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AI Watch

Monitor the development, uptake and impact of Artificial Intelligence for Europe


Webinar: National AI strategies in Europe - Speakers

Where are we now and what's next?

AI Watch

Full Programme

14:00 Welcome

Andrew Wyckoff

Director of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation - OECD

Andrew Wyckoff is the Director of the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) where he oversees OECD’s work on innovation, business dynamics, science and technology, information and communication technology policy as well as the statistical work associated with each of these areas. His experience prior to the OECD includes being a program manager of the Information, Telecommunications and Commerce program of the US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), an economist at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and a programmer at The Brookings Institution. He has served as an expert on various advisory groups and panels which include the Global Board of Trustees of Digital Future Society (DFS), being a Commissioner on the Lancet/FT Governing Health Futures 2030 Commission, the International Advisory Board of the Research Council of Norway and Head of OECD’s Delegation at the G20 and G7 meetings on ICT and Digital Economy. Mr. Wyckoff is a citizen of the United States, holds a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Public Policy from the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.

Speaker's OECD Page

Mikel Landabaso

Director for Growth and Innovation at the Joint Research Centre

Mikel Landabaso works in the European Commission since 1990. He is Director of Growth & Innovation in the Joint Research Centre in Seville since December 2019.

Mikel was Director of Strategy and Corporate Communication in DG Communication 2016-2019, responsible for the design and implementation of the new generation of EU Corporate Campaigns.

He was acting Director for Inclusive growth, Urban and Territorial development in DG Regional Policy. During 2014-2015, he was Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Regional Policy. Previously he worked as Head of the Units, Competence Centre on Smart and Sustainable growth and Thematic coordination and Innovation, as well as assistant to the Director General of DG Regio.

He received the 2004 “Christiane Bom Award” by the European Regional Development Agencies Association – EURADA.

He was also Head of the Research Department and Assistant to the Director General of the Basque Regional Development Agency (SPRI S.A.) 1986-1990.

He has been part-time lecturer at the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) during years 2000-7, University of Deusto 1988-1990 and the Basque Public University 1987-88. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (U.S.A.) under the EU Fellowship program (2000).

He has also been a Member of the Advisory Board of the Basque Institute of Competitiveness as well as external expert to the first Spanish White Book on Innovation by the COTEC foundation. He has been a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development (IJIRD) and "Ekonomiaz" Journal, as well as guest editor of a special issue for the International Journal of Management Studies. He has been secretary (1988-1990) of the Basque regional science association as well as a member of the scientific committee of the regional science association in French language annual conference.

He has participated as invited speaker by national and regional governments as well as international organizations, including OECD, the Ford Foundation, National Institute of Science and Technology Policy in Japan, the National Centre for Strategic Studies and Management of Brazil, IC2 Institute in Austin (Texas), World Bank as well as by several European organisations including OSEO in France, NUTEK and Vinnova in Sweden, Fraunhofer Institut Systemtechnik und Innovationsforschung in Germany, etc. He has edited, co-authored or written chapters in several books and international journals on economic development.

Mikel Landabaso is PhD in Economics (University of the Basque Country 1994, Spain), M.A. in Development Economics (University of East Anglia 1983-84, U.K.), Diploma in Advanced European Studies, with a scholarship from the Basque Government (College of Europe 1985-86, Belgium) and Licenciado en Ciencias Economicas (Universidad del Pais Vasco, 1978-1983). He did with senior year of Highschool at Moundsview High (Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1977-78, U.S.A.) with an AFS scholarship.


Lucilla Sioli

Director of the Directorate Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry of the Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission

Ms Lucilla Sioli is the Director for "Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry" within Directorate-General CONNECT at the European Commission. She is responsible for the coordination of the European digitisation of industry strategy and for policy development in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). The directorate also supports R&D&I in key digital industrial technologies including microelectronics, photonics, robotics and AI. Lucilla holds a PhD in economics from the University of Southampton (UK) and one from the Catholic University of Milan (Italy) and has been a civil servant with the European Commission since 1997.


