Dear IAOA members,
2020 proceeds in its second month now, but still: Happy New Year to everyone!
Below you’ll find a review of an active and successful year 2019 for IAOA, followed by an outlook on our agenda for the present year. If you would like to share any thoughts on these matters, please feel invited to do so.
2019 IAOA Events
We had a fruitful Summer Institute on Places and Things  at the University of Utrecht on 21-25 July 2019, bringing together three high-level facilitators:
- Werner Kuhn (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
- Michael Gruninger (University of Toronto, Canada)
- Simon Scheider (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)
and 12 motivated participants for four days packed with stimulating lectures and active group work. The overall format of the Summer Institute was oriented at the design and evaluation of spatial ontologies by working through scenarios related to geospatial analysis and interactions with the physical world.
The topic proposed for the next IAOA Summer Institute (in 2021) was to focus on the specification and use of competency questions.
The Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO)
Then, the premier IAOA event in 2019 was JOWO, Episode V: The Styrian Autumn of Ontology [2,3], which took place at the University of Graz during September 23-25, 2019. This wonderful fifth edition of the Joint Ontology Workshops, chaired by Adrien Barton and Selja Seppälä, included 12 workshops and 5 tutorials with a broad range of topics (cf. the listing at the bottom).
A total of 101 papers were submitted to the workshops of which 83 were accepted.
Moreover, the participants enjoyed three outstanding keynote speakers:
- Antony Galton (University of Exeter, UK)
- Yongsheng Gao (SNOMED International)
- Valentina Presutti (Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology of CNR, Rome, Italy)
and, last but not least, several extremely pleasant social events.
JOWO is clearly growing in audience. The 2019 edition attracted over 100 participants from many countries, from both academia and industry.
Also, this event was a fruitful occasion to gather and advance the IAOA community. There were meetings of two IAOA Technical Committees:
- the kick-off meeting of the newly founded Industry and Standards Technical Committee (ISTC)  (was named “Applied Ontology in Industry and Standards” at JOWO), see also the section IAOA Organization below;
- the meeting of the Education Committee .
In addition, there was a general IAOA meeting whose large attendance brought many discussions clearly showing that these two IAOA Technical Committees meet the needs of our community. You are all encouraged to join them, as well as the Semantic Web – Applied Ontology (SWAO) Scientific Committee .
The now famous Pub Quiz organized by the Education Committee was a fantastic way to close the whole event in a great mixture of fun, science, and drinks!
Other 2019 Events Supported by IAOA
As in previous years, IAOA was again a co-organizer of the Ontology Summit . For 2019 the theme “Explanation” was selected, under which the summit explored the role of ontologies for explaining the reasoning of a system and covered such topics as Financial Explanations, Medical Explanations, Explainable AI, Narrative, and Commonsense.
The Ontology Summit 2020 focuses on Knowledge Graphs (KGs) . More specifically, the theme is to examine KGs from a number of points of view, ranging from low-level representation and storage techniques to high-level semantics, and from the vendors to the end users.
Moreover, the 12th Seminar on Ontology Research in Brazil – ONTOBRAS 2019 was successfully held in Porto Alegre from September 2 to 5 and has been supported by IAOA [9,10].
A new internal organization was gradually established during 2019. Several administrative committees  are in charge of preparing decisions ahead and executing actions on behalf of the Executive Council (EC). New internal management tools (Slack, Trac) have been implemented. To communicate with the community, an IAOA wiki  has been added to our IAOA website  and our mailing lists.
For significantly improving outreach, the Industry and Standards Technical Committee (ISTC)  was founded. ISTC has two core purposes: (a) to foster the use of applied ontology in standardization initiatives, and (b) to facilitate the interactions across people in industry and in applied ontology research. Its wiki will be launched within our wiki space soon  and the community at large will be called to join. Stay tuned!
2019 was a year without EC elections. Elections within the EC were run to choose officers as every year, with the single change of a new vice-president from 2020 on. In 2019 and continuing in 2020, the members of the EC are  :
- Ken Baclawski (Northeastern University, Boston, USA), Treasurer
- Roberta Ferrario (ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy)
- Michael Gruninger (University of Toronto, Canada), Vice-President in 2020
- Maria Keet (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
- Oliver Kutz (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy), Vice-President in 2019
- Frank Loebe (University of Leipzig, Germany), Secretary
- Fabian Neuhaus (Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany)
- Laure Vieu (IRIT-CNRS, Toulouse, France), President
- Amanda Vizedom (Credit Suisse, USA)
Agenda for 2020
2020 is a year with the International Conference on Formal Ontology and Information Systems (FOIS) and the Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology (ISAO) – and an exceptional one at that. Indeed, FOIS 2020  and ISAO 2020 , as well as JOWO 2020 , will all be held in the context of an exciting series of events, the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge (BoSK) , which will take place in Bolzano-Bozen, Italy, during the month of September of 2020. Altogether, BoSK will host between 10 and 15 events among which, besides FOIS and ISAO, the International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW)  and the International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO)  certainly are relevant to our community, in addition to many JOWO workshops.
FOIS 2020 will see three great keynotes by:
- Arianna Betti (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
- Nicola Guarino (ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy)
- Stefan Schulz (Medical University of Graz, Austria)
Don’t let the deadline for submitting a FOIS paper, March 19th, pass!
We 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 events!
Laure Vieu, Frank Loebe, Roberta Ferrario and Michael Gruninger
for the IAOA Executive Council
Sub Events of JOWO 2019
- BOG (2nd International Workshop on Bad or Good Ontology)
- CAOS IV (Cognition and OntologieS)
- CREOL (Contextual Representation of Objects and Events in Language)
- DAO-SI (Data meets Applied Ontology in Open Science and Innovation)
- FOMI (10th International Workshop on Formal Ontologies meet Industry)
- FOUST III (Workshop on Foundational Ontology)
- ODLS 2019 (Ontology and Data in Life Sciences)
- SHAPES 5.0 (The Shape of Things)
- SoLEE (Ontology of Social, Legal and Economic Entities)
- WINKS-2 (Second Workshop on Interaction-Based Knowledge Sharing)
- WODHSA (1rst International Workshop on Ontologies for Digital Humanities and their Social Analysis)
- WOMoCoE (4th International Workshop on Ontology Modularity, Contextuality, and Evolution)
- DOnEReCA: Data-driven ontology engineering with Relational Concept Analysis by Petko Valtchev, Mickael Wajnberg
- FOUNT: Towards a systematic methodology for foundational ontologies: Properties, relations, and truthmaking by Nicola Guarino, Giancarlo Guizzardi, Daniele Porello
- MLwO: Semantic similarity and machine learning with ontologies by Robert Hoehndorf, Maxat Kulmanov
- SNOMED CT Tutorial by Stefan Schulz, Yongsheng Gao, Stefan Sabutsch, Nina Sjencic
- TLO: Top Level Ontologies (ISO/IEC 21838) by Barry Smith, Michael Gruninger