The story of SEMIC: Bringing…

The story of SEMIC: Bringing Europe together through semantic interoperability


We are almost there! Only three weeks to go until SEMIC 2017, the annual conference on semantic interoperability organised by the European Commission. This year, it is the 7th edition of the event and we will soon be welcoming participants in Malta on 14 June. 

SEMIC in Europe and beyond

In its seven years of existence, the SEMIC conference has become an important event recognized by the experts in the field.

The first edition of SEMIC took place in 2011 in Brussels. Back then, the event attracted 97 people from 22 countries, mainly representatives of European public administrations and private companies. Its success ensured the continuation of SEMIC for the years to come. 

At the same time, data started to become more and more important in daily life. People began to discuss how to protect personal data, how to analyse data, and why it is important to open data to the public. In just a few years, these topics moved from the pages of scientific magazines to mainstream media. 

Semantic interoperability is essential for dealing with data and SEMIC was a sort of front-runner of these upcoming trends. But naturally it also benefited from them. The conference grew quickly and the number of participants has more than doubled. SEMIC became a regular get-together for policy makers, ICT solution developers, the ICT industry and researchers to discuss topics like data standards, data governance and information exchange. 

From the third edition onwards, SEMIC began travelling around Europe. It became a tradition that the conference is held in the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union at that time. SEMIC thus welcomed participants to Dublin, Athens, Riga and Rome. This year, the event will take place in beautiful Valletta. In addition, SEMIC is well-known even beyond European borders, with attendees from Australia, USA or Japan being regular participants at the conference. 

During all those years, my colleague Vassilios Peristeras stood behind the conference. He was the person giving it direction and driving ahead all its related activities. This is the first year when he is not coming to SEMIC as an organiser but as a moderator and speaker. Thank you for all your work Vassilios!

Almost fully booked

Today, let's look into the future. This year the SEMIC conference has broadened its focus. The main theme of the event is Data and Information Management, a very pressing issue for every organisation nowadays. The list of speakers promises inspirational talks and you can find all the details on the conference website. To name just one speaker, Janek Rozov from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in digitally-advanced Estonia will speak about data and information management from the end user's point of view.

More than 200 participants have already registered and the event is almost fully booked. What started as a specialised IT conference developed into an unmissable event for anybody dealing with digitalisation in public administrations. See you in Malta!

Susanne Wigard, organiser of the SEMIC conference

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