Speakers' biographies


Digital Innovation and University-Industry Collaboration: New Policy Perspectives


10-12 April 2019

London, Digital Catapult Centre



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Román Arjona

Román Arjona-Gracia studied Economics at the University of Valencia, where he graduated with a special distinction. He holds a Masters' degree in European Economic Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute in Florence. He worked for the European Investment Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and for the OECD as Economist. He was Adviser to the Spanish State Secretary and the Spanish Minister for Science and Technology before joining the Directorate-General for Research of the European Commission. In January 2012 he was appointed to the Spanish Government as Secretary-General for Science, Technology and Innovation. He is now Chief Economist at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.

Wesley Cohen

Prof. Wesley Cohen is a Professor of Economics and Management and the Snow Family Professor of Business Administration in the Fuqa School of Business, Duke University. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and serves as the Faculty Director of the Fuqua School’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has published widely in scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review and the Economic Journal. Most recently, he has conducted research on the “division innovative labor”, investigating ties across firms and other institutions that influence innovative performance between firms.

Harley Davis

Harley Davis is Vice President, responsible for IBM’s Operational Decision Management (ODM) business as well as the IBM France Lab, leading a team of 600 architects, developers, technical writers, consultants and QA specialists. ODM is the world’s leading decision management platform, with hundreds of clients around the world. IBM France Lab is IBM’s R&D center in France, responsible for developing, supporting, and helping clients deploy IBM’s software portfolio, focusing on advanced decision engineering and artificial intelligence applied to business problems.

Mr. Davis has spent over 25 years building, selling, supporting, and implementing decision support and business agility technology. He spent seven years in ILOG’s Paris-based development center developing next-generation dynamic programming languages and subsequently held several leadership roles for ILOG in North America and Europe in professional services and sales. When IBM acquired ILOG, Mr. Davis was VP of Sales and Services for EMEA for ILOG, responsible for all ILOG software and services delivery in Europe. He has also managed the Optimization software business for IBM, expanding the business considerably through the implementation of a solution-based approach.

In addition, as CIO and EVP of Software Development of BridgeSpan, Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up focused on building a SaaS-based electronic mortgage processing and closing platform, Mr. Davis was responsible for software development of the world’s first e-mortgage system, sponsored by Fannie Mae.

This system deployed ILOG business rules technology to support mortgage documentation rules in 48 states. Before joining ILOG, Mr. Davis was a researcher at the Xerox PARC research center in Palo Alto, California, applying constraint-based optimization technology to design problems. Mr. Davis has undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Greg Falconer

Greg Falconer is the Deputy Director on Innovation Policy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom. 

Greg is responsible for UK innovation policy, including increasing the R&D intensity of the UK economy. He is also responsible for managing the UK science budget at a strategic level as well as delivering strategic advice on science and innovation in areas of Ministerial priority.

Greg previously worked in the Cabinet Office, leading civil service efficiency and reform projects and other strategic initiatives. Before that, Greg was Associate Director at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy and a strategy consultant at KPMG. He has also spent time in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and at RAND Europe.

Paul Galwas

Paul Galwas is a contributor to Ocean Protocol and is CSO at DEX. He has been spearheaded information security solutions for more than 20 years.At Digital Catapult, he input into multiple national policy and research strategies, worked on BSI security standards, and lead multiple collaborative research projects. At Digital Catapult, nCipher, Secerno and Cellcrypt, he worked on privacy, trust & identity, digital asset protection & sharing, IoT & distributed ledger security, and secure payment systems, and with UK and US Governments on classified mobile security. He was an early member of Open Group Jericho Forum, and the Trusted Computer Group, and collaborates with EARTO SRG, Open Group, ISF and IoTSF. At Computervision, Telxon and Prime, Paul developed early Wi-Fi technologies and mobile handheld systems, after spearheading 3D modeling and realistic imaging. He has a PhD and MA in science from Cambridge University

Dominique Guellec

Dominique Guellec is Head of the Science and Technology Policy (STP) Division, within the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI). This division covers notably: innovation policies, science policies, biotechnology and nanotechnology issues, national innovation studies, innovation for development, the STI Outlook, the Innovation Policy Platform, and the Space Forum. Mr. Guellec joined the OECD in 1995 and has worked in the DSTI on statistics and quantitative economic analysis of science, innovation and growth.

