A Europe Fit for the Digital Age
Margrethe Vestager is the Executive Vice President of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age and Commissioner for Competition. She previously served as Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior (2011-14) and Minister for Education (1998-2001) of Denmark, and as President of the ECOFIN Council (2012). She was Political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party (2007-14), and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance (1993-95). Ms. Vestager holds an MSc in Economics (University of Copenhagen).
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Mariya Gabriel is the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, Youth and Sport. Under her leadership, the new Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, and the cultural strand of Creative Europe programmes (2021-2027) will be defined and implemented.
Her main priorities are excellence in research, innovation and education (ERA, EEA, EIA); tackling the R&I divide in Europe; Europe as a leader in strategic innovation areas through the digital and green transition, with a particular attention for young people and regions. “No one left behind” and “Think out of the box” are her mottos.
Between 2017 and 2019, Mariya Gabriel was European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. She proposed the new Digital Europe programme, worked on EU Strategy on AI, disinformation online, cybersecurity and launched the EuroHPC strategy. She has extensively engaged with external EU partners to enhance digital cooperation, in particular with the Western Balkans and Africa.
She was elected as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in 2009, 2014 and 2019. Mariya Gabriel is First Vice-President of the European People's Party (EPP), and, since 2012, Vice-President of EPP Women.
Commissioner Gabriel is a board member of the United Nations youth programme Generation Unlimited (GenU). She has been ranked among the 50 most influential women in Europe in the field of cybersecurity by the leading European cybersecurity magazine SC Media UK (2019).
Mariya Gabriel is also known for her involvement in the fight for gender equality. Among others, she received the prestigious Italian prize “Golden Apple” for highest achievements for women. At the European Parliament, she was awarded twice "MEP of the year" - in 2016 for the Development category, and in 2013 for the Gender Equality category.
In November 2020, Commissioner Gabriel received the Annual Award of the Vienna Economic Forum "Partner of the Year 2020" for contribution to the economic development, rewarding Ms Gabriel’s vision of a European knowledge strategy comprising the European Education Area, the European Research Area and the new Digital Education Action Plan.
She holds a Master's degree in political sciences and international relations from the Institute of Political Studies (Bordeaux, FR) and a Bachelor’s degree in Bulgarian and French Languages from “Paisii Hilendarski” University (Plovdiv, BG). She also graduated from “Dr.Petar Beron” Language High School (Kyustendil, BG).
Commissioner Thierry Breton
European Commissioner for Internal Market
Engineer, with a Supélec qualification in computer science, Thierry Breton begins his career as an entrepreneur in the new technologies sector. In 1981, he set up in the United States Forma Systems, an SME which he heads for 5 years. At the same time it publishes a number of science-fiction novels, including Softwar, sold at 2 million copies and translated into a dozen or so languages.
In France, he designs and then designs the Futuroscope, the first science and technology tourism park, between 1986 and 1990. In parallel, he was also elected regional councillor and then Vice-President of Poitou-Charentes from 1986 to 1992.
He runs a number of companies in the market for goods, as well as in the IT sector and new technologies. He was Director of the Strategy and Development, then Managing Director of Bull between 1993 and 1997. He then takes the lead of Thomson Multimedia, a global electronics company. In 2002, he was appointed to the head of the multinational operator France Télécom.
In 2005 he was appointed Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry of France, which he held until 2007. Following his ministerial office, he teaches the governance at the Harvard Business School.
In 2009, he became CEO of Atos, a technology and digital service company until 2019.
He chairs ANRT, the National Association for Research and Technology until 2019. He is a member of the Technology Academy. In 2019 he became the European Commissioner for the Internal Market. It is responsible for industry, services, digital, defence and space, as well as tourism and audiovisual.
Director General of DG Research and Innovation
Jean-Eric Paquet became Director-General of DG Research and Innovation on 1st April 2018; his involvement in EU research policy dates back from 2002, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of Philippe Busquin, then Commissioner in charge of Research and Development. He also worked in DG Transport, where he led the development of the Trans-European Transport Network Policy. He was also EU Ambassador in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania from 2004 to 2007. Between 2015 and 2018, he was the Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission in charge of Better Regulation and Policy Coordination.
In all his endeavours, he puts co-creation and systemic change at the heart of the decision-making process, and strongly believes that citizens should be more involved in shaping public policy agendas.
Director of EISMEA
Jean-David Malo became Head of Unit in charge of regional aspects in DG R&I (2006-2010) and of the unit (2011-2013) in charge of increasing private finance and closing market gaps by expanding existing EU innovative financial instruments (see RSFF) and by developing new ones in the fields of debt (including guarantees) and equity financing (InnovFin). Horizon 2020SMEs was also addressed by the unit (i.e. EUROSTARS II, SME Instrument and the Fast Track to Innovation). Director for Open Innovation and Open Science in 2017, he designed and expanded initiatives such as the VentureEU Initiative and the RDI dimension under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) among other things.
In 2019 following the European Council’s request to set up the European Innovation Council (EIC), he became Director of the EIC Task Force.
Since April 2021 he is the Director of the Executive Agency for EIC and SMEs (EISMEA).
Dr. Christian Ehler
Member of the European Parliament
Dr Christian Ehler has been a Member of the European Parliament for Brandenburg since 2004 and belongs to the Group of the European People's Party (EPP/CDU). He has been a Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) for over ten years and has been its coordinator for the EPP since the beginning of this legislative period. As rapporteur for Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) and Horizon Europe (2021-2027) Dr Christian Ehler is considered one of the leading figures in the design and implementation of the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. He is the initiator of the ITRE working group on the implementation of the Framework Programmes, which ensures close parliamentary scrutiny of Europe's research and innovation funding. Furthermore, Dr Christian Ehler is Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's think tank STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment).
One of Dr. Ehlers main priorities is to ensure Europe’s excellence in science, technology and innovation in all sectors, including health, digital and climate. As Rapporteur for Horizon Europe, he has put forward a number of instruments to reduce the administrative burden for researchers and SMEs and for boosting public-private partnerships contributing to achieving EU climate and digital goals. In addition to his engagement in the field of research an innovation, in the European Parliament Dr Christian Ehler is also Member of the US Delegation and substitute Member of the Committee on Culture and Education, the Delegation for relations with Israel and the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean.
Prof. Maria Leptin
President of the European Research Council
Professor Maria Leptin is the President of the European Research Council (as from 1 November 2021).
Prior to that, Professor Leptin served as Director of EMBO from 2010-2021. She also established a research group in Heidelberg at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The group studies the mechanics of shape determination during development.
After completing her studies in mathematics and biology at the University of Bonn and the University of Heidelberg, Professor Leptin worked for her PhD at the Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland (1979-1983) studying B-lymphocyte activation under the supervision of Fritz Melchers.
In 1984 she moved, as a post-doctoral fellow (1984-1987) to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge, UK, where she started her research on the embryonic development of Drosophila, joining the laboratory of Michael Wilcox. This work laid the foundations for her future work in the field of molecular morphogenesis. In 1988, she was appointed as staff scientist at the same institution. As visiting scientists in Pat O’Farrell's lab at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) she began her work on gastrulation which became the core of her research interests at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany, where she worked as group leader (1989-1994).
In 1994, Maria Leptin became Professor at the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany, where she still leads a research group. She spent sabbaticals as a visiting Professor at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France (2001) and as visiting scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK (2004-2005).
Professor Leptin is an elected member of EMBO, the Academia Europaea and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Prof. Mark W.J. Ferguson
Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland
Professor Mark W.J. Ferguson commenced as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland in January 2012 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland in October 2012.
Professor Ferguson is Chair of the European Commission Pilot Advisory Board for the European Innovation Council, a member of the Governing Boards of the Global Research Council and of the European Commission Joint Research Centre and is a founding member of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative. He served on the EU High Level Group on the impact of H2020 and chaired international committees reviewing the Research and Innovation systems of Denmark, Hungary and Canada. Recently Mark has served in Ireland’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic, e.g., as a member of NPHET (the National Public Health Emergency Team).
Previously, a Professor and Dean of Biological Sciences at The University of Manchester (since 1984), he was co-founder and CEO of Renovo Group Plc. (1998 – 2011). Professor Ferguson is the recipient of numerous international research prizes and awards, including the 2002 European Science Prize (jointly), author of 329 papers and book chapters, 61 patent families, author/editor of eight books, supervised 77 PhD students and has been awarded over £70 million in competitive research grants and approximately £100 million in start-up company equity funding. He has contributed to a number of scientific films, documentaries, TV and radio programmes and held offices in 16 international scientific societies, including President of the European Tissue Repair Society. He has wide ranging research interests in cellular and molecular mechanisms in scarring and wound healing, developmental mechanisms in normal and cleft palate formation, alligator and crocodile biology including temperature dependent sex determination.
Professor Ferguson graduated from Queens University of Belfast with degrees in Dentistry (BDS 1st class honours), Anatomy and Embryology (BSc 1st class honours, PhD) and Medical Sciences (DMedSc), and holds Fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Ireland (FFD), and Edinburgh (FDS) and is a Founding Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). He is a member or Fellow of a number of learned Societies and was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE) by the Queen in 1999 for services to Health and Life Sciences.
Anita Krohn Traaseth
Chairwoman of the Executive Board, StartUp Norway
Norwegian business executive, Chair, Non-Executive Director, member of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot Advisory Board., former CEO of Innovation Norway and Hewlett-Packard Norway.
Norwegian business executive and bestselling author. Former CEO of Innovation Norway (2014-2019) and first female Managing director of Hewlett-Packard Norway. High performer profile with more than 20 years of experience from Private and Public sector, with broad operational experience leading and transforming complex matrix organizations and stakeholders.
Change leadership, innovation & technology, strategic planning, team involvement and execution are key strengths. Certified in strategy and innovation from MIT, High Potential Leadership program at Harvard Business School and several Executive Master programs at BI Norwegian School of Business.
Self-driven and fully autonomous, understands the sensibilities and complexity of dealing with diversified and complex business processes, cultures and acumen.
High adaptability to changes and navigates well under pressure. Focused, result driven, direct, and informal team oriented leadership style.
Voted as one of Top 50 Global Business Thinkers 2018 by Thinkers50 Radar. Amongst top 50 most inspiring women in European Tech 2015 and 2016. Voted one of top 25 Young business talents in Norway 2005, ranked amongst top 40 Leader potentials cross business, politics and science in Norway 2009, awarded the Od@ price for best female leader in the ICT industry in Norway 2012 and received the Social Media Personality Award in 2013. Author of two bestselling leadership books "Fisken på disken" (2021) and "Good Enough for the 'bastards' (2014) - confessions of a female leader" published by Cappelen Damm. Columnist at Norway's largest newspaper, Aftenposten. Delivers weekly podcast, "Godt nok for de svina", Norway's first Mentorpodcast and founded Vriml, a platform for people with ambitions.
Director of European Research Area & Innovation at the Research and Innovation Directorate General of European Commission
EIC Fund Board
EIC Fund Investment Committee
VC investor. Member of the EIC Fund Investment Committee.
Co-Founder of the leading CEE (Poland based) VC fund - Experior VC with investments in data driven CEE startups with global ambitions.
Investment Committee Member at EIC Fund, largest deep-tech fund in Europe and board member at fast growing companies.
As the first VC fund in Europe founded by women, she co-initiated the European Women in VC Community.
Founder-CEO of LG Sonic, EIC Ambassador
Yousef Yousef, founder-CEO of LG Sonic and EIC Ambassador, is an innovator with an out-of-the-box vision on water quality management, big data driven technologies and environmental monitoring. Yousef’s passion lies with green scaleups - from developing original technological solutions to setting up and coaching innovative businesses. He is the Chairman of Hydrovolta and investor in LiceSonic and Clobe2Cloud. His belief is that the value proposition of Europe is highest in deep tech and sustainability, which will let Europe take the lead in the global economy.
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Amadix
Rocio is founder & CEO of Amadix, the first global winner of South Summit in the healthcare field. She has dedicated her professional life to find innovative ways to prevent cancer. Amadix is a disruptive company in the liquid biopsy space, for early cancer detection in blood, before the symptoms appear, to extend people´s lives. Amadix develops technologies to detect colon, pancreatic and lung cancer in blood, a few years before the tumor appears, in healthy individuals with no symptoms. She is a Board Member of different Business Schools and Universities, and participate in programs for mentoring innovators and entrepreneurs.
Jose A. Martinez
CEO of an AI company
CEO of an AI company, Investor on disruptive SMEs at early stages, and Business Expert of the UE.He has expertise in the delivery of accelerated growth strategies and has helped companies in Medical Devices, BioTech, IT, Nanotechnology, and CleanTech among others.
EIC Program Manager for Health and Biotechnology
Iordanis Arzimanouglou has thirty-year postdoctoral international career. Since June 2020, he has been Programme Manager for Health and Biotechnology at the EIC, where he´s responsible for developing visions for technological and innovation breakthroughs. Iordanis has previously worked as EIC Coach & Senior advisor to genomic/genetic SMEs. Iordanis was the Chief Executive Officer at the Aarhus Biotech Clyster Company (BMF) and was Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedicine Aarhus University. Earlier in his career, he was Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York and prior to that, he was Chief of Cancer Genetics Research Program at Lennox Hill Hospital, New York. Before joining Lenox Hill, he was a research scientist in the Division of Medical Genetics at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Iordanis holds a PhD from the University of Athens, Greece in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, a Boston University Graduate Certificate in international business management and performed his postdoctoral work in the Department of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York.
