Wide support to catalyze and unite Danish data science

 

by Hanne Kokkegård, March 14, 2022

Sofie Castella- Photo by Hanne Kokkegård

The Danish Data Science Academy is ready for take-off with help from 57 people representing the diversity of the data science community.

 

Denmark benefits from a high degree of digitization, rich data sources, and strong tech companies. But we still need to train more data science experts and strengthen collaboration across sectors to cover the future needs and to maintain our strong international position in the field.

Now 57 highly qualified people from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, the UK, and the USA will help take Danish data science to the next level by serving on one of the five committees and panels at the newly established Danish Data Science Academy, DDSA.

“We are overwhelmed and very grateful for the broad support from the data science community to lift the ambitions of the DDSA. The width and caliber of the nominations for the committees and panels were impressive, counting over 120 nominations from academia, private and public sector, and spanning from students to executive leaders, from hands-on coders to experts in data ethics,” says Sofie Castella, Managing Director at the DDSA.

In the selection process, the DDSA has strived for diversity of geographic and personal profiles and broad representation of the plurality of data science.

The academy – supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the VILLUM FONDEN – will play an important role by supporting a national collaborative data science network across universities, public institutions, NGOs and private companies; and by inspiring and training the next generation of data scientists through educational, interdisciplinary, and collaborative activities.

Great competencies onboard
Professor at Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at University of Southern Denmark Peter Schneider-Kamp is one of the members of the newly appointed Fellowship Evaluation Committee. He is looking forward to starting the work and taking part in awarding PhD and Post Doc scholarships to excellent talents:

“I joined the DDSA with the hope to make data science more visible as a research field, as an ingredient of interdisciplinary research, and, last but not least, as a choice for students. I hope the DDSA will provide better continuity and the possibility to act on opportunities in the field.”

Another member, Professor Dolores Romero Morales from Copenhagen Business School agrees:

“I am happy to contribute to the DDSA, which fits very well with our research agenda on Data Driven Decision Making and Optimization.”

One of the National Advisory Panel’s members, User Experience Manager at Omilon Anne Bøgh Fangel, is glad to have the opportunity to help:

“It is extremely important to make sure that new technological advances in data science are powered by a continual focus on business application and user experience. To gain a leading position in data science, we need to join forces, share and collaborate to a much higher extent than we already do today – bridging technological innovations, organizational transformation, and everyday use. I bring to the table a people centric perspective on AI and a commitment to ensure a continued focus on the development of open-source models and datasets in Danish. I look forward to sharing my perspectives and experience in the National Advisory Panel.”

Senior Data Scientist at Novozymes Sara Mesquita from the Young Academy Panel is excited about the perspectives of supporting and funding data science initiatives that will bring universities and companies closer together- and strengthen data science education and career development in Denmark:

“It is a great opportunity to work with peers with the common goal of further developing and promoting data science education and careers in Denmark.“

Cecilie Utke Rank, Researcher at Department of Hematology at Rigshospitalet/University of Copenhagen and also among the members of the Young Academy Panel, agrees:

“Being given the opportunity to shape the future of data science in Denmark as part of the DDSA is truly exceptional. As an interdisciplinary field using algorithms, scientific methods, and systems to extract actionable knowledge as well as insights from often noisy unstructured raw data, data science paves the way for future research in Denmark.”

As a physician, Cecilie’s focus is to ensure evidence-based treatment of patients.

“Yet what would evidence-based medicine be without data science, being for the source of a vast number of medical breakthroughs?”

Jacob Ramlov Jensen, Co-founder and AI/ML Development Lead in the start-up Go Autonomous from the Education & Networking Committee looks forward to expanding cross-disciplinary collaboration, and hopes to bring different perspectives from his own cross-disciplinary background as well as his experiences from start-ups and industry:

“Being a very curious economist, I have always tried to find different ways to apply my capabilities using data to investigate complex problems. I think we can learn a lot from not restricting ourselves to work only within the field defined by our education, but to apply our skills and capabilities across different domains. I belong to the share of data scientists who are more data-centric than model-centric. There is currently a lot of research on how to improve models, and most educational courses are focusing on models first and data second. But I believe that data understanding and data improvement is just as important”, says Jacob Ramlov Jensen.”

A new nomination process will take place in one year for the Young Academy Panel, and in 2 years for the remaining DDSA bodies.

“With all the great competencies now aboard, we are more than ready to pursue the high ambitions of the DDSA and to deliver value to the broad data science community. Sadly, we could only offer a seat to a fraction of the many brilliant nominees in this process. We hope all other nominees will stay tuned with the DDSA and the expanding data science community,” says Sofie Castella.

Right now, the academy invites applications for ten three-year PhD scholarships within any field of data science and with a supervisor at a Danish university. The DDSA also has an open call for funding of data science events and courses. The deadline for both calls is on March 20, 2022.

Contact: Sofie Castella, Managing Director at the DDSA
Telephone: (+45) 93 51 11 20
Email: sofie@ddsa.dk

About the Danish Data Science Academy
• The Novo Nordisk Foundation and the VILLUM FONDEN have awarded a total combined grant of DKK 184.3 million to the Danish Data Science Academy.
• The mission of the Danish Data Science Academy is to support a national collaborative network of data science experts across universities, public institutions, and industries; and to inspire and train the next generation of data scientists through educational, interdisciplinary, and collaborative activities.
• The Danish Data Science Academy is the result of a long process, which has involved researchers from across the country and is therefore strongly rooted in Denmark’s data science community. The secretariat is located at DTU.

See all the members and learn more on DDSA’s website.