From 2004-2005, Mr. Guellec was Chief Economist of the European Patent Office (Munich). Mr. Guellec has authored several books and many articles on patents, innovation and economic growth. His (co-) publications in English include The Economics of the European Patent System (Oxford University Press, 2007); and From R&D to Productivity Growth: the Sources of Knowledge Spillovers and their Interaction (Oxford Review of Economics and Statistics, 2004). Of French nationality, Mr. Guellec is a graduate from the École nationale de la statistique et de l’administration économique (ENSAE, Paris). 

Holger Hoos

Holger Hoos is professor of Machine Learning at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (Canada), where he holds an additional appointment as Faculty Associate at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and past president of the Canadian Association for Artificial Intelligence / Association pour l'intelligence artificielle au Canada (CAIAC). Mr. Hoos completed his PhD in 1998 at TU Darmstadt (Germany), where he previously studied computer science, mathematics and biochemistry.

Holger's research interests span artificial intelligence, empirical algorithmic, bioinformatics and computer music. He is known for his work on machine learning and optimisation methods for the automated design of high-performance algorithms and for his work on stochastic local search. In 2018, together with Morten Irgens (Oslo Metropolitan University) and Philipp Slusallek (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence), Holger launched CLAIRE, an initiative by the European AI community that seeks to strengthen European excellence in AI research and innovation. CLAIRE promotes excellence across all of AI, for all of Europe, with a human-centred focus and aims to achieve an impact similar to that of CERN. The initiative has attracted major media coverage in many European countries and garnered broad support by more than 1000 AI experts, more than one hundred fellows of various scientific AI associations, many editors of scientific AI journals, national AI societies, top AI institutes and key stakeholders in industry and other organisations.

Johannes Kern

Johannes Kern is a Senior Research Associate at the Bosch-Chair of Global Supply Chain Management at Tongji University. His research focuses on Supply Chain Management, particularly on behavioral dynamics in logistics service provider selection processes. Asides of conducting Supply Chain consulting projects, Johannes teaches MBA and Master students from around the world in Supply Chain & Purchasing Management. Prior to that he worked in various Purchasing and Logistics functions at the Bosch Group in Asia-Pacific where he led teams and conducted strategic projects in Greater China, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and India (www.johanneskern.eu).

Werner Kohnert

Werner Kohnert is Team leader in the project management agency of DLR (German Aerospace Center) being in charge of conducting R&D project funding under contract of BMWi (Federal Ministry of Economics an Energy).

Being a graduated electrical engineer he is supervising governmental R&D initiatives in ICT sector (broadcasting standardization, eGovernment, knowledge management, artificial intelligence) since 1987. Since 2012 he is in charge of  “Mittelstand-Digital” the German initiative for technology and knowledge transfer for digital transformation of SMEs.

Yoon Been Lee

Yoon Been Lee is the Director of Center for Data Analytics Innovation of KISTEP, the government think-tank in R&I policy of Korea; this center is responsible not only for diverse national surveys such as R&D survey, GBARD, and R&D performance but also for NTIS, which is a digital platform for R&D data service in Korea. He has been principal researcher of various projects related with policy analysis; preliminary feasibility study on mega-projects, R&D budget coordination, multi-year strategy for government R&D investment, and etc.
Among his working experiences, after having received a Ph.D. in Engineering at Seoul National University in 2003, Yoon Been Lee Worked at LG Electronics as senior research engineer as well as at KOTEC, a government funded financial institution, assessing various venture companies. His research area is focusing on the policy analysis and data science for evidence-base policy decision making.

