GROW DIGITAL

31 May - 1 June 2022
The Egg, Brussels, Belgium

Speakers

GREAT NAMES WITH GREAT IDEAS!

Hermann Hauser
Founding Partner, Amadeus Capital

Biography

Hermann Hauser

Founding Partner, Amadeus Capital

Hermann co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners in 1997 with Anne Glover. In his long and successful history as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Hermann has founded or co-founded companies in a wide range of technology sectors. These include Acorn Computers (where he helped spin out ARM), Active Book Company, Virata, Net Products, NetChannel and Cambridge Network. He was a founder director of IQ (Bio), IXI Limited, Vocalis, SynGenix, Advanced Displays Limited, acquired by Cambridge Display Technology, Electronic Share Information Limited, E*Trade UK and has supported many other start-ups. 

Hermann’s successes at Amadeus include CSR plc (LON: CSR); Entropic Research Laboratory, acquired by Microsoft in 1999; Solexa, acquired by Illumina in 2007 and Icera, acquired by Nvidia in 2011. He is currently a non-executive director of XMOS and is the Amadeus representative at Graphcore, the creators of the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU), a processor specifically designed for artificial intelligence. 

Hermann holds an MA in Physics from Vienna University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Hermann holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Bath, Loughborough, Anglia Ruskin. Strathclyde, Glasgow and York and was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’ in 2001. 

In 2004, he was made a member of the Government’s Council for Science & Technology. In 2012 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his contribution to the translation of science into business and in 2013 a Distinguished Fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. In 2015 he was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to engineering and industry and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

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Irene Boni
CEO, TalentGarden

Biography

Irene Boni

CEO, TalentGarden

Irene Boni graduated in Political Economics from the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna and obtained an MBA from Columbia University. Ms Boni started her professional career in the Marketing department at Procter & Gamble and, in 2005, joined McKinsey & Company as a strategic consultant across various sectors, including luxury and retail.

In 2010, she joined YOOX S.p.A. in the Office of the CEO and, in 2012, she took on the role of New Business Director. In July 2014, Irene took on the role of Co-General Manager responsible for the Technology, Logistics, HR and Organisation functions. In July 2015 Irene Boni took the role of PMI & Operational Excellence Director to ensure focus on the integration process between the YOOX Group and The Net-A-Porter Group. In February 2017 she was promoted to Co-Chief Operating Officer.

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Bertrand Perez
COO, Web3 Foundation

Biography

Bertrand Perez

COO, Web3 Foundation

Bertrand PEREZ is the COO of the Web3 Foundation where he is responsible for controlling and directing its day-to-day operations. He has 30 years of engineering and technical management experience in payments and telecoms. Bertrand has led geographically dispersed engineering and operations teams of all sizes up to 300-plus staff within large multi-national organizations as well as smaller teams within early stage start-ups. In his last tenure, he was COO at the Diem Association where he initiated the Diem stablecoin project. Prior to his time at Diem, Bertrand’s previous roles included executive and senior technical management positions leading engineering teams at Paypal and Ericsson, as well as mobile-media start-ups such as Zong and Index Multimedia. Bertrand holds a Masters in computer science.

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Julia Schmalenberg
Director European R&I Ecosystems, Huawei

Biography

Julia Schmalenberg

Director European R&I Ecosystems, Huawei

Since January 2021, Julia works as Director European R&I Ecosystems at Huawei and coordinates the research and innovation activities of a team of industry and technology experts of Huawei in Europe. It is her goal to implement Huawei’s “In Europe, for Europe” paradigm by fostering open innovation for win-win benefits and a prosperous ecosystem and by making ICT the enabler of sustainable industrial transformation. She feels most comfortable at the intersection of disciplines, sectors, and functions where she seeks to facilitate sustainable and collaborative innovation.

As senior policy advisor for Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Brussels office and Munich headquarters, Julia was leading Fraunhofer’s European activities in technology transfer, innovation and digital transformation of industry. Prior to her engagement in the policy sector she worked in Fraunhofer’s Business Model Development department in headquarters. Additionally, Julia was leading the German chapter of Business Developers for EIT Digital and represented the German node in that pan-European innovation ecosystem from 2014-2018.

