GATE Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Forum

10'th of December 2020

Online Event









About Event

The annual GATE Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Forum (BDAIF) aims to bring together the GATE Ecosystem, to attract new collaborators and stakeholders, to promote the centre’s results and to raise awareness, and to bring forward new opportunities. The first edition of the BDAIS is going to take place on the 10th of December 2020 and it is organized in collaboration between the GATE Institute, Bulgaria and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

The BDAIF2020 is focused on how Big Data and AI can help to tackle emerging societal challenges in the context of the GATE application themes: Future Cities, Digital Health and Intelligent Government. Furthermore, the programme includes special showcases dedicated to the European Big Data Centres of Excellence and start-ups pitches, presenting research and innovation excellence in Big Data and AI.

BDAIF2020 programme is split in the following panels:

Each of the programme panels of GATE BDAIF2020 will start with a talk from a leading keynote speaker. The panels are jointly organised by a representative of the GATE Institute and a representative of Chalmers University or Chalmers Industriteknik to show the partnership co-operation and value created. With this approach, the event aims at having a great local and European impact and leveraging the potential of the innovative Bulgarian ecosystem.

GATE BDAIF2020 offers interesting virtual sponsoring options for companies, research institutions and Big Data and AI initiatives, with a lot of interaction possibilities outreaching a wide audience. This will allow many players in Bulgaria to position themselves in the European Big Data and AI ecosystem.

The Schedule

Timing and agenda of event

  • 10:00 - 10:15 EET


    Sylvia Ilieva, GATE Institute

    Peter Dröll, European Commission, Director for Prosperity, DG Research and Innovation

    Karina Angelieva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Republic of Bulgaria

  • 10:15 - 11:15 EET

     Panel 1 Big Data and AI

    Moderator: Edward Curry, Big Data Value Association (BDVA)

  • Keynote speaker: “How Dataspaces will power AI in Europe”, Edward Curry, Big Data Value Association (BDVA)

  • Panelists:

    Ivica Crnkovic, CHAIR, Chalmers University, Sweden

    Torsten Huelsmann, International Data Spaces Association

    Georgi Ganev, Country Leader at IBM Bulgaria

  • 11:20 - 11:25 EET

    CoE showcase: Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics

  • 11:25 - 11:30 EET

    Start-up pitch: IRIS.AI

  • 11:40 - 12:40 EET

     Panel 2 City Digital Twins: Achievements and Digital chances

    Moderator: Graham Kemp, Chalmers University

  • Keynote speaker: Jarmo Suomisto, Helsinki Municipality, Finland

  • Panelists:

    Anders Logg, DTCC, Chalmers University, Sweden

    Dessislava Petrova-Antonova, GATE Institute, Bulgaria

    Sisi Zlatanova, UNSW Sydney, Australia

    Mila Koeva, University of Twente, The Netherlands

  • 12:50 - 12:55 EET

    CoE showcase: CeADAR, Ireland's national centre for Applied Data Analytics & AI.

  • 12:55 - 13:00 EET

    Start-up pitch: Myxrobotics, Yavor Mihailov, Co-Founder & CEO

  • 13:00 - 14:00 EET

    Lunch break

  • 14:00 - 15:00 EET

     Panel 3 Opportunities and prospects in Digital Health

    Moderator: Dean Palejev, GATE Institute

  • Keynote speaker: Milan Petkovic, Big Data Value Association (BDVA)

  • Panelists:

    Rosen Dimitrov, Digital Health and Innovation Cluster Bulgaria

    Fredrik Johansson, Chalmers University, Sweden

    Todor Kunchev, University hospital "SOFIAMED", Bulgaria

  • 15:10 - 15:15 EET

    CoE showcase: i2CAT Foundation

  • 15:15 - 15:20 EET

    Start-up pitch: Kelvin

  • 15:30 - 16:30

     Panel 4 Disinformation research and policy responses in the Balkans

    Moderator: Kalina Bontcheva, GATE Institute

  • Keynote speaker: Alberto Rabbachin, European commission, Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT)

  • Nikoleta Corbu, College of Communication and Public Relations, SNSPA, Romania

    Zlatina Marinova, Ontotext, Bulgaria

    Denis Teyssou, Agency France Press (AFP), France

    Todor Galev, Center for Study of the Democracy (CSD), Bulgaria

  • 16:40 - 16:45


The Speakers

Experts who will be speaking at the event

event-speaker-Peter Droell

Peter Dröll

European Commission, Director for Prosperity, DG Research and Innovation

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event-speaker-Karina Angelieva