14:30 EC-OECD monitoring of AI developments


Karine Perset

Head of OECD.AI Policy Observatory - OECD

Karine Perset heads the AI Unit of the OECD Division for Digital Economy Policy in Paris. She is in charge of the OECD.AI Policy Observatory and the OECD.AI Network of Experts (ONE AI). She focuses on trends in development and diffusion of AI and on opportunities and challenges that AI raises for public policy. She was previously Advisor to ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and yet before was the Counsellor of the OECD’s STI Directors. Karine is a dual Franco-American citizen.

Speaker's OECD Page

Paul Desruelle

Senior Expert, Leader of the AI Watch project, JRC Digital Economy Unit

Paul is a senior expert in the Digital Economy Unit of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain. His scientific experience focuses on innovation in digital technologies and their socio-economic impact. He is currently the leader of the “AI Watch” project to monitor the development, uptake and impact of artificial intelligence for Europe. In recent years, Paul has led projects on digital transformation and on innovation in information and communication technologies (ICTs). He coordinated the JRC report on Digital Transformation in Transport, Construction, Energy, and Government and Public Administration, published in December 2019. Paul joined the European Commission in 1993, working first as a project officer for the European R&D programmes in ICT (ESPRIT, IST) and moved to JRC in 2000. He is an engineer, with degrees obtained in France and in the U.S.A (M.S. in Robotics and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison).



14:45 European approach to AI - the Coordinated plan on AI

Kilian Gross

Head of Artificial Intelligence Policy Development and Coordination Unit of the European Commission, DG Connect

Since 2020 Kilian Gross is Head of the Unit “Artificial Intelligence Policy Development and Coordi-nation” at the European Commission. His Unit has worked on the development of a European ap-proach to Artificial Intelligence and it has prepared together with Member States a Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence. Following the work of the High-Level Expert Group the Unit has draft-ed a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence, which presents the options on how to promote the up-take of Artificial Intelligence and how to address at the same time the risk associated with certain uses of this new technology. Based on the results of the Public Consultation on the White Paper, on April 2021 his Unit proposed a legal framework, aiming to address the risks generated by specific uses of AI as well as an updated Coordinated Plan aiming to align AI policy support measures among EU Member States. The Unit is currently following up the process for the adoption of the le-gal proposal as well as the implementation of the Coordinated Plan on AI. Previously, Kilian Gross was a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger, Deputy and Act-ing Head of Unit of Unit A.1 at DG ENER and member of the Legal Service of the European Com-mission. Kilian Gross is a German lawyer by training with a strong specialisation in European and international law.

14:55 How is Europe shaping excellence and trust in AI?

Moderator: Vincent Van Roy

EC – AI Policy Analyst, AI Watch project, JRC Digital Economy Unit

Vincent Van Roy is an economist and research fellow in the Digital Economy Unit of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville (Spain). His policy-oriented research focuses on economics of international entrepreneurship, digital innovation, and artificial intelligence. He is currently collaborating to the AI Watch project to review the AI strategies of EU Members States and Associated Countries, and to facilitate countries’ exchange on AI policies. Prior to joining the JRC Seville, he worked as a researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra (Italy) where he contributed to the evaluation of national research systems in Europe and to the revision of the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard. He has a master degree in economics and business informatics and a PhD in applied economics from the KU Leuven (Belgium).

Cécile Huet

Cécile Huet is Deputy Head of the Unit "Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Excellence" at the European Commission. This unit funds and assists beneficial robotics and AI developments within Europe.

Under Horizon 2020, the unit launched one of the world's largest civilian programme in robotics with a budget of €700 million, supplemented by €2.1 billion from the European robotics industry in the context of the Robotics Public-Private Partnership.

This unit is also at the heart of the Communication on Artificial Intelligence for Europe, the Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence , the Communication on Building Trust in Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence, and the ‘ecosystem of excellence’ of the White Paper on AI.