Brian MacAulay

Brian MacAulay is Lead Economist at the Digital Catapult in London. He is responsible for implementing new approaches to capturing data on businesses, to measure progress, prepare market intelligence and for developing new modelling approaches of the diffusion of digital technologies. He works alongside academics and policy teams to better understand the measurement of impacts from digital technologies on economic growth. Throughout his career Brian has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to projects.

Prior to joining the Catapult, he was the National Economist for the Canal River Trust. There he sought to implement a number of his project involve harnessing big data analytics such as utilising geolocation data from mobile phones to model people movements along the network, and developing a boat traffic model using network algorithms to project boat movements.

As director of Innovation Index for Nesta, Brian worked with academics in the UK, Europe and USA to develop new methods of measuring the contribution of innovation to economic growth. He has been a member of a number of EC and OECD expert panels and presented the Index work to senior UK civil servants and government ministers. 

Prior to Nesta Brian was senior economist at the West Midlands Regional Observatory where he led on advanced analytical reporting including promotion of spatial and integrated modelling and analysis to support regional strategies. He also spent 10 years lecturing at the University of North London, where he combined research in the application of evolutionary complex systems models to market regulatory issues.

Irene Ng

Irene Ng is a Professor of Marketing and Service Systems and the Director of the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation at WMG, University of Warwick. She is also a Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge. Irene was an entrepreneur and practitioner for 16 years before switching to an academic career. During her time in industry, she occupied a number of senior positions in industry rising to become CEO of SA Tours and Travel group of companies (Singapore, Malaysia, China and UK). Irene's research lies in the trans-disciplinary understanding of value and the design of markets and economic/business models. She is the recipient of several ESRC fellowship appointments, including being one of the 6 UK Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) research Services Fellows, the ESRC/NIHR Placement Fellow and more recently, one of the five ESRC/InnovateUK Innovation Caucus Thought leaders. Both an entrepreneur and an academic, Irene is passionate about the link between practice and research. She is an advisor to startups on new financial models in digital businesses.

Caroline Paunov

Caroline Paunov is Senior Economist and Head of Secretariat for the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) at the Directorate for Science, Technology, and Innovation of the OECD. In her current position she oversees the Working Party’s work on digital and open innovation and on assessing the impacts of public research on innovation. She previously conducted work on innovation for inclusive growth and on national intellectual property rights systems in emerging economies. Specialised in applied econometrics, her research work has been published in leading academic journals, including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Development Economics, the Canadian Journal of Economics, Research Policy and World Development. Previously, Caroline worked for the World Bank, the United Nations and cooperated on various projects for the public sectors in Brazil, Spain and Germany. She holds a B.A. and M.A. (Hons) from the University of Oxford, a M.Sc. from the University Pompeu Fabra and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of London.

Bettina Peters

Prof. Bettina Peters is Deputy Head at ZEW’s "Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics" Research Department and Honorary Professor in Management at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg. Her main research interests cover the economics of innovation at the firm level, in particular productivity and employment effects of innovation, dynamics in firm innovation behaviour, and the internationalization of R&D activities. Her research has been published in various academic journals like RAND Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, International Journal of Industrial Organization, or Research Policy.

She will present her recent research findings regarding the productivity and employment effects of innovation, the dynamics in firm innovation behaviour, and the internationalization of R&D activities. Engaged in the conceptual development and analysis of the Mannheim Innovation Panel and the Community Innovation Surveys (CIS), she will reflect on the possibilities and challenges of adjusting the surveys in order to improve the measurement of R&D intensity.

Sandra Planes-Satorra

Sandra Planes-Satorra is a Junior Policy Analyst at the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation of the OECD. She is currently working on the ‘Digital and Open Innovation’ project, in particular assessing how digital transformation is impacting innovation models across sectors, and how innovation policy should adapt to address the emerging challenges of the digital economy. She has also conducted research in the fields of science-industry linkages and innovation for inclusive growth – topics on which she has recently co-authored two policy papers.