Karina Angelieva

Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Republic of Bulgaria

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Sylvia Ilieva

Director of GATE Institute, Professor at Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University, Bulgaria

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Edward Curry

Vice President of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), Insight, Lero, NUIG

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event-speaker-Ivica Crnkovic

Ivica Crnkovic

CHAIR, Chalmers University, Sweden

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event-speaker-Torsten Huelsmann

Thorsten Huelsmann

International Data Spaces Association

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event-speaker-Georgi Ganev

Georgi Ganev

Country Leader at IBM Bulgaria

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Graham Kemp

Professor in the Data Science and AI Division at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

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Jarmo Suomisto

Helsinki 3D+ Project Manager, Architect, Digital Twin City Specialist, City of Helsinki, Finland

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Anders Logg

Professor of Computational Mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology, Director of the Digital Twin Cities Centre at Chalmers and Director of the Swedish Network for Mathematics in Industry, Sweden

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Dessislava Petrova-Antonova

Data Management and Future Cities Research Lead at GATE Institute, Associate Professor at Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University, Bulgaria

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Sisi Zlatanova

SHARP Professor at the University of New South Wales

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Mila Koeva

Assistant Professor at University of Twente, ITC Faculty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and Geo-information Management (PGM), Enschede, The Netherlands

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Dean Palejev

Digital Health Research Lead at GATE Institute, Sofia University, Bulgaria

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event-speaker-Milan Petkovic

Milan Petkovic

Department head Data Science at Philips, Professor at TU/e, Vice President at BDVA

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event-speaker-Rosen Dimitrov

Rosen Dimitrov

Digital Health and Innovation Cluster Bulgaria

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Fredrik Johansson

Assistant professor in the Data Science and AI Division at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

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Todor Kunchev

Neurologist working in the University hospital “SOFIAMED”, Sofia, Bulgaria

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Kalina Bontcheva

Research Leader on disinformation at the Big Data for Society Institute within Sofia University, Head of the Natural Language Processing (NLP) group at the University of Sheffield

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Alberto Rabbachin

Scientific Project Officer, European Commission

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Nicoleta Corbu

Executive director, Center for Research in Communication, Professor at College of Communication and Public Relations

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Zlatina Marinova

Project controller at Ontotext AD, Coordinator of the H2020 WeVerify project

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Denis Teyssou

Medialab R&D Editorial manager

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Todor Galev

Senior Analyst at the Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria

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Common questions and answers about the event

speaker Peter Droell

Meet Peter Dröll

Peter has been working in the European Commission for more than 20 years with positions in environment, enlargement negotiations, industry policy, innovation and research. He was a Cabinet member of Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen and Head of Cabinet of the Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik. Since 2010 he is at Directorate-General Research and Innovation where he was first responsible for Innovation then for Industrial Technologies. Following the re-orientation of DG Research and Innovation towards sustainability, his competences have been enlarged to include industrial R&I agendas and business intelligence as well as knowledge valorisation policies. Before joining the European Commission in 1991, Peter worked as a lawyer in a German law firm. Peter is a lawyer by training with a doctorate degree in German constitutional law and European law.

speaker Karina Angelieva

Meet Karina Angelieva

Karina Angelieva is a former Counsellor, Head of Sector Education and Research at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU. She holds Master degrees in European integration and in Contemporary History from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Previous positions held include Director-General of Structural Funds and International Educational Programs at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and Director of the Joint Innovation Centre at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (JIC – BAS). Ms. Angelieva is a founder of the Club of Young Scientists in Bulgaria and has been in charge of the coordination of National contact points’ network for the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation for 10 years. On 1 of September she was appointed a Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria.

speaker Sylvia Ilieva

Meet Sylvia Ilieva

Sylvia Ilieva is a professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics and Director of GATE Institute at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Her research interests are in the areas of software platforms, software development processes, data management, and software engineering for AI. She was a team leader of BSc and MSc Software Engineering programmes creation in compliance with ACM/IEEE recommendations. She was a supervisor of more than 200 MSc theses. She has a good record of successful participation in over 20 European research and education projects.

speaker Edward Curry

Meet Edward Curry

Edward is a Principle Investigator at the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and leads a research unit on Open Distributed Systems. Edward has made contributions to semantic technologies, incremental data management, event processing middleware, software engineering, as well as distributed systems and information systems. He combines strong theoretical results with high-impact practical applications. Edward is author/co-author of over180 peer-reviewed scientific publications. Edward is co-founder and elected Vice President of the Big Data Value Association, an industry-led European big data community, has built consensus on a joint European big data research and innovation agenda. He is the Chairperson of the GATE Advisory Board.

