Science and Innovation Dialogues

Ai in Africa

Science & Innovation Dialogues are a series of online discussions with the aim to highlight and stimulate UK European scientific collaboration. The second series, which takes place in early 2022, will be dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, specifically to the intersection of AI and climate, health, and education.

With the aim of highlighting UK leadership in AI, these dialogues also showcase science excellence in other European countries and bring out the importance of international research and academic collaboration. Dialogues also aim at facilitating exchange of best practice. Science & Innovation Dialogues bring together scientists from the UK and across ten countries in the Baltics, Central and Eastern, and Southern Europe.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. Website:

The UK Science & Innovation Network (SIN) is a network of officers in over 40 countries and territories around the world, building partnerships and collaborations on science and innovation. SIN officers work with the local science and innovation community in support of UK policy overseas, they facilitate the development of strategic relationships to harness the value of science and innovation discoveries and investments overseas, leading to mutual benefits to the UK and the host country. Website:

The International Research Centre on AI was founded by the Government of Slovenia as the UNESCO AI arm in 2020 and approved at the 40th session of the General Conference, where 193 UNESCO Member States supported the establishment of the Center. It was inspired by the international work in the field of AI by an ecosystem of high-level institutions and researchers involved in scientific, industrial and policy actions working directly with UNESCO and set up to showcase the use of AI for the benefit of humanity. The Centre is independent and acts as a clearinghouse for excellent research that will result in spin-offs. It explores ways to create an ambitious and realistic global AI research agenda to mobilize the World’s AI community to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IRCAI is conducting a study of the world’s most promising AI projects that advance the United Nations SDGs and will produce a global Top 100 list and a Top 10 report.



ModeraDate: 18 January 2022
16:00 GMT/17:00 CET/18:00 EET
Registration: REGISTER HERE

Keynote Speaker: Dr Aidan O’Sullivan, University College London

Aidan O’Sullivan is Associate Professor in Energy and Artificial Intelligence at UCL Energy Institute where he leads the Energy Systems and Artificial Intelligence Lab which is focused on applications of AI in the energy system that accelerate the transition to net zero. He is CTO and Co-Founder of Carbon Re a climate tech startup using AI to decarbonise the manufacture of energy intensive materials such as cement and steel.

Aidan holds a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University College Cork, Ireland and a PhD from the department of Mathematics in Imperial College London. Prior to joining UCL he worked as a machine learning researcher in the Civil Engineering Department of MIT. He is the UK’s representative to the European Energy Research Alliance for the joint programme on digitalisation and programme chair for the AI and Climate initiative at the UNESCO International Research Centre on AI, (IRCAI). Aidan was recently awarded a Turing Fellowship from the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s leading centre for AI and data science research. In media his work has been featured in Forbes, Times and the world Economic forum and he has authored articles for World Energy Magazine.

Speaker: Prof Gatis Bazbauers, Riga Technical University (Latvia)

Gatis Bazbauers works as a Professor at the Institute of Energy Systems and Environment, Faculty of Electrical and Environmental Engineering at Riga Technical University (RTU). He also holds position of Deputy Vice-Rector for research at RTU. Previously he worked as a managing director in the energy company “Vattenfall Latvia” (1995-2007) and as a project manager in the energy consulting company “EEE” (1992-1993). Education: diploma of thermal engineering (1990), Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering (1995), doctor of science degree in engineering (1999) and bachelor’s degree in business administration (2002).

His main research interests are system dynamics modelling of energy systems, energy system analysis and planning, energy economics and policy development, sustainable energy systems, district heating systems and cogeneration. Gatis Bazbauers is a member of the council of Latvia’s District Heating Association and System Dynamics Society.

Speaker: Dr Jan Červený, Global Change Research Institute (Czech Republic)

Jan Červený is head of Domain of Adaptive and Innovative Techniques and Department of Adaptive Biotechnologies at the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. His research focuses mainly on the development of methods for characterization, phenotypization and optimization of production as well as adaptive properties of photosynthetic microorganisms. His research activities also involve design and development of technological solutions for sustainable microalgal biotechnologies, and application of cybernetic approaches to microalgal biosystems.

Jan completed his Ph.D. at Czech Technical University in Prague, in the study field of Technical Cybernetics. In 2019 he established Smart Biotechnologies Group at the Global Change Research Institute to promote processes automation, and to apply advanced statistical and artificial intelligence methods in microalgal biotechnology.