Prior to joining the OECD, she worked for the European Commission and for a policy consulting firm. She holds a BSc in Economics and a BSc in Political Science and Public Management from Pompeu Fabra University, and a MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Stephen Roper

Prof. Stephen Roper is Director of the Enterprise Research Centre, an independent research centre which conducts policy relevant research on SME growth and development.Stephen's main research interests are in innovation, enterprise growth and development, regional development, and industrial policy evaluation. Professor Roper has led over fifty externally funded research projects, ran his own consultancy company and works regularly with OECD on consultancy assignments related to small business policy and evaluation

He willpresent perspectives on R&D performance measurement at the firm level, based on his extensive research in the field of innovation, enterprise growth and development, regional development, and industrial policy evaluation. He will bring insights from a project he led called 'Measuring firm-level innovation performance in six areas of the UK economy', commissioned by Nesta as part of the UK Innovation Index.

Margherita Russo

Margherita Russo is Full Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. After her MA in Economics at University of Cambridge (UK) she began her academic activity at the University of Pescara (Italy) in 1985 and then at the University of Modena (since 1989). Her main research interests include: analysis of processes of innovation and competence networks, effects of innovation on the organisation of labour, structure and change in local productive systems, evaluation of innovation policies. In the last decade she has been member of international research projects on innovation, and has directed research projects on the mechanical industry in Italy, on the assessment of policy innovation networks and on the socio-economic effects of the 2012 earthquake in Emilia (Italy). 

Since 2000, Prof. Russo is scientific director of Officina Emilia, a project of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, aiming at the regeneration of competences needed for re-industrialization (to foster innovation in the local industry) and at increasing the quality of the education system. In the last decade, she was responsible for work packages in international research projects on innovation (Innovation Study Phoenix, Arizona State University) and European research projects on theory, models and analysis of innovation processes (Iscom, Insite, MD, coordinated by David A. Lane). She has been appointed Representative of Italy in the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP), a sub-group of the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) (2016- ), and Representative of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research in the European Union Strategy for Alpin Regions (EUSALP), Action 1-“To develop an effective research and innovation ecosystem” (2016- ). 

Tiago Santos Pereira

Tiago Santos Pereira is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Studies (CES). With a DPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies, from SPRU, University of Sussex, his research is focused on the issues of the governance of science and technology, including issues such as expertise, policy-making and participation, S&T and inequality, S&T policies and indicators, IPR and academic research or the construction of socio-technical imaginaries. He is developing work at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the Innovation Studies. He develops his research in CES under the Research Group on Science, Economy and Society (NECES), of which he is co-coordinator. He was the Executive-Director of CES between 2006 and 2008, and Vice-President of the Scientific Council between 2011 and 2012. His work has been published in national and international journals and books.

He is co-coordinator of the Doctoral Programme 'Governance, Knowledge and Innovation', launched in 2005 in partnership between CES and the School of Economics of the University of Coimbra (FEUC), on which he lectures two semester seminars on 'Policies for Science and Knowledge'. He was National Delegate in the Programme Committee of the 7th Framework Programme, under the priority on 'Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities' and a member of the Network Board of the ERA-NET NORFACE, representing the Foundation for Science and Technology.

Agnes Spilioti

Dr Agnes Spilioti is the Head of the Policy Planning Directorate of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) - Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. She studied Biology at the University of Athens and she obtained a PhD and a DEA in Biological Oceanography in France (University Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris VI).  

Since 1984 she has been working at the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of Greece, heading several GSRT units and directorates. In 2012 -2013 she was the Director of the Cabinet Office of the Secretary General for R&T. 

She is member of the Monitoring Committees of several Sectoral and Regional Operational Programmes (ESIF, Programming Period 2014-20). She has been appointed as national representative in numerous Committees and working groups at the European and international level (EU Council and Programme Committees, such as GPC and CREST, ERA-Net Steering Groups, OMC Working Groups, OECD - SCTP and TIP Committees and others). She also headed a national Task Force for RTDI issues during the Greek Presidency of the European Council in the 1st semester 2003. 