speaker Georgi Ganev

Meet Georgi Ganev

Georgi Ganev has experience from different areas of business. In his 16 years of experience in IBM, he was working in finance, business consulting with focus on organisational change and transformation, sales - leading the SW and Analytics businesses, Enterprise Sales Leader and as of July 2020 as Country Leader of IBM Bulgaria.

speaker Graham Kemp

Meet Graham Kemp

Graham Kemp is a professor in the Data Science and AI Division at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He is co-leader for the Big Data research profile in the ICT Area of Advance at Chalmers and is one of the research area leaders in the Digital Twin Cities Centre at Chalmers. He is working with the GATE project - a collaboration between Sofia University and Chalmers that aims to establish a new Big Data Centre of Excellence in Sofia, where one of the strategic application areas is Future Cities.

speaker Dessislava Petrova

Meet Dessislava Petrova

Dessislava Petrova-Antonova is the Research Leader of Data Management Research Unit of GATE Institute. Her research area includes Data management with a focus on semantic data interoperability and enrichment. She is leading the City Digital Twin pilot project, where an advanced 3D City Model of Sofia is under development to facilitate analysis, simulation and visualisation of urban environment and processes.

Dessislava Petrova-Antonova obtained an engineering degree in Computer systems and technologies (2000) and Ph.D. in System programming (2007) from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. She is an associate professor at Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Dessislava Petrova-Antonova is presently head of MSc program “Technology entrepreneurship and innovations in IT”. She has co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed academic publications. She has successfully participated in a number of European and national RTD projects (more than 30) and currently coordinates two of them – “Big Data Innovative Solutions for Smart Cities” (Big4Smart) and “Digital twin modelling of patients with cognitive disorders” (CogniTwin), funded by the Bulgarian National Scientific Fund.

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Anders Logg

Anders Logg is Professor of Computational Mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology. His research interests are adaptive finite element methods, high-level automating software systems for solution of PDE, domain-specific languages and compilers in scientific computing, augmented and virtual reality, and applications in biomedicine, general relativity, architecture, and geoinformation; in particular large-scale city modelling and simulation.

Logg is Director of the Digital Twin Cities Centre at Chalmers and Director of the Swedish Network for Mathematics in Industry.

Logg is co-founder and initial core developer of the FEniCS Project, a leading open-source software for automated solution of PDE. He works part-time as scientific advisor to Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre.

speaker Sisi Zlatanova

Meet Sisi Zlatanova

Sisi Zlatanova is a SHARP Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Faculty of Built Environment and Head of the Geospatial Research, Innovation and Development (GRID) lab. Her research interests are in 3D modelling and more specifically integration of BIM and GIS, 3D Indoor modelling, 3D representations, 3D data management and visualisation. Together with a team of excellent researchers, she advances the 3D capabilities of Spatial Information Systems. She is keen exploring new directions for research, but she is also developing and promoting international spatial standards. She is actively involved in the activities of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and Standards Australia. She is the President of Technical Commission IV ‘Spatial Information Science’ of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) for the period 2016-2021 and Treasurer of the Urban Data Management Society (UDMS). She enjoys organising and supporting conferences and workshops providing forums for exchange of research results, knowledge and lessons learned. She is one of the founders and a regular participant of Gi4DM, 3DGeoinfo and Indoor3D. She has more than 400 scientific publications and edited 22 books. She works with companies and institutions towards maturing the concepts of spatially enabled Digital twin.

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Jarmo Suomisto

Jarmo Suomisto is the manager of Helsinki 3D+ and responsible of creating, maintaining and delivering virtual models over the whole city. 3D+ also integrates new technology and workflows to processes and city services. 3D+ is 2020 and 2016 Year in Infrastructure Award Winner and 2019 London Tech Fest Main Award Winner.

Working over 25 years with 3D and GIS in building design and city planning Jarmo has practical understanding of the great potential in 3D.

Jarmo is Architect and M.Sc (Civ.Eng) from Helsinki University of Technology. @Helsinki3D

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Mila Koeva

Mila is an Assistant Professor working in 3D Land Information. She holds a PhD in 3D modelling in architectural photogrammetry from the University of University of Architecture, Civil engineering and Geodesy in Sofia. She also holds a MSc. degrees in Engineering (Geodesy) from the same institution obtained in 2001.

