I have a strong record of contribution to unit and engagement with the college, university, and the wider community, including key stakeholders in the education sector, industry, and government bodies and agencies.


  • Member of DERI Institute Performance Self-Assessment Task Force, 2010.
  • Steering Committee, Insight Research Institute/Data Science Institute, 2010 – present.
  • Member Insight @ NUI Galway Steering Committee, 2014 – Present. Participate as a member of the leadership team assisting in the definition of the Institute’s scientific goals and vision.
  • Executive Management Team, Data Science Institute, 2019 – present. Providing leadership, strategic planning, and mentoring staff in the Institute.
  • Regularly serve on interview boards for PhD, Research Assistant, and Post Docs

School / College

  • Programme Board M.Sc. Data Analytics, 2017 – 2021.
  • Programme Board M.Sc. Artificial Intelligence, 2019 – 2021.
  • Contributed a Case Study for the CoEI IRRP 2016 Submission.
  • Research and Graduate Studies Committee, School of Computer Science, 2020 – 2021.
  • Graduate Studies Committee. College of Science and Engineering, 2020 – 2021.
  • College Executive, College of Science and Engineering, 2021 – present.


  • Member of University Research Committee, Sub-Committee to Academic Planning and Resource Committee (APRC), 2010 – 2014.
  • Vice-chair, Galway Research Staff Association, 2009 – 2013.
  • Chair, Galway Research Staff Association, 2014 – 2015.
  • Member of University Research Risk Working Group, 2012.
  • University Strategic Plan 2015-2020 (Strategic Planning Research Subgroup 2014).
  • The role of the Strategic Planning Research Subgroup is to identify strategic research and innovation priorities for 2015-2020 including new and emerging areas which will contribute to the research component of the University’s Strategic and Operational Plans 2015-2020.
  • Programme Board, BA (Arts with Data Science), 2018 – 2021
  • University Research Committee, School of Computer Science, 2022 – present


Programme Evaluator

  • External Examiner for Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 2014-2021 on Higher Certificate in Information Technology Support, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration and Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Services Management
  • External Board Member for Programmatic Review, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 2014
  • External Accreditation Board Member for Software Development postgraduate courses, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 2012

Professional / Industry / Wider Society

Research and Innovation Policy Roles

  • 2021-present, Founding Board of Directors of AI, Data and Robotics Association (Adra).
    • The AI, Data and Robotics Association (Adra) was founded in 2021 to represent the private side of the partnership. Adra is jointly founded by the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), the Confederation of Laboratories of Artificial Intelligence in Europe (CLAIRE), the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI) and the European Robotics Association (euRobotics). These 5 European associations previously collaborated on the Joint Strategic Research Innovation and Deployment Agenda (SRIDA) for the Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics partnership that was released September 2021.
  • 2020 – 2021, Transition Team for the Partnership on AI, Data, and Robotics.
    • Within this team, I work to bring together the European AI, Data, Robotics communities within a single partnership for Horizon Europe and Digital Europe.
  • 2019 – present, Member of the European Marine Board (EMB) Expert working group on Big Data in Marine Science.
  • 2017 – present, Co-Chair Big Data Value Technical Committee.
    • Technical coordination of the 50+ project protofilo of the Big Data PPP. The TC facilitates knowledge exchange and collaboration on the technical aspects and implementation of the BDV PPP programme. The Committee also helps to identify possible gaps that may inform the strategic research agenda of the programme. The TC consists of the Technical Lead of each project to facilitate knowledge exchange and representatives from the European Commission.
  • 2015- 2021, Partnership Board of Big Data Value PPP.
    • The Partnership Board (PB) is the monitoring body of the cPPP formed by selected directors of the Board of the BDVA, and representatives of the European Commission. The PB meets approximately 1-2 times per year and complements this with regular bi-weekly exchanges of information. The European Commission is represented by DG Connect Directorate G (Unit G1 in particular).
  • 2014-present, Board of Directors of Big Data Value Association (BDVA).
    • With the digitisation of industry, traditional industrial strongholds of European competitiveness are under threat from the US and Asia. There was a clear need to bring together the key European players necessary for Europe to be competitive in the emerging Data Economy. I was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), an industry-led association with over 180 companies and research institutions, with the goal to strengthen the global competitiveness of European Industry and to ensure European leadership in Big Data Value. The BDVA provides Europe with a community platform that supports greater collaboration between stakeholders (including large and small enterprises, researchers, academics, and NGOs) within the data economy. Members of the association work together to tackle both technical and the many non-technical multidisciplinary issues surrounding the data economy, including new business models, skills and education, entrepreneurship, legal and privacy issues.

