2014 New Year's Address to IAOA Members by the Executive Council


Dear IAOA members,

Happy New Year!

Looking back on 2013, it is evident that our Association is thriving in a number of areas.

2013's Summer Institute was held in cooperation with the Vespucci Institute in Fiesole, Italy in June. The selected topic was: "Ontologies and models for integrated assessments of multiple-scale processes".  Using the notion of "land functions" as a basis, discussions covered a host of highly interdisciplinary approaches, including spatial micro-simulation models for environments and social science, to move towards an ontology of land function and land function dynamics.
Dimitris Ballas (University of Sheffield), Tom Bittner (SUNY-Buffalo), Max Craglia (JRC), Werner Kuhn (University of Münster), Carlo Lavalle (JRC) served as facilitators. And particular thanks go to Werner Kuhn for his energy and assistance in another highly successful Summer Institute!

IAOA was also one of the co-organizers for OntologySummit 2013, which addressed the theme "Ontology Evaluation Across the Ontology Lifecycle" and explored criteria, tools, and techniques for evaluating ontologies.
 In addition, marking a new development for the Association, IAOA sponsored a Prize for the Best Hackathon-Clinic Project at the Ontology Summit.
The winners of the Award in 2013 were:
- Mike Bennett (FIBO; EDM Council; Hypercube)
- María Poveda Villalón (OOPS!; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)
- Astrid Duque Ramos (OQuaRE; University of Murcia)
- Samir Tartir (OntoQA; Philadelphia University, Jordan)
Congratulations to all of the winners.

The new Semantic Web Applied Ontology SIG was created in November, with Leo Obrst leading the effort. Various activities continued in the other Special Interest Groups and Technical Committees, although we are strongly encouraging much higher participation levels from members in the future!  There is much to do. In particular, we are hoping to energize the Education Committee and initiate the development of an ontology textbook. Zena Wood has agreed to be the new Chair of the Education Committee, taking over from Antony Galton and Fabian Neuhaus.

The year also brought changes to the Executive Council, with Giancarlo Guizzardi and Laure Vieu both retiring. Many thanks to Giancarlo and Laure for all of their hard work!  Laure, in particular, has served as our Treasurer since the inception of the Association, an absolutely vital role. The current success of IAOA is in large part due to her untiring efforts, and she will be greatly missed.

Elections were held in 2013, and Janna Hastings and Marion Haemmerli both joined the Executive Council, with their term starting this January, 2014. Re-elected to the Executive Council were Oliver Kutz, Frank Loebe, Fabian Neuhaus, and Leo Obrst.

For the coming year, 2014, we are eagerly anticipating a wide range of major events.  Foremost, we have FOIS occurring this year September 22-25 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  With Laure Vieu as General Chair, Pawel Garbacz and Oliver Kutz as Programme Committee Chairs, and Giancarlo Guizzardi and Renato Rocha Souza as Organization Chairs, FOIS promises to be a spectacular venue for the presentation of the latest ontological research. For the latest information, visit the website at http://fois2014.inf.ufes.br .

The Second Interdisciplinary Summer School on Ontological Analysis will also take place in Vitoria, Brazil, in the week before FOIS. The emphasis here will be on ontological analysis, pursuing the goal of showing how the different disciplines within IAOA interact and communicate to answer a variety of problems. Details on the program/courses of the school, venue and accommodation and registration procedures are available at http://iaoa.org/isc2014 .

As in previous years, IAOA will again be a co-organizer of the Ontology Summit. Ontology Summit 2014 has selected as theme for this year "Big Data and Semantic Web Meet Applied Ontology".  The Summit will offer a particularly important opportunity for building bridges between the Semantic Web, Linked Data, Big Data, and Applied Ontology communities. The Kickoff session takes place already on January 16, 2014 -- for more details, see http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OntologySummit2014 .
 
This coming year therefore holds great promise for new activities within the Association as well as new opportunities for involvement across all the interdisciplinary areas that make up Applied Ontology. We therefore look forward to your continuing support in all the endeavours of IAOA and will hope to see you at any or all of this year's face-to-face events!

Michael Gruninger and John Bateman
for the IAOA Executive Council
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