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Entry criteria is now live for the DatSci & Ai Awards which will be held on 5th September 2019 at Croke Park, Dublin connecting and celebrating the best in the data science ecosystem across Europe.

Following success last year with one of the ten categories being open to all European entrants, 2019 marks the expansion of this across all categories.

This decision was made in order to foster collaboration across countries and in-line with the huge possibilities AI has to impact Europe’s economic output.  

According to McKinsey, Europe could add €2.7 trillion, to its combined economic output by 2030 if it “develops and diffuses AI according to its current assets and digital position relative to the world”. This could rise to €3.6 trillion if Europe were to catch up with the US.

Previous winners at the awards have included data scientists from the likes of Johnson & Johnson and Zalando, alongside company wins for Accenture The Dock and Microsoft Ireland.

Ongoing sponsor Fergal Toomey, Chief Scientist at Corvil, a network analytics company said: “What we at Corvil enjoy about the DatSci Awards is that they celebrate candidates who combine technical excellence with real-world acumen, applying the right tools from a rapidly developing field to solve business or social problems that really make a difference. The standard required to win is high, but whether you win or lose participating in this competition will help you lift your game.  It is also a lot of fun, and an opportunity to meet and share views with Data Science practitioners from many different walks of life.”

The entry criteria for each category is now live on the site for companies and individuals to start planning their entries. Applicants will be able to enter the awards from next month and have until the end of May to get their entries in.

More than just an awards ceremony

As well as the evening awards ceremony, the full-day event will feature a learning and networking zone offering the 450+ attendees the opportunity to meet and connect with each other. There is also the opportunity to hear from industry leaders in the field who will be presenting their latest work and thought leadership throughout the day.

The award categories are created and refined by the DatSci Advisory Council which is made up of leading European data professionals including Sheamus Causer, CEO, Deutsche Bank Service Centre (Ireland) and Head of CDO, Strategy & Innovation (Ireland). This year has ten categories with the four new ones included (highlighted with a *):

  1. Data Scientist of the Year
  2. Best Use of Data Science/AI for Customer Experience*
  3. Best Use of Data Science/AI for Health & Wellbeing*
  4. Best Use of Data Science/AI for Industry 4.0*
  5. Best Use of Data Science in SME/Start Up
  6. Best Use of Data to Achieve Social Impact
  7. Best technical advance in the field of Data Science/AI from a research organisation either in academia or industry*
  8. Data Science Student of the Year
  9. Data Science Technology Innovation of the Year
  10. Best Application of AI of the Year

The judging panel, which will be announced in full shortly, is comprised of pan-European leading data scientists including the likes of Dr Walter Weigel, Vice-President of the Huawei European Research Institute (ERI) based in Germany, Edward McDonnell, Centre Director, CeADAR and Dr. Mick Kerrigan, Chief Science Officer at RecommenderX based in Ireland.

Kerrigan said: “When I heard about the DatSci awards in 2016, I saw a real opportunity to get involved with, and learn from, others in the industry. I haven’t been disappointed, each year I have been exposed to creative and exciting submissions, finalists and winners that have made me think critically about how I approach Data Science.

“Data Science has developed out of the laboratory, becoming an essential part of businesses in the last decade. Tools, like machine learning and natural language processing, that were predominately used by academics are now being used by business practitioners to deliver real business value. Not only do these people deserve to be recognised for their contributions, they need a community so that they can share and discuss ideas, challenges, and search for new solutions. Since its inception the DatSci awards has provided a forum for such discussion, that I am really proud to be a part of.”

European expansion

This year the DatSci & AI Awards has collaborated with the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), the private counterpart to the EU Commission created to implement the Big Data Value PPP program and  based in Belgium.

“We’re delighted to welcome the BDVA as a partner and look forward to collaborating,” says Linda Davis, CEO of Next Generation, founder of the DatSci Awards. “The BDVA is present in 28 European countries and has approximately 200 members across Europe, and we want to work with them to grow and sustain Europe’s leadership on big data value creation and artificial intelligence.”

The National Centre for Applied Data Analytics & AI (CeADAR), based in UCD (University College Dublin), have partnered with the Awards since it’ inception.Edward McDonnell, Director at CeADAR said: “Every year the DatScis have gone from strength to strength culminating in 2019 being the inauguration of the European DatSci & AI Awards. This is a great achievement for the organising team and a testament to the quality of entries and rigorous judging standards.”

Giving back to the industry

The awards were created as a way to celebrate and give back to the data science industry. This is a community event with the focus of paving the way of the next generation of Data Scientists, so a central initiative of the Awards is that proceeds from tickets sales go towards funding a full-time MSc Business Analytics each year.

The scholarship is open to any student globally and is at UCD Smurfit Business School, Dublin for the MSc in Business Analytics. To date, two students have received the Scholarship for Academic Years 2017/2018 & 2018/2019. The 2019 Awards will be funding another student for the Academic Year 2019/2020.

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