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Ignasi Belda, New Director General of the AESIA

Ignasi Belda, New Director General of the Spanish Agency for AI Supervision (AESIA)

The Ministry for Digital Transformation and Public Administration, through its Secretariat of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, has concluded the selection process for the director general of the Spanish Agency for AI Supervision (AESIA). Dr. Ignasi Belda has been chosen to lead this pioneering European institution, dedicated to supervising and fostering the national debate on the opportunities and challenges posed by artificial intelligence.

Appointment and Career

The AESIA Governing Council, along with its Presidency, met on June 12 to agree on Belda’s appointment, proposed by Mayte Ledo, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. With a distinguished academic and technical background, Belda is a computer engineer with doctorates in artificial intelligence and technology law. His extensive career includes significant research projects in biomedicine and notable performance as director general of the Parc Científic de Barcelona, as well as founding MiWEndo Solutions, focused on improving the detection of malignant polyps in colorectal cancer.

Rigorous Selection

The selection process, initiated on April 8, received 106 applications from various sectors, reflecting the high level of AI talent in Spain. A committee of experts, with deep knowledge of the technological ecosystem, evaluated the candidates based on criteria such as academic and technical experience in AI, management and leadership skills, legal knowledge and ethical perspective, as well as a strong network of contacts in business, institutional, and academic fields.

Responsibilities and Objectives

As director general of AESIA, Belda will be responsible for directing and managing the agency, ensuring the achievement of the objectives established in its statutes. His functions include designing and executing the agency’s strategy, supervising personnel, managing the budget, and coordinating with different sector actors. AESIA, based in A Coruña, will not only focus on AI supervision and advisory tasks but also promote debates on ethics and safety, driving innovation and technological development.

2024 AI Strategy

The Agency will play a crucial role in implementing the 2024 Artificial Intelligence Strategy, approved on May 14 by the Council of Ministers, particularly in its Axis 3: Developing Transparent, Responsible, and Humanistic AI. In the coming weeks, Belda will oversee recruitment processes to complete the Agency’s staffing structure and advance its operational activities.

With more than 25 awards throughout his career, including the 2014 Princess of Girona Award and the 2020 Healthy Longevity Award from the American Medical Association, Belda brings a unique combination of experience in both private and public sectors, positioning AESIA to lead the supervision and promotion of artificial intelligence in Spain and Europe. 

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