She has been project evaluator for the European Commission, as well as peer reviewer of the national research systems of Moldova and Kyrgyzstan. She is the author of several articles in the field of RTDI policy and she participated in many national and international conferences, workshops and events. She has been honoured as « Chevalier de l’ Ordre du Mérite » on behalf of the French Republic.

Sir Mark Walport

Sir Mark Walport is the Chief Executive of the newly formed UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which is responsible for the public funding of research and innovation.

He has been Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) and Head of the Government Office for Science from April 2013 to September 2017. As GCSA, Sir Mark used to advise the prime minister and members of cabinet and government on science and technology policy, to improve the quality and use of scientific evidence and to lead the science and engineering professions in the UK civil service. Until 2003, Mark was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.

Mark received a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours list for services to medical research and was elected as Fellow of The Royal Society in 2011.

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Martin Borowiecki

Martin Borowiecki has joined the OECD in 2016. He is a Junior Economist at the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), where he has contributed to work on the impacts of public research on innovation. Besides his work on innovation policy, he supported the accession process of Costa Rica and Lithuania to the OECD, in particular in questions related to science and technology policy. Prior to joining the OECD, he worked in the Austrian Institute of Technology and was a visiting researcher in the Economics Department of Brandeis University in Boston, United States, and the Macau University of Science and Technology, China. Mr. Borowiecki holds MA degree in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria.

Brigitte Ecker

Brigitte Ecker studied economics at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, received her doctorate there with excellent success in the year 2003 and was after several years working in the economy starting from 2004 scientific coworker at the center for economic and innovation research of the Joannuem research in Vienna.

In 2013, she started working at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, where she headed the research group "Innovation, Education and Sustainability" from 2014 onwards. In the summer of 2016 she founded the WPZ Research GmbH, becoming the managing director. In addition, Brigitte Ecker is a consultant at the Institute for Innovation and Technology (IIT) of the VDI / VDE Innovation + Technology GmbH in Berlin, as well as a lecturer for innovation and technology management at the Technikum Wien. Her work focuses on RTI policy, university research and evaluation.

Fernando Galindo-Rueda

Fernando Galindo-Rueda is a Senior Economist in the Economic Analysis and Statistics Division of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry. He leads the Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators unit that is responsible for supporting the work of the OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI). He is responsible for coordinating the upkeep and development of the Frascati family of internationally-adopted statistical standards for the measurement of R&D and innovation and oversees the delivery of a number of analytical projects and the publication of OECD publications in this area, including Main Science and Technology Indicators and the R&D Statistics Database.

Vasileios Gongolidis

Vasileios Gongolidis holds a University degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and a Master’s degree in Management of Complex Technical and Economic Systems also from NTUA. He currently works at General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Greece. His responsibilities include national R&D policy planning with a focus on ICT, monitoring of implementation of policy and state aid issues  as well as coordination of GSRT’s triple-helix innovation platform for ICT. Mr. Gongolidis is appointed as the Greek national representative at EU’s Horizon 2020 program, specifically at the LEIT (Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies) ICT Committee. He is also a member of the committees CSTP (Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy) and TIP (Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy) of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He has participated as an expert or evaluator in numerous national and European projects. His previous position was at The National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” in Greece.

Cheryl George

Cheryl George is CSIRO’s Data61’s Commercial Director. She joined Data61 in March 2016 as Group Leader - Government Business and Stakeholder Engagement. In her role, Cheryl lead Data61’s strategic engagement with Commonwealth, State and Territory Government agencies across Australia, including the identification of new data-driven research projects and initiatives.

Prior to joining Data61, she led the Australian Trade Commission’s (Austrade) digital technology investment attraction group, supporting international companies to connect into new opportunities in Australia. Her previous roles also include leading the Victorian Government’s life sciences investment activities and being the Head of Investment for the Small Technologies Cluster (STC Australia), a small technology and medical technology focused start-up incubator in Melbourne. With over 15 years’ experience in business development and investment attraction roles across government and industry, Cheryl has developed extensive networks within Australia’s technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing sectors and across Government. Cheryl holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Commerce from Monash University.