Prof. Peter Baltus
Professor in High-frequency electronics
Peter Baltus received his masters in Electrical Engineering from TU/e in 1985, and his PhD degree from the same university in 2004. He worked for 22 years at Philips and later NXP in Eindhoven, Nijmegen, Tokyo and Sunnyvale in various functions, including research scientist, program manager, architect, domain manager, group leader and fellow in the areas of data converters, microcontroller architecture, digital design, software, and RF circuits and systems.
In 2007 he started his current job at the Eindhoven University of Technology as professor in high-frequency electronics. From 2007 through 2016 he was director of the Centre for Wireless Technology, a cooperation between five research chairs that focuses on wireless systems. Since 2017 he chairs the integrated circuits group. He co-authored more than 200 papers and holds 16 US patents. In 2006 he received the Veder award and in 2013, he was elected best Master Tutor at TU/e
Prof. Marcello Baricco
Full professor in Materials Science and Technology, University of Torino
Marcello Baricco obtained the PhD in Chemistry in 1987. He works for the Department of Chemistry of the University of Torino as full professor in Materials Science and Technology.
He has been responsible for the University of Torino in several research projects with European and Italian research institutions and industrial partners (e.g. FLYHY, COSY, BOR4STORE, ECOSTORE). He coordinated the SSH2S European project on hydrogen storage and now he coordinates the EU H2020 project HyCARE, financed by FCH JU. He is an expert in the Task 40 of the IEA-HIA and member of Scientific Committee of FCH-JU. He is coordinator of SP7 on Hydrogen Storage of JP on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen of EERA.
The scientific contributions have been presented in about 370 publications in peer refereed national and international journals with about 5100 citations (h-index_35). A list of published papers can be found at ORCID: www.orcid.org/0000-0002-2856-9894 or ResearchID: www.researcherid.com/rid/B-4075-2013.
CEO at Connectology, Global Entrepreneurship Network Europe - Executive Committee Member
Ana Barjasic is an international expert in entrepreneurship and early stage investment, collaborating with leading European and international organisations on projects, programs and events related to startups, entrepreneurship, investment readiness, access to finance, innovation and ecosystem building. Ana founded Connectology, an international boutique agency which develops entrepreneurship and investment readiness projects and also invests into early stage companies. Ana is also the Executive Committee Member (Europe) of Global Entrepreneurship Network, a year-round platform unleashing entrepreneurial ideas in 180 countries. Ana is frequently invited to speak on topics of investment readiness, startups and innovation, behavioural science for startups, and has participated as a speaker, panelist and jury member to various startup events countries worldwide.
Head of Financial Consulting at EurA AG
Jan Bernlöhr is Head of Financial Consulting at EurA AG, one of the leading management consultancies for SMEs in Germany. On behalf of EurA AG, he also acts as Investor Relations Manager for the EIC Business Acceleration Services organizing monthly e-pitching events and Investor Days gathering venture capitalists, business angels and other finance partners with the aim to help EIC companies finding their next funding opportunity. Between 2013 and 2018 he worked as Senior Financial Consultant for FAS AG, supporting companies going public and in the preparation of annual and consolidated financial statements according to HGB, IFRS and US-GAAP. Jan graduated from the University of Würzburg in 2013, with a Master´s degree in Business Management.
Dr. Bhupinder Bhullar
CEO at Swiss Vault
Dr. Bhupinder Bhullar, Managing Director and Co-founder of Swiss Vault, trained at Harvard Medical School, and has a MBA from London Business School. He trained in molecular oncology, bioinformatics, genomics at Southern Alberta Cancer Research Center, and at the Whitehead Institute, MIT. At Novartis, he was director for research programs into developing innovative drugs and precision medicine. In 2009, he founded the international Next Generation Sequencing Forum in Basel, Switzerland, to build a community workplace to help NGS grow and thrive. The Swiss Vault project was started to help healthcare organizations to efficiently manage genomics data and help bring about Precision Medicine easier for healthcare organizations. Swiss Vault solved the energy efficiency problem for data storage systems and is designing and engineering data management hardware for zero waste.
Baptiste is co-founder and CFO at AgenT, a deep tech company developing the first blood diagnosis to detect Alzheimer’s up to 20 years before the irreversible symptoms. He strongly believes that the only way to find a cure to this terrible disease is to target the silent phase. That’s why he decided to take up this huge challenge alongside his co-founder, Dr. Jérôme Braudeau in 2016.
Prior to founding AgenT, Baptiste has gained experience in finance and strategy consulting at EY, Exane BNP Paribas and Perceva. He is also passionate about blockchain technology and he has been closely following the development of Ethereum since 2016.
He holds a Master in Entrepreneurship from HEC Paris.
CEO at Hymeth
MSc Mec engineering with 25 years of experience from start-ups to large industrial enterprise on the international markets.
Co-Founder & CEO Openers Founding Member at Tech Open Air, Member of the Advisory Board of the European Innovation Council (EIC)
As a trained journalist, Kerstin used to work for well-known media outlets such as Burda or Holtzbrinck and in political communications. In 2011 she fell in love with Berlin and its thriving startup ecosystem - and stayed ever since.
She joined Tech Open Air (TOA) in the early days and shortly after, together with her Co-Founders Niko Woischnik and Carolin Lessoued, started Openers to rethink consulting from a new, entrepreneurial point of view. Kerstin is an active mentor and advisor to several startup initiatives, VCs and early-stage startups.
She serves as a member for the Digital Committee of IHK Berlin and in the Advisory Board of the European Innovation Council (EIC) as well as the Investment Committee of the EIC fund.
Policy Officer at DG GROW
Samira Boussetta is policy officer in charge of strategic procurement at DG GROW, European Commission. Trained as a lawyer, she was director of public procurement for several local authorities in France, then joined a central purchasing body in the health sector as director of legal affairs and innovation procurement. Before joining the European Commission, she was head of innovation for the French State's procurement directorate.
Jury Member, EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021
Kave Bulambo is a Talent Acquisition expert and D&I advocate who has been working in the tech industry for the last seven years. She currently serves as Director of Talent Acquisition and D&I EMEA at SmartRecruiters. She is also the Founder of MyCareerPath and Talent Diverse which are both platforms aimed at empowering women and underrepresented professionals to build meaningful careers, connect with each other and employers who value Diversity and Inclusion. A strong community builder, she founded communities such as BlackinTech Berlin and Women and Work Connect. Kave believes in championing belonging and inclusion at work as they contribute greatly to the products teams build but also the atmosphere in which the team operates. These two elements play a significant role in how successful a company will become.
Partner Elaia Partners
Anne-Sophie joined Elaia Partners in 2017 to launch investments in deep tech seed. She structured PSL Innovation fund dedicated to deep tech startups from PSL Paris Sciences et Lettres University, and Elaia Alpha 2 Fund, a digital seed fund in partnership with INRIA.
Prior to joining Elaia, she worked as a test engineer in aircraft engines, negociating critical partnerships with large industrial corporates and managing the production team. She then worked for the Direction du Trésor to finance mobility projects abroad, and afterwards, Caisse des Dépôts to launch investments in renewable energy infrastructure. In 2009, she joined Bpifrance Investissement to launch the mezzanine fund and to structure the ecotechnologies Venture Fund.
Barbara Castellano is Partner in Panakès Partners. She has specific expertise in cardiovascular sector as well as a broad knowledge of the medical device sector, acquired as former corporate senior manager at Sorin (now Livanova) and CID Cardiovascular (now Alvimedica). By leading strategic marketing, business development, clinical, quality, and regulatory departments, Barbara developed and brought innovative cardiovascular technologies to the market. She was also founder and CEO of the operational holding TechWald SpA, where she has developed strong experience in the Medtech start-up world, successfully raising significant amounts in venture capital funding for innovative European and Israeli medical technology companies.
Barbara holds a degree in Medicinal Chemistry from UniPG and an Executive MBA from SDA Bocconi in Milan (both magna cum laude).
Co-founder and CEO of Active Solera
Ivana Chaux-Jukic, a climate enthusiast strongly engaged in the battle for a net-zero future. Since 2019, co-founder and CEO of Active Solera, a Croatian company deploying SMO technology in South-Eastern Europe for a cleaner future by smart, decentralized and autonomous waste-to-energy systems.
PhD and a specialist in nano-chemistry of carbon. Previously lead scientist and co-founder of a French start-up in the field of medical diagnostics, based on innovative nano-carbon tools.
Prof. Ping Chen
Professor and Division Head of Hydrogen energy and Advanced materials, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Ping Chen is a professor and division head of Hydrogen energy and advanced materials, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). She graduated from Xiamen University in 1997 and was a faculty member of National University of Singapore before joined DICP in 2008. Her primary research interest is the development of hydride materials for hydrogen storage and heterogeneous catalysis. She pioneered the research in the amide-hydride system for hydrogen storage and the alkali/alkaline earth hydride-transition metal composite catalyst system for NH3 synthesis. She has more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles, delivered over 80 invited/keynote/plenary speeches. She is the recipient of a number of awards including Mission Innovation Champion (2019) and Distinguished Young Scholars (2012). She serves the community as a member of Executive Committee of IEA-Hydrogen TCP, the International Steering Committee of International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems (ISC-MH), the advisory board of Chem and J Phys Chem, associate editor of J Energy Chem, meeting (vice)chair of MRS Spring 2011 and Gordon Research Conference 2019 etc.
Head of Amadeus Ventures
Suzanna is the Head of Amadeus Ventures, the start-up investment program of Amadeus IT Group. Amadeus Ventures focuses on finding early stage start-ups sitting at the crossroad of technology and travel and provide them with not only funding but also customer reach and industry expertise. Suzanna has successfully expanded the program from its infancy into an integral part of the business, driving strategic values both for the corporation and the portfolio companies. She is also part of Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist Top100 for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Suzanna came from the investment banking industry, worked in Corporate Finance / M&A advisory based out of London and Hong Kong before joining Amadeus. She also has prior experience in consulting. Suzanna has an MBA degree from London Business School and likes travelling and photography.
EIC Programme Manager for Medical Technologies and Medical Devices
After engineering studies at the Technical University of Catalonia, Enric obtained a PhD in engineering and neuroscience from the University of Southampton. He became a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of technology, returning to Europe as a Ramon y Cajal fellow, becoming a tenured academic at the Barcelona-based Bioengineering Research Centre.
He then left academic life to run his spin-off company, Aleria Biodevices, after which he became the director general of the Catalonia Foundation for R&I (FCRi), coordinating funding to support ground-breaking technologies. He also founded Afferent Technologies, a medical technology start-up.
Business & Open Innovation Director at Thales Alenia Space
Vincent Clot holds a Master of Science from Centrale-Supélec, a Master of Engineering from the University of Wollongong in Australia, and an Executive MBA from Imperial College London. He joined Thales 16 years ago, working on innovation in space, aerospace, defence and security applications, based in France and then the Netherlands.
He was then in charge of R&D competitiveness for Thales in the UK, before going on to manage the sales operations of Thales’s air operations business. He now leads the business and open innovation efforts of Thales Alenia Space, spearheading the development and deployment of disruptive businesses, as well as the development and implementation of relationships with startups and major companies, with a particular focus on strategic partnerships.
Vincent Clot is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a Member of Chatham House.
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, Deputy Lord Mayor, Dublin
Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Joe Costello, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin, is an experienced, committed and hard-working public representative. He has lived and worked most of his life in Dublin Central as a teacher, trade unionist and community activist. He has represented the people in Dublin Central at national and local level for many years as a Minister, TD and City Councillor.
Project Director CO2logic
Mathieu obtained his Master in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées ParisTech.
Mathieu has developed a multi-sectoral climate/energy expertise over 6 years, following an experience in Energy efficiency and Renewable Energy (cabinet LesEnR), an experience in supporting communities and companies on climate / energy issues (cabinet Climat Mundi) and expertise in eco-innovation consulting and extra-financial audit (cabinet E&Y) during which he accompanied the French Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development on the review of the national experiment on environmental labelling of consumer products.
Mathieu joined CO2logic in 2015 and has now conducted many carbon audits for companies like “Le Pain Quotidien”, IKEA, SODEXO, AG Real Estate. He has also assisted several companies in the eco-design of their products and services. Moreover, he has developed several CO2 calculation tools, notably for Infrabel.
Mathieu speaks fluently French, English and Portuguese. Willing to help organisations to success in their climate and environmental transition, Mathieu joins his scientific and communication skills to ensure the best approach by combining ambition, realism and added value.
Dr. Marco D. Huesch
Senior Advisor, Ping An Global Voyager Fund
Dr Marco D. Huesch is Senior Advisor to the Ping An Global Voyager Fund, where he previously served for near 4 years as Managing Director and the Chief Medical Officer in the Fund and in the Ping An Group Innovation Office.
Dr Huesch has more than 25 years’ professional experience in clinical healthcare, academic medical science, operational healthcare and financial services.
He joined Ping An Group in 2017 from the Hershey Medical Center where he was an Associate Professor, Vice Chair of Research, and Division Chief.
Previous academic medical science, health policy and health sector management experience was gained at USC and Duke University.
Earlier in his career he spent several years in management consulting (Booz Allen & Hamilton, EDS/AT Kearney) and financial services (Citigroup, Bumiputra Commerce).