Speaker: Marcin Gnat, Airly (Poland)

Marcin Gnat is Senior Communications and PR Manager at Airly – a Krakow-based company that helps repair the air in over 30 countries around the world. He is a graduate of journalism at the Jagiellonian University. In the past he has worked at a number of organisations including Onet, Interia and Brainly.

Speaker: Dr Pal Goda, Research Institute of Agricultural Economics (Hungary)

Dr Pál Goda graduated as an agricultural economist in the Netherlands, then in Hungary, majoring in International Rural Development and Innovation, as well as Agricultural and Regional Development. His main research areas are development studies, agro-economics, systems theory and agro-innovation.

Since 2008 he has been taking an active role in university education in English and Hungarian. From 2012, he worked as head of research and managing director at a private research company, where he led several international research projects.
From 2019, he was the director of the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, currently he is the managing director of the Institute of Agricultural Economics, which is the legal successor of the Institute. 

Speaker: Prof Todor Stoilov, Institute of ICT, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria)

Professor Todor Stoilov works at the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (IICT), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His area of expertise concerns implementation of optimisation strategies for the management and/or control of complex systems. Such systems include transportation systems, communication systems, resource allocation, and information and program systems in different Web services. He has twice been elected as Chair of the Technical Committee of Control in Transportation Systems of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC).

His research and results have been published in more than 300 monographs, chapters, books, and papers. He and my team had participations in EU funded projects in the frameworks of FP4, FP5, FP6, 2020, as well as in nationally funded projects and programs. His contribution for this event will address how to decrease pollution from transportation systems, by application of appropriate control strategies.

Moderator: Susan Watts

Susan is an award-winning journalist and communicator. She is a writer and speaker on STEM subjects in their political and social context. Most recently, as Head of Communications, she worked with leadership teams of two of the UK’s leading research institutes on strategy, media operations and outreach programmes (Rothamsted Research and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences). In 2021, she advised on the ten-year strategy of plant charity Plantlife and hosted the inaugural series of online “Dialogues” on the Covid pandemic for the British Council and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Susan is a trustee of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, in Oban, and a Physics graduate of Imperial College London. She was at the forefront of science and technology journalism in the UK for nearly two decades on the BBC’s Newsnight programme (1995-2013) where, as Science Editor, she helped to shape some of the most significant national debates.


Date: 11 February 2022
Time: 16:00 GMT/17:00 CET/18:00 EET
Registration: instructions to be provided

Keynote Speaker: Prof Mihaela van der Schaar, University of Cambridge

Prof van der Schaar is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute in London, and a Chancellor’s Professor at UCLA. In addition to leading the van der Schaar Lab, Mihaela is founder and director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine (CCAIM).

Her research interests are on machine learning with applications to medicine, finance and education. She has also worked on data science, network science, game theory, signal and image processing, communication networks, network science and multimedia. Prior to her academic career, she was a Senior Researcher at Philips Research in the Netherlands and USA.

Mihaela was elected IEEE Fellow in 2009. She has received numerous awards, including the Oon Prize on Preventative Medicine from the University of Cambridge (2018), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2004), 3 IBM Faculty Awards, the IBM Exploratory Stream Analytics Innovation Award, the Philips Make a Difference Award and several best paper awards, including the IEEE Darlington Award.

Mihaela is personally credited as inventor on 35 USA patents, many of which are still frequently cited and adopted in standards. She has made over 45 contributions to international standards for which she received 3 ISO Awards.

Mihaela is a leader and mentor in both science and in science communication. Her Ph.D. students and postdocs have gone on to excellent academic positions internationally (across 4 continents!) and are becoming recognised as leaders in their own right. She has also organised numerous outreach activities, several of which are dedicated to empowering women in engineering and computer science.


Date: 3 March 2022
Time: 16:00 GMT/17:00 CET/18:00 EET
Registration: instructions to be provided

Keynote Speaker: Prof Rose Luckin, University College London

Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London. Her research involves the design and evaluation of educational technology using theories from the learning sciences and techniques from Artificial Intelligence (AI).

She has a particular interest in using AI to open up the ‘black box’ of learning to show teachers and students the detail of their progress intellectually, emotionally and socially. Rose is also Director of EDUCATE, a London hub for Educational Technology StartUps, researchers and educators to work together on the development of evidence-informed Educational Technology.

Rose was named on the Seldon List 2017 as one of the 20 most influential people in Education. She is a UFI charity trustee, a governor and trustee of St Paul’s school in London and a governor of the Self-Managed Learning College in Brighton. She has taught in the state secondary, Further Education and Higher Education sectors, and she was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University of Sussex.


International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence
under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI)

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana


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