Erik Mannens

ErikMannens.jpgErik Mannens is Research Valorisation Director @ imec & Professor Semantic Intelligence @ Ghent University - IDLab since 2005 where he has successfully managed +75 projects.  He received his PhD degree in Computer Science Engineering (2011) at UGent, his Master’s degree in Computer Science (1995) at K.U. Leuven University, and his Master’s degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering (1992) at KAHO Ghent.

Before joining iMinds-Ghent University-DataScienceLab in 2005 as research manager, he was a software engineering consultant and Java architect for over a decade. His major expertise is centered around ethical AI, semantic intelligence, big data analytics, metadata modeling, semantic web technologies, broadcasting workflows, iDTV and web development in general. He is involved in several projects as senior researcher and finished up his PhD on Semantic News Production; he was co-chair of the W3C Media Fragments Working Group and actively participating in other W3C’s semantic web standardization activities (Media Annotations, Provenance, Hydra, Linked Data Platform, eGovernment, Knowledge Graph Construction, and SOLID).

Since 2008 Erik is paving the Open Data path in Flanders. He stood at the cradle of the first Hackathons and is a founding member of the Open Knowledge Foundation. (Belgian Chapter). Since then, he is frequently invited as Open Data evangelist at national and international events. He currently actively participates in W3C’s eGov and Data On The Web working groups. Furthermore his team is owner of the Open Sourced Linked Open Data Publishing frameworks TheDataTank (, R&Wbase, RML (, Linked Data Fragments (, SOLID (, and Comunica (

On all of these subjects he has published +300 papers and book chapters. He is also member of the technical committee and/or organizing committee of several high level journals and conferences. His full curriculum can be found on LinkedIn.

Specialties: Ethical AI, (Linked) Open Data, Big Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, (Semantic) Web development, project management, W3C standardization (imec’s AC Rep, MMSEM, Video WG - Media Fragments & Media Annotation, Provenance WG, Hydra, Digital Publishing, Knowledge Graph Construction, SOLID), Java architect, iDT.

Knowledge On Web-Scale (KnOWS)

The Media & Web world is confronted with the combination of an exploding volume of information and multiplying distribution channels. This causes a shift in the preferences of consumers and the emergence of new dominant actors in the media & web ecosystem that help the media/web consumer access and control these new vast volumes of media & web content, and news information. The amount of information in the world is doubling every two years. In 2011, the world created a staggering 1.8 zettabytes. By 2020, the world will generate 75 times that amount of information yearly, while IT staff to manage this abundance will grow less than 1.5 times. New ‘information taming’ technologies such as de-duplication, knowledge inference, and analysis tools will have to drive down the cost of creating, storing, and managing all that information. Dealing with these challenges will require investing in research innovation within the knowledge representation and inference domain.

The primary objective of MMLab’s KnOWS-team is to advance research and technology in the field of Enterprise Information Systems & Semantic Technologies and to widely apply this research in large-scale use cases. A particular focus of research and technology is Information, Data and Knowledge Integration employing Linked Data strategies. MMLab’s KnOWS-team has in the end three research aims: to examine the Web and understand its impact on contemporary society, to explore novel changes that the Web enables in the way we run our lives and to develop Web innovations and enhancements to the way that the Web operates in the future. MMLab’s KnOWS-team is also committed to the open source, open access and open knowledge movements.

Open Data Evangelist

  • # bi-lateral projects with AGIV / AIV (1 Jan 2015 - ongoing). Participating as a technical consultant for, a.o., development of a generic URI-strategy & metadata dissemination strategy.
  • # bi-lateral projects with ABB (1 Sep 2015 - ongoing). Participating as a technical consultant for, a.o., development of a generic strategy for Local Decisions as Linked Open Data.
  • # bi-lateral projects with MOW (1 Jan 2015 - ongoing). Participating as a technical consultant for, a.o., development of a generic Open Data strategy for Mobility & Public Works.
  • Mobile Touristic Guides: Tetra IWT-project (1 Sep 2014 - ongoing). Participating as a technical consultant for Open Data tooling, metadata modelling & publishing in a European Touristic Data.
  • OpenTransportNet: EU Project (1 Feb 2014 - 27 Feb 2017). Participating as a technical consultant for Open Data tooling & publishing in a European Open (Geo) Data Transport Network.
  • VIP Project Shared Catalogue: IWT-project (1 Jan 2013 - 31 Dec 2014). Participating as a technical consultant for Open Data tooling, metadata modelling & publishing on Shared Catalogues & Contact Information.
  • Apps4EU (Apps For Europe): EU project (1 Jan 2013 - 31 Dec 2014). Participating as workpackage leader and technology provider on the publication of Linked Open Data concerning the different European Apps Competitions.
  • Flander's Open Data Publishing: EWI project (1 Jan 2013 - 30 Jun 2014). Participating as overall leader & workpackage leader on Open Data Publishing in Flanders. Awareness creation and the deployment of Open Data within three Use Cases are key, i.e., Academic Publishing, Data Journalism, and Governmental Data re-use.
  • R&Wbase: iMinds Open Source Framework (1 Jan 2013 - ongoing). Code base owner of "Git for Triples" incorporating a full Read-Write Web with Versioning & Provenance (beta deployed)
  • OSLO (1.0 & 1.1): Standardization Project (1 Sep 2012 - 31 May 2014) together with V-ICT-OR on local governments
  • Citadel On The Move: EU project (1 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2014). Participating as a technical consultant for Open Data tooling & publishing in a European Local Governments Network.
  • TheDataTank: iMinds Open Source Framework (1 Oct 2011 - ongoing). Code base owner of "15 minutes" Linked Open Data Publishing framework (v4 deployed)
  • Strategic Open Data Consultant (1 Jan 2009 - ongoing) for Belgian Federal Government, Flander's Government, local Governments (a.o. V-ICT-OR, City of Ghent, Digipolis, etc.), Belgian Ministry of Defense, EWI, VIAA, Apps4X (Antwerp, Ghent, Kortrijk, ...), Westtoer, VDAB, Essent, ...


Erik Mannens has been leading several (inter)national research projects within the domain of broadcast workflow processes, multimedia adaptation, metadata modelling, ontology building, semantic intelligence (the fusion of Semantics and Machine Learning), and ethical AI.


During his work at imec - Ghent University - IDLab Erik Mannens also joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as imec's AC-representative and is since then actively participating in standardization processes within W3C. Erik Mannens was a contributing member of the W3C Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group, the W3C Media Annotations Working Group, and co-chaired / was editor within the W3C Media Fragments Working Group. His group further participated/participates in the Provenance WG (editor), eGovernment WG, Linked data Platform WG, Digital Publishing IG, CSV WG, Hydra WG, RDF JavaScript WG, Data on the Web WG, Knowledge Graph Construction WG (editor), and the SOLID WG (editor).


Erik Mannens has been a reviewer for journal & conference publications:

  • Multimedia Tools & Applications Journal (MTAP)
  • ACM International Conference on Multimedia (ACM MM)
  • International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC)
  • International Conference on Multimedia on the Web (MMWeb)
  • International Conference on Multimedia Modelling (MMM)
  • IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC)
  • International Conference on Semantic and Digital Media Technologies (SAMT)
  • Multimedia Annotation and Retrieval enabled by Shared Ontologies Workshop (MAReSO)



Phone +32 473 27 44 17

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