Her career started at the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship as New Venture Manager where she guided innovative, technology-oriented teams to economically viable business models and was a lecturer on innovation management and entrepreneurship.

She holds a degree with distinction both in Legal Studies (Dipl.-Jur.) from the University of Passau and Cardiff and in Technology Management (Dipl.-Ing.) from the University of Stuttgart.

Carlos Kuchkovsky
CEO & Cofounder, QCentroid

Biography

Carlos Kuchkovsky

CEO & Cofounder, QCentroid

Carlos Kuchkovsky began his career as a multiplayer mobile video game developer. After that Carlos has worked for BBVA in a number of senior positions, (Global Head of research and patent office, Chief Technology and Data officer - new digital business) positioning BBVA as a leader in quantum computing, AI, blockchain, digital identity, new business, and digital platforms among other areas.

Carlos has held different board positions on international associations at Hyperledger, INATBA, Alastria, Strategic Advisory Board of the European Commission Quantum Flagship, and member of The Future Council on Quantum technologies from World Economic Forum, working on the evolution of blockchain, AI, quantum technologies, and Web 3.0 and the impact in Sustainability and ESG

He has published scientific and tech papers and created and led over 30 patents. He also lectures in International MBAs in fintech, deep tech, and new business models.

Currently, he is leading QCentroid: Quantum Tech & Web3 for exponential impact.

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Agneta Rinman
CEO, KTH Executive School

Biography

Agneta Rinman

CEO, KTH Executive School

Head of executive education at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, the oldest and largest university of technology in Scandinavia and on the global top-100-university ranking list.  

Former head of, and partner in, Scandinavian management consulting firm focusing on strategy and business development, with the trademark that strategic decisions should be fact based. Clients mainly MNEs and projects run on European level. 

Career purpose to contribute to close the gap between scientific knowledge and impact - in business and society in general.  

Holds a MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics. 

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Thomas Boehme
Director Channel & Alliances, rooom AG

Biography

Thomas Boehme

Director Channel & Alliances, rooom AG

Thomas is Director Channel & Alliances of rooom AG. With more than 24 years in the tech industry and consulting companies, he has extensive experience in the digital transformation of companies. Thomas has advised and supported numerous well-known companies in improving their customer relationships and enhancing the customer experience. He is a tech enthusiast and loves to improve business processes.

Vanesa Diaz
Director, LuxQuanta

Biography

Vanesa Diaz

Director, LuxQuanta

Vanesa Diaz is Business Developer Director at LuxQuanta responsible for developing technical and commercial competitive response and growing new businesses opportunities in Europe.   

Prior to joinning LuxQuanta, Diaz worked for more than a decade as a Market Development Manager for Corning Optical Communications working on new markets in the EMEA region. She is a strong communicator with recognized experience at international conferences and has authored numerous papers becoming a reference in the Optical Telecommunications industry. Diaz has also worked as a Research and Development Engineer for RYMSA, an antenna and RF device manufacturer, and as a Network Supervisor for Vodafone Spain.  

She graduated with honors from the University of Cantabria, with a Masters Engineering Degree in Telecommunications. Diaz also holds a Master of Business and Marketing from Griffith University, Australia.  

After many years working and living overseas, Diaz relocated to her come country Spain where she is currently working remotely for LuxQuanta from the city of Madrid. 

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Jakob Way
CEO, Gleechi

Biography

Jakob Way

CEO, Gleechi

Jakob is the CEO of Gleechi, the company behind the award-winning software solution VirtualGrasp. Jakob has been listed as one of the 35 most promising innovators under 35 in Europe by MIT Technology Review. Jakob has a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and has previously been working with innovative technology for over 10 years. He is a VR and robotics nerd and is the organizer of the largest VR community in the Nordics. 

