ISWC 2006 5th International Semantic Web Conference
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Funding the Semantic Web : A cross-continental assessment and outlook

Mahler Auditorium, 1st floor, 5:30pm - 7:00pm, November 7, 2006

Panel Chairs:  

  • Manfred Hauswirth, Digital Enterprise Research Institute
  • Amit Sheth, University of Georgia

PPTPanel Introduction (Presentation in Powerpoint)



In the recent years semantic technologies have demonstrated their usefulness and applicability in a variety of domains, the Semantic Web being the most prominent one. The Semantic Web has started to move from academic research to deployed business-critical and scientific applications, with support from recommendations (standards) developed under W3C governance and a growing list of commercial technologies and products is being developed. These developments seem to be early but firm steps in establishing semantics as a core column of computer science and application development. The outreach of this development can only be assessed to limited degree at the moment, but most likely will affect key aspects of society and the way we communicate.

This high potential was recognized early by funding agencies all over the world.  However, after the first strong funding in US by DARPA, subsequent research funding seems to be limited. Europe seems to have seem more substantial and sustained funding, at least during last few years. Now may be a good time to assess what has been achieved so far and how funding agencies see future research directions, funding opportunities and funding environments, i.e., what are the planned strategies and instruments of funding agencies to maximize the impact of future research in semantics. We consider it specifically interesting to the research community to hear the opinions and plans of the major funding bodies around the world and to learn about their view on future issues/requirements/applications/challenges related to semantics and Semantic Web-- and by extension their opinion on the needs of industry, government and education for research in the Semantic Web and related areas.


Dr. Todd Hughes became a Program Manager for DARPA/IXO in July 2006. His research interests include geospatial intelligence, cognitive systems, and data integration. Dr. Hughes is investigating approaches for integrating sources of structured information through automated data model learning, alignment, and translation. Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Hughes held a position as Technical Manager at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, where he oversaw research and development projects in cognitive systems and semantic technology. Notable research endeavors include the Ontology Translation Protocol, a project aimed at developing technology to assist in the rapid integration of heterogeneous information resources. In the context of this initiative, Dr. Hughes collaborated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to organize the first public evaluation of data model alignment tools: the Information Interpretation and Integration Conference.

Dr. Mark Greaves is currently Program Manager for Knowledge Systems at Vulcan Inc., the private asset management company for Paul Allen ( At Vulcan, he is sponsoring advanced R&D in large knowledge bases and semantic web technologies, including Project Halo ( Formerly, Mark served as Director of DARPA's Joint Logistics Technology Office, and as Program Manager in DARPA's Information Exploitation Office. He managed a variety of DARPA projects in semantics and distributed computing technology, including the DAML project that funded the development of the OWL, OWL/S, and SWRL languages. Prior to coming to DARPA, Mark worked on natural language semantics and software agent technology at the Mathematics and Computing Technology group of Boeing Phantom Works

Amit Sheth is a professor of Computer Science and the director of the LSDIS lab at the University of Georgia (UGA), and an IEEE Fellow. Before joining UGA, he served in R&D groups at Bellcore, Unisys, and Honeywell. His research has led to two successful startups, three significant commercial products, several commercial and open source tools, and several deployed applications. He has authored over 250 publications, has given over 25 keynotes among ~200 invited talks/colloquia, and organized as (co-)chair over 25 international conferences/workshops. He is the EIC of the Intl. Journal on Semantic Web & Information Systems, a co-editor of Springer Series on Semantic Web & Beyond: Computing for Human Experience, and is on the editorial board of a few journals including IEEE Internet Computing. In January 2007, he will join the Wright State University as the LexisNexis Eminent Scholar and start the Kno.e.sis center for research in Knowledge enabled Information & Service Sciences

Manfred Hauswirth is Vice-Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Galway, Ireland and professor at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). He holds an M.S. (1994) and a Ph.D. (1999) in computer science from the Technical University of Vienna. Prior to his work in Ireland, he was a senior researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). His research interests are large-scale semantics-enabled distributed information systems and applications, peer-to-peer systems, sensor networks middleware, Internet of things, self-organization and self-management, Semantic Web services, and distributed systems security. He has published over 45 papers in these domains, and has co-authored a book on distributed software architectures and several book chapters on P2P data management and semantics. He has served in over 100 program committees of international scientific conferences and recently was local chair of WDAS2004 and program co-chair of SME05, STD3S, MCISME, and DMC2006. In 2007 he will be program co-chair of the Seventh IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing. He is a member of IEEE and ACM




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