José Guimón

José Guimón is Doctor in economics from the Autonomous University of Madrid and master's degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University. He regularly works as a consultant for the World Bank and the OECD in projects related to the design and evaluation of science, technology and innovation policies in developing countries. He has also been part of several committees of experts and research projects funded by the European Commission. During the last years he has been a visiting researcher at the University of Chile, at Trinity College Dublin and at the University of Freiburg.

Dr Jari Hyvärinen

Dr Jari Hyvärinen is a senior adviser at Business Finland (formerly Tekes). His current job includes the impact analysis of research, development and innovation (RDI) funding and innovation environment. He is interested in topics such as economic geography, theory of the firm, innovation and international economics.

Rick Johnson

Rick Johnson is the CEO and founder of Global Helix LLC, a policy strategy and global thought leadership firm. His work is at the intersection of science, emerging technologies, innovation strategy, and policy/legal issues. Mr. Johnson has been an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board on Life Sciences, numerous NAS National Committees, and the recent U.S. national strategy review panel for the future of the National Academies and the American research enterprise. He has been a member and co-author for a broad range of NAS reports and U.S. national commission papers, and has played a leading role as a thought leader in synthetic biology and life sciences, innovation, university-industry collaborations, global science initiatives, and science-security issues. Rick is the Chair of the OECD/BIAC Technology & Innovation Committee, the Brown Biology & Medicine Council, the recently formed Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) Policy Committee, and several innovation advisory councils in the United States and internationally.

Mr. Johnson now serves as a Board Director of: (i) the iGEM Foundation; (ii) the Stanford Biofab and BioBricks Foundation; (iii) the EBRC/UC-Berkeley; (iv) the University-Industry Bioeconomy Task Force; and (v) the Global Biofoundry Alliance. For many years, Rick served on the MIT Corporation Committee, numerous U.S. and international science and innovation task forces, and the NAS Synthetic Biology Forum. He also serves as a Senior Adviser to the Global CEO Initiative Against Alzheimer’s (“CEOi”). In addition to receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School where he was Editor of the Yale Law Journal, he received his graduate science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a National Science Foundation National Fellow, and his undergraduate degree with highest honors from Brown University.

Thorsten Lambertus

Thorsten Lambertus is a team member of Fraunhofer Venture Lab and director of the Fraunhofer-internal “FDays Accelerator”. In this context he is also responsible for the “Fraunhofer Josephs” network and contact for corporate cooperation in the scope of the FDays. Before, Thorsten spent three years at Vienna University of Economics and Business, earned a doctorate and lectured in business model design, managed industry projects related to entrepreneurship and innovation – from start-ups to large enterprises – and was also involved in establishing a start-up garage. He founded two own start-ups in the fields of SaaS and e-commerce. Thorsten graduated in business engineering from RWTH Aachen and majored in technology and innovation management.

Göran Marklund

Göran Marklund is Deputy Director General and Head of Operational Development at VINNOVA, the Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems. He was previously Science and Technology Attaché at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC, guest researcher at the Center for International Technology Policy at George Washington University and Associate Professor in Economic History at Uppsala University. Mr. Marklund often gives advice to the Government on research, innovation and growth policy issues. As a researcher, he has primarily specialized in globalization, innovation and national competitiveness, with a particular focus on innovation, R&D and indicators on innovation and growth. In this function he has closely followed OECD's and Eurostat's indicator work and often assisted at the meetings of OECD's groups of national experts on science and technology. Mr. Marklund is chairman of the Advisory Board for R&D and Innovation Statistics at Statistics Sweden.

Ana Nieto

Ana Nieto is a senior policy officer in the ‘Skills’ Unit in DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission where she is in charge of the ERA Chairs. She has been working for 10 years in DG RTD on different research policy areas such as public health, international health and capacity building, infectious diseases, allergy, environment and health. Ana Nieto holds an MD, PhD. She was working as paediatrician and molecular genetics scientist in the USA before joining the European Commission.

