Erik Mannens


Erik Mannens is Director @ imec UAntwerp IDLab & Professor @ UAntwerp (Sustainable AI) and @ Ghent University (Semantic Intelligence). Since 2005 he has successfully managed +160 "interdisciplinary" projects (amounting 30M euro of Funding for his team) and teams of 50 to 125 researchers. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science Engineering (2011) at UGent, his Master’s degree in Computer Science (1995) at K.U. Leuven University & his Master’s degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering (1992) at KAHO Ghent. 

Being 50+, from now on he tends to only take on new projects who will have a positive & lasting impact on Society and "Spaceship Earth" as a whole! #SustainableDevelopmentGoals ... As such, he took on the Operational Lead of SOLID Lab Flanders for half a year in 2022 and now he is heading imec UAntwerp IDLab where we're working towards Sustainable AI. As such, he now heads a Data Science team of +125 Wireless Communication & AI Experts that research all aspects of the Sustainability of AI. 

Prior to that, he headed a Data Science team of +50 Semantic Technologies & Artificial Intelligence Researchers @ Ghent University for over a decade. Generically, he is also committed to the Open Source, Open Access & Open Knowledge movements. In Flanders he also is part of the Smart City "City of Things" & Open Knowledge Foundation initiative! 

Before joining imec-IDLab in 2005 as project manager, he was a software engineering consultant & Java architect for over a decade. Since 2008 Erik is paving the (Linked) Open Data path in Flanders. He stood at the cradle of the first Hackatons & is a founding member of the Open Knowledge Foundation (Belgian Chapter). Since then, he is frequently invited as Linked Open Data evangelist, Smart City expert, and Ethical AI specialist at national and international events. He currently actively participates in several W3C’s standardisation groups. Furthermore his team is owner of the Open Sourced Linked Open Data Publishing frameworks TheDataTank, R&Wbase, RML, Linked Data Fragments, SOLID & Communica.

Specialties: Sustainable AI, Ethical AI, Semantic Web, (Linked) Open Data, Big Data Analytics, W3C standardization, Java architect, iDTv, web development (from its inception).