Persbericht: diSummit 2019 het jaarlijkse event van de AI4Belgium en DataScience community

De vijfde editie van de diSummit vindt plaats op woensdag 26 juni aan de universitaire campus van de ULB, en start om 8.45 uur. Het thema is: ‘Being Human in the Age of AI’.

Philippe Van Impe, Founder en CEO van DigitYser is de drijvende kracht achter de diSummit: “Vorig jaar stond het thema ‘demystifiering AI’ centraal, en benadrukte we het feit dat de de universiteiten VUB en ULB al meer dan 30 jaar actief zijn op het gebied van AI. In 2017 was ‘Data4Good’ het hoofdthema: hoe kun je data gebruiken voor een betere wereld?”

Dit jaar zijn er voor de diSummit inspirerende internationale sprekers uitgenodigd zoals:

  • dr Luc Julia: verantwoordelijk voor innovatie bij Samsung, en medeverantwoordelijk voor de ontwikkeling van SIRI.
  • Stephen Brobst: CTO bij Teradata, en voormalig raadgever van president Obama

De presentaties en workshops tijdens het event zijn verdeeld over 7 tracks, 40 presentaties en 30 workshops. Tevens is er jobfair waar bedrijven nieuwe krachten aanwerven. Daarnaast zijn er een dertigtal exposanten zoals,, en technologische topleiders zoals Accenture, BCG Gamma, IBM, SAP, SAS, Micropole, Microsoft en PwC. Kortom, de diSummit2019 is een unieke gelegenheid om je AI en data science kennis te verdiepen en te netwerken met de ruim 800 deelnemers.

De diSummit wordt dit jaar afgesloten met de uitreiking van drie AI awards:

  • AI startups of the year
  • AI scaleup of the year
  • AI personality of the year

Meer informatie:

  • Wat:          Data Innovation Summit
  • Waar:        ULB Gebouw K, Solbosch
  • Wanneer:  26 Juni 2019
  • Tickets:     Press Pass
  • Website:




Easter Bunny Newsletter – special gift for diSummit


AI4Belgium & DataScience community newsletter

Dear community member,

diSummit 2019

Visit the official website

Speakers & Trainers

Our Easter gift for you

buy combi ticket here

Master Classes and Hands-On workshops


register for the semi-finals on May 16th

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Ruben Hemelings – Ignite Speaker at DIS 2017

Ruben Hemelings is a graduate student in Artificial Intelligence / Big Data at the Catholic University of Leuven.dis17_speaker_rubin-h In collaboration with the Flemish research organisation VITO, he is currently researching the application of deep learning on retinal images in order to improve early diagnosis of ocular and cardiovascular diseases. Ruben also holds a business engineering degree from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, and went on an exchange program in Canada. Prior to his interest in data, he considered a career in finance, illustrated by summer internships at ING, Deloitte and PwC. In his spare time, you can often find him playing the piano or having a go at tackling Kaggle challenges.

Join his Ignite speech on “Deep learning on biomedical images” at diSummit 2017 !

Sundar Singaravel- Ignite Speaker at DIS 2017

Sundar Singaravel obtained a Master in Sustainable Energy Technology from the Eindhoven University of Technology, dis17_speaker_sundar-swhere he specialised in the area of Building Performance Simulation (BPS). He continued working in the building sector for about four years, developing design strategies for energy performance, natural ventilation, indoor comfort and fire safety. Strategies developed were for both building systems/installations and building design located in Netherlands, Ireland, Dubai, Qatar and India. He is currently working as a PhD researcher in the Department of Architectural Engineering, researching on a Machine Learning Method suitable for design stage application to predict building energy.

Follow him on Twitter here and join his Ignite speech “Application of machine learning models for sustainable building design” at DIS 2017.

Nadia Aimé -DIS2017- Ignite Speaker

Nadia Aimé is the founder of the Women Mentor Association & Crea8tive Digital Agency. She is a social entrepreneur dis17_speaker_nadia-awho inspires and mentors young women to create and disrupt the standards. She is driven by a desire to change the system and to create opportunities for women everywhere to reach their fullest potential and has carried out tons of activities for inspiring women to be interested in tech & entrepreneurship throughout her career.

