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

Public conference, Bruxelles, 18-02-2020

Tuesday 18 February 2020 ore 14:30 - 18:30

The Office



Climate change, digital revolution and demographic trends are transforming European economy and society, defining huge challenges for the industrial ecosystem and deeply affecting citizens’ way of life. The next five years will be crucial to set the Europe’s role on the world stage: as outlined in the President von der Leyen’s Political Guidelines, the new EU leadership is called to adopt and implement a wide set of very ambitious policies, that will enable the EU to lead the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world and to remain innovative and competitive at global level.

I-Com organised on February 18 (h14:30 – h18:30) at The Office in Brussels (Rue dArlon 80) the Public Conference “Innovative Europe: The Way Forward. Taking Stock and Thinking Ahead”.

The event gave the floor to EU institutions, trade and consumer associations, companies, civil society organisations and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the future agenda for an Innovative Europe through three different panels – Setting the Future Digital agenda, Connecting EU Health and Industrial Policies and Towards the European Green Deal – designed to reflect the main political guidelines of the new European Commission.

Innovative Europe: The Way Forward is the final event of the I-Com 2019/2020 Brussels Flagship Initiative Back to the Future. Therefore, the conference was the occasion to present the I-Com Blueprint, which finally aims at informing the new EU institutions about the state of innovation in three sectors (Digital, Healthcare and Energy & Mobility) and making recommendations for the new institutional cycle to contribute to a social and economic agenda oriented to innovation.

I-Com_Conference2020_Programme

I-Com_PPT_Final Conference_18 February_

Speaker già confermati:

Alexandre AFFRE
Deputy Director General, BusinessEurope

Bio

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.

Maria Pilar AGUAR FERNANDEZ
Head of Health Innovations Unit, DG RTD, European Commission

Bio

Ms. Aguar joined the EC working for the DG for Health & Consumers on evaluation of the performance of national authorities and food-safety control systems in 2001.

From 2005 to 2012, she was involved in development and management of European Research Programmes in DG Research & Innovation in the area of Industrial Technologies.

From 2012 to 2017, she was Head of Unit at the Joint Research Centre. Her portfolio included developing testing methodologies for policymakers in the framework of EU legislation on chemicals and consumer products and working on safety and risk-benefit assessments of nanomaterials, nanomedicines and health technologies.

Since 2017, she has returned to DG Research & Innovation, managing European research programmes in health and environment and in regenerative medicine. From June 2019, she is in charge of the Unit “Health Innovations”.

Pilar holds degrees in Pharmacy and in Food Science and Technology with additional studies in Toxicology. Before joining the European Commission, she worked for the Spanish Ministry of Health in different positions.

Lorena BOIX ALONSO
Acting Director, Policy Strategy and Outreach, DG CONNECT, European Commission

Bio

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.

Brando BENIFEI
MEP, Socialists and Democrats, IMCO Committee

Bio

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.

Michele CALABRO’
Policy and Communications ManageR, EHMA

Bio

Michele is Policy and Communications Manager at EHMA, the European Health Management Association. At EHMA, he coordinates communication and outreach activities, alongside EHMA’s policy work, the Special Interest Groups’ programme, dissemination and stakeholder engagement activities for EU funded projects. Michele is also member of the Young Gastein Forum and of the European Health Parliament alumni group. Michele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s degree in European Studies and International relations (University of Turin, Italy).

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

Bio

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.

Gabriel M. CREAN
Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Luxembourg

Bio

Prof. Dr. Crean is an advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy of Luxembourg on research, innovation and the data economy. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Lux Consulting Group, a boutique firm providing advisory and management consulting services on issues at the intersection of deep technology, innovation management, the digital economy and geopolitics.

Prof. Crean is deeply involved in the European digital transformation policy agenda and participates on several high level European strategic bodies. He is a board member of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking, an EU-driven, €5billion public-private partnership, funding innovation in electronic systems. He is a member of the joint European Commission and Member States High Level Group on Digitising European Industry and Artificial Intelligence. He actively participated in the recent creation of the new €2.3 Billion EuroHPC High Performance Computing (HPC) Joint Undertaking.

Prof. Crean has a unique deep technology management experience, previously holding Chief Scientist and Vice-President for Technology executive positions in CEA, one of the world’s leading technological research organisations. He has led national research technology organisations in France, Ireland and Luxembourg. He has co-founded and chaired three deep technology venture capital backed companies.

Prof. Crean is an internationally recognized thought leader and influencer, reflected in his election as a President of the International Union of Materials Research Societies, an Academician of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Academic Fellow of the European Political Centre. Prof. Crean holds a doctorate in Materials Sciences from the Université Grenoble Alpes and, received an honorary doctorate from the Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland for his contribution to promoting European research and innovation initiatives.

Stefano DA EMPOLI
President, Institute for Competitiveness

Bio

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.

Flore DE PAUW
Belgian UN Youth Delegates Sustainable Development, Generation Climate Europe

Bio

Flore De Pauw is one of the Belgian UN Youth Delegates Sustainable Development. She recently obtained her Master International Relations, has a background in Social Work and is currently interning at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has a special interest in just transition and focusses on climate action (SDG 13) and youth poverty (SDG 1) during her mandate. In the past, she did a journalistic project on youth homelessness in Belgium and worked with unaccompanied minor refugees. She is currently a member of Generation Climate Europe and co-organises the European Youth Climate Summit.

Stefan GIJSSELS
Managing Director, SEBOIO

Bio

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

Bio

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.

Pierre MEULIEN
Executive Director, Innovative Medicines Initiative

Bio

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.

Isabel PROAÑO
Director of Policy and Communications, European Federation of Allergies and Airways Diseases’ Patients Organisations (EFA)

Bio

Isabel PROAÑO leads the advocacy work of the European Federation of Allergies and Airways Diseases’ Patients Organisations, where she develops campaigns and positions to voice the European perspective of people with allergy, asthma and COPD. Before joining EFA in 2014, she worked in Africa, advancing public health, education and humanitarian assistance with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Save the Children International. Both a journalist and a political scientist, she has recently launched a network of women working in the communications to advance women’s rights.

Kristian RUBY
Secretary General, Eurelectric

Bio

Kristian Ruby is a widely recognised expert with a strong communication profile and
extensive experience in political affairs. He joined Eurelectric from Wind Europe,
where he served as Chief Policy Officer and was in charge of development and
implementation of the political strategy.
Prior to this, Ruby worked as a journalist and served seven years as a public servant in
the Danish Ministries of Environment, and Climate and Energy and in the European
Commission in the cabinet of the former Climate Action chief, Connie Hedegaard.
Kristian holds a master degree in history and international development.

Sebastiano TOFFALETTI
Secretary General, European DIGITAL SME Alliance

Bio

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

Bio

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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