Cécile joined the unit since its creation in 2004. Previously, she worked for the industry in signal processing after a post-doc at the University of California Santa Barbara and a PhD at University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

In 2015, she has been selected as one of the "25 women in robotics you need to know about".

Lars Bønløkke Lê

Lars Bønløkke Lê is head of Digital Responsible Growth at the Danish Business Authority. Lars and his team focus on policies for digital growth, IT-security, privacy and data ethics that support the digital transition of businesses, and has been deeply involved in Denmarks National AI strategy and Digital Growth Strategy.

Jana Novohradská

Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic

Jana Novohradská, a public policy setting consultant with a focus on AI and Women in Digital Agenda, graduated from Comenius University, Bratislava, MSc Law in 2003, and transitioned into algorithmic trading technologies and enterprise architecture including the roll out of global AI strategies in investment banks after graduating from University College London, London, MSc Financial Computing in 2009. During her career spanning more than 15 years in the private sector, Jana worked for a number of global tier one investment banks within their capital markets technology departments with a focus on technologies enabling high frequency trading, algorithmic trading, order management systems, pricing systems, booking systems. Her main focus was on the root cause analysis and reference data quality. Her volunteering focused on getting more girls into STEM field of study and retaining women in ICT workplace. Jana led STEM initiatives and established the practice of organising bi-annual coding weekends for under privileged girls in London. In 2019, post Brexit, Jana started working for the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic.

András Hlács

Counsellor - Permanent Delegation of Hungary to OECD

András HLÁCS works as Counsellor at the Permanent Delegation of Hungary to the OECD and UNESCO since 2015, but the beginning of his involvement in different OECD projects dates back to 2012. In addition, from 2013 onwards, he has held membership in the bureaus of several OECD bodies, including, since 2018, his position as vice chair at the Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP). Furthermore, he was part of the AI Group of experts at the OECD.

Before moving to Paris, András worked as senior strategic consultant at the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (NKFIH) from 2011 to 2015. Moreover, parallel to that, he also worked as a part-time lecturer on innovation in public procurement at the Faculty of Law of Eötvös Loránd Science University of Budapest (ELTE).

András holds an MA degree in Foreign Relations (with a specialization in American Studies) and an MA degree in English Language from ELTE.

Speaker's OECD Page

16:10 How can stakeholders engage with national AI strategies and support the development of a wider AI ecosystem in Europe?

Moderator: Laura Galindo

AI Policy Analyst - OECD

Laura Galindo-Romero is a member of the OECD AI Policy Observatory (OECD.AI) team. As part of her work at OECD.AI, she coordinates the joint EC-OECD database of national AI policies and conducts policy analysis on national AI strategies, policies, and regulatory approaches from over 60 countries and the European Union. She also supports the work of the OECD Network of Experts on AI Working Group on AI Policies. Recent publications include contributions on AI policy to the 2020 Digital Economy Outlook and a policy note on national AI policies as part of the Going Digital Toolkit. Before joining the OECD, Laura worked as an international legal advisor at the Presidency of Colombia, and as an international arbitration practitioner for three large law firms in Bogotá, London and Paris. Laura is a qualified Lawyer, holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Universidad de los Andes, and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M) from Stanford Law School. Laura participates frequently as a speaker on AI policy and AI-regulation matters.