Follow Nadia on Twitter here and join her Ignite speech at diSummit 2017!

Introducing ‘Keynote Speaker ‘- Rishi Nalin Kumar –

dis17_speaker_rishi-kRishi is a Volunteer Chapter Lead at DataKind UK. In his day job, he is the chief scientist at, a data-led digital marketing advisory and software as a service start-up. Prior to this he had long run in large-corporate consumer goods, with a light touch of news and media, where he developed data science capabilities ranging from pricing soap in Thailand to human rights compliance across the globe. He left Unilever Plc in 2013 as a global cross-functional analytics director and has since worked with various companies, including Spotify and The Guardian, to help build their data science capabilities and introduce data into their everyday decision making.

datakind-ukFollow Rishi on Twitter at @DataKindUK.

At diSummit he will talk about “Data for Good, Lesson from the Frontline” and he will share the experiences and critical success factors from 3 years of learning-by-doing in using data in the service of humanity.

Buy your tickets here and join his talk at diSummit, the Data Networking Event of the year!




Meet your community


By Berten Van Herp, Nele Verbiest and Geert Verstraeten

As many of us are about to enjoy a short summer break, so is the Brussels Data Science Community. But this will not pass silently – as a wrap up of this exciting semester, the community will throw a BBQ for its members. A great time to meet both new and familiar faces. And perhaps an ideal time to write a short story on the members of this community you may meet on this next big event.

For this story, we went back to the survey of all participants of the first Data Innovation Summit (#DIS2015) held on March 26th in Brussels, Belgium. More than 500 participants were attracted by the inviting program on “how to innovatively use data” and took part in this sold-out event. While many have analyzed and described the data in a fun way, the data lends itself very well to segmentation – so that is what we did to deserve our summer break.

What we discovered from the segmentation, is that in exactly one year time, the community succeeded in attracting all stakeholders, ranging from real business people over hardcore programmers to academic statisticians and everything in between. We finally ended up with eight community segments, as plotted below. The conclusion of this is clear (and for you to discover in a small online app Berten has developed): this has become a fully developed professional community for all interested in advancing through data science.


Segments constructed from the skills of DIS2015 attendees

The bubble graph summarizes the community segments in terms of three important types of skills: Statistics, Programming and Business. For those still in doubt, it is pretty obvious that #DIS2015 was not a meeting by and for data geeks, as four segments consist of people that are well skilled in business topics. There were Business attendants, leaders and entrepreneurs with little experience in programming or statistics. Increasing the technical skills, Reporting profiles and Business Analysts are the usual suspects working with data on the Business side. We’ve also detected a Superman profile, representing experts in business, programming and statistics. Many among these Data Science Unicorns have an engineering or ICT background and gained business experience in a consulting role.

Profiling the four business-related segments learns that many among them (especially Supermen and Business) attend #DIS2015 to meet candidate employees. For them, #DIS2015 was probably a great opportunity for business to meet (other) experts:


Interest in networking for employees

Interestingly, we see that three other segments mainly attended #DIS2015 to find a new employer. We have called these segments respectively Programmers, Statisticians and the Motivees (inspired by the community of motivated supporters of our Belgian national football team).


Interest in networking for employers

Profiling of these segments makes great sense. Programmers excel in technical topics like system administration, programming and data manipulation and often have an IT role within their organization. The statisticians are mainly found in academics and the R&D department of their institution. The final job-hunting segment are the Motivees, who thank their names to the fact that they are remarkably motivated to contribute to the Data Science Community by attending meetups, hackathons and data4good sessions.

Our analysis shows that the Brussels Data Science Community has succeeded in providing a platform for all attendees – it clearly provides value, no matter of the segment you belong to.

Want to discover more? The analysis given here is only the tip of the iceberg. Find out who you are compared to other segments by playing with our shiny online app to further explore the segments’ motivation, skills and background.

Top 5 presentations of DIS2015 (Data Science Innovation Summit).

Dear friends,

March 26th will be the milestone of our community.