Her professional career began at the GIS-Sofia Ltd. - a Municipality Company dealing with cadastre of the city of Sofia, firstly as a specialist in Photogrammetry, and later on becoming a Head of the department. Working there she took part in various projects using a number of professional GIS and photogrammetric software products (ARCGIS/PHOTOMOD/ERDAS) mainly for map creation, orthophoto production and 3D modelling. In 2012 her career development continued in a private company - Mapex Jsc. as a Project manager. Her daily task was to apply multidisciplinary approach while organizing and coordinating projects between the departments in the company. Later she moved to University of Twente at the faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) where she was teaching topics of Photogrammetry and Remote sensing like Image processing, DTM, Orthophoto creation, GPS and 3D modelling. From the University of Twente, she holds a university teaching qualification (UTQ).

Her main areas of expertise include 3D modelling and visualization, 3D Cadastre, 3D Land Information, UAV, digital photogrammetry, image processing, producing large scale topographic and cadastral maps, GIS, application of satellite imagery for updating cadastral information among others. Currently she is also Co-chair of ISPRS WG IV/10 "Advanced Geospatial Applications for Smart Cities and Regions" and Contributing Editor for GIM International. In March 2017 she was ranked as one of the TOP 3 teachers of ITC 2016 - 2017.

speaker Milan Petkovic

Meet Milan Petkovic

Prof. Dr. Milan Petković is the head of the Data Science department at Philips, which conducts innovation projects in the domain of AI and data science in healthcare. He is also a part-time full professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Prof. Petković also serves as a VP of the BDVA association and served as a board member of several institutions and alliances such as Trust in Digital Life, the EC Advisory groups ENISA, etc. On behalf of Philips he participated in several standardization initiatives and led several Dutch national and EU projects. He recently published a book on Data Science in Healthcare.

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Dean Palejev

Dean Palejev leads the Digital Health initiatives at the Big Data for Smart Society (GATE) Institute. He is also Associate Professor at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining GATE, he created and led for more than five years the Data Science unit of what is now the largest financial group in the country. Dr. Palejev has a MSc degree in Mathematics from Sofia University and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Yale. He has co-authored articles in some of the most prestigious scientific journals such as Science, Nature, Cell and PNAS.

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Fredrik Johansson

Fredrik Johansson is an assistant professor in the Data Science and AI Division at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He is a co-organizer of the CHAIR-SU collaboration initiative, bringing together researchers working on AI for healthcare from Chalmers and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden. His research interests include machine learning and causal inference for improving decision making with applications in healthcare. Currently, he is working with medical researchers at Sahlgrenska on Alzheimer’s disease progression modelling.

speaker Todor Kunchev

Meet Todor Kunchev

Todor Kunchev, MD is a graduate of Medical University-Sofia and is currently a neurologist working in the University hospital “SOFIAMED”, Sofia, Bulgaria.

His main clinical interests lie in neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis and their detrimental effect on cognition. In 2018 he obtained a PhD with a doctoral degree on the topic of cognitive and behavioural dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis. Since 2019, he has been teaching neurology in Medical University-Sofia. In 2020 he joined the CogniSoft and CogniTwin projects as an outside expert.

speaker Kalina Bontcheva

Meet Kalina Bontcheva

Prof. Kalina Bontcheva is the Research Leader on disinformation at the Big Data for Society Institute within Sofia University, as well as the head of the Natural Language Processing (NLP) group at the University of Sheffield. She has coordinated the FP7 PHEME project on rumour and disinformation analysis and is the scientific director of the H2020 WeVerify project on collaborative content verification. Since 2014, Prof. Bontcheva has been researching methods for disinformation analysis combining NLP methods for analysing the textual content with machine learning models for credibility, veracity, and stance detection. These are combined also with analysis of the mention and hashtag-based networks, in the context of misinformation spread, voting intentions and online abuse.

speaker Alberto Rabbachin

Meet Dr.Alberto Rabbachin

Dr. Alberto Rabbachin received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oulu, Finland and the Master degree in Telecommunications Engineering from University of Bologna, Italy.

He joined the European Commission in 2013 where he is currently a Scientific Project Officer. Previously, he was with the Laboratory of Information and Decision Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2011 to 2013. Prior to his experience at MIT, he was a Research Scientist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy from 2008 to 2011 and at the Centre for Wireless Communications at the University of Oulu, Finland, from 2003 to 2008.