Dr Huesch commenced his career as a hospital-based physician and community generalist physician, practicing medicine for more than half a dozen years.
Dr Huesch holds medical degrees from the University of Sydney in Australia, an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France, as well as an MA in economics and PhD in health economics from UCLA.
He has written more than 50 peer-reviewed papers published in leading US journals and been funded by the US Government and by Lockheed Martin.
Dr Huesch is Associate Editor at Health Services Research, and Deputy Editor at Journal of General Internal Medicine.
CEO and co-founder of Phononic Vibes s.r.l.
Luca D’Alessandro is CEO and co-founder of Phononic Vibes s.r.l. He holds a BSc and a MSc with Honors in Civil Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and a PhD with Honors in Structural, Seismic and Geotechnic Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, regarding Metamaterials and optimization of phononic crystals. During his PhD he won the scholarship Progetto Rocca, and thanks to this scholarship he spent a semester as visiting student at RLE Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT Boston, under the supervision of Prof Luca Daniel working on MetaMaterials at micro-scale. He has been Graduate Teaching Assistant in courses about Structural and Computational Mechanics at Politecnico di Milano, and from 2018 to 2020 he is Contract Professor of the course Structures at Politecnico di Milano. He won the Switch2Product innovation challenge, and winner of the Young Researcher award at the 2018 Euromech Conference.
He co-founded Phononic Vibes. As CEO he his responsible for the growth and scale-up of the corporation, the communication with external and internal shareholders as well as ensuring the overall success of projects and operations.
Lead Consultant – Ramboll
Mr. Raul Daussa is an environmental engineer with more than 20 years of project management, business development and consulting experience in diplomacy, environmental protection, sustainability and climate change. Throughout his career, he has worked with international organizations, national governments and cities to promote sustainable solutions and international cooperation on development challenges.
Since December 2016, Mr. Daussa has been involved full time in managing city-to-city cooperation projects in Australasia (Australia, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Vietnam). He has managed teams, prepared reports, and liaise with clients to ensure the delivery of results against approved workplans.
Mr. Daussa has worked as a climate, energy and sustainability expert and has developed the Circular Economy agenda for the International Urban Cooperation project financed by the European Union. Mr. Daussa has an excellent knowledge of the UN and EU Urban agenda and the priorities of the EU Green Deal.
Mr. Daussa has a wide experience of working with multi-disciplinary teams in different technical fields. He has proven to be able to lead, promote and build consensus among stakeholders on complex technical issues and has a successful track record in the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks, impact assessments, human resource development and institutional development.
Working for 10 years at the secretariat of an international organization, Mr. Daussa has strong analytical and diplomatic skills, together with report writing and presentation skills. Since Mr. Daussa joined Ramboll in 2015, he has sharpened his project management skills and client-focus orientation as well as expanded his areas of expertise to include Circular Economy.
CEO, Founder of XSu;
After graduating from Polytech’Nantes in 2001 and SUPAERO in 2002, has spent his whole career in the aerospace sector, at national and European level. He worked for AIRBUS Defense & Space Ltd in England for the British military SKYNET5. He took part in two missions on ARIANE 5 (SKYNET 5A and 5B). In 2008, he moved to Munich in charge of the development and integration system for GALILEO at the DLR (German Space Centre). He became the manager of the centre in 2013, supervising a team of 25 people from 7 different nationalities. He resigned from AIRBUS DEFENCE & SPACE in 2015 to create XSun in France.
Barbara De Angelis
EIC - GHG programme coordinator
Barbara De Angelis joined the European Commission in 2021. She is currently the project coordinator of the Greenhouse Gas reduction emission programme at the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency EISMEA. She is working for the “Business Acceleration Services”, where she is in charge of supporting innovative SMEs members to reduce their carbon footprint and create innovative green solutions.
Previously, she worked for the Directorate General of International Partnership of the European Commission, where she was involved in the development of the Team Europe Initiative Investing in Young Business in Africa.
From 2018 to 2021 she has been working for a private company in Brussels dealing with EU funded projects focused on economic and MSMEs development.
She holds a Master of Science in European Economy and Business Law from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.
Francisco de la Torre Prados
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, Mayor, Malaga
Francisco Manuel de la Torre Prados (Malaga, December 21, 1942) is a Spanish politician. Since 2000 he has been mayor of the city of Malaga, which under his mandate has undergone a recognized cultural development, tourism and museum development with international projection. Graduated in Sociology from the University of Salamanca in 1965, PhD in agronomic engineering from the University of Madrid in 1966. He is a specialist in regional development from the University of Rennes (France) in 1967 and has had a long career in the political field in various parties, 8 belonging to the Popular Party since 1995.
Louis de Lillers
CEO CorWave SA
Louis brings extensive experience in finance and developing or commercializing new technologies. Prior to joining CorWave, he was co-founder and CEO of PlugMed, a medtech company developing innovative devices for LVADs and hemodialysis. Being a self-trained computer programmer, Louis founded several ventures in the early 2000s and consequently joined Ernst&Young, where he embarked on missions with SMEs and high-growth companies. He subsequently became analyst at Clipperton Finance, a corporate finance boutique, focusing on mergers & acquisitions and venture capital transactions. He was then part of the information technology investment team at Sofinnova Partners.
Louis graduated from EDHEC Business School with a Master in Management and holds a "Diplôme Universitaire" in artificial heart and circulatory support from Pitié-Salpêtrière.
Europe Manager for EuroQuity at Bpifrance
In the past, she was Analyst at the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab in Washington D.C., and the Manager & Co-Chair of the World Bank Youth Summit on Human Capital. At the World Bank, she worked on leveraging blockchain to make international trade and finance more inclusive and coordinated the launch of the Logistics Performance Index, a survey aimed at 20,000 firms in 160+ countries. Previously, she was the trade and public policy attache at the Embassy of France in the United States for two years and worked at the European Commission on a sustainability initiative in developing countries. Fannie graduated from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris in 2014, with two Master’s degrees in International Political Economy and in International Relations.
Dr. Vladimir Djapic
CEO of H2O Robotics
Vladimir Djapic received the B.S., M.S., and the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, in 2000, 2001 and 2009, respectively, all in electrical engineering. He is an accomplished manager and scientist with over 19 years of US and international experience (2 patents and over 50 publications) with a focus on advanced mapping, navigation, control, planning, and sensing methods for heterogeneous robotic systems. Since 2020 Dr. Djapic serves as a CEO of H2O Robotics. More recently, 2017-2020, Vladimir acted as a Mapping & Localization Manager and Technical Lead for Autonomous Driving Systems at American Haval Motor Technology (AHMT) whose mission was to design and develop a self-driving car capable of autonomous driving on public roads. From 2013 to 2017, Dr. Djapic was a Chief Scientist and a lead Principal Investigator (PI) for projects that utilize Maritime Autonomous Systems (air, surface, and subsurface), where he also led numerous international collaborative efforts.
Prof. Alexander Dmitriev
Full professor at Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg
PhD in Physics 2000-2003 on low-dimensional supramolecular systems with metal-organic coordination at Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research (Stuttgart, Germany) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). From mid-2004 - at Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden), first as EU Marie Curie Fellow, and later as Swedish Research Council Assistant professor, currently – Full Professor at the University of Gothenburg. Visiting professor at Stanford Materials and Engineering (Stanford, USA) in 2016-2017 and 2018. Holder of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research Future Research Leader and Strategic Research Expedition awards (2010, 2019). Chair (2010-2012) of one of formerly largest European research network in plasmonics (COST), Fellow of the Mobility for Regional Excellence of the Västra Götaland Region, Erskine Visiting Fellow at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Research focuses on light-matter interactions at the nanoscale, magnetophotonics, optical nanosensors, nanoscale photochemistry and nanophotovoltaics.
CEO of Xenothera
Born in 1961 in Lyon, Odile Duvaux grew up in the Paris region and had a dual medical and scientific education; she graduated from the Pierre and Marie Curie Faculty of Medicine and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in the field of molecular neurobiology. After completing her studies in 1984, she was first an anesthesiologist then returned to research at the Pasteur Institute until 1992. In 1993, Odile seized a new opportunity and joined the Auchan group as Director of Internal Communication in the Leroy Merlin subsidiary, until 1998.
After this experience, her desire to be an entrepreneur led her to create a consulting firm, DMJ Consultants. For 15 years, she worked for a wide variety of clients in executive coaching, strategic consulting and project management.
After moving to Nantes, she continued her entrepreneurial adventure with the creation of Xenothera in 2014. Today, Xenothera is a start-up specialising in the field of biotechnology (immunology, infectious diseases and oncology), which is in full development and has nearly 20 employees. From the outset, it has been supported by a highly renowned medical team and a world-renowned veterinarian in the field of large animal cloning and genetic engineering, and is developing a highly innovative immunosuppressant.
Counsellor, Head of Research & Innovation Sector Delegation of the European Union to India
Tania Friederichs is Head of Sector for Research and Innovation at the EU Delegation to India. She started her assignment beginning of September 2016.
Before that she was working in Brussels for the European Commission in the Directorate General on Research and Innovation, Department for International Cooperation and was responsible for cooperation with the Western Balkan Countries and Turkey.
Tania has worked for more than 15 years on EU research and innovation policy; she was member of the Private Office of European Commissioner Philippe Busquin for research and innovation from 1999 to 2004.
Before that she worked at the EU Delegation in Geneva (Switzerland) following the negotiations on trade in services (GATS) under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
She is a lawyer by training and obtained her Law Degree at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels, Belgium in 1980 and a L.L.M. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (US) in 1981.
Power Connector, Intercultural Bridge Builder
Specialized in international business, Juliane is an accomplished Startup Ecosystem Builder and Enabler with years’ of experience in building support programmes around International Expansion and Client Acquisition to and from India. Juliane supported more than 50 startups with India Market Validation and Entry Support and Access to Clients to accelerate their scaling and impact their bottom line. Juliane worked with T-Hub in Hyderabad as Director International Programs (lived in Hyderabad/ India between 2016 and 2019 designing and executing internationalization programs in and out of India with countries such as the UK, Sweden, Finland, France and many more. Build German Accelerators Next Step India program and initiated and leads EU-India Innocenter supporting German and European Startups in their market exploration journeys in India.
Servicio Gallego de Salud (SERGAS)
Finalist – The European Innovation Procurement Awards 2021
The Galician Health Service (SERGAS) is the organism of the Xunta de Galicia (Regional Government of alicia) in charge of the healthcare public assistance. Created in 1989, the SERGAS integrates all the regional healthcare centres and services.
Elena García Armada
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Marsi Bionics
Dr. Elena García is President and CEO of Marsi Bionics. She is an internationally recognized roboticist belonging to the Spanish National Research Council, where she achieved pioneering results in the development of gait exoskeletons for the therapy of children affected by neurological diseases. She faced the technology transfer to the society through the foundation of Marsi Bionics in 2013, and positioned the company as a benchmark of the social impact entrepreneurship and has became a role model for young scientists and engineers. She has received more than 40 awards for her outstanding work on robotics for health. Elena García contributes to the management of Science and Technology as a member of the State Research Agency, and member of the Strategic Council of Women and Engineering of the Royal Academy of Engineering of the Ministry of Science.
Project Director CO2logic - Partner
Carlos holds a Master of Business Engineering from the Solvay Business School and a Master in Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility from the Escuela de Organizacion Industrial of Madrid.
Before working for CO2logic, Carlos worked for more than two years for Factor CO2, a Spanish-based climate change consulting company. There, he elaborated climate change mitigation strategies for both, public and private organizations and worked on the Kyoto Flexible Mechanisms. In addition to this, he worked on the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness by designing the low Carbon Cities Program in Thailand. Afterwards, he spent 5 months at the African Development Bank, working in the area of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.
At CO2logic, he focuses on organization’s carbon footprints and carbon mitigation projects. Moreover, Carlos is also our CDP expert. Indeed, he helps companies to increase their CDP score year after year. Some of his clients are: bpost, Befimmo, Interparking, the European Parliament and the European Council.
Co-founder and CEO of BICO
Erik Gatenholm is a dynamic American/Swedish entrepreneur who is leveraging his passion for life sciences and his leadership to create the future of health. Gatenholm is the co-founder and CEO of BICO – the world’s leading Bio Convergence company. Under Gatenholm, BICO has built one of the world’s most expansive portfolio of life science products that spans bioprinting, diagnostics, lab automation and biosciences. Today, BICO and its 14+ subsidiaries operate tech development, sales, and distribution in 65+ countries with more than 25,000 systems in the field, across 1,000+ brilliant employees. BICO’s current customers include esteemed organizations like Harvard, MIT, Pfizer, Merck and the FDA.