We had 68 speakers at our Data Innovation Summit with over 500 attendants. Check our new DataScience video channel with all the presentations. Pictures of the event are available on our facebook page. Over 600 people replied to the datascience survey.  Read Ward’s analysis of the satisfaction survey.

Here is the top 5 of the presentations:

  • Kris Peeters: The people aspect of Data Science (view)
  • Elena Tsiporkova: Data Innovation Lab (view)
  • Toon Vanagt: How Open Data allows faster innovation (view)
  • Hans Constandt: The disruptive Role of startups in Data Innovation (view)
  • Steven Beeckman: Government and Data (view)

Thank you for participating to the Data Science Survey. The results are still available to all participants. Here is a summary done by our experts:

  • Data Innovation Summit Dashboard by Dieter and Nicholas (view)
  • Data Innovation Survey results – In Neo4j by Rik (view)
  • The question “Are all Data Scientists nerds?” – By Nele (view)
  • Data Innovation Survey 2015 – preliminary analysis by Ward (view)

The plan is to bundle these in a e-book, if you want to be part of this book you only need to submit your analysis. We are still waiting for a team that wants to link this survey with another existing survey. Winners of the best analysis will be announced during our Banking meetup on May 20th.

Thank you for all for making this summit a success.

Philippe Van Impe

Join us on our next meetup:

Brussels Data Science Meetup

Brussels, BE
1,161 Business & Data Science pro’s

The Brussels Data Science Community:Mission:  Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower scholars and professionals to apply data sciences to address humanity’s grand cha…

Next Meetup

Data for Good & Kaggle competitions

Thursday, Apr 23, 2015, 6:30 PM
86 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

New Links:


Leo De Bock brings the speech of Minister Kris Peeters during the Data Innovation Summit

Leo De Bock Leo De BockLeo De Bock 1

It is so nice to be supported by Minister Kris Peeters and his team during our first Data Innovation Summit. Thank you Leo for the excellent presentation.

  • Here is the video from Leo De Boeck.
  • See all presentations from the summit here
  • See all  the pictures from the event here


Ladies and gentlemen, 

First of all, I would like to apologise Vice Prime minister Kris Peeters for not being able to make it to this meeting due to a political meeting that succeeded to eventually dominate his agenda.  

On days like these, when the bright minds of the world of data come together, we have a great opportunity to look ahead. We can discuss the next step in a field that progresses at an impressive speed. 

Now that digital has become the new normal, what will be the new extraordinary?  

The digital economy is one of the most dynamic and promising sectors in terms of development potential. Its possibilities for growth far exceed those of other sectors. Mobile data traffic doubles each year, the use of the internet does so every two or three years. Today, 4 million people work in ICT in the European Union and their share increases with 3% per year, despite the economic crisis. 

For the federal government of Belgium, our prime goal is to translate this digital growth into job creation. This is why we are developing our digital agenda. If we want to stay ahead as a digital nation, we’ll need to invest. We have a more developed high speed internet infrastructure than most other countries. We do not want to give up on that advantageous position.  We instead wish to continue to invest in a 4G and LTE advanced network in Belgium. 

At the same time, we need to invest in our regulatory framework. We need to update our privacy legislation that dates back to 1992, which, in digital terms, is the stone age. Privacy is a key driver for digital progress. The digital revolution will come to a halt when people’s trust diminishes. People have to be granted the right to information ànd the right to be overlooked, ignored, forgotten. Moreover, people need to feel safe when they go online. 

The government therefore, wants to make the CyberSecurityCenter operational this year. This center will work out a strategy to secure our nation’s digital network and the information we have online. Moreover, the Federal Public Service for Economy organizes campaigns to raise awareness on the data and digital fingerprint that people leave online.  

In today’s age of big data, these kinds of campaigns have become a necessity. Never before in the history of mankind, data have been collected, processed and linked at this massive a scale. A company’s power today is not just valued in terms of capital, but also in terms of data. Data is the new gold. Data means a company can produce, ship and market their products and services far more efficiently. 

In fact, our cabinet has already reaped the benefits of big data. We have been working together with a promising Belgian start-up, called Dataminded, who analyse our social media activities and we have already changed our communication policy on the basis of this analysis. 

