Wednesday, November 4
Parallel Session on the role and impact of research programmes and projects leveraging AI and Big Data to fight COVID 19
Application Track 2 - Health
Wednesday, November 4
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Recorded Video: Watch video


  • Paolo Giudici (Speaker) Professor of Statistics and Data Science at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia
  • Martina Barbero (Speaker) Operations Manager, Big Data Value Association
  • Anna Cattani-Scholz (Speaker) Delegate for Key Technologies - Brussels office, Helmholtz Association
  • Andrew Emerson (Speaker) Application specialist, CINECA
  • Saila Rinne (Speaker) Head of Sector - EU policies, DG CONNECT, Unit "eHealth, Well-Being and Ageing", European Commission
  • Ralf Heyder (Speaker) Head of Administrative Office for External Networking and Strategic Partnerships - Coordinator of the National Research Network of University Medicine on Covid-19, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Most research programmes and projects which were launched at the very beginning of the COVID19 crisis are today in full speed and starting to produce results. The European Commission and national governments reacted fast in establishing specific calls for projects and initiatives for supporting R&I activities aimed at addressing the COVID 19 challenges. Many of these calls and initiatives involved the use of Big Data, Data Analytics or Artificial Intelligence technologies.

In this context and taking into account that a majority of project is still ongoing and more might come, it is worth looking at the experience of a) policy makers who set up AI and Big Data related COVID 19 funding instruments and/or reprioritised their R&I activities in these areas and b) research organisations who have started COVID 19 related projects leveraging AI and Big Data. In particular, this parallel session will address the following questions:
  • Were the calls and programmes established relevant instruments for leveraging AI and Big Data technologies in order to address the COVID 19 pandemic? Has the potential of AI and Big Data been sufficiently exploited?
  • What can be learnt from the experience of the Covid19 crisis in terms of flexibility of R&I programmes for AI and Big Data and adaptability of procedures and calls?
  • What have been the effects and preliminary outcomes of the Big Data and AI projects which were funded during the crisis and what has been the experience of research organisations in participating in such calls?
  • What needs to happen next for ensuring the impact of the programmes and projects funded in these areas? Is there a need for new funding activities?
By steering a discussion between policy makers and receivers of funding for Big Data and AI projects addressing COVID 19, this parallel session will try to draw a number of lessons on the importance of AI and Big Data R&I during the pandemics and discuss how to ensure the impact of the initiatives funded.

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