Gatenholm has been recognized worldwide for his work as an entrepreneur and for the rising success of BICO. His tireless spirit quickly distinguished BICO in the field and led him to become the pioneer of the Bio Convergence revolution, and one of the prominent faces of the life science industry. Honouring his ground-breaking success, prodigious talent and innovative ambitions, Forbes selected Gatenholm to join the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2018. In addition, Gatenholm has been awarded numerous accolades such as Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year 2019, MIT Technology Review’s prestigious 35 Under 35 List, Founder of the Year 2020 among many more. With a growing team of more than 1,000 engineers, scientists and professionals, his mission to create the future of health is well on its way to industry disruption. www.bico.com
Facilitator, Speaker Coach and Editorial Consultant
Master of Ceremonies, Facilitator, Speaker Coach and Editorial Consultant for great performance on stage - real, virtual or hybrid - empowering speakers to capitalize on the short but critical moments to reach and move their audiences. Vik hosts international conferences, professional events, facilitates workshops and roundtable discussions, and works hand-in-hand with the client teams to design their event agenda and individual sessions. References include: Elior Group, Saint-Gobain, Tarkett, L’Oréal, Amundi, BNP Paribas AM, Sanofi, Novartis. She also coaches executives, experts and TEDx speakers on storytelling techniques, presentation delivery and slide design. Vik is past President and an award-winning member of a Toastmasters public-speaking club in Paris. As an internationally touring jazz vocalist and band leader, she performs regularly and has produced four albums between the US and France. From 2008 to 2017, Vik served high-profile executives at EuroBusiness Media, a strategic communications agency in Paris. As Head of Operations, she led client projects in collaboration with marketing, investor relations and communications teams and their agencies. Trilingual English, French and Lithuanian, she’s a graduate of Lafayette College in the US, living and working in France since 2008, and always keen for adventure.
Entrepreneur and Expert in the field of Technology and European innovation
Angele Giuliano is an experienced entrepreneur and expert in the field of technology and European innovation. She holds a Master of Arts in Creativity and Innovation from University of Malta and has 22 years of professional experience in technology research analysis, applied research, innovation and gender policies. Angele was chosen as the face of Maltese SMEs in the first European SME week in May 2009. Angele has participated in over 60 transnational EU funded projects from as far back as FP5. She has performed evaluations and reviews for the European Commission in their Research and Innovation programmes since 2001. She’s also a lecturer at the University of Malta on eCommerce, eBanking and eLearning. She is an evaluator for the local Maltese Fusion Research Programme, for the Italian Ministry for Research in its national Italian funding programmes and for the Cyprus Research Foundation. Angele has also been appointed as member of the Advisory Board for SMEs for Horizon2020 by the European Commission between 2013 and 2015 and is a Jury Member of SME Phase II projects since 2018. In 2021 she was chosen as the National Champion of the European Innovation Council. Moreover, Ms Giuliano is also a business angel and she forms part of the Go Beyond shareholders and the Rising Tide group of women angel investors from all over the world. She was recently featured on Euronews in their Business Europe programme.
International Project Manager
Marlene is an international project manager at the Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME) in Germany. With her team, she oversee the business-to-business matchmaking activities and supports buyers in international supply chain development.
The German government has mandated BME to operate the Competence Centre for Innovative Procurement (KOINNO). At KOINNO Marlene is responsible for all international activities. She also coordinates the European network of competence centres for innovation procurement (procure2innovate).
Marlene has over nine years of experience in purchasing management and European procurement projects. She has ample knowledge in building effective networks of buyers, developing strategic purchasing approaches and managing long-term innovation processes. Marlene has previously worked at ICLEI where she oversaw the Procurement of Innovation Platform.
Head of Scouting and Matching at bwcon GmbH
Valentina is a international expert with a demonstrated history of working in the innovation (startup & corporate) ecosystem. With more than 13 years’ experience in innovation management and investment strategy, she regularly scouts, assesses, and coaches start-ups and larger client, building up trustable cooperation, guiding innovation methods and co-creation process for corporate and different stakeholders. As Head of Scouting and Matching, she is also the coordinator of DeepTech for Digital Transformation Launchpad(DT2), the Investment Support Programme for the emerging fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain Technologies (BT) supported by the European Commission, of the Leadership4SMES initiative on IP valorisation and is member Investor Horizon Accelerator Programme as Lead Coach and Bootcamp -Training coordinator. She is in charge for the US Accelerator on Autonomous Driving promoted by the European Commission and will guide more than 20 European Startup in an International Mission to California, while in the past she also organized B2B mission in China and Singapore.
Valentina has been speaker of international conference on topics of investment readiness, startups, innovation, ecosystem building and co-investment strategy, and has been invited as jury member to various start-up events worldwide.
Luis Guillermo Gerling
Luis Guillermo Gerling is a chemical engineer specialized in renewable energies (MSc) and photovoltaics (PhD). He has worked as a process engineer for the industry and as an entrepreneurial scientist focused on transparent photovoltaic applications. In 2021 he joined the Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) unit at ICFO, where he is the project manager of the energy and materials portfolio.
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, Deputy Mayor, Vilnius
Deputy Mayor responsible for education, urban development, economy, innovation, social issues and cultural projects at the city of Vilnius.
CEO & co-founder of Re-lion
A graduate of Twente University with a Master in Computer Science/Human Machine Interaction. Member of TNO Defense, Security & Safety's Strategic Advisory board. Founded RE-liON in 1999 together with a fellow Computer Science student and now trusty CTO. Originally working on realtime 3D, now developing operational Mission Support and Training systems using the latest in AR/VR technologies. Besides that, managed the company through the minefield of innovation in Defense & Security.
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of equalizent
Monika Haider is co-founder and CEO of equalizent, an bilingual adult education institute focusing on deafness, sign language and diversity management. She is co-founder of Signtime, a software company for innovative communication and digital inclusion.
She studied at the University of Vienna, headed the Austrian Integration Office from 1992-2000. She worked as a lecturer at the University of Vienna and Innsbruck and leads numerous research and networking projects for the Ministry of Social Affairs or in European research contexts.
Under her leadership, the Diversity Ball is organized annually. She initiated and curated the permanent exhibition "Hands UP" – At least her knowledge was used in the development a franchise system for Deaf in Europe.
Daphne Haim Langford
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Tarsier Pharma
Dr. Daphne Haim-Langford is the founder and CEO of Tarsier Pharma. Prior to that, she served as VP Bizdev at Xenia venture capital, where she managed the life sciences practice, led investments in the MedTech and biotech, and served on boards of various companies such as: Meditate and Orthospace (Acquired for ~ $285 and ~ $220 million respectively), Omnix Medical, Eximore, and others. Before joining Xenia, she served as VP Bizdev at Medingo (Acquired for $200M million). She also co-founded the Israeli Biomimicry Organization, a non-profit organization aimed to increase awareness to the biomimicry discipline. Daphne holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Technion, Israel.
Co-founder and Venture Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners
Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, Dr Hermann Hauser CBE has wide experience in developing and financing companies in the information technology sector. He co-founded a number of high-tech companies including Acorn Computers, which spun out ARM, E-trade UK, Virata and Cambridge Network. Subsequently, Hermann Hauser became vice president of research at Olivetti.
Board of Directors, CaixaBank Payments & Consumers
María Victoria Hernández Valcárcel is a computing engineer from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, with EMBA from INSEAD and a Master's Degree in Digital Marketing from Columbia Business School. She is a highly recognized senior executive with more than 25 years experience in building, launching and managing multinational enterprises in the EU and globally, primarily in the TMT and more recently the Fintech services sector.
In CaixaBank she combines her role as a director at a CaixaBank Payments & Consumer, with that as a non-executive director at The EQ Project International, a company that offers solutions in the field of human resources using artificial intelligence, and an advisory board member at Cashway, a financial technology company.
An entrepreneur and a member of the investment committee of Rising Tide Europe, an investment program launched by BAN, GO-Beyond Investing and the Next Wave Foundation - part of a global movement to increase women’s participation in angels investing as an asset class.
She is Board member of Global Telecommunications Women’s Network (GTWN.org), the international forum for executive women active in high technology to contribute to the evolving of global information society in a positive manner.
She is also senior jury member of the European Innovation Council.
Investment Associate at OpenOcean
Sam Hields is a member of OpenOcean's investment team; he is based in London for the Helsinki headquartered venture capital firm.
OpenOcean invests across Europe at seed and series A stage and was formed by the original founders of MySQL and MariaDB with some notable investments such as Truecaller, Supermetrics, and IQM.
Sam's background is a combination of technology and operations with a degree in Computer Science and experience at JPMorgan as a Software Engineer before joining Uber as an Operations Manager and later Community Fibre as an early employee and their first Director of Customer Experience.
At OpenOcean, Sam focuses on deep-tech investments, enterprise software, and open source products, primarily.
Partner and Navigator at Andera Life Sciences
Sofia Ioannidou joined Andera Partners’ Andera Life Sciences team in 2009 as an Associate. She was promoted to Partner in 2019.
Prior to Andera Partners, Sofia was part of the Life Sciences team of L.E.K. Consulting London, from 2006 to 2008, having started her career in R&D with Boston-based Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 2003 to 2006.
Since 2009, she has actively contributed to a number of investments, trade sales and IPOs. Sofia currently serves on the board of Tricares, Avalyn, and Exciva and has previously served on the boards of LogicBio, Sanifit and PegaOne.
She holds a PhD in Cell Biology from Cancer Research UK and an MBiochem from the University of Oxford.
Sofia is a native Greek speaker, and also speaks English, French and Spanish.
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Fresh.Land
Mathilde Jakobsen is a food activist, a disruptive thinker and the CEO & Co-founder of the award-winning Danish scale-up, Fresh.Land. This summer, Mathilde was mentioned as one of the role models in the publication “25 female founders you should know” by Danish Chamber of Commerce and Berlingske. The publication is handed out to politicians and business leaders to raise awareness about female talent and to address the issue that only 8% of startups in Denmark are founded by women.To give back, Mathilde teaches at CBS and INSEAD – the #1 business school in the world according to Financial Times (2021) - and in September Mathilde spoke in front of 4,000 students at the CBS Graduation Ceremony. To give back, Mathilde teaches at CBS and INSEAD – the #1 business school in the world according to Financial Times (2021).
Ailbhe Keane and Isabel Keane
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Izzy Wheels
Isabel and Ailbhe Keane, from Salthill, are the sister duo behind Izzy Wheels. 24-year-old Isabel, known as Izzy, was born with spina bifida and has been using a wheelchair her whole life. Her sister Ailbhe, who is 28, started decorating her younger sister's wheelchair when Izzy was six. The Galway entrepreneurs launched Izzy Wheels five years ago when Ailbhe created a range of colourful wheelchair covers as part of her final year project for The National College of Art and Design. In a short space of time, the sisters have made a significant impact on the global stage, making the Forbes 30 under 30 listing, not to mention the fact they have collaborated with over 90 international designers so far, including Barbie and Hello Kitty. They are shortlisted for the EU Prize for Women Innovators for the second year in a row.
Report Editor and Writer on tech policy matters at Shifted
Éanna is one of Sifted's report editors and a writer on tech policy matters.
General Partner Contrarian Ventures
Tomas Kemtys is a General Partner at Contrarian Ventures. He is involved in all the various things related to running the fund and is also sitting on multiple Boards of Contrarian Ventures portfolio companies.
Before Contrarian Ventures he was an investment banker with Centerview Partners, a leading independent New York and London based advisory firm. Tomas has executed multiple billion-dollar transactions in various industries across the UK, Israel, Jordan, South Africa and the USA.
Other experience includes various positions in BNP Paribas, Société Générale and British Petroleum. His alma maters are: ESADE Business School, University of California San Diego and University of Glasgow.
Dr. Stefan Konetschnik
Co-founder & Managing Director at UrbanGold
Dr. Stefan Konetschnik is a co-founder and managing director of the Austrian company UrbanGold GmbH. He has a master’s degree in metallurgy and a PhD in processing of complex secondary raw materials, both from the University of Leoben, Austria. After his employment at the university, he started the career in the private sector as responsible person for technical marketing for Mettop GmbH. Co-founding UrbanGold in 2014, he is managing director of this company since start-up. Important outcome was the development of the UrbanGold Flex and UrbanGold Compact recycling technologies, including a full industrial realization of an “UrbanGold Compact” plant. Part of the development is the HENRI – an advanced bath smelting vessel for low grade e-waste processing. Dr. Konetschnik has now over 15 years of experience in designing and leading advanced metallurgical projects. His professional focus is the recycling of complex metal bearing secondary raw materials.
Prof. Tomas Krajnik
Cyberneticist and Roboteer
Tomas Krajnik works in the mobile robotics domain, focusing on long-term autonomy in dynamic and changing environments.
He pioneered the research of multidimensional, spectral-based spatio-temporal representations that allow mobile robots to understand the dynamics of the environment changes and forecast the future environment states.These methods allow robots to blend in the environment, which improves the efficiency of their long-term operation.
Principles and components of the proposed methods were applied in several international projects and contributed to the success of the CTU teams during robotic challenges organised by DARPA and MBZIRC.
Dr. Dirkjan Krijnders
Dirkjan Krijnders received his PhD (2011, University of Groningen) on Sound-recognition in Uncontrolled environment. His main conclusion was that without context this was impossible, and his research shifted to integration of more context and sensors in the recognition process. As a post-doc at INCAS3 he was responsible for the sound measurement equipment in the city-wide Sensor-city project. More than 80 devices were installed in this network. Next, he contributed writing the Phoenix FET open proposal in which small sensor motes would operate as an autonomous swarm. This swarm was to be optimized in a co-evolution framework where the mote underwent their evolutionary cycle in a simulated environment. In the project he was responsible for the simulation environment and the test facilities including the prototype motes. During the project he moved to the engineering firm Antea Group, which showed interest in the prototypes as a platform for pipeline inspection and monitoring of mixing processes. To develop these prototypes and research the business case he applied for and coordinated a FET launchpad grant, "SMarble". This showed a positive business case and allowed the prototypes to be shrunk in size and gain sensing possibilities.
