Innovative Europe: The Way Forward. Taking Stock and Thinking Ahead

Convegno pubblico, Brussels, 18-02-2020

martedì 18 febbraio 2020 ore 14:30 - 18:45

The Office

I cambiamenti climatici, le trasformazioni digitali e le attuali tendenze demografiche stanno trasformando l’economia e la società europea, ponendo enormi sfide per l’ecosistema industriale e incidendo profondamente sullo stile di vita dei cittadini. I prossimi cinque anni saranno cruciali per definire il ruolo dell’Europa a livello internazionale: come indicato nelle linee guida della Presidente della Commissione Ursula von der Leyen, la nuova leadership dell’UE è chiamata ad adottare e attuare una serie di politiche molto ambiziose, affinché l’UE possa guidare la transizione verso un pianeta sano e un nuovo mondo digitale e rimanere innovativa e competitiva a livello globale.

I-Com organizzerà il 18 febbraio (14:30 – 18:45) presso il “The Office” di Bruxelles (Rue d’Arlon 80), la conferenza pubblica “INNOVATIVE EUROPE – THE WAY FORWARD: Taking Stock and Thinking Ahead”.

L’evento offrirà a rappresentanti delle istituzioni europee, imprese, associazioni di categoria e dei consumatori l’occasione di confrontarsi sulla futura agenda per un’“Europa Innovativa” attraverso tre diversi panel – Setting the Future Digital agenda, Connecting EU Health and Industrial Policies e Towards the European Green Deal – concepiti per riflettere i principali orientamenti politici della nuova Commissione europea.

Innovative Europe: the Way Forward è l’evento finale dell’iniziativa I-Com 2019/2020 Back to the Future. La conferenza sarà l’occasione per presentare il Blueprint di I-Com e il relativo Manifesto, con l’obiettivo di informare le nuove istituzioni sullo stato dell’innovazione in tre settori (Digital, Healthcare e Energy & Mobility) e a formulare raccomandazioni per il nuovo ciclo istituzionale allo scopo di contribuire a un quadro legislativo orientato alla competitività e favorevole all’innovazione.

Speaker già confermati:

Alexandre AFFRE
Director for the Industrial Affairs, Entrepreneurship & SMEs, Business Europe


Alexandre Affre is Deputy Director General in charge of the Industrial Affairs, entrepreneurship & SMEs department and the ASG at BusinessEurope, the leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at European level. The organisation speaks for national employers and industrial federations across 35 European countries on all business issues dealt with by the European Union.
In this role since 2020, Alexandre is responsible for coordinating the organisation’s positions on industrial strategy, energy, climate, environment, research and innovation, as well as entrepreneurship and SMEs. He is also managing the corporate Advisory and Support Group (ASG) of BusinessEurope. The ASG regroups a selection of companies from all sectors of activity.
Alexandre joined BusinessEurope in 2007. Prior to that, he worked at the wildlife trade monitoring network of WWF and IUCN. Alexandre is a trained scientist and holds a Master in Ecology from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. A French national, he is married and has two children.

Acting Director, Policy Strategy and Outreach, DG CONNECT, European Commission


Lorena Boix Alonso is Acting Director for Policy Strategy and Outreach and Head of Unit for Policy Implementation and Planning, Directorate General for Communications Networks Content and Technology, at the European Commission. Formerly, she was Deputy Head of Cabinet of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.

During Ms Kroes’ mandate as Commissioner for Competition, she commenced in October 2004 as a member of her cabinet and became Deputy Head of Cabinet in May 2008.

She joined the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition in 2003. Prior to that, she has worked for Judge Rafael García Valdecasas, at the European Court of Justice, as well as Deputy Director and Legal Coordinator of the IPR-Helpdesk Project and in private practice in Brussels.

She holds a Master of Laws from the Harvard Law School. She graduated in Law from the University of Valencia and then obtained a Licence Spéciale en Droit Européen from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

MEP, Socialists and Democrats, IMCO Committee


Brando Benifei, European Federalist, is one of the youngest MEPs, recently re-elected for a second mandate, and is from La Spezia, Italy. His main areas of work are Internal Market and Consumers Protection, Employment and Social Affairs, and Constitutional Affairs. He is rapporteur for the Single Market Program and shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus. He is active on youth policies, digitalisation and rights of persons with disabilities. In the previous term, he was responsible for the European Solidarity Corps, for the Post-Arab Spring in the MENA region and for key reports on the social inclusion and integration of refugees into the EU labour market, as well as youth employment policy such as the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative. He was also co-chair of the Youth Intergroup and vice-chair of the Disability Intergroup. In 2018, he received the MEP Award for his work on Employment and Social Affairs issues, for his work on youth unemployment. In 2016, Forbes included him in its annual 30 under-30 most influential in EU Politics list.

Caterina Bortolini
Head of International and European Institutional Affairs High-Level, TIM


Caterina Bortolini has been working for TIM, the Italian telecom company, since 2000 and is currently the Head of International and European Institutional Affairs of the Company. She is a member of the Board of ETNO, the EU association of telecom operators, and the Chair of the Digital Single Market Working Group within the association. She is graduated in EU law and specialized in EU matters, with a particular focus on policy and regulatory issues related to the digital sector. She has also been in charge of National Legislation Analysis and has contributed to a number of publications on international issues and EU competition law. Since 2007 she is based in Rome, after a long experience in Brussels.