Research and Innovation Policy Papers

  • Zillner, S., Bisset, D., Milano, M., Curry, E., García Robles, A., Hahn, T., Irgens, M., Lafrenz, R., Liepert, B., O’Sullivan, B. and Smeulders, A., (eds) (2020) “Strategic Research, Innovation and Deployment Agenda – AI, Data and Robotics Partnership. Third Release.” September 2020, Brussels. BDVA, euRobotics, ELLIS, EurAI and CLAIRE.
  • Guidi, L., Fernandez Guerra, A., Canchaya, C., Curry, E., Foglini, F., Irisson, J.-O., Malde, K., Marshall, C. T., Obst, M., Ribeiro, R. P., Tjiputra, J., Bakker, D. C. E. Big Data in Marine Science. Alexander, B., Heymans, J. J., Muñiz Piniella, A., Kellett, P., Coopman, J. [Eds.] Future Science Brief 6 of the European Marine Board, Ostend, Belgium. ISSN: 2593-5232. ISBN: 9789492043931. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3755793, 2020.
  • Contributing Author: Lopez de Vallejo, I., Scerri, S., Tuikka, T. (eds) Towards a European Data Sharing Space. Brussels. BDVA, 2019.
  • Zillner, S., Bisset, D., García Robles, A., Hahn, T., Lafrenz, R., Liepert, B. and Curry, E.. Eds. (2019). “Strategic Research, Innovation, & Deployment Agenda for an AI PPP: A Focal Point for Collaboration on AI, Data and Robotics”. BDVA-euRobotics. 2019.
  • Bisset, D., Curry, E., García-Robles, A., Hahn, T., Lafrenz, R., Liepert, B., & Zillner, S. Eds. (2019). “Joint Vision Paper for an Artificial Intelligence Public-Private Partnership (AI PPP) BDVA – euRobotics”. BDVA-euRobotics. 2019.
    • Since 2018 I have been working to bring together the industrial and scientific communities of Data, AI and Robotics into a single Partnership for Horizon Europe and Digital Europe. This position paper between the data and robotics communities was the first step in that journey.
  • Zillner, S., Gomez, J. A., García Robles, A., & Curry, E. Eds. “Data-Driven Artificial Intelligence for European Economic Competitiveness and Societal Progress: BDVA Position Statement”. BDVA. 2018.
    • Senior Editor on the BDVA AI paper “Data-Driven Artificial Intelligence for European Economic Competitiveness and Societal Progress” which was referenced in the European Commission’s Communication on the Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence, specifically highlighting the need for a European AI Public-Private Partnership.
  • Curry, E., Zillner, S., & García-Robles, A. Eds. “Future Challenges for European Leadership in the Global Data Economy and Data-Driven Society: Input to Framework Programme 9”. BDVA. 2018.
    • Lead author on the BDVA position paper for FP 9 which was referenced by the European Parliament Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies in their “European Artificial Intelligence (AI) leadership, the path for an integrated vision” report. This report was requested by the Industry, Research and Energy ITRE Committee to feed into the general debate on how Europe could seize the opportunity of progress made in AI.
  • M. Cavanillas, E. Curry, and W. Wahlster, (Eds.), “New Horizons for a Data-Driven Economy: A Roadmap for Usage and Exploitation of Big Data in Europe”. Springer International Publishing, 2016.
    • This book has had a significant influence on the research and innovation policy of the European Commission, UK Government and several member states, and the roadmaps of the Big Data PPP in H2020. One of the highest downloaded non-proceedings book in Springer’s Computer Science collection (500+K).
  • Zillner, E. Curry, A. Metzger, & S. Auer, Eds., “European Big Data Value Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda”, BDVA, 2015-2018.
    • I am a co-editor (along with representatives from Siemens, SAP, Nokia, and Fraunhofer) of the European Big Data Value Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) that established consensus on a Common Research and Innovation Agenda for Europe. The SRIA details the technological, legal, social, education, and business challenges that must be overcome for the data economy to be fully exploited by different sectors of the economy. The establishment of this Big Data SRIA gives a common purpose to the community. It creates a framework that supports the formation of connections within the community and the wider ecosystem. It facilitates pre-competitive collaboration by making explicit where organisations can work together to achieve common goals. The SRIA also provided the community with a common voice to influence national and European Data Innovation Policy.
  • “A Proposal for a Big Data Value Public-Private Partnership”, Big Data Value Association, 2014.
    • I was a co-Author on a proposal for a contractual Public-Private Partnership on Big Data Value to the European Commission. The proposal details an H2020 work programme on Big Data for the period 2016-to-2020. The proposal was accepted, and the contract for the PPP was signed at the end of 2014. The PPP agreement commits to a joint investment of over €2Billion in the realisation of a European data ecosystem.

Research and Innovation Policy Activities

  • Keynote: “Open Data as part of a wider European Data and AI Ecosystem”, National Open Data Conference, Department of Expenditure & Reform, Dublin Ireland, 2nd Dec 2020. (Online)
  • Invited Expert for European Commission Workshop “FOOD 2030 Pathways: Future Research & Innovation Needs in view of the transition to sustainable, healthy, safe and inclusive food systems”, Brussels, 4th March 2020.
  • Data Ecosystem Expert for “Workshop on Digitalisation of Manufacturing”, Strategic Policy Division, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Oct 2017.
  • “Realising the Digital Economy – Enterprise Opportunities”, roundtable discussion jointly co-hosted by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, May 2017.
  • “European Big Data Ecosystem” to Roundtable on Industrial Data Platforms by invitation Gunther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Brussels, 17th Feb 2016.
  • Representative for Ireland on behalf of Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at “Member States’ workshop on Data Economy” hosted by European Commission, Luxembourg, November 2015.
  • “Irelands Role in Driving the Big Data PPP”, Big Data Task Force Meeting, Strategic Policy Unit, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Nov 2014.