Semantic interfaces and key opportunities of SEPA #01


8 May 2008

During two science & industry lunches in May and June 2008, CROSSTALKS and EDS tackled the issue of the financial supply chain in the post-SEPA era: first from a more technical perspective aiming at more efficiency and cost reduction, secondly from the perspective of the business and consumers and their expectancies in post-SEPA and a cashless society aiming at a more efficient bank-to-customer integration.


Other session


A natural life ecosystem is defined as a biological community of interacting organisms plus their physical environment. In the same way, a business ecosystem is "the network of buyers, suppliers and makers of related products or services" plus the socio-economic environment, including the institutional and regulatory framework. A digital ecosystem is a self-organizing digital infrastructure aimed at creating a digital environment for networked organizations that supports the cooperation, the knowledge sharing, the development of open and adaptive technologies and evolutionary business models.   The digital ecosystem approach transposes the concepts to the digital world, reproducing the desirable mechanisms of natural ecosystems.

09:00u Welcome + coffee
09:30u Talk 1 Jozef Van den Nieuwenhof (Director at Febelfin) – setting the scene (30 minutes + 10 minutes discussion)
10:10u Talk 2 Robert Meersman (Professor Computer Sciences VUB) – Semantics and Digital Business Ecosystems (30 minutes + 10 minutes discussion)
10:50u Coffee
11:10u Talk 3 Rod Shelton (Project Director for the Digital Business Ecosystem at Birmingham City University Business School) – about the West Midlands experience with Digital Business Ecosystems (30 minutes + 10 minutes discussion)
11:50u Talk 4 Harry Leinonen (Advisor to the Board of the Bank of Finland) - (30 minutes + 10 minutes discussion)
12:30u Closing discussion
13:00u Apero + walking lunch

Bios / Slides

Jozef Van den Nieuwenhof

Since 1991, Jozef Van den Nieuwenhof is Director at Febelfin, the Federation of the Belgian Financial Sector. He holds Master degrees in Business Economics and Financial Economics of the Faculty of Applied Economic Sciences at the Antwerp University and an MBA in Data Processing, Econometric Methods and Marketing of the KULeuven. He is member of various financial advisory boards, such as SWIFT and the Payment Systems Steering Group of the European Banking Federation. He is a frequently asked speaker and author of numerous publications on capital flows, banking and ICT, new technologies and telecommunications, payment interfaces.

Robert Meersman

Robert Meersman holds a Ph.D in Mathematics of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (1976) and is appointed as Full Professor at VUB since 1995. Earlier positions include the University of Antwerp (UIA, 1975-78) and Control Data Corp. (Data Management Lab, Brussels, Belgium, 1978-83), where he worked on the definition of the NIAM (now ORM) method as well as languages (RIDL) and first tools for this methodology. He held various chairs and founded the InfoLabs at University of Limburg (Belgium, 1983-86) and at University of Tilburg (The Netherlands, 1986-95). Current research is focused on ontologies and their relationship to databases, semantic web and design methodologies and tools.
Robert Meersman is Member and Past Chairman (1983-1992) of the IFIP WG2.6 on Database, past Chairman of the IFIP TC 12 (Artificial Intelligence, 1987-92) and current Chairman of TC 2 (Software Theory and Practice). He is Co-Founder and current President of the International Foundation for Cooperative Information Systems (IFCIS, since 1994) and of the Distributed Objects Applications Institute (DOA, since 2000). In 1995, he founded the Semantics Technology and Applications Research Laboratory (STAR Lab) at VUB, where he is Director ever since. Current scientific interests include ontologies, database semantics, domain and database modeling, interoperability and use of databases in applications such as enterprise knowledge management and the Semantic Web. More info on

Rod Shelton

Rod is a creative management development professional who has had senior level experience in major companies. He is Course Director for the MSc. in Leadership and Change Management and leads the Digital Business Ecosystem project in UCE Birmingham City University Business School. He has led European research projects on innovation and e-learning and has had numerous papers published on his specialist areas of knowledge management and organisation development. Rod has focused his recent work on aspects of leadership and change in the fields of knowledge management and innovation with partner agencies in Europe. More info on

Harry Leinonen

Harry Leinonen is Advisor to the Board of the Bank of Finland and is in charge of payment system policy issues in the central bank. He is the Finnish representative on the payment and settlement system committee (PSSC) within the Eurosystem and a participant the Government Expert Group and Payment System Market Group of the European Commission Internal Markets. He joined the Bank of Finland in 1996 as head of the payment system division and was appointed adviser to the Board in 1999. Before that he worked in the banking industry for about 20 years and especially in managerial positions connected to payment system activities, within both the savings banks’ and cooperative banks' groups in Finland. For most of the past 30 years he has been active in developing interbank payment systems and standards within the Finnish banking community. Mr Leinonen has also been active on international payment system forums throughout his career and has published several articles and books on payment system issues.
Harry Leinonen was born in Helsinki in 1951. He holds a Master’s degree in economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.


Download the booklet on Semantic Interfaces and Key Opportunities of S€PA here, an exploration of crucial parameters, technical and economic conditions and personal and social extrapolations with an eye on developing an open digital ecosystem. With contributions from all invited speakers.