The emergence of Big Data represents a new economic reality; the promise of the Internet of Things adds a new quantitative and qualitative dimension to this perspective. To derive full benefits, a coordinated effort will be required that links responsible players from the public domains of research and education to the private domain of industrial practice. This is the key challenge facing Europe.
Alexander Rinnooy Kan
Alexander Rinnooy Kan (1949) grew up in The Hague. He graduated in Mathematics from the University of Leiden in 1972. In the same year, he acquired a Candidate’s degree in Econometrics at the University of Amsterdam.
From 1973 to 1977 he was a member of the academic staff of the department of Mathematics and Statistics at Delft University of Technology. During that period, in 1976, he obtained his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam.
Between 1977 and 1991 Rinnooy Kan held various positions at Erasmus University Rotterdam and other European and American universities. He was rector magnificus of Erasmus University from 1986 to 1989.
As Chairman of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), a post he held from 1991 to 1996, Rinnooy Kan was one of the mainrepresentatives of Dutch business. He was member of the ING Group Executive Board from 1996 to 2006.
Rinnooy Kan has been Chairman of the Netherlands Social and Economic Council from 2006 to 2012. In 2012, he was appointed as Distinguished University Professor at the University of Amsterdam. In June 2015, he was elected to the Dutch Senate.