Bob Jones, head of openlab at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s most important research and particle acceleration laboratory, opened the twentieth edition of the European Conference on Information Systems hosted in ESADE. He called on all international research centres to make data available and share findings in order to “contribute to other experiments and so that researchers can work together to produce more and better results.”
Taking the Atlas experiment as an example, he highlighted the need to “create a data mart with sufficient capacity for researchers to achieve their goals.” As an example of the large amount of data handled by research centres and the potential that could be gained from sharing this information, Jones cited the 15 million gigabytes of data that the LHC generates each year and how this would fit on 3 million DVDs or, in other terms, represent 550 years of feature films.
Jones went on to point out that a “sustainable change” was needed to adapt to new technologies that will contribute to future advances in research, reducing costs, optimising their use, creating an identity and a reliable network worldwide.
Throughout the three-day conference, over 600 participants attended the 240 papers presented by researchers from 50 countries. The purpose of the event, considered the most important European conference on Information Systems, is to present international research being undertaken in this field. During the event, experts from various disciplines revealed their findings from detailed studies, while debating with the audience on the positive and negative aspects of the information and technological applications that governments and communities hope to use to get the population at large to enter into greater civic engagement.
During the event, sessions have been classified into 23 thematic clusters including current issues such as transparency and access to public sector information with a view to making data available to the public in the most appropriate format.
Similarly, e-health has also be discussed; a system with the potential to improve health services, one of the most affected by the current cutbacks. Among the alternatives proposed for both public and private services is the adoption and diffusion of information and communications technologies systems as key tools for organisations to optimise their working methods. Also, the role of technological advances and information systems as strategies for completing the vision of growth for companies that lack expertise, in terms of using their resources data to their best advantage, will also be dealt with.
The voice of the experts
The academic community attending the event has also been joined by other expert researchers from around the world the likes of Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategyLabs, known for his creativity in developing solutions to what is known as ‘Government 2.0’. His work and way of doing things is characterised by connecting technical aspects with civic innovation. Consequently, he introduced attendees to applications such as that developed for the United States military programme and those in the Apps for Democracy initiative, presented by Vivek Kundra in his term as member of the Obama administration.
The event has also been attended by Professor Henry Chesbrough, ESADE and Berkeley University, known for being the father of the ‘Open Innovation’ concept.