Earlier this year, Brand Niemann attended the annual SEMIC conference in Brussels, initiated by European Commission’s CIO Francisco García Morán. An expert in Semantic Interoperability, Morán invited Niemann to share his thoughts on stimulating semantic development as much as possible.
“Both in the US and in Europe, many initiatives have developed about making government data available to the public”, says Brand. “Directly or through intermediaries. These developments started back in 2002, when early webservices applications triggered the opportunities and necessity for such services. Because of the vast amount of wide spread government data, semantics are essential in order to interpret these data and create useful data products. This is what we call data science. I went to Brussels to exchange knowledge and expertise with my European friends in this field. For data science to be successful, you need collaboration with a variety of organizations, and funding. In the US, we see much willingness both in the public and the private sector, to collaborate. However, funding is hard to come by. In Europe, the situation is opposite: data science and semantic interoperability are enthusiastically endorsed by the European Commission, but collaboration between organizations seems to fall behind.”
“I first heard of Be Informed in 2009, during a conference at Computer Sciences Corporation. Mills Davis and I were very impressed with what they were working on for the Dutch Immigration Office. Among some 30 vendors, Be Informed really stood out with an impressive demo showing the use of ontologies and separating the know from the flow. I remember Mills saying to me: ‘They really get it’, because Be Informed’s approach didn’t stop at ontologies, it had to go on to business rules. I highly recommended Be Informed to Francisco García Morán and am eager to initiate a few pilots with the groups I am currently working with, like the AOL Government Group and 1105 Government Information Group. As I said before, semantics and data science in the field of open government data require close cooperation and exchange of best practices. Together with Mills Davis, I am looking forward to working together with Be Informed on successful solutions for both sides of the Atlantic.”
Brand Niemann's career counts over 30 years of Federal Service on a series of assignments (Founding Chair of the Web Services Working Group, Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice, and Federal SOA Community of Practice, and as Executive Secretariat of the Best Practices Committee). Brand has been on the Program Advisory Board for the Semantic Technology Conferences 2006-2008. By popular demand, he restarted the Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice together with Mills Davis, founder and managing director of Project10x. Earlier this year, Brand attended the annual SEMIC conference in Brussels, initiated by European Commission’s CIO Francisco García Morán.