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Nicoleta Corbu

Prof. Nicoleta Corbu (College of Communication and Public Relations, SNSPA): She currently coordinates, as executive director, the Center for Research in Communication. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant in the United States (University of Georgia, 2008-2009), and was visiting professor at Florida Gulf Coast University (2012). She has been a member of Network of European Political Communication Scholars (NEPOCS) since 2018. Nicoleta Corbu has extensively published in the field of political communication, with a focus on media effects, disinformation, and news consumption. In 2019-2020, she has been a partner in Youcheck! project within the Preparatory action Media literacy for all framework, along with partners from France (including AFP), Sweden, and Spain. In 2020, she published articles focusing on disinformation effects in journals indexed Q1 and Q3 in Communication. Between 2018-2019, she coordinated the project Fake News Effects in the Digital Era within the Center for Research in Communication ( She is currently part of a 16 country comparative survey on political communication, investigating media effects, with a strong component of fake news effects and conspiracy theories during the first two months of the current pandemic. (

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Zlatina Marinova

Zlatina Marinova (Ontotext, Bulgaria) studied Computer Science at Sofia University, Bulgaria, where she specialized in AI and obtained her M.Sc. degree in 2002. She is the coordinator of the H2020 WeVerify project on intelligent content verification. In the project, she is leading the development of the database of known fakes, which is a continuously updated database of fact-checks, debunks, and fake images and videos, accompanied by a web-based semantic search dashboard.

speaker Anders Logg

Meet Denis Teyssou

Denis Teyssou (Agence France Presse, France) is a media professional with extensive international experience in journalism, innovation, information & communication technologies, as well аs Media studies. He is a world-leading expert in information verification and in countering disinformation (regular speaker in International conferences, workshops, seminars). Denis is the creator and main designer of the InVID-WeVerify open source verification plug-in (one of the main tools for debunking disinformation and verifying images and videos), used in 184 countries by thousands of journalists, fact-checkers, human rights defenders and media scholars. He is also a trainer in information verification for journalists and fact-checkers with extensive experience in newsrooms and journalism schools (with WAN-IFRA, Cairo American University, ESJ-Pro, CFJM Lausanne, ESJ Lille, EPJ Tours, CFJ Paris, EPJ Paris).

speaker Todor Galev

Meet Todor Galev

Dr. Todor Galev, Senior Analyst at the Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria. He has expertise in media studies, technology and IT infrastructural development, and sociology. Todor is experienced in using research methods for integrated analysis of large statistical databases. Todor has edited CSD’s Russian Influence in the Media Sectors of the Black Sea countries and has co-authored the seminal e-Bulgaria report. Todor has worked on H2020 and FP7 EC projects and GD Research and Innovations at the European Commission, World Bank, Bulgarian ministries and other national and international organizations.

speaker Ivica Crnkovic

Meet Ivica Crnkovic

Ivica Crnkovic is a professor of software engineering at Chalmers University, Gothenburg. He is the director of ICT Area of Advance at Chalmers University, and director of Chalmers AI Research Centre (CHAIR). His research interests include component-based software engineering, software architecture, software development processes, software engineering for large complex systems, and recently Software engineering for AI. Professor Crnkovic is the author of more than 200 refereed publications on software engineering topics, and guest editor of a number of special issues in different journals and magazines, such as IEEE Software, and Elsevier JSS . Professor Crnkovic was the general chair of 40th International Conference on Sofwtare Engineering (ICSE) 2018, held in Gothenburg, May 27-June 3, 2018. He was also general chair of several top-level software engineering conferences (such as ICSA 2017, ECSA 2015, ASE 2014, Comparch, WICSA 2011, ESEC/FSE 2007,) and PC Chair (COMPSAC 2015, ECSA 2012, Euromicro SEAA 2006, etc.). His teaching activities cover several courses in the area of Software Engineering undergraduate and graduate courses. From 1985 to 1998, Ivica Crnkovic worked at ABB, Sweden, where he was responsible for software development environments and tools. Professor Crnkovic received an M.Sc. in electrical engneering, an M.Sc. in theoretical physics, and a Ph.D. in computer science in 1991, all from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. More information is available on

speaker Rosen Dimitrov

Meet Rosen Dimitrov

Rosen Dimitrov is Public Affairs Manager at Novartis Bulgaria and Vice-chairperson of the Digital Health and Innovation Cluster Bulgaria. In the last couple of years, he has taken key roles in Novartis Oncology in Bulgaria and Region Europe. He has been a speaker in a couple of national and international events related to digital health, value-based healthcare and entrepreneurship in health sector. He has more than 15 years of experience in pharma industry. Rosen is a medical doctor.