Industry Day at ECIR 2015


On Thursday, April 2, Paul Ogilvie of Linkedin and myself organised the Industry Day of this year’s annual European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR). This year, the conference was held in beautiful Vienna, with Technische Universität Wien, Vienna University of Technology, as the hosting institution.

This year, Paul and I decided to give the program the theme of “From Lab to Idea”, with the idea that we would like the day to give inspirational, motivational, and provocative narrations on the path from lab to idea. We wanted stories not only of successful decisions but also some anecdotal evidence of gaining experience from less successful ones.

The original questions to speakers were:

How did your company get to where it is today? What path did your original idea follow to become commercial reality? And which paths did it decide not follow?

Talks, one from an investor perspective, and eight from technology companies, most fairly recent start-ups, gave a consistent (and not entirely surprising) message for those who would follow in their footprints: focus on the customer and the customer’s needs, and good things will follow!

Keynote Speaker William Stevens Europe Unlimited
Discussion Panel: The Idea Reactor
Endre Jofoldi Precognox, Budapest
Catalyst #8211; focus on an existing real world problem Jeremy Pickens Catalyst, Denver
Signal: The journey so far… Miguel Martinez and Udo Kruschwitz Signal, London
Thomson Reuters: Challenges and Evolution of an Information Company over time Vassilis Plachouras Thomson Reuters, London – the story of a successful web search engine Jiří Materna Seznam, Prague
From to Lumi – Helping people find great content based on implicit userdata Martin Stiksel Lumi, London
Task selection based on topic induction from an IR perspective João Graça Unbabel, Lisbon
Spinque: a story of adaptation Arjen P. de Vries Spinque, Utrecht

The Industry Day Programme, for reference with abstracts etc, is here.