Speaker's OECD Page

Ana García Robles

Ana García Robles is the Secretary General of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA). Educated as an engineer, Ana has a wide experience both in the private sector, and in European public-private research and innovation ecosystems and partnerships. In the private sector she has been working mainly in the Telecommunications sector, taking leading roles in design and implementation of new services, in company-driven research an innovation, and in technology strategy. She was for a few years the Director of the European Network of Living Labs, a citizen-driven and human-centred European research and innovation community, where she had the opportunity to contribute to multiple collaborative activities in the areas of Smart cities and urban innovation, Open and Big Data, IoT, Open Platforms, Digital social innovation, e-Health, Digital cultural Heritage, ICT for Education, ICT for food, and Intelligent mobility. Since the end of 2016 Ana is the Secretary General of the Big Data Value Association, managing a very active community of companies and research institutions working on the Digital Transformation enabled by Data and Artificial Intelligence. In this role she has been representing BDVA in the Big Data Value Public-Private-Partnership, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, in the setting up of the new AI, Data and Robotics Partnership, and in all strategic collaborations with leading organisations in Europe and Standardisation bodies. Ana is speaker in conferences, inventor, and contributor to different publications in the field of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Smart Cities and innovation ecosystems.

Cornelia Kutterer

Senior Director, Rule of Law & Responsible Tech European Government Affairs, CELA Microsoft

Cornelia leads Microsoft’s European Rule of Law & Responsible Tech team which focuses on the impact of new technologies and regulatory frameworks that meet expectation of society. Her team covers policies such as responsible/ethical/trustworthy AI, digital safety and content regulation, privacy, lawful access, human rights and competition. In her role, she works hand in hand with Microsoft’s Office of Responsible AI, Microsoft Research and members of the AI, Ethics, and Effects in Engineering and Research (Aether) Committee. She regularly engages with leading European scholars in these fields to advance academic thinking. Cornelia has long standing experience in Information Society & Internet policies and speaks regularly at regional and international conferences. Before joining Microsoft, she headed the legal department of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation. She has also gained experience in a top 10 law firm and started her professional career in the European Parliament as a political advisor to an MEP. Cornelia is a qualified German lawyer, and holds a master’s degree in information technology and telecommunication laws. She studied law at the Universities of Passau, Porto, Hamburg and Glasgow/Strathclyde.

Milly Doolan

Managing Director at EuroNavigator - Head of Public Policy at the Croatian Artificial Intelligence Association (CroAI)

Managing Director at EuroNavigator Head of Public Policy at the Croatian Artificial Intelligence Association (CroAI) Milly is a seasoned public affairs professional with over ten years of experience in the US, UK, Brussels and Croatia. Milly kicked off her public affairs career in Palo Alto, California. Living and working in the heart of Silicon Valley gave her the unique opportunity to witness first-hand the rise of big tech and its impact on policy making. Currently based in Zagreb, Milly works with global Fortune 500 companies helping them with policy efforts in Croatia, as well as Croatian companies looking to understand the Brussels policy making machine. She is also the Head of Public Policy at the Croatian Artificial Intelligence Association (CroAI). Milly holds a Master of Science in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Emilia Tantar

Dr. Emilia Tantar is Chief Data and AI Officer at Black Swan LUX, spin-off of the University of Luxembourg, she co-founded in 2015. She previously held Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer position at INCERT (public agency in Luxembourg) and led the Artificial Intelligence (AI) efforts of PwC Luxembourg. Emilia is member of the European Observatory of ICT Standardization WG on AI, European Commission Digital SME Focus Group on AI, and has over 15 years experience delivering AI to the business market as researcher and strategic consultant. She has edited 7 volumes in Springer and has authored more than 20 journal papers and scientific articles. Emilia is also a Luxembourg national delegate on the standardization of AI in CEN CENELEC JTC 21 and Focus Group on AI, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 42 and expert evaluator for the European Commission since several years.

Nathanaël Ackerman

Nathanaël Ackerman is the general manager of the AI4Belgium coalition. He is “AI & Innovation expert” at the Federal Public Service Policy and Support (BoSa). He is also the National Contact point for AI4EU, and ONE AI expert @OECD. Nathanaël has had a mixed public-private career: from research & teaching AI @ Université Libre de Bruxelles, to entrepreneurship. He was involved in the technology transfer @ULB for several years. In 2012, he was appointed as Director for Innovation and International Relations @Brussels Enterprise Agency (now He was also active in the private sector, supporting several SMEs to grow through setting up new Data & AI services. More recently, Nathanael has been appointed as Advisor for Innovation and AI (to Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire) for the French Government. He leaded the #France IA strategic plan. And then co-founded and managed the Hub France Artificielle for 2 years, before coming back to Belgium, his native country, to do quite the same job : contribute to the national AI strategy, and implement it with the ecosystem. Nathanael is both graduated from Polytechnic School of Brussels, and Ecole Centrale Paris.