Manuel La Rosa Betancourt
Cofounder & CEO at Neutron Star Systems
Manuel La Rosa Betancourt, CEO, is a German entrepreneur borne in Venezuela. He holds a degree in materials science engineering and a master's degree in business innovation. Manuel brings over 20 years of experience in technology, business and marketing and has worked in several multinational companies such as LANXESS and Honeywell. He has entrepreneurial experience, having founded his own consulting firm for innovation management in 2009 and managing it full-time between 2014 and 2019. Between 2016 and 2019, he built up several EU consortia for superconductors in Space. During this time, he developed a comprehensive overview of the HTS, aviation, marine, and space industries. In 2019, Manuel dedicated full-time to setting up Neutron Star Systems. Manuel’s knowledge of innovation management, cross-pollination, and deep tech development is key for charting the business roadmap of NSS from prototype to fully-commercial product.
Journalist and Moderator
Aminda Leigh is a Rome-based British-Italian journalist and moderator specialising in environmental topics.
She has chaired sessions at flagship European such as EU Green Week, the EU Agriculture Outlook conference, the Eurocities Environment Forum, the High Level Conference on EU Chemicals Policy 2030, the Eighth Forest Europe Ministerial Conference and the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, to name but a few.
Furthermore, she has moderated at major global gatherings like the World EXPO in Milan and at two COP climate talks, in Bonn and most recently in Glasgow.
Her current moderation engagements include a series of global policy dialogues on “The Future of the World” for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Prof. Luís Lemos Alves
Full Professor in the Department of Physics of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Head of group NPlasmas Reactive: Modelling and Engineering (N-PRiME) with Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear
Luís L. Alves has a PhD in Physics from the Lisbon Technical University (Portugal, 1993) and received the title of "Agregado" in Engineering Physics by the Lisbon Technical University (Portugal, 2006). He is Full Professor in the Department of Physics of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), the coordinator of the Scientific Domain of Plasma Physics, Lasers and Nuclear Fusion of the same department and former Head of this department. He is Head of group NPlasmas Reactive: Modelling and Engineering (N-PRiME) with Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, where is also serves as member of the Governing Board, and member of the Governing Board of the Advanced Programme in Plasma Science and Engineering (APPLAuSE 2020). Currently, he is member of the Scientific Council of IST. Luís L. Alves works in the modelling and simulation of low-temperature plasmas. His research focuses on the study of microwave and radio-frequency discharges, and the development of kinetic models of interest for material science, biological and environmental applications. He has co-authored over 250 technical publications, including over 90 journal papers, he was guest editor of 7 special issues in international journals, gave over 35 invited lectures at national and international conferences, and has 4 patents registered (1 national patent granted). He supervises(d) 10 PhD theses and 12 MSc/BSc theses/projects. He is a researcher of H2020 project PEGASUS.
SVP Projects, Grants and Agencies at Leonardo's Chief Technology and Innovation Office
She has matured a 25+ year experience as manager and executive in Leonardo with the main responsibility to create the best conditions for the positioning of the Group in research and innovation programmes at National, European and International level. To this end, this role implies as primary responsibility to oversees the entire set of Leonardo’s divisions and Corporate Labs R&T projects propositions at national and European level and master the Group partnership strategy in this domain, with successful track record. She has a proven operational experience of building and leading trans-disciplinary multi-cultural teams to deliver efficiently and enthusiastically in complex and changing environments.
She is President of the CTNA, National Aerospace Technology Cluster, which is the national innovation pole, recognized by Ministry of Research, which includes the 12 main regional aerospace districts and the major industrial and aerospace research entities.
Cristina Leone has been nominated expert to the European Commission DG DEFIS in the field of aeronautics, space and defense
She is one of op 50 women in Technology and Science (Inspiring Fifty Italy 2021).
She began her career in the space sector in 1996 at Alenia Spazio, holding the position of head of telecommunications equipment.
In 1995, he received a degree in Electronic Engineering, Remote Sensing and Radar Systems from the University of Rome "La Sapienza".
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of OCON Healthcare
Keren Leshem is the Co-Founder and CEO of OCON Healthcare, a leading women’s health company with a mission to introduce innovative, high-quality intrauterine drug-delivery technology to improve and impact women’s health and quality of life.
Ms. Leshem is a seasoned executive with over 20 years’ experience in the medical device & pharmaceutical industries specializing in the management of innovative start-ups, strategy, commercialization, BD and financing. She was recently dubbed as one of the three women shaping the future of women’s health by Forbes.
Prior to leading OCON Healthcare, Ms. Leshem held various global CEO, Board and Management positions within the pharmaceutical and medical industry.
General Partner of Pale Blue Dot
Heidi Lindvall is a General Partner of Pale Blue Dot, an €87M EUR fund investing in ClimateTech companies in Europe and US. Prior to starting Pale Blue Dot, Heidi was a filmmaker and an entrepreneur. Through her film company she has been making documentaries on social and global issues and more recently worked in tech building her own software startups as well as supporting other entrepreneurs in the impact space through accelerators and microfunds.
Ola Lund Renolen
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, City Council Member, Trondheim
Ola Lund Renolen is a Norwegian politician (The Green Party), and part of the Trondheim City Council. From 2017 to 2019, Mr. Renolen was Deputy Mayor of Trondheim.
Dr. Yun Luo
CEO of Rosi Solar
Dr. Yun Luo is a believer in natural sciences, a persistent entrepreneur, and a proud mum of two teenagers. She is also co-founder and CEO of French startup company ROSI, beneficiary of EIC Green Deal fund, with the mission to construct and operate world’s first industrial line for recycling and revalorizing highly pure raw materials, such as silicon, silver, and copper, from end-of-life solar modules. Together with a dedicated and experienced team for industrial innovations, ROSI will not only render the photovoltaic industrial into a truly circular economy, but also contribute to the worldwide need of highly pure raw materials, such as silicon, for strategic industries.
Mali M Baum
Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor and Community leader
Mali is a serial entrepreneur, investor, mentor and community leader, Podcaster Mali-Talkshow.com. She is one of the people shaping Female Founders Future and opportunities at the Startups Ecosystem in Berlin and Europe founded one of the biggest and the significant network and community, WLOUNGE.de for startups, VCs and corporates supporting Female founders and diverse teams. Raising a new fund, MAGDA GROUP with focusing on a diverse team, impact, ESG to invest into the European technology (+TLV), building more success stories/ Unicorns and uplifting the local tech ecosystem’, her global career is brining many business opportunities to the German/ EU economy from the US, Africa, Asia, and Israel.
Chief Executive at ASTP
Laura has headed up the HQ of ASTP (the pan-European members association for knowledge transfer professionals) since September 2016. Her role there combines responsibility for professional training events and conferences with aiding the Board, as it drives advocacy to enhance capacity-building of the KT sector. Originally qualified as a Scots lawyer, specialising in EU and IP law, her transition to the world of academic/industrial collaborations started in 1992 when she established the first in-house legal function in a UK university to support these collaborations. Then followed a career across different UK universities (Dundee then Edinburgh) before moving to the Netherlands, spending 10 years at Leiden University and Medical Centre, with responsibility for establishing research collaborations, managing IP portfolios, setting up spin-outs, training colleagues and delivering broad spectrum support for academic/industrial relationships. She has been active in key professional organisations which bring together players in this ecosystem, from the Licensing Executives Society and AUTM to ASTP.
CEO of Neuroelectrics
Ana Maiques is the CEO of Neuroelectrics, a company aiming to change the way we interact with the brain, developing innovative technologies to monitor and stimulate the brain to help many patients in need. She was nominated by IESE as one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Spain (2010) and received the EU Prize for Women Innovators from the European Commission EC in 2014 and one of the Most Inspiring Fifty Women in Europe. Neuroelectrics recently received the Best Start-up in Health 2015 bye Wired UK magazine in an amazing event in London. She now lives in Boston where Neuroelectrics was awarded as one of the 2016 Best Entrepreneurial Companies in USA by Entrepreneur Magazine. She recently joined the European Innovation Council Advisory Board, the pan European organism that aims to scale up European companies.
Jury Member, EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021
Ron is the Founding Partner of Venture Kinetics, an impact venture capital that invest exclusively in technology-led companies that address gaps in the delivery of primary products and services previously excluded population. For the past 15 years, Ron became a veteran principal investor and entrepreneur working at the intersection of innovation, blended capital, and impact. Ron and his work had received awards and recognitions from the Financial Times, World Bank, UK Department For International Development, Ashden Awards and Secretary of State John Kerry among others. Ron was selected as a Rising Star Investor at the SuperReturn Series and was awarded permanent residency by the US State Department for his “extraordinary abilities in the field of impact investing”. His commentary on investing-related issues in the impact technologies sector has appeared in outlets such as Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the African Development Bank.
In his previous capacities, Ron served the first appointed economic representative to the Board of the World Bank Group by the Government of Israel, an advisor on innovative financing to global 500 companies and a mentor to Israeli-Palestinian startups. Ron also serves on the Board of Advisors of Tel Aviv University Global Grand Challenge Innovation.
Ron received Executive Education at Harvard Business School focused on strategy in emerging markets. He earned his MBA from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Manager at the European Patent Academy of the European Patent Office in charge of Technology Transfer and Dissemination
Frédéric Marteau is manager at the European Patent Academy of the European Patent Office in charge of Technology Transfer and Dissemination as well as team manager leading a team of patent examiners in the field of cancer vaccines and cancer immunotherapies. Before joining the European Patent Office, he worked in a patent attorney firm in Brussels.
He studied Physics at Université Libre de Bruxelles and Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles, and after completing a Master degree in Biotechnology, he received his doctorate in immunology in 2006 from this university. He was recipient of a Fulbright scholarship that allowed him to conduct postdoctoral research on cardiovascular genetics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Maria Mateo Iborra
CEO of Ibisa Network
Maria Mateo has been in the space and satellite communications industry since 2005. She is Msc in Telecommunication Engineering, master in satellite communications and executive MBA. She is co-founder and CEO of IBISA an Insurtech start-up that enables the next generation of climate insurance for agriculture.
Mateusz Stanczyk & Monika Adamczak
Finalist – The European Innovation Procurement Awards 2021
Two young advocates supporting innovation procurement and working together in a Polish law firm.
EIC Programme Manager for Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Innovation Management
Francesco is an innovation manager with 20 years of experience spent as a researcher in materials science, as a Corporate R&D Manager within the field of technologies for renewable energy production and storage, and as an intermediary of knowledge trying to exploit the research results within the field of energy and environment. As R&D Corporate manager, he also cofounded and directed several start-ups and joint-labs managing public-private partnerships.
As a facilitator of knowledge exploitation (IoK), he co-managed publicly funded projects, as well as Emilia Romagna Climate-KIC Innovation Centre, Dhitech Living Lab on Nanotechnologies, Emilia-Romagna Greentech Clust-ER. Francesco acted as scientific expert within the Vanguard Initiative ADMA Pilot, reviewer of research projects, co-authored over 30 scientific papers, 5 patents, and was Visiting Professor at the University of Ferrara as well as speakers in many conferences and workshops.
Deep Tech Investor at Speedinvest
Emily Meads is a Physicist by training, holding a Bachelors and Masters in Physics from the University of Bath.
She passionately supports Deep Tech companies and the Deep Tech ecosystem, and always strives to give scientific credibility to the VC side of the table. Understanding that key enabling technologies can sometimes get lost behind the walls of academia, she is excited the most by helping founders take their technology out of the lab and into the real world.
Before joining Speedinvest, Emily worked for Fraunhofer IZM, as well as a software engineering startup where she first caught the startup bug. She then worked at Spin Up Science where she specifically supported innovators on their Deep Tech commercialization journeys. She draws upon these experiences everyday to sharpen her Deep Tech lens.
Fiercely curious, Emily is always ready for her next adventure and thrives off of intellectual challenges and learning about new cultures and languages. Her most recent challenge? A Masters in Quantum Computing Technologies, which she is excited to complete to better support the dynamic Quantum ecosystem.
Technical, Security & Climate Change Director at Bondalti
Diogo Mendes, PhD (male) is a Chemical Engineer (2000/2005) from the Faculty of Engineering – University of Porto, with a PhD (2006/2010) on H2 production and process intensification from the same university. He joined Bondalti in 2017 being later nominated the Technical Director in July 2020. In this role Diogo is responsible for the areas of R&D, technology, industrial project management and execution and HSSE. Prior to Bondalti, Diogo has worked in the oil & gas business (Shell Global Solutions BV and Technip Benelux) having progressed through several roles in different areas and countries having provided project management and technical support to client operations worldwide.
Vice President at Europe Breakthrough Energy
At Breakthrough Energy, Ann is working with European partners to accelerate clean tech innovation in the pursuit of climate neutrality and net-zero emissions. Previously, she served as Director-General at the European Commission where she ran the internal strategy department, reporting directly to the President. An entrepreneur at heart, Ann set up her own think tank which she ran for more than a decade. Her career started at the World Economic Forum where she led the Europe department.
