Peter Spyns is a civil servant working at the Flemish department of Economy, Science and Innovation. Currently, his major task is to coordinate within the department international policy issues on science and innovation. As such he participates in many high level strategic advisory committees and policy groups at the European and Belgian levels.
Prior to his work at the Flemish administration, dr. Spyns’ career spanned about 20 years as a researcher in both academia and industry. He holds a M.A. in Romance Philology (1989), and a MSc (1991) and PhD (1996) in Computer Science (on medical language processing in Dutch). He published over 100 scientific contributions of various nature and size, mainly in the areas of human language technology, human language technology policy, knowledge engineering, ontology engineering and ontology evaluation. The bulk of his work in academia concerned European projects. For several years (2006-2012), he acted as the coordinator of a Flemish-Dutch multiyear R&D programme on human language technology for Dutch. Peter also regularly acted as reviewer for conferences (e.g., MEDINFO, AMIA, LREC, ODBASE, COOPIS) and journals (the Journal of Data and Knowledge Engineering, the Journal of Information Science). Peter has also organised several workshops, one of which is the OnTheMove Academy, a tutored workshop for PhD students, which he almost continuously co-organises as from 2004.