Policy Roundtable “Regional competitiveness and technological innovation: comparing North America and the EU and learning from best practices”



lunedì 14 Novembre 2022 ore 18:00 - 19:30

European Parliament, Room A5E03



I-Com – the Institute for Competitiveness and the German Economic Institute (IW), jointly with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) have organised the policy roundtable “Regional competitiveness and technological innovation: comparing North America and the EU and learning from best practices”.

The event has taken place on Monday 14 November, from 18:00 to 19:30 CET, at the European Parliament in Brussels (Room A5E03).

During the roundtable, our organisations – which are all proud members of the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA), including more than 40 leading think tanks worldwide – have presented a joint study about subnational economic systems in North America and the European Union from an innovation-competitiveness perspective.

Specifically, in the attempt to gain comparable insights into how successful a subnational area competes in today’s globalized innovation-driven economy, our organisations have developed a “Transatlantic Competitiveness and Innovation Index” whose first edition we are glad to present to decision makers, businesses and third parties in Brussels and elsewhere.

Event’s Programme

Please find as follows the presentations which summarise the findings of the report.

I-Com Presentation

ITIF Presentation

IW Presentation

Speakers confirmed:

Hubertus BARDT
Head of Research, German Economic Institute

Dr Bardt was appointed Managing Director and Head of Research at the German Economic Institute in 2014, after working there as Head of Research Unit for Energy, Environment, and Resources from 2005 to 2014, and Personal Assistant to the Director from 2000 to 2005. He also holds lectureships on environmental economics, finance, and regulatory policy at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, the Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln, and the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. Dr Bardt completed a PhD in Economics in 2003, and his research interests include economic policy, industrial policy, and climate economics.

Stefan BERGER
MEP, ECON Committee

Stefan Heinrich Berger is a German economist and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament since 2019. Since 2000, he has been a member of the executive board of the CDU Niederrhein, and since 2009 deputy chairman of the CDU of the county district Viersen. From 1999 to 2009, he was a councilor of the Schwalmtal municipality. From 2001 to 2004, he was a member of the district council of the district of Viersen. Berger was a member of the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2 June 2000 to 3 July 2019. In 2019, Berger entered the European Parliament. He is member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and of the Delegation for relations with Japan. He is an alternate member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and the Delegation for bilateral relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Stefano DA EMPOLI
President, I-Com

Mr Stefano Da Empoli 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 master’s degree in economics and George Mason University (Virginia, USA) where he obtained his MA (Economics). Stefano has served in key advisory or expert positions on a number of task forces 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.

Gerard DE GRAAF
EU Senior Envoy for Digital to the US

Gerard de Graaf is currently the EU Ambassador to Silicon Valley in San Francisco. Previously, Gerard de Graaf was director for electronic communications, networks and services and director for audiovisual, cyber security and international aspects. Before joining DG CONNECT, Gerard de Graaf was Head of Unit for Innovation Policy in DG Research and Innovation. Between 2005 and 2010, he was Head of Unit in the European Commission’s Secretariat-General, responsible for policy coordination. From 2001 until 2005, Gerard de Graaf was Head of the Policy Unit in DG Internal Market. From 1997 until 2001, he was trade counsellor at the Commission’s Delegation to the United States in Washington DC. He joined the European Commission in 1991, and worked inter alia on procurement policies and financial services. He started his career in the private sector and ran his own company on industrial market research.

Stephen EZELL
Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

Stephen Ezell is Vice President, Global Innovation Policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He is the co-author with Dr. Robert Atkinson of Innovation Economics: “The Race for Global Advantage” and a co-author of “Innovating in a Service-Driven Economy: Insights, Application, and Practice”. Mr. Ezell has testified on topics including U.S. competitiveness, innovation, manufacturing, and trade policy before the U.S. Congress and the U.S. International Trade Commission. His articles have appeared in Forbes, The Hill, Roll Call, The Futurist, and The International Economy, among others. Mr. Ezell came to ITIF from Peer Insight, an innovation research and consulting firm he co-founded in 2003. He previously worked in the new product development group at NASDAQ. Mr. Ezell holds a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with an Honors Certificate from Georgetown’s Landegger International Business Diplomacy (IBD) program.

Eleonora FAINA
General Manager, Anitec-Assinform, The Italian ICT Industry Association

Eleonora Faina is General Manager of Anitec-Assinform. With a degree in political science, she has a Master in Antitrust and market regulation, for over 15 years she has been dealing with public policies and institutional affairs for trade associations and companies in regulated sectors, in Italy and in Brussels. In her professional career, she has gained solid experience in advocacy and lobbying, working closely with institutions at all levels (Parliament, Government, regulatory authorities, local authorities). In addition, thanks to over 9 years in the Confindustria system (2008-2017), she has acquired specific skills in policy making, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, public procurement, industrial policies and digitization. Until July 2019 she was Senior Manager Institutional Affairs at Italiana petroli S.p.A .. and from August 2019 she was Head of Industrial Policies of FederlegnoArredo.

Thomas KOENEN
Head of Digitalisation and Innovation, German Business Association (BDI)

Dr. Koenen has headed the Digitization and Innovation department at the BDI since June 2017. In this function, he is responsible for the BDI as the leading association of German industry, in particular for the areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence/autonomous systems, data economy, IT infrastructure, social acceptance of digitization and the area of ​​research and innovation policy. In personal union with his work at the BDI, Dr. Koenen has been an executive board member of econsense – Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V. since 2011. He is a qualified lawyer and began his professional career at the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority with a focus on illegal banking transactions on the Internet. This was followed by activities for the industrial initiative for environmental protection e.V., for econsense – Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V., as head of the climate and sustainable development department in the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and as head of the BDI department.

Axel PLUNNECKE
Head of the Cluster Education, Innovation, Migration, German Economic Institute

Axel Plünnecke studied economics at the University of Göttingen and did his doctorate at the Technical University of Braunschweig on the relationship between human capital and economic growth. Plünnecke has been working at the German Economic Institute since 2003. In various research projects and third-party funded projects, he deals with the connection between education, immigration and innovations as the basis for securing sustainable prosperity. Plünnecke also teaches economics at the German University for Prevention and Health Management.

Massimiliano SALINI
MEP, INTA Commitee

Massimiliano Salini is an Italian politician, ex-president of the Province of Cremona and currently a member of the European Parliament for PPE. From 1998 to 2000 he was a member of the staff of the president of the Lombardy regional council dealing with regional policies for economic and productive activities. In 2000, Massimiliano became project manager at the company “Faber srl”. Since 2006, he firstly covered the position of vice president of Cremasca Servizi SpA and, since November 2007, he became the director of Linea Group Holding and Linea Ambiente SpA. Therefore, Massimiliano has been elected as the president of the Province of Cremona on 2009, as an independent supported by a center-right coalition. On 25 May 2014 he was elected MEP of the European People’s Party.