Bruno Miguel Soares Gonçalves
President of Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Head of the Group of Engineering and Systems Integration
Bruno Miguel Soares Gonçalves graduated in Physics Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (1997), has a Master in Physics (IST/UTL, 2000) and a PhD in Physics Engineering (IST/UTL, 2003). In 2005, his PhD thesis was distinguished with the "European Physical Society Plasma Division PhD Research Award". In February 2012, he has got his Habilitation for Coordination of Science degree ("Habilitação para o Exercício de Funções de Coordenação Científica em Engenharia Física Tecnológica"). Presently, Bruno Gonçalves is the President of Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear (since May 2012) and Head of the Group of Engineering and Systems Integration (since 2013). Bruno Gonçalves was responsible for several international projects (with a total funding that exceeds 15 M€). He was member of IST Scientific Council (2013-2016) and he is member of University of Lisbon Senate (since 2017). He was Industrial Liaison Officer for ITER (2009-2019) and is member of F4E governing Board in representation of Portuguese Government since February 2021. Bruno Gonçalves (h-index: 29) is also co-inventor of four submitted patent (one granted in Potugal), coauthor of one chapter in a book, of 120 (one hundred and twenty) articles published in international peerreviewed journals. He co-supervised 10 Master students and he is co-supervisor of 4 PhD students. He is also member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of several international conferences in Nuclear Instrumentation, Control and Data Acquisition, Plasma Diagnostics and Fusion Engineering and Technology. Finally, he is member of the European Science Foundation College of Expert Reviewers (since 2016) and Scientific Expert for the Ministero dell Ostruzione, dell Universitá e della Ricerca from Italy (since 2018)
Director of ibrAIn Center
Farshad Moradi received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oslo, Norway. He was a visiting researcher at Purdue University, USA, from 2009-2010 working on nano-scale electronic devices. From 2011, he joined Aarhus University as an assistant professor working on integrated circuits especially for biomedical applications. Since 2015 he is an associate professor leading a research group with heavy involvement in European projects FET-OPEN projects SPICE, STARDUST, and SpinAge as well as FET-PROACTIVE project HERMES) working towards brain technology. His research’s focus is on bridging brain-inspired computing to brain implants. He is the director of a new center called ibrAIn inaugurated in 2021. He is the author and co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and 5 patents.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator at HySiLabs
After graduating in languages and international trade, she decided to specialize on innovation management and international trade thanks to her international cursus in Rennes (France) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
It is in 2018, that she first worked HySiLabs and discovered the world of hydrogen.
Then, she decided to fully test her knowledge by joining some companies on selling deep tech innovation. The fact that the sales funnel was different for any of these projects only motivated her to keep working on the field.
Still in contact with HySiLabs, she made the company part of her discoveries about the exciting opportunities the company may have worldwide thanks to the breakthrough innovation they owned.
By resuming the work of assessing these that she had started some years ago, she is now back to the company in order to accomplish these ambitions.
Today she is in charge of any partnership with potential purchasers of the hydrogen carrier, and takes part on the strategic decisions regarding the commercialization, international development and marketing of HySiLabs.
CEO of NIBRT
Darrin Morrissey is the CEO of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT) in Ireland. NIBRT supports the global biopharma industry through the provision of bioprocessing and manufacturing research and training services, with the objective of attracting inward biopharma investment and supporting the indigenous biotech sector. Prior to joining NIBRT, Darrin was the CEO at the Health Research Board (HRB), Ireland’s primary funder of health and health systems research. Previously, Darrin spent the Director of Programmes and Investments with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), where he led the delivery of STEM research funding to Ireland’s national research institutions. Darrin’s past experiences also includes 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry – with GSK, Sanofi and others – in a variety of senior roles spanning across clinical research, commercial and manufacturing. Darrin qualified with a BSc in Microbiology and a PhD in Cancer Biology from University College Cork. Over recent years Darrin has been a member of numerous national and international policy and decision-making bodies, including the governing board of Science Europe, the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce Higher Education & Research Steering Group and Enterprise Ireland’s Industrial Research and Commercialisation Committee.
Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju (National Centre for Research and Development)
Finalist – The European Innovation Procurement Awards 2021
Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju (the National Centre for Research and Development - NCRD) is an executive agency of the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland, which brings together the world of science and business through co-financing of R&D projects. NCRD carries out tasks facilitating Poland’s social and economic growth and seeks for solutions to specific civilizational issues.
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Neucruit
Livia Ng is the founder and CEO of Neucruit, an AI-powered tool that helps healthcare professionals go beyond traditional avenues and reach patients from wider, more diverse communities. Neucruit reduces clinical trial recruitment timelines by over 90%, reducing physician burden and accelerating clinical trial completion for life-changing medications.
Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Votechnik
Dr O’Donoghue is a PhD scientist who is shaping the world for the better. She is founder of Votechnik an award winning company who has developed and patented the first ever automated technology for LCD recycling using robotics. Her fundamental understanding of materials systems is intertwined with revolutionary vision for the market to deliver the circular economy through technologies and business models. She contributes in a multifaceted approach to enable positive revolutionary change in the market from stents of fundamental research (University of Limerick), and business development with EIT RawMaterials to Policy impacts as a member of the EC’s Operational Expert Group.
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of Didimo
Verónica Orvalho is the founder and CEO of Didimo. She has translated years of research, data science, and computer graphics expertise into a patented technology platform to create digital humans, empowering people to engage more authentically and humanly in digital spaces. This breakthrough provides the next evolution of how humans will engage the world around them. Veronica earned a Ph.D. in Computer Graphics and is a professor at Porto University. She has lived and worked on three continents, with companies like IBM, Sony, Amazon, Universal Studios, and more.
Chief Scientific Officer at EureKARE
Serge Pampfer is Chief Scientific Officer at EureKARE, an investment company focused on launching and financing biotech startup companies in Europe. Before joining EureKARE, Serge was Chief Executive Officer of WBC, an incubator providing seed investment, leasing contracts and coaching services to biotech startups in Belgium. Prior to WBC, Serge has been Chief Operating Officer in a cell therapy company based in Belgium and Chief Scientific Officer in a women health company based in Germany. Before deciding to join the life sciences industry, Serge was Professor of human embryology at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and Maître de Recherche FNRS, leading a research group focused on the cellular and molecular regulation of early pregnancy and stem cell development. Serge did his post-doctoral fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York (US) and his PhD thesis at the University of Essen (Germany).
Antonio Marco Pantaleo
EIC Programme Manager for Energy systems and Green technologies
Antonio Marco is the EIC Programme Manager for energy systems and green technologies. He has twenty-year experience in multidisciplinary research projects in renewable and clean energy technologies (solar, wind, biomass, and hybrid), energy systems integration, biosystems engineering, energy use in agricultural engineering and food processing. He holds a first degree in electric engineering form Politecnico of Bari and a PhD in process systems engineering from Imperial College London, where he is affiliated as research fellow to the Clean Energy Processes Lab (CEP) and Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE) of the department of chemical engineering. He is associate professor of clean energy technologies at the department of agro-environmental sciences of the University of Bari. Before becoming professor, he co-founded an energy service company, worked for Edison Energie Speciali as wind and biomass energy engineer and for GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici) in the strategic planning division. He also worked as scientific expert and consultant for public and private organisations, including the Italian Ministry of Research, and was vice-Rector for energy policy of University of Bari. Antonio authored over hundred scientific papers, and he is member of IEA working group on energy storage, ASME technical committee on clean fuels, and is delegate for energy in the Italian Sustainable Universities network.
Managing Partner and Chairman Sofinnova
Antoine Papiernik is Chairman and Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners, which he joined in 1997. Antoine has been an initial investor and active board member in public companies like Actelion, ProQR, Shockwave Medical, NovusPharma (sold to CTI), Movetis (sold to Shire), Pixium Vision and Stentys, which went public respectively on the Zürich stock exchange, the NASDAQ, the Milan Nuovo Mercato, the Belgium Stock Exchange and the EuroNext Paris, in Cotherix (initially NASDAQ listed, then sold to Actelion), CoreValve (sold to Medtronic), Fovea (sold to Sanofi Aventis), Ethical Oncology Science (EOS, sold to Clovis Oncology) and Recor Medical (sold to Otsuka). He has also invested in and is a board member of private companies Reflexion Medical, Tissium, Pi-Cardia, SafeHeal, Noema Therapeutics, Ablacare, Highlife and Rgenix. Antoine has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. He has been selected twice for the Forbes Midas List, an annual ranking recognizing the world’s top venture capital investors. Antoine is one of the few Europeans and life science investors to have been named to the prestigious list.
CEO and co-founder of Alice&Bob
Théau Peronnin, 29, is the CEO and co-founder of Alice&Bob. After studying at the Ecole Polytechnique, he specialized in quantum physics at the ENS, and continued with a PhD in experimental quantum physics on the modular architecture of superconducting circuits for quantum computing at the ENS in Lyon. During his PhD, he met Raphaël Lescanne who developed the first prototype of a cat qubit. Together, they realized the first demonstration of autonomous quantum error correction. At the end of their PhDs, Théau and Raphaël co-founded Alice&Bob in February 2020 to develop the first universal error-free quantum computer using this technology.
Miguel Pinto Luz
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, Deputy Mayor, Cascais
Miguel Pinto Luz is the current Deputy Mayor of Cascais.
Since 2005 he has held various public positions, both in central government as Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications during Portugal's XX Constitutional Government, and in his hometown of Cascais.
Holds a MSc and a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon), continued his academic and research career at the same school, where he also taught in several undergraduate and graduate courses, currently teaching at the Nova School of Business and Economics.
Miguel also has an MBA from AESE / IESE Business School (University of Navarra) and is currently developing a PhD in Leadership at Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University). His research interests include public service motivation, servant leadership and public sector governance.
He has been developing a new vision for the future of cities and with successful cases already implemented in Cascais. And is internationally recognized for this work, being invited as a keynote speaker around the world on the topic of Smart Cities and the future of democracy.
Finalist – EU Prize for Women Innovators 2021, CEO of omnius
Sofie’s strong entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a likewise passion for AI led her to create omni:us to become leading provider of intelligent insurance claim automation.
Sofie’s biggest motivation, enabler and achievement so far is being a servant leader for her tribe to transform a whole industry at scale. She strongly believes in the power of open culture & diversity, embracing vulnerabilities, incorporating the past to master the present and future and hiring exceptional people with sparkling energies.
Sofie founded her first robotics company at age 21 and was elected World's Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 by Forbes.
Javier Quiles del Río
Head of IT Department at Galician Healthcare Service - Area Sanitaria de Ferrol
Since 2019 Javier is Head of IT Department at Galician Healthcare Service - Area Sanitaria de Ferrol.
He has worked for more than 15 years as Information Technologies (IT) Project Management at central services of Galician Healthcare Service (SERGAS), a public institution which provides healthcare services to more than 2.700.000 citizens in Galicia.
He works in the deployment and development of innovative IT solutions at regional level: Telemonitoring System, Patient Portal, Big Data systems or Artificial Intelligence solutions.
All these projects are integrated to Electronic Health Record and ePrescription systems – IANUS -, currently deployed in 14 hospitals and more than 490 Primary Care Centres in Galicia.
Javier has lead as Programme Manager two large strategic innovation programs at Galician Health Service: “Hospital 2050” and “Innova Saúde”. Both projects run from 2011 until 2015, with a total funding of 90 M€, including 72 M€ from ERDF.
He is also involved in several EU initiatives. He works in collaborative networks around eHealth, such as EIP-AHA or mHealth working groups, and participates in several EU projects focused on eHealth and public procurement of innovation topics, like Regions4Permed, ACTIVAGE or TITTAN
Event Presenter and Moderator
Florence Ranson is a seasoned event presenter and moderator for clients ranging from European institutions and Agencies to private organisations, including media (European Broadcasting Union, Euractiv) and trade associations.
Over the last few years, she has moderated events on very different topics (Food, agriculture, regional policies, gender equality, drugs addiction, SME policy, etc) for the European Commission, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse, EISMEA, etc. In 2019, she led all the events of the European Committee of Regions, including Europcom, the 25th Anniversary event and the Summit of European Regions, with the President of the Romanian Republic, the Prime Minister, Michel Barnier and several European Commissioners.
Throughout 2020, virtual and hybrid events became the norm. Among others, in October 2020 Florence moderated the 3-day Outermost Regions Forum for DG REGIO (EC) and in December, the Agri Outlook conference for DG AGRI (EC); both were major virtual events with hundreds of participants and high-level speakers.
More recently, she also ran one of the work streams of the European Development Days (15 June 2021) on Rural transformation and food systems and DG Health’s high-level conference on the Citizens Dialogues for the UNFSS (16 July 2021).
Florence is widely experienced in moderating events with European Commissioners, Ministers and other high-level speakers; she has conducted Q&A sessions with several of them and her tone and approach have always generated positive feedback. She is perfectly bilingual and can moderate indifferently in English and French, always bearing in mind that most speakers and participants use another language than their mother tongue.
Carlos Rodriguez-Villa Förster
Managing Director of AlgaEnergy
He has experience in business development, international sales, public relations, media management, e-commerce and biotechnology.
He worked as Project Director for the leading U.S. newspaper (“USA Today”), elaborating socio-economic and investment reports on emerging economies in LATAM.
He was Country Manager of Zalando, the largest European e-shop and fastest growing company to reach 1 bn revenues, where he was responsible for Zalando’s successful business expansion to the Spanish market.
In January 2013 he joined AlgaEnergy, company he now serves as Managing Director. AlgaEnergy is a world reference in the field of microalgae biotechnology, consolidating 5 decades of knowledge in this science and collaborating with over 150 top-level companies and research centers across the globe. It has developed its own pioneering technologies and is supported by the European Commission. Amongst its shareholders are Yokogawa (multinational tech-company listed in Nikkei), Caixa Capital Risc (the VC fund of the largest bank in Spain) and the State of Spain through the CDTI (entity dependent on the Ministry of Science & Innovation). To date, it has established subsidiaries in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, France, Italy, Turkey, India, Japan and Australia, which serve over 3 million satisfied customers.