Principal Adviser for Energy Union Governance, DG CLIMA, European Commission


Dušan Chrenek is the Principal Adviser for Energy Union Governance in Directorate General for Climate Action of the European Commission (DG CLIMA). He joined the Commission in 2007 to work as a Head of Unit for Enlargement in Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). Between 2012 and 2017, he served as Head of the Commission’s Representation in Slovakia. Before joining DG CLIMA, he was a Senior Expert in DG AGRI. Previously, he worked in the Policy Unit of the High Representative/Secretary-General of the Council of the EU and held a number of senior posts in the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

President, Institute for Competitiveness


Stefano is the president and principal policy analyst at I-Com, the Institute for Competitiveness, a think tank based in Rome and Brussels which he founded in 2005. He currently teaches political economy and economic policy at the Roma Tre University, in Rome. Stefano is a graduate of the Coripe Consortium for Research and Continuing Education in Economics (Piemonte, Italy), where he received a Masters Degree in Economics, and the George Mason University (Virginia, USA) where he obtained his MA (Economics). Stefano has served in key advisory or expert positions on a number of taskforces or scientific boards, including: Vice President of the Health City Institute; Scientific Director of the La Scossa Association; Board member of the European Foundation EYPROM; Expert Member of the Eurelectric Task Force on Investment; Expert Member of the Technical Secretariat for the Protection of Nature in the Italian Ministry of the Environment; Director at the Observatory on Energy Policy of the Einaudi Foundation. He has authored numerous publications on economic themes, particularly with regard to policy and regulation of the energy market and infrastructural services and the governance of the institutions, and his opinions and analysis has featured in major Italian newspapers including Il Foglio, il Sole24 Ore, Huffington Post Italia and more. Stefano has also undertaken study and consultancy assignments for Italian and international public institutions, including the Senate of the Republic, the Department for EU policies, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the OECD, leading companies and non-profit organizations.

Stefan Gijssels
Managing Director, SEBOIO


Stefan Gijssels is CEO and Member of the Board of Digestive Cancers Europe, the umbrella organisation of all digestive cancer patient associations in Europe (oesophageal, gastric, pancreatic, colon, rectum and rare digestive cancers). The organisation represents 30 national associations. He is the Co-Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee of the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) and Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee of Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC). As an expert, he also participates in the European Commission’s Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC), and of the Reference Network of Rare Cancers in Europe (EURACAN).

Since 2016, he also works as an independent health policy advisor, publicist, facilitator and moderator, working for public health authorities, patient organisations and industry.

Until 2016, he was Vice President Communication & Public Affairs and Janssen Europe, Middle East & Africa. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Council, Member of the Board of the Flemish Institute for Science & Technology Aspects (an advisory committee for the Flemish Parliament), Chairman of the Communications Committee of the Federation of Belgian Industries, and Chairman of the Trust & Reputation Policy Committee of the European Pharmaceutical Industry Association (EFPIA).

In the 90s he was director and general manager at Burson-Marsteller, Vice-President at Weber-Shandwick, Public Affairs Manager at McDonald’s, and Project Manager at the Institute of the Enterprise, a Belgian policy think tank. He started his career as an English teacher in Morocco.

He has a master’s degree in Linguistics and Literature from Leuven University, Belgium.

Jens-Henrik JEPPESEN
Director General, Center for Democracy and Technology


Jens-Henrik Jeppesen leads the European office of the Center for Democracy and Technology, based in Brussels. In this capacity, he engages with European policy makers on a wide ranges of technology and digital policy issues. CDT is a public interest group that works with technology companies, NGOs and the academic community to ensure that societies take advantage of technological progress in a way that keeps the internet open, innovative and free. Before joining CDT, Jens directed government affairs teams at Intel Corporation and Dell Technologies.

Executive Director, Innovative Medicines Initiative


Pierre Meulien is Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a €5 billion public-private partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry.

At IMI, he is responsible for the overall management of the programme, which is working to improve and accelerate the entire medicines development process by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in health research, including universities, pharmaceutical and other companies, patient organisations, and medicines regulators. Dr Meulien joined IMI in September 2015.

From 2010 to 2015, Dr Meulien was President and CEO of Genome Canada, where he raised significant funds for the organisation and oversaw the launch of novel projects and networks in the field of genomics-based technologies. Prior to that from 2007 to 2010, he was Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia.

From 2002 to 2007, Dr Meulien served as founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland), which linked medical schools and teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research.

Dr Meulien also worked in the private sector with the French biotechnology company Transgene, and with Aventis Pasteur (now Sanofi Pasteur). He has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh and carried out a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Secretary General, European DIGITAL SME Alliance


Sebastiano Toffaletti is the Secretary General of European DIGITAL SME Alliance, that he contributed to fund back in 2008. Today, European DIGITAL SME Alliance is the largest association of small and medium sized digital companies in Europe. Its members, national SME associations and clusters, represent over 20.000 digital SMEs across the continent. Sebastiano often takes part in public debates and serves as an expert in EU experts groups on topics such as digitalisation of SMEs, Intellectual Property Rights, Standards and Digital Skills. He is currently a member of the Board of ECSO, the European Cybersecurity Organization, and of ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Wendel TRIO
Director, Climate Action Network Europe


Wendel Trio is the Director of Climate Action Network Europe. He has 30 years of experience in working for NGOs, including as political director for Oxfam in Belgium, as campaign director for Greenpeace Belgium and as Director of the Policy and Business Unit of Greenpeace International. In that capacity he managed the Greenpeace International climate policy work. He started working as CAN Europe Director in September 2011. In that function he oversees the work of a 30 person secretariat with offices in Brussels, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey, and represents the 160+ member organisations of the network across Europe. Wendel is Belgian and holds an MA in Social Sciences.

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