17:15 Wrap-up / conclusions

Audrey Plonk

Head of Digital Economy Policy Division - Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD

Head of the Digital Economy Policy (DEP) Division of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) at the OECD As Head of Division, Ms. Plonk is responsible for implementing the programme of work of two committees: the Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) and the Committee for Consumer Policy (CCP) as well as the management of STI’s Digital Economy Division. In particular, she contributes to the development of evidence-based policies through multi-stakeholder processes to i) stimulate the growth of an accessible, innovative, open, inclusive and trustworthy digital economy for sustained prosperity and well-being, and ii) provide policymakers with the tools needed to develop a forward-looking, whole-of-government policy response that leverages the potential of digitalisation for growth and well-being. In this role, she supports the strategic work of STI the advancement of the Office of the Secretary General’s Strategic Objectives.

She will also lead and contribute to related horizontal work across the Organisation. Prior to re-joining STI, Ms Plonk was Senior Director, Global Security Policy at Intel Corporation where she was also a Senior Director for Public Policy based in Santa Clara, California. Over the course of her more than 10 years at Intel, Audrey led a global team of policy experts focused on connectivity, data, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving policy issues. She also specialized in China cyber policy and advised Intel business and product teams on China strategy. She chaired numerous industry committees including the Cybersecurity Committee at the Information Technology and Industry Council (ITI) and the Cybersecurity subcommittee of the Trans-Atlantic Business Council (TABC) and has provided testimony multiple times before the US Congress.

In 2009, Ms. Plonk joined the board of The Privacy Projects and later took over Chairmanship of the not-for-profit organization focused on funding research in overlooked areas of privacy practice, policy and law. She has been a guest lecturer at The University of California Berkeley’s School of Information and has taught cyber policy courses at the US Technology Training Institute. Ms. Plonk is currently a member of the National Academies of Sciences Forum on Cyber Resilience.

In 2007, Ms. Plonk worked on digital security issues in STI including malicious software and the protection of critical information infrastructure. This was preceded by four years as a consultant at the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division where she led work on international cooperation in cyberspace and cybersecurity. Ms. Plonk, an American national, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University (Washington, DC, United States).

Speaker's OECD Page

Juha Heikkilä

Head of Unit, Robotics, Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology

Since 2014 Juha Heikkilä has been a Head of Unit in the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, developing and managing the Commission activities and policies in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. His unit has been instrumental in developing the EU AI strategy, as first published in the Communication on Artificial Intelligence for Europe, in the Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence and the ecosystem of excellence of the White Paper on AI, and the unit engaged with the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. The unit has been funding a multidisciplinary programme on Cognitive Systems, Robotics and AI since 2004. From 2014 to 2020 it ran a €700 million Public-Private Partnership in Robotics, and it has set up a new Public-Private Partnership in AI, Data and Robotics, starting in June 2021. Previously, Juha Heikkilä was involved in computational and corpus linguistic research at the University of Helsinki, and he has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge.

Carlos Torrecilla

Carlos Torrecilla, Head of Digital Economy Unit at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Carlos Torrecilla Salinas is the Head of the “Digital Economy” Unit of the Joint Research Centre, in charge of providing techno-socio-economic analysis of the impact of digital transformation and emergent technologies in the European economy, society and environment. Carlos holds two Master Degrees (in Physics and Electronic Engineering) from the University of Granada and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Sevilla. He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of digital technologies and more than 8 years in the European Commission, where he has been Head of Sector, deputy Head of Unit and Head of Unit in several Directorates-General.