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NeEDS: The European project becomes a reality in IECISA

IECISA participa en el proyecto NeEDS con la incorporación temporal del experto en Data Science de la Universidad Católica de Leuven, Klaas Nelissen.

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NeEDS: The European project becomes a reality in IECISA
15/January/2020
This Network of European Data Scientists project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant.

Madrid, January 15th, 2020.- A European network of data scientists that share their knowledge and connect academic world with the reality of business. This is the main aspiration of this European project in which the technological consulting firm Informática El Corte Inglés is collaborating. Six academic institutions and eight industrial entities participate in this NeEDS network, which seeks to expand academic knowledge of Data Science in Europe and to improve the capabilities of industry and the public sector in this field.

For this purpose, Klaas Nelissen, Data Science expert and researcher of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, has come to IECISA and has already begun to collaborate in the Big Data & Analytics department. The possibility to participate in the NeEDS project showed up right after finishing his PhD in Data Science & Predictive Analytics at the Catholic University of Leuven, "and it seemed to me - he explains - a fascinating program of knowledge transfer between companies and universities".

Among the different possible options, Nelissen first chose the city where he would spend six months: "I chose Madrid because I found it as a good combination of interesting companies to work for and a nice place to live in". And why IECISA? "At first, they gave me a good impression and inspired me trust during the whole application process. Moreover, since I arrived, the company has provided me with everything I need to find my workplace comfortable enough", adds the young researcher. The technological consulting firm has been participating in the main national and European R&D programmes for more than a decade, with reference innovation projects.

The researchers involved in NeEDS stand out for their strong expertise in research projects closely related to industry sectors ranging from energy, retailing, insurance to banking, as well as national statistical offices. The scientist Klaas Nelissen enrolled in this European project will be in charge of building a Recommender System at IECISA: "I hope to be able to make the most of my stay implementing new ideas to this project; and eventually, reflect what I learned in some academic paper to contribute with new information to the field of innovation".

One of the main advantages of this European initiative is that researchers from different countries - who have not necessarily had contact with the business world - know how large companies work, which is a great help for their future studies: "It is the first time I do a Data Science project in a company such as IECISA - says the 28-year-old Belgian researcher - and I hope to learn the process that takes place during the development of a work of this type, the communication with colleagues, the pursuit of a goal and the compliance with the established deadlines. So far, I have focused on research that is based on documentation and writing".

Companies involved in this type of initiative also have the opportunity to learn about the latest researches and how to apply its techniques in business. "For IECISA", explains José Manuel Raposo, responsible for R+D+I projects, "participating in the European H2020 program offers us the possibility to face the current industrial challenges, as well as the knowledge of where the market is evolving to, allowing to increase the international competitiveness of the company". Besides NeEDS project, IECISA participates in the following projects of the European Research and Innovation programme H2020:

IECISA’s R&D Projects’ Manager states that "to participate in these programs is one of the lines of action of the open innovation model of IECISA for the development of new innovative assets for the company".

Klaas Nelissen, who would like to learn Spanish and discover the culture and food of our country, will be part of the Big Data team until mid-2020. In IECISA he will find dynamic teams that seek to solve the biggest challenges of the Digital Transformation. The innovation model of this consulting firm pivots around professionals’ multidisciplinary talent as the core of an open ecosystem of which clients, partners and society in general are part of.