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johnD_cropProf. John Domingue from The Open University (OU), Milton Keynes, UK visited the SDA group on November 7th, 2018.

John Domingue is a full Professor at the Open University and Director of the Knowledge Media Institute in Milton Keynes, focusing on research in the Semantic Web, Linked Data, Services, Blockchain, and Education. He also serves as the President of STI International, a semantics focused networking organization which runs the ESWC conference series.

His current work focuses on how a combination of blockchain and Linked Data technologies can be used to process personal data in a decentralized trusted manner and how this can be applied in the educational domain (see http://blockchain.open.ac.uk/). This work is funded by a number of projects. The Institute of Coding is a £20M funded UK initiative which aims to increase the graduate computing skills base in the UK. As leader of the first of five project Themes John Domingue is focusing on the use of blockchain micro-accreditation to support the seamless transition of learners between UK universities and UK industry. From January 2019, he will play a leading role in the EU funded QualiChain project which has the aim of revolutionizing public education and its relationship to the labor market and policy-making by disrupting the way accredited educational titles and other qualifications are archived, managed, shared and verified, taking advantage of blockchain, semantics, data analytics and gamification technologies.

From January 2015 to January 2018 he served as the Project Coordinator for the European Data Science Academy which aimed to address the skills gap in data science across Europe. The project was a success leading to a number of outcomes including a combined data science skills and courses portal enabling learners to find jobs across Europe which match their qualifications.

Prof. Domingue was invited to give a talk “Towards the Decentralisation of Personal Data through Blockchains and Linked Data“ at the Computer Science Colloquium at the University of Bonn co-organized by SDA.

 

At the bi-weekly “SDA colloquium presentations” he presented KMi and the main research topics of the institute. The goal of Prof. Domingue’s visit was to exchange experience and ideas on decentralized applications using blockchains technologies in combination with Linked Data. In addition to presenting various use-cases where blockchains and linked data technologies have helped communities to get useful insights, Prof. Dr. Domingue shared with our group future research problems and challenges related to this research area. During the meeting, SDA core research topics and main research projects were presented and we investigated suitable topics for future collaborations with Prof. Domingue and his research group.