Welcome and goodbye: Heiko Lehmann and Ariane Sutor, Action Line Leads

Ariane Sutor has left EIT ICT Labs a few months ago and now Heiko Lehmann has entered the stage as a new Action Line Leader for Smart Energy Systems. 

Here's an short interview with both of them. 


Q: You were responsible for the Action Line Smart Energy Systems for over two years in a row. What will stay in mind most of all?

Ariane: What I really appreciated is the cooperation with partners within the Action Line. Working with this large community of people of different backgrounds was a great experience. The mixture of people, their different views – that is so inspiring to work with. People enthusiastic about the societal challenge of Smart Energy, people from the research sector, people from the industries. They come together and bring their own story along to work on joint projects.

Q: What is the status quo of the action line?

Ariane: Smart Energy Systems now is a stable network of partners. It has clearly targeted activities with a clear business focus. We have been working hard towards bringing solutions to the market and we defined a clear vision in two specific areas: decentralized ICT infrastructures and user-centric services.

Heiko: Already in 2014, we can build on a number of strong activities and proposals, and knowing a bit more now that the Call 2015 has been closed, I am really confident that for next year, 2015 we have an excellent project portfolio also. It is a very interesting joint journey that now starts for me. 

Q. What is your ambition with the Action Line? 

Heiko: There is a large range of different sceneries within Europe when it comes to Smart Energy. I want to learn about those different angles and find solutions that help the whole of Europe. 

Q: Any specific experiences with Smart Energy Systems activities that you want to share?

Heiko: I really enjoyed participating in an excellent and new action line activity last year: Round Table. We are repeating that activity for those expert discussions had a huge added value already. 

Ariane: Well, the Smart Energy Systems Summer School is an important success, with the fourth one to follow this summer in Stockholm and Karlsruhe. We have excellent universities and strong industrial partners on board and the cooperation works extremely well. This summer school is now a considerable, mature, and stable pillar in our ecosystem. Another success is how the action line celebrated some large milestones in the research field. With an outstanding study in the special edition of ERCIM magazine, we confirmed the action line as such.

Q: What does your future look like?

Ariane: I am now leading a research group on Business Intelligence within Siemens Corporate Technology. I am striving to take on smart data as an important innovation topic in our future. The adaptation of new opportunities that smart data brings forward into the environment of Siemens, that is crucial for our future success.

Heiko: The expedition has started. It is the exchange with our strong partners in the action line that I look forward to most. 

Q: Anything we need to know? 

Ariane: It was exciting to work with all colleagues and partners within the organization. I wish all Action Line Leader lots of fun, and I wish Heiko all the best and lots of success with Smart Energy Systems!

Thank you both very much!

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