Byeongwon Park

Byeongwon Park works as a research fellow in STEPI (Science and Technology Policy Institute, a government funded research institute in the area of STI).

He is responsible for running foresight program in Center for Strategic Foresight as a group leader. He has very active role providing consultation for the Korean Assembly, various Ministries and local governments on the matter of strategic foresight.  In addition, he teaches at the graduate school of future study program, KAIST as an adjunct professor. He has earned Ph.D. in Material Science at Alfred University, US in 1998. He worked at the KISTEP (Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning since 2003 as a group leader of Technology Foresight Center. In 2008, he left KISTEP and take up position as a technical staff at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the corporate central laboratory of Samsung Electronics, involving corporate foresight project for identification of future business and technology opportunities. 

Helen Pearce

Helen Pearce is a senior strategy advisor at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the new UK body with responsibility for public funding of research and innovation, which brought the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England in 2018. She currently works with colleagues across the organisation on developing UKRI’s strategy and approach to the UK government’s target to increase its R&D intensity to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, and 3% in the longer term.

Helen previously worked in a number of roles for the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council. She holds a BA and DPhil from the University of Oxford.

James Phipps

James Phipps is the Head of Economic Analysis and Policy Development for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) based in Nesta’s Research, Analysis and Policy team.

James leads on partner engagement in his role at IGL, helping IGL partners to access evidence from trials, identify and develop their own ideas for policy experiments, and build their capacity to take these forward. Before joining Nesta, James was a Senior Economist and Head of Enterprise Policy Development and Evaluation at the UK Business Department. He directed the analysis of various SME, supported and financed programmes and oversaw a large research programme. Mr Phipps established many RCTs during this time, ranging from small behavioural trials through to major policy experiments such as the Growth Vouchers Programme. James holds an MSc in Economics from Warwick University and a BSocSc in Mathematical Economics from the University of Birmingham.

Wolfgang Polt

Wolfgang Polt is the Director for the Centre for Economic and Innovation Research at Joanneum Research Ltd, one of the largest public contract research organizations in Austria.

He has long worked in the area of science, technology and innovation policy, especially in the international context. His work experience includes the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission, where he coordinated a number of large international projects. As a policy consultant, Mr. Polt worked in Austria, Finland, Japan, Switzerland and in several Eastern European countries. He is representing Austria in the ‘Six countries Program for Innovation’. His areas of work include international comparative project on science, technology and innovation policy, consulting, design and evaluation of technology and innovation program and policies.

Asier Rufino

Asier Rufino is the co-founder and CEO of Tecnalia Ventures; he is Chairman and Board member in several deep-tech spin-offs; a Professor at Deusto Business School in the Finance and Entrepreneurship Masters; an European Union Commission Expert in Innovation in SMEs and a Business Angel Investor. He has previously worked for both blue-chip Organizations such as: Accenture (Ireland), BNP Paribas (France), The Parthenon Group (UK-USA-UAE, Dubai), Eli Lilly (UK), Gilead (UK-Turkey) and smaller Organizations (start-ups and SMEs) always focusing on innovation; early stage investment and tech entrepreneurship.
Before joining Tecnalia, Asier worked at the Basque Institute of Competitiveness (Orkestra) in projects such as the set-up of the most successful business angel network in the Basque Country and programs to help raise funding and internationalize local start-ups.
He is the co-founder and member of the investment committee of Microwave Ventures, a seed capital fund focusing on software and internet investments; he is the Chairman of 3 start-ups and board member of several others. Asier teaches at Deusto Business School’s Finance and Entrepreneurship Masters; he is part of the European Commission Expert Group on Innovation in SMEs and a board member of the TTO Circle (JRC).
Asier holds an MBA from London Business School / Sloan MIT and has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the Basque Country University in Spain with an Erasmus in Reims (France).