Both the Vice Prime Minister and his staff are convinced of the great added value of big data. But, ladies and gentlemen, this does not mean that all bets are off. As I mentioned earlier, we need some form of regulation. Moreover, we need to think about creating a level playing field. 

The term ‘big data’ is quite self-explanatory. Big companies, first and foremost, are capable of gathering a critical mass of data for useful analysis. Those companies have the means to buy data or to invest in data processing. The question therefore is, how we can make sure that small and medium sized companies – those that somewhat are the backbone of our economy – can also become part of the big data story.  

This is why the federal government is working on legislation that makes open data accessible to citizens, companies and researchers. The exchange of data between governments and other organisations, will strengthen literally every citizen and company. Sharing data means strengthening everybody. 

Companies that own data, need to keep this in mind. Big data should be more than a new way to maximize profits. Big data should also benefit society. Take product information for instance. It is abundantly present in digital networks and it is used to reduce costs, boost productivity and make marketing efforts more efficient. Product information is often highly specialized, technical and exhaustive. It is so exhaustive that it confuses the average consumer. This is the point where big data should cross the boundary between economic logic and social logic. 

Let me give you one very concrete example. In December of last year, a new European regulation on Food Information to Consumers came into force. This legislation will ensure that consumers get more information on the food products that are put on sale in stores. But given the abundance of information, it is difficult for the consumer to use this in a meaningful way. So wouldn’t companies rather share their product information with others who can present these data in a more comprehensive way? Isn’t is socially responsible, isn’t it a corporate social duty for them to share information so that this legislation can actually be applied and we can make the consumer more aware, give him a chance to make rational decisions? This is where data should be turned into knowledge. 

Now, some companies will consider this a threat. But frankly, they are wrong. If you take initiative, you create opportunities. You get ahead instead of trailing the pack. First of all, transparency about data creates trust. And trust boosts business. Secondly, when companies provide their data directly, they can be sure that the data on the market are correct. Companies that continue to shield and hesitate and stay aloof, make the wrong choice. Because eventually the data will see the light of day. The huge multinational internet companies will put this data on the market sooner or later. And they will not wait for an agreement or cooperation. 


Ladies and gentlemen, 

Big data is indeed big business. But it also means big responsibility. While having the new gold in your hands, you should think twice about what you use it for. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that “if you need to handle yourself, you should use your head; but if you have to handle others, use your heart.” 

I hope hearts and minds will work together when we develop the new extraordinary. Because that is what big data is. Now that digital has become the new normal, big data is the next leap.  

For now, I wish all of you a productive and fruitful conference. And together with Vice Prime Minister Peeters, I do look forward to the great innovations that all of you, the bright minds of big data, will create in the years to come. 

I thank you.


Ready for the Data Innovation Summit, Survey & Challenge ?


Your community is holding its first full day summit this week on Thursday in Brussels.

We have received so much support from all parts of Belgium. I’m so proud of all our actors contributing to this amazing agenda. It will be a fast paced day with over 50 presentations and over 30 exhibitors. You will see and meet:

  • Most important Universities of Belgium
  • Major corporations will explain how they prepare to become data driven
  • Political powers represented by Kris Peters
  • Over 20 start-ups
  • Over 480 data experts
  • Over 30 exhibitors

Here are some Highlights of the day are:


  • The presentation of Kris Peeters & Vincent Blondel
  • The presentations of Reservoir Lab from UGent. 100 k$ winner of the international Kaggle competition.
  • The launch of the European Data Innovation Hub.

The challenge

If you have already registered and are on the waiting list, take the survey that will lead you to your ticket directly. Once you have answered this short poll we would like to challenge you and your team to analyze this data and to prepare a presentation for our finals.

About the summit:

  • We open our doors at 07:30. The Axa building is situated Boulevard du Souverain, 25. 1170 Bruxelles.
  • A parking space has been reserved for you. Use the Tenreukenlaan to proceed to the visitors parking of Axa.
  • The venue is 10 minutes walk from metro Hermann Debroux.
  • All presentations will be recorded and made available on our website.
  • Here is the list of participants .
  • Press Coverage: We have issued a press release

I’m looking forward to meeting you on Thursday.

Philippe Van Impe


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