In addition, Carlos is Board Member in different business associations such as the EBIC (European Biostimulants Industry Council), BioVegen (technological platform for plant biotechnology) and Feeling Innovation by Stanpa (Spanish cosmetics association), as well as Director of the Industrial Transformation Committee at ASEBIO (Spanish bio-enterprises association).
Carles Ros is a post-doctoral researcher, has experience in electrochemical and photoelectrochemical energy storage, specifically in the use of metal oxide protective layers and catalysts to implement 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation photovoltaic materials for water splitting. He received his PhD degree from the University of Barcelona, performed at the IREC research institute. His research activities include the fabrication of photoelectrochemical devices and the study of long-term degradation mechanisms in acidic, alkaline, neutral and saline environments.
Mercedes Ruiz Haro
Head of the Systems, Navigation and Control Area at SENER Aeroespacial
Mercedes Ruiz Haro is the Head of the Systems, Navigation and Control Area at SENER Aeroespacial, where she leads a 50-60 people team (experts in Systems Engineering, Guidance, Navigation, Control, Propulsion…) and coordinates their contribution to the different Space and Defence projects the company works in. She has a background in Project Management and Systems Engineering and she has been a member of the Innovation and Technology Directorate in SENER Aeroespacial. Mercedes has coordinated different innovation and technology projects in-house and for external Clients, collaborating with public institutions, Academia, research centres and industrial actors in the Space sector. As a Project Manager, she has coordinated projects for the European Space Agency and the European Commission FP7 and H2020 programmes where she has also worked as an expert evaluator for Space calls. These experiences have granted Mercedes with the skills and abilities to lead technology developments from conception to flight status, as well as to support different projects from a consultancy role. Mercedes is a M.Sc. in Space and Satellite Technology by UPM, where she also obtained a B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering. She is also a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering by UNED and she has taken part in the Space Studies Programme of ISU. Mercedes has recently completed her education with an executive course obtaining a Master in Business Innovation (MBI) by Deusto Business School.
Dr. Gonzalo Sánchez-Arriaga
Aerospace Engineer (UPM, 2004) and Astrophysicist (UCM, 2010)
Gonzalo Sánchez-Arriaga is an Aerospace Engineer (UPM, 2004) and Astrophysicist (UCM, 2010). After completing a PhD on space tethers and plasma physics in 2009 (Outstanding Doctorate Award), he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique in France (2009-2011), as Assistant Professors at UPM (2012-2015), and as “Ramón y Cajal Researcher” at UC3M (2015-2020). Currently, he is Associate Professor and Director of the Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering at UC3M, where he leads a research team on space tethers and airborne wind energy systems. He is author of more than 55 peer-reviewed papers, two patents on tethers, and 5 registered software. One of them has been commercialized through an in-house online service. He has been the Principal Investigator of more than 10 national and European projects, including the Coordination of the FET E.T.PACK project.
Reyes Sansegundo Romero
Technology Transfer Manager at Fundación para el Conocimiento Madri+d
Reyes Sansegundo Romero is Technology Transfer Manager within the Fundación para el Conocimiento Madri+d. She is a biologist by training with more than 12 years of experience in advising and managing national, European and international research projects. For the Enterprise Europe Network, she is member of the Healthcare Sector Group since 2018.
Founder and Chief Scientist of React4life s.r.l.
She received in 2005 the Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Genoa, Italy.
In 2004 she was Visiting Scientist at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland. Since 2010 Silvia Scaglione is permanent Researcher (Senior researcher since 2021) at National council of Research (CNR).
Silvia Scaglione is Member of PhD course of Bioengineering at the University of Genoa, head of the Laboratory of Tissue Engineering whose main topics and 3D tissue models and bioreactors for the medical research. She was tutor of more than 50 students among master thesis and phd, and responsible of several national and international research projects.
Scaglione is currently the coordinator of a Future Emerging Technology (FET-OPEN) H2020 project, entitled “Modeling spontaneous Breast cancer metastasis TO the Bone with a first-of-its-kind 3D device that recapitulates physiological tissue-level complexity -B2B”.
She is also founder and chief scientist of React4life s.r.l., an innovative biotech startup that develops organ on chip technologies for accelerating the human disease understanding and novel personalized therapies development; React4life has won several international awards and projects, such as H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1, seal of Excellence SME phase 2, Innovation Radar (2021) as best Health technology.
Scaglione is author of more than 80 international peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, author of 7 patents.
Managing Director and Founder of Eurice
Jörg Scherer, Managing Director and Founder of Eurice, has been working in advanced Research, Innovation and Business Management Services for over 25 years. He is the Contract Manager of the European IP Helpdesk (2018-2022) and the Horizon IP Scan (2021-2023) - an IP management support service for European SMEs involved in Horizon Europe collaborative projects. He is a certified “Patent and Innovation Protection Manager” and has a strong background in EU-funded R&I projects as evaluator, reviewer or leading dissemination/exploitation project activities. Moreover, he developed large-scale capacity-building programmes on IP & Innovation for Horizon 2020/Europe beneficiaries and has an in-depth knowlegde of the European IP & Innovation support ecosystem.
Cofounder and CTO of NVision Imaging Technologies GmbH
Ilai Schwartz is the Chief Technology Officer of Nvision, bringing a diverse background in research and development, as well as management consulting. He has over 6 years of experience leading technological R&D projects and product development, including 4.5 years in 8200 Unit in the Israeli military intelligence, and 2 years as an R&D project leader in Gita Technologies, a successful high-tech cyber security start-up. Ilai Schwarz was employed for 2 years as a consultant for McKinsey & Company, with experience in corporate strategy and PharmaCo operations. In addition, Ilai Schwartz was one of the inventors of the concept of diamond-based room-temperature polarization, and has since led together with UULM team the development of an initial proof of concept experiments. He received his MSc in Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Summa Cum Laude)
Gilles Le Cocguen
Head of EuroQuity at Bpifrance
Gilles Le Cocguen is the head of EuroQuity at Bpifrance, the matchmaking service for companies to promote and match with investors, SMEs, research laboratories and business supports, especially in an international context. EuroQuity is the leading matchmaking digital platform connecting European and African innovative companies and their ecosystems.
Gilles created several ICTs companies such as Smartline Systems (in the field of cloud computing) and VocalFruits (it turns XML feeds into Voice feeds).
He was also Senior Manager of the dot.com activity at Valoris (Sopra Group).
Morever, Gilles was the CEO of Servia, a European B to B retail network, gathering 30 companies based in France, Great Britain, Spain, Poland and Ukrain.
In 2007, he started working at OSEO (one of the four entities from which Bpifrance outcomes) as Head of Digital Services and Events. When Bpifrance was founded in 2013, Gilles was appointed Head of International Partnerships and Services. Gilles is graduated from ESSCA (France) and from Dublin City University (Ireland). In addition, he holds a DEA in Economics at the Pantheon University (France).
Maria Vittoria D’Inzeo
Policy Officer DG DEFIS
Maria Vittoria graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of London in 2011. Since then she has worked in the field of international relations. In 2017 she joined the Space Research unit at the European Commission.
She is in charge space R&I activities in the frame of the Union Research and Innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe, for aspects relating to innovative technologies, access to space and education and skills.
Agency for Italy Digital
Is an officer in charge of the “Procurement strategies and market innovation” unit at the Agency for Digitale Italy. Trained as an electronic engineer, before joining Agid he has been a researcher and a professor of organization of information systems and digital government. He is currently pioneering the first national open innovation procurement broker, Appaltinnovativi.gov. and he is contributing to the main government programme of innovation procurement, Smarter Italy.
Founder and Managing Director of BOSS Consulting
Professor and Head of Entrepreneurship Programmes – ENSCP, CELSA, Polytechnique, ParisTech. Board Member - NFBAN, EBAN, SBA, Tenmou, I4W. Former VicePresident – Femmes Business Angels, Expert Advisor for international organisations - OECD, UN, EC. EIC Jury Member. High level Competitor - Fencer and Horse Showjumper, Former Professional Classical Ballet Dancer.
Investment Director Industrifonden
Patrik has a profound interest in deep innovation in Deeptech and with a specific passion for technologies applied in biology.
Prior to joining Industrifonden, Patrik held the position as business franchise leader with IMS Health responsible for data and technology business in Europe, Asia and Africa including responsibility for M&A in HealthTech. His previous experiences include having built two HealthTech start-ups which were both exited to US buyers (United Health Group and IMS Health), the last as CEO and part of integrating the technology into the global IMS Health tech stack and offering. Prior to that he held international R&D and commercial leadership roles with BigPharma companies in Glaxo Smith Kline and AstraZeneca.
Patrik holds a Master of Science in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics, a Master in international management from the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS) and a PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet. He currently holds an Associate Professorship in health economics and epidemiology with Karolinska Institutet and has published research in over 40 international peer-reviewed journals.
Prof. Francesca Spagnoli
Professor in Regenerative Medicine Group Leader in the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
After graduating from Medical School in Rome, Francesca Spagnoli received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. She then did her postdoc at The Rockefeller University, New York, USA, in the Brivanlou lab. In 2008, she established her own research group at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, Germany, where she initiated new lines of investigation on the control of pancreatic cell identity and lineage reprogramming strategies. Francesca has subsequently moved to King's College London, where she is Full Professor in Regenerative Medicine and Group Leader in the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. She has been the recipient of prestigious grants, including the ERC Starting grant, ERC Proof-of-Concept grant, and Wellcome Trust Investigator award. More recently, she became the coordinator of a FET Open European Consortium on bioengineering pancreatic tissue. She is also the Director of Wellcome Trust PhD Programme called ‘Advanced Therapies for Regenerative Medicine’.
Dr. Elena Stefanova Tatarova
Leading Researcher of Plasma Engineering Laboratory of Instituto de Plasma e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico
Elena Tatarova is the leading researcher of Plasma Engineering Laboratory of Instituto de Plasma e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) Lisbon, from which she holds Habilitation in Physics. She has co-authored 13 book chapters, more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals besides, and of over 170 communications in international conferences. Her research interests include fundamental issues of Low-Temperature Plasma Physics, among others. She was involved in complex, experimental and theoretical investigations of microwave plasmas and their applications for production of hydrogen, biomass treatment and ultraviolet plasma sources. In recent years, she has extended her work to novel plasmaenabled pathways to fabricate carbon based 2D nanomaterials. Her work aims at unveiling the correlations between unique plasma properties and plasma driven bottom-up self-organization of 2D nanostructures. Dr. Tatarova has created and was a leading researcher of several projects successfully accomplished in Plasma Engineering Laboratory. She co-supervised 8 PhD and 17 MSc theses. She has 40 invited lectures, including general invited and "hot topic” lectures, in prestigious international conferences. Dr. Tatarova maintains fruitful collaborations with researchers from USA, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Brazil evidenced by the large number of published articles that include multiple institutions and collaborators. Dr. Tatarova is co-inventor of four registered patents (one granted in Portugal). She is also the head coordinator of the project "Plasma Enabled and Graphene Allowed Synthesis of Unique Nanostructures" (PEGASUS) funded by the European Union H2020 program (~4 M€), in a collaboration between Portugal, France, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Germany.
Serial Entrepreneur, Leadership Coach
Nora is a serial entrepreneur, leadership coach and runs a boutique corporate sustainability consultancy helping leaders and organisations to develop and implement corporate sustainability strategy on board, leadership, and organisational level. She is passionate about developing (future) female leaders and dedicates her spare time to running the WomenBreakfastClub.com – a pan-European women leadership network whose mission it is to connect and inspire women across industries. Before her entrepreneurial journey, Nora worked for 10+ years in the financial and tech industry in Product Marketing and Strategy roles at BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, PIMCO, JP Morgan and Facebook. She holds two Master’s degrees in International Business and International Management. She is an experienced keynote speaker, podcaster, workshop facilitator, and moderator and has been featured by Die Welt, BBC Radio 4 amongst others. She is originally from Germany, and lives in London with her dog Harriet.
Francesco Talone & Stefano Moni & Giuseppe Restivo
Finalist – The European Innovation Procurement Awards 2021
Ministry of the Interior (Italy) - Public Security Department - Criminal Police Central Directorate - Data Protection Office.
CTO & Co-Founder at IQM Finland Oy
Kuan Tan holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales and is an experimental physicist by training. Prior to founding IQM, he was a scientist working on various quantum computing technologies. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journals throughout his scientific career, with many of them in Nature. Science has led him to many continents, including Australia, the US and Europe where he has spent time in world-class laboratories. Outside academia, he has also worked at Intel and Microsoft. At IQM, Kuan is the CTO and leads the technology function that has more than 100 physicists, scientists, and engineers.
The International Horizon Scanning Initiative
Finalist – The European Innovation Procurement Awards 2021
IHSI is an international non-profit organisation under Belgian law (Association internationale sans but lucratif - AISBL), acting as a Central Purchasing Body and Lead Contractor in this project. I.e., IHSI buys the horizon scanning services from the service provider and resells them to contracting authorities or private notfor- profit entities whose activity is related to analysis of horizon scanning activities of pharmaceuticals and/or medical technologies and their social impact.