Stefano Salvador

Stefano Salvador works as Open Innovation specialist and team manager of the Enterprises and Incubation Office at Area Science Park, an Italian national research institution promoting the development of innovation processes for territorial development. The team he coordinates provides innovation support and R&D strategy consulting to companies, startups, universities and research centres. Since 2017 he has contributed to the development of a series of initiatives supporting the digital transformation of SMEs. Before that he has been active in national and international projects fostering the establishment of Open Innovation Ecosystems on regional and multi-regional level. Prior to joining Area Science Park in 2010, he worked as EU project manager and international relations responsible at a private RTO.


Roland Sommer

Roland Sommer serves as Managing Director of the Austrian Platform Industry 4.0 since October 2015. The mission of the platform is to seize opportunities and innovations to improve production capabilities and the working environment in Austria. Prior to this function, he worked as Director of Public-Private Affairs for AVL, the world’s largest independent company for the development of powertrain systems with internal combustion engines as well as instrumentation and test systems.

From 2004 to 2011 Mr. Sommer worked for the Federation of Austrian Industries, where he was responsible for research and innovation policy, both on the national and on the EU level. From 2000 to 2004 he was employed by the Austrian Research Promotion AgencyMr. Sommer studied at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and the University of London, UK.

Chris Warkup

Chris Warkup is the CEO of the Knowledge Transfer Network.  KTN is the UK’s Innovation Network, a not-for-profit company that is part of the Innovate UK family. It brings together businesses, entrepreneurs, academics, funders and investors to develop new products, processes and services.

Chris is an animal scientist by background and most recently was the CEO of the Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network, one of 14 predecessor networks to KTN.  

He is a Trustee of The Roslin Foundation and a member of the Steering Group for the Innovate UK Sustainable Agri-Food Innovation Platform.  For ten years he was Chairman of the Genomia seed fund and has a long-standing relationship with BBSRC, having been on three different Strategy Panels, and is a Past President of the British Society of Animal Science.

Anna Valero

Anna Valero is ESRC Innovation Fellow at the CEP. She received her PhD in economics at the LSE in 2018. Her research is focused on the drivers of productivity and innovation, and in particular the role of skills and universities in explaining differences in economic performance between firms and regions. Anna has also been working on UK productivity and industrial strategy more broadly, and in 2017 was a research director for the LSE Growth Commission. Previously, Anna was a manager at Deloitte’s Economic Consulting practice.

Tim Vorley

Tim Vorley is an economic geographer by background, and the focus of his work is entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development. His interests are particularly concerned with the organisational dynamics of entrepreneurialism, and how this relates to the wider institutional environment and public policy. Prior to joining the Management School in September 2010, Tim was a University Lecturer in Economic Geography at the University of Cambridge (2007-2010) and worked as a Research Fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford (2006-2007). He was previously a visiting researcher at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills during the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review and is currently on partial secondment to Innovate UK.

He teaches entrepreneurship at postgraduate level, and is also the director the new MSc in Entrepreneurship. He is an innovative educator with a Senate Award for Excellence in Learning & Teaching. His teaching is theoretically informed with a clear empirical focus that is accessible and relevant to students. 

He has also developed a number of Teaching and Learning iPhone/iPad applications: DEEP (Developing Entrepreneurial and Enterprising People), aimed at supporting Early Career Researchers and Postgraduates Researchers indipendently reflect on their skills; and The Effectuator, based on effectuation/effectual research to encourage students to think more entrepreneurially in developing business ideas.

Zoë Webster

Zoë Webster leads a team of experts working to identify, support and accelerate high growth-potential innovation in the UK, based on cutting-edge AI and data research and technology.

She joined Innovate UK in 2007 as a technologist with responsibility for developing and implementing the UK’s innovation strategy for information and communication technology. Since then, she has held the roles of Head of Enabling Technologies, Head of High-Value Manufacturing, Head of Resource Portfolio and Deputy Director – Strategy.

With a background in computer science, Zoë has a PhD in artificial intelligence, for which she developed and evaluated stereotype-based user models for personalised information filtering. Previous jobs include working at QinetiQ and SEA, involving researching, developing and demonstrating machine learning and information filtering algorithms for a range of applications including health and retail.