship. Andreea is a startup mentor, having mentored in all the major incubators and accelerators in Dublin but also London, Tel Aviv and Berlin. Andreea was involved in running the Irish wing of an EU funded accelerator (4.5 million euro fund), was the Head of Product Management in the largest Irish media trust and has previously founded companies, being her fourth venture. Speaker, tech event organiser, lecturer and lover of the outdoors.

Dr Patricia Scanlon, founder and Chief Executive, Soapbox Labs

With over 20 years’ experience in artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology, Patricia has spent the majority of her career working on the commercialisation of research innovations. She is currently founder and CEO of SoapBox Labs, building voice technology for kids, which has raised over €3 million in funding to date. Patricia holds a PhD in speech recognition technology and machine learning systems and has held positions with Columbia University in New York, IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin and Nokia Bell Labs.

Paul Toner, Partner & Head of Consulting, KPMG

Paul leads KPMG’s Consulting practice in Ireland. He has over 25 years’ experience working with clients in Ireland, the UK and the US providing strategic advice and operational support in a wide range of areas including IT, business operations, strategic sourcing, Digital and Data Analytics. Throughout his career, Paul has supported clients achieve strategic outcomes through the design and successful delivery of business and IT enabled transformation programmes.

Aoife Sexton, Chief Privacy Officer, Trūata

Aoife joined the Trūata executive team in June 2018 as Chief Privacy Officer. She previously founded the law firm Tech Law Services, where she advised technology clients within the areas of Commercial, Data Protection and IP. She also co-founded and was a Director at Frontier Privacy. Previously, Aoife headed up the IP/IT department of a large Dublin commercial law firm. Prior to that Aoife was General Counsel with an Irish technology company. She also spent 12 years with the GSM Association, the global industry body for mobile operators, where she held a number of senior positions including that of General Counsel. Previous private practice experience includes the French law firm Siméon & Associés (Brussels) as well as a Eugene F Collins (Dublin). Aoife is a graduate of University College Dublin (BCL) and the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. She is a Certified Data Protection Practitioner (PC.dp) as well as International Association of Privacy Professionals CIPP/E certified. She has acted as an approved IAPP trainer for the CIPP/E course .She is a lecturer on data protection at the Law Society of Ireland’s school of law as well as a lecturer on the Law Society’s post graduate courses on data protection and technology law. She is also a regular conference speaker particularly on the GDPR.

Dr. Pepijn van de Ven, Senior Lecturer, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Limerick (UL)

Pepijn van de Ven is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Limerick (UL). Pepijn received an MSc in Electronic Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands in 2000. He subsequently worked for Philips in the Eindhoven based Philips Research Laboratories as a Research Scientist investigating new RF front ends for 3rd generation telecommunication handsets. In 2002 Pepijn obtained an IRCSET award to pursue a PhD at the University of Limerick 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 wireless technologies and 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 the Android OS.

Viktor Kovacevic, Vice President and GM, Comtrade Digital Services

Viktor Kovacevic leads the Comtrade Digital Services company within Comtrade and is responsible for the overall business technology strategy, including development of new products and services, innovation and research activities. He began his career at Comtrade in 2002 as a project leader for IT management and application solution development. Since 2010 he has been managing integration projects with more than 150 engineers grouped into 40+ teams across different international campuses working on approximately 50 projects and IT solutions for international customers in the Adriatic region. Since 2013 he has been managing Comtrade professional services organization with more than 500 engineers grouped into numerous teams across different international campuses working on projects and IT solutions for international customers in US, Ireland & UK and DACH region. Viktor has a proven experience in management and organization of resources and the development sector in all areas of planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling work, professional counseling, guidance and problemsolving activities. Viktor manages global software engineering companies using creative leadership skills and unique people management approach in complex organizational changes, always passionate to implement the geekiest technology and scientific ideas into real life. He is an expert in Evolutionary Computing within more general Artificial Intelligence domain. As an engineer in last 15 years he was regular speaker on IBM, Oracle and Microsoft events presenting one of the first appliances of AI methods into database optimizations and advisory tools. He holds an MSc in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Ljubljana.

Professor Barry O’Sullivan, Vice Chair, European Commission High-level Expert Group on AI; President, European AI Association; School of Computer Science, University College Cork

Professor Barry O’Sullivan is an award-winning academic working in the fields of artificial intelligence, ethics, and public policy for AI and data analytics. He is the Vice Chair of the European Commission High-level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence which recently published draft ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI; these guidelines went through a public consultation process in Europe from December to February. Professor O’Sullivan is President of the European AI Association, one of the world’s largest AI associations with over 4500 members across more than 30 countries. He is an Executive Board member of Europe’s AI-on-demand platform, AI4EU, an initiative recently launched by the European Commission. He holds the Chair of Constraint Programming at the School of Computer Science at University College Cork, where he was also a founding director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. Professor O’Sullivan is an Adjunct Professor at Monash University in Australia, and acts as an advisor to the AI Alliance in The Netherlands, and to the Computational Sustainability Network in the US which is led by Cornell University and involves Princeton, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, and many others. Over the course of his career Professor O’Sullivan has been involved in raising almost €300 million for AI research and innovation. As well as his academic work, Professor O’Sullivan often works in a private capacity with industry and government agencies internationally.

Emmet Browne, Chief Executive, Nuritas

Emmet Browne holds more than 25 years of international experience within some of the world’s largest Life-Science companies. He has held senior positions including Regional President at Pfizer Nutritionals for Europe, Pacific Rim & Emerging Markets, Managing Director for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Ireland and President of Transition and Integration for Nestle based in their Global HQ in Vevey, Switzerland.
He played a key role within the Pfizer Nutrition core leadership team in preparation for and the successful divestment to Nestlé for $11.85 billion in 2012. Emmet is the former Chairman of the Blanchardstown Institute of Technology and was Vice President of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association. Emmet joined Nuritas™ as CEO in March 2015 and looks forward to making it the world’s largest discoverer and developer of bioactive peptides. He has worked new starts, turnarounds, and takeovers whilst consistently delivering continued growth through people and great science. With decades of experience in the life science/human nutrition area he recognized the great potential of Nuritas™ to develop into a thriving commercial success, which will have a real societal impact globally through the creation of life-changing ingredients.