Managing Partner at PKF C&P Business Development GmbH
Martin Theyer is passionate about one thing – to help the most innovative SMEs in Europe to succeed! He has founded and sold a start-up myself I know, how frustrating it can be to go through the valley of death! That is why he started work for the EIC as a certified coach in 2014. He has experience over 25 years in corporate finance and business development. On top as a PKF Managing Partner (www.pkf.com) he works successfully with many innovative SMEs in the high tech field worldwide.
Co-founder and Head of R&D of UBT
Gianluigi Tiberi graduated in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Pisa with a Master at King’s College (UK), Ph.D. degree in Information Engineering from the University of Pisa (2004), Post Ph.D. at University of Oxford through a Marie Curie Intra European Fellowships for Career Development, Seventh Research Framework Programme. Gianluigi matured a solid experience in the applied electromagnetics and microwave imaging for medical application (he was also the coordinator the Radio Frequency laboratory of Imago7 Foundation, Pisa). He was co-lecturer of Electromagnetics for Medical Applications at Biomedical Engineering, University of Pisa and he now collaborates with London South Bank University, UK.
Gianluigi authored more than 90 journal and conference papers; he is the scientist who studied the theory of MammoWave technology disseminated via numerous international conferences and scientific papers.
He is the co-inventor of the patented microwave apparatus MammoWave (Apparatus for testing the integrity of mammary tissues) and founder of UBT-Umbria Bioengineering Technologies, Italy, where he acts as Head of R&D.
UBT was founded in 2015 as an innovative startup and academic spin-off of the University of Perugia, Italy.
UBT is a biomedical company which develops and commercialises a portfolio of innovative medical imaging devices based on cutting-edge microwaves technology instead of dangereous ionizing radiation (X-Rays).
BeAble Capital, Managing Director
Almudena Trigo graduated from the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) with a Telecommunications Engineering degree and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She also has a master in DPP.
She developed her scientific career in two of the most internationally renowned Spanish research centers in Spain the National Center for Oncological Research (CNIO) and the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB) which belongs to the largest Spanish research organization and third in Europe, the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (CSIC).
With a broad international trajectory and a marked multidisplinar character, Almudena has worked at the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in France, a reference center in the aerospace sector, forming part of a team responsible for the design and development of a satellite for the surveillance of maritime traffic. She has also participated in various congresses and scientific collaborations with prestigious American universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Berkeley or MIT. She became director of the Technological Transfer Department of the Science Park Foundation of Madrid (FPCM). During this period, in her task of promoting the transfer of research results to industry, she established a close relationship both with public bodies and structures, and with the industrial sector and the Spanish scientific ecosystem.
In 2008, she founded BeAble Capital together with David López, with the aim of applying her technical knowledge, her vision of the Spanish science «modus operandi» and her experience in technology transfer,. At BeAble Capital, she holds the position of Managing Director, applying her knowledge of analysis, planning, team management and project organization.
Dr. Evelina Vågesjö
Co-founder and CEO of Ilya Pharma
Dr Vågesjö is co-founder and CEO of Ilya Pharma. She has successfully developed the scientific and clinical PoC and API concept. Dr. Vågesjö has built a strong and diverse team, led strategic acquisitions and raised >20 MEUR todate. Dr Vågesjö has received numerous awards in science and business (e.g. EU Prize for Women Innovators finalist 2020) and is also serving as a Board Director at Lytix Biopharma publ LTX and Nordic Bioanalysis AB.
Geert Van De Wouw
Managing Director Shell Ventures
Since 2012, Geert leads Shell Ventures, Shell’s Corporate Venture Capital organization.
Established in 1996, Shell Ventures is one of the world’s earliest corporate VC investors and is one of the most active venture capital investors in the energy industry. In 2018, Shell was named the "European Cleantech Corporation of the Year” by the Global Cleantech Group, recognizing Shell Ventures as "the most active European-based CVC across the energy and industrial innovation sectors.” In 2020, Shell ventures was ranked as the world’s number 1 most active investor in renewable energy technology by CB-Insights.
Shell Ventures is a team of 35 investment professionals, located across seven innovation ecosystems around the globe, including San Francisco, Boston, Houston, London, The Netherlands, Beijing and Bangalore. Since 2012, Shell Ventures has done more than 90 investments in start-ups and Venture Capital funds across the energy and transportation sector.
Geert sits on several boards, including Nordsol, a leading bio-LNG (liquid natural gas) technology company, who have developed a technology to produce a carbon-neutral bio-LNG transportation fuel from bio-gas made from food and agricultural waste.
Before Shell Ventures, Geert has always worked at the interface between technology, engineering and commercial deal-making. In Shell, Geert held commercial positions in new business development and contracting & procurement. He started his career at Fluor Corporation, a global leader in engineering, procurement and construction, where Geert worked in the US, Middle East and the FSU as a process- and start-up engineer and as new business development manager.
Geert is an accredited Champion Deal-Lead with Shell’s Commercial Academy and holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Sciences from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Geert is married to Bernadette, a start-up entrepreneur in the food sector. Together they have three children. In their spare time, Geert and his family like to go off the beaten track and hike, camp or mountain-bike the back-country of the Middle East or the Rocky Mountains in North America.
Global Innovation Director ABInBev
Nicolas's ancestors invented the recipe of one of the six Trappist beers brewed by monks in Belgium.
One century later, Nicolas has become a beer advocate and technology evangelist for the biggest beer brewer in the world and believes he can help bringing people together for a better world.
Nicolas is currently responsible for coordinating Global Innovation strategy for AB InBev.
Prior to that, Nicolas founded and led the Dream Tech Alliance, the first large-scale collaborative platform that supports corporates to innovate with, and invests in promising startups in Europe by leveraging best practices and mentorship among its network of Fortune500 corporate members and public authorities.
As a former social entrepreneur and laureate of the Prince Albert Fund, he previously founded the first independent price comparison website for supermarkets in Belgium.
Nicolas has followed executive education at Stanford Business School and holds Masters in Management from the Vlerick Business School and the University of Clermont-Ferrand, as well as a Bachelor in International Trade from EPHEC.
Nicolas is also a public speaker in innovation festivals and a guest lecturer at Oxford Saïd Business School, and an executive group member of the World Economic Forum for Digital Economy and Ecosystems.
He is an active mentor in the startup community and an expert for the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme, as well as a jury member for the European Innovation Council.
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, Mayor, Vantaa
Ritva Viljanen has served as the Mayor of the City of Vantaa since March 2018.
Before her mayorship, she has held several positions in public administration. She has worked as the Deputy Mayor of Education at the City of Helsinki, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of Finance, Legislative Counselor at the Ministry of Justice, Ministerial Counselor at the Ministry of the Interior, the Director-General of the Population Register Centre, and as a Senior Advisor at the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
Mayor Viljanen is also involved in many committees, boards of directors, and foundations. She is currently, e.g., the Chair of the University Board at the University of Turku, and a Vice-President of the Executive Committee of Airport Regions Council. She is also a member in the working group of the Ministry of Finance focusing on future municipal policy measures, and in the Metropolitan Area politics cooperation group of the Finnish Government. In addition, she is a member of the Finnish High Court of Impeachment.
Mayor Viljanen has received many awards and acknowledgements, including the International Women’s Forum’s Women Who Make a Difference Award in 2021, and being selected as the Influential Person in Central Government of the Year both in 2011 and 2006, and as the Developer of the Administration in 1995.
As for her educational background, Mayor Viljanen is Master of Social Sciences (1981) and Master of Laws (1987). She has studied both her degrees at the University of Turku.
Event Moderator, International Marketing Strategist, Co-founder of the KnowH2Ow Academy
Andrew is an international marketing strategist specialised in the water industry. He supports organisations that provide solutions vital to humankind with a strong bias for boosting innovation impact with exponential technologies.
Andrew was formerly Global Communications Director at Siemens Water Technologies, Director of Communications at the International Water Association (IWA) and runs an independent consultancy, Blue Gold Marketing. He is co-founder of the KnowH2Ow academy that trains and mentors business leaders in the water sector, and recently joined the executive team of a young technology company that is pioneering the application of graphene and additive manufacturing for transformational membranes that enable the circularity of water resources.
Finalist – The European Innovation Procurement Awards 2021
The Dutch Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg (WBL) is the regional waste water treatment company subsidiary of one of the 21 Dutch regional water authorities.
Technology Journalist and Founding Editor of Tech.eu
A seasoned technology journalist, analyst, keynote speaker and event curator, Robin Wauters is the founding editor of Tech.eu, the premier source of European tech news, data analysis and market intelligence. He was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web, and before that a senior editor at TechCrunch.Robin is also one of the co-founders of BeCentral, the digital campus located in Brussels Central Station that has helped thousands of people learn technologies, grow a startup and have a positive impact on society.
Innovation Maker & Innovation procurement, at the European Innovation Council, EISMEA Agency
Bertrand Wert is working for the European Commission since 2009, and for its European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency EISMEA since February 2015.
He is currently working for the "European Innovation Council, Accelerator", and the “Business Acceleration Services”, where he is in charge of supporting innovative SMEs members of the Accelerator to get access to public and private procurers of innovation. He is an expert on demand driven innovation policies.
Previously, he worked from 2009 to 2015 for Directorate General GROW of the European Commission, as Policy Officer for innovation policies. He has been involved in the development of the "Innovation Union" strategy. Meanwhile, piloting demand-driven policy interventions, he managed several public procurement networks or “buyers’ groups” of innovation (Pre-commercial Procurement & Public Procurement of Innovation).
From 2002 to 2009 he has been a researcher in social sciences mainly under European programmes dedicated to research and innovation policies for Local Authorities and Regions.
He has a PhD in Political Science (University Paris-Dauphine, France), a MA in Political Science -- International Relations (University du Québec à Montréal, UQAM, Canada), and a Master in Political Science - European studies (University Libre de Bruxelles, ULB, Belgium).
He holds local political responsibilities, being elected at the Conseil Communal of Ixelles commune (Belgium) since 2012 and Advisor of French citizens living in Belgium.
Energy Innovations Manager at Cepi
As Energy Innovations Manager at Cepi Annita Westenbroeks coordinates the Energy Solutions Forum, since July 2020. In the Energy Solutions Forum information and expertise is shared on solutions and conditions for realising the challenging objective of a carbon neutral pulp and paper industry in Europe. This is about a big leap forward. A leap that cannot be taken without sectoral cooperation and support.
The forum assists the industry to keep track on the exponential technological progress and the available support tools. The involved technology developers become aware of the required (breakthrough) technologies and the sector’s willingness to change, support and invest in it. And the forum helps Cepi to identify the non-technological hurdles that requiring advocacy on European level.
Annita Westenbroek is also Innovation Manager at the Dutch Association of the Paper and Board Industry, director at the Dutch Biorefinery Cluster, and cluster-director at the Institute of Sustainable Process Industries.
Finalist – The European Capital of Innovation Awards 2021, Mayor, Dortmund
Thomas Westphal, born 1967 in Lübeck, mayor of the City of Dortmund since 2020
Education and career:
1984: apprenticeship with the state of Schleswig-Holstein as a civil servant in the police administration. 1988: studied economics at the Hamburg University of Economics and Politics on the second educational path. During this time he was also elected Federal Chairman of the youth organisation of the socialdemocratic party SPD. After his graduation and involvement in politics, he moved to Dortmund in 1996.
This was followed by several management positions at companies in the Ruhr area and in Baden-Württemberg until 2010. In this year, the change from private business to public administration took place when he took over the management of the regional business development agency of the Ruhr area.
In 2013, he moved to his home town to join the Dortmund business development agency - the largest institution of its kind in Germany. Following the nomination as the SPD's candidate for the office of Lord Mayor in September 2019, the election by the citizens of Dortmund took place one year later.
Thomas Westphal describes his vision for Dortmund as a "big city of neighbours".
Founder of Dealroom.co
Founder of Dealroom.co which was launched in 2014 in Amsterdam to provide insights and intelligence about the world's most promising companies. Top tier venture capital firms like Sequoia, Balderton, Atomico, and world-class corporates like Google, McKinsey, EY, and others use Dealroom software and data to stay at the forefront of innovation and discover the world’s most promising companies. Before founding Dealroom, Yoram was an investment banker in New York and London. Yoram has a cum laude Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Amsterdam.
Director, Project Development, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst
Alessandro joined Breakthrough Energy in July 2021, where he is responsible for the development of projects within the Catalyst program. He brings 18 years of work experience in Management Consulting, R&D and Project Management, across organizations such as McKinsey & Co, Siemens AG and Dubai Government.
In the 5 years at DEWA, Alessandro led the development of the first MW-scale green H2 pilot in the MENA region for Expo 2020. He designed and led a platform for cleantech scale-up, oversaw the portfolio of R&D projects and led a number of strategic initiatives for business diversification.
At McKinsey & Co, he served public and private sector clients, with a focus on power, O&G and chemicals across GCC. He led projects spanning from strategy, innovation and lean operations, to large organizational transformation and implementation programs. Alessandro spent 6 years at Siemens Corporate Technology in Germany, developing of solutions for power sector decarbonization.
Alessandro holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Erlangen-Nuremberg University, Germany and an MBA from INSEAD, Singapore. He has a Master in Materials Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy. Alessandro is married with two children and is passionate about basketball, wind-surfing, meditation and yoga. He is fluent in English, Italian and German, and has lived in Italy, Germany, Singapore and UAE.