Speaker: Andrea Halmos works at the European Commission, as Policy Officer in the ‘Technologies for Smart Communities’ Unit of DG CONNECT. Her current activities focus on helping cities and communities better harness data and Artificial Intelligence in order to meet their environmental and climate objectives, provide high quality services to citizens and businesses and make better-informed decisions. This includes work on a data space for climate-neutral and smart communities, supporting the implementation of AI-enabled, digital services and supporting cities to create their digital twins (Local Digital Twins). Previously, Andrea has worked on the implementation and networking of Digital Innovation Hubs as well as for over a decade in the area of digital government. Her main activities included the development and implementation of the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020, the promotion of open and modular digital government and supporting the implementation of digital government at local level. Prior to joining the European Commission in 2003, she worked for an internet start-up company as a consultant. Having graduated at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences, she received a master's degree in European studies from the College of Europe and from the Université libre de Bruxelles.
Speaker: Prof. Ursula Eicker is the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities and Communities at Concordia University Montréal. A German physicist, Eicker has held leadership positions at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and its Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies. She coordinated many international research projects in the fields of building energy efficiency, renewable energy systems and urban scale simulation. Since June 2019, she leads an ambitious research program to establish transformation strategies toward zero-carbon cities. Around 50 graduate students work on pathways to zero carbon cities in the domains of the built environment, renewable energy systems, sustainable transport and circular economy. An urban data analysis and modeling framework integrates the multidisciplinary work. The 7 year research program received 10 million CAD government funding and is supported by a further 10 million Dollars by Concordia University. In November 2020, Prof. Eicker founded Concordia’s Next Generation Cities Institute, which groups 14 university research centers and 200 researchers from all faculties. The Institute addresses the challenges of the urban transformation with a transdisciplinary approach and develops tools and strategies for a sustainable future. Prof. Eicker has published 7 Books, 24 book contributions, 89 Peer Reviewed Papers and 327 Conference Papers.