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Risto Siilasmaa
Founder & Chairman, F-Secure & WithSecure Corporations

Biography

Risto Siilasmaa

Founder of F-Secure and WithSecure Corporations
Chairman of WithSecure Corporation

Risto Siilasmaa is the founder of F-Secure and WithSecure Corporations and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of WithSecure having served as President and CEO of F-Secure in 1988-2006. He is also an active venture capital investor with over 30 active investments via First Fellow Partners, a fund management company where he is both a general partner and the only limited partner.

Mr Siilasmaa was the Chair of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation in 2012-2020. He joined the Nokia Board in 2008 and became Chair in 2012. Prior to that he also served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Elisa Corporation in 2008-2012.

Mr Siilasmaa is a Board member of Futurice, Picosun, Pixieray and Quanscient and a member of Komatsu International Advisory Board, a member of the International Advisory Board at IESE Business School and a member of the Global Advisory Board of Yonsei University School of Business (YSB). In addition Mr Siilasmaa is the Chairman of the Technology Advisory Board appointed by the Finnish Government in 2020 and a Senior Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group. Since 2017 Mr Siilasmaa has served as a Finnish Chairman of the China-Finland Committee for Innovative Business Cooperation.

Mr Siilasmaa is a member of the Global Tech Panel, an initiative of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and he was a member of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) in 2012–2020.

Mr Siilasmaa holds a Master of Science degree from the Helsinki University of Technology and he was awarded Honorary Doctorate in Technology by Aalto University schools of technology in 2018 and by L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in 2019.

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Cristiano Codagnone
Università degli Studi di Milano Statale

Biography

Cristiano Codagnone

Università degli Studi di Milano Statale

Prof. Cristiano Codagnone is partner and CEO at Open Evidence SL, and in the past 10 years he has designed and managed more than 40 pan-European applied policy studies for various DGs and agencies of the European Commission and for the European Parliament, including economic studies involving economic modelling and development of cost/benefit analysis, and business cases. He holds a Master of Science in economics from Bocconi University of Milan and a PhD from New York University. He is aggregate professor at Milan State University (Department of Social and Political Sciences). He has been Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Media and Communication Department of LSE, and he has served as Scientific Officer at the United Nations (2003-2004) and at the European Commission (at JRC-IPTS Seville, 2009-2011 and 2015-2016). Since 2005 Cristiano has been working in various policy domains such as digital transformation, socio-economic and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence, digital government and digital health, social inclusion, labour market policies, R&D and innovation policy, economics of standardization. His research interests, that inspire his approach to applied policy studies, are at the cross-roads of economics, organisational and industrial sociology, and behavioural sciences. Cristiano mixed throughout his career an interest for high-level social and economic theory, empirical research, and for their practical and concrete applications. He is well versed in both quantitative and qualitative methodology, and most of the studies he designed and directed included a mix-method approach to the triangulation of findings in support of policy. 

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Francesco Bonfiglio
CEO, Gaia-X

Biography

Francesco Bonfiglio

CEO, Gaia-X

Francesco Bonfiglio joined GAIA-X in March 2021 as the new CEO.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the business of consulting and information technology, Francesco brings his knowledge of the cloud and data market needs, and his vision on how Gaia-X should revolutionize it. Independent Advisor since 2020, he has spent his previous professional life as an executive in many Italian and Multinational contexts. Formerly Chief Executive Officer for ENGINEERING D.HUB (Hybrid Cloud and Digital Transformation company within the largest Italian System Integrator Group), Vice President for Technology Services at AVANADE and Managing Director within the ACCENTURE Group, Chief Technology Officer for HEWLETT-PACKARD EMEA, SW Factory Director at UNISYS, Technical Director and Methodology Evangelist at RATIONAL SOFTWARE amongst his positions.

With a background in Electronics Engineering, he started his career in the late 80s as a HW/SW Engineer working on some of the most advanced Military R&D projects, from the Sonar System for the Italian Navy (ANSQQ14IT) prized during the Gulf war for the mine-hunting performances, to the Eurofighter Fighter Aircraft (EFA), still one of the most advanced examples of technology in the Military field.

Francesco had a bottom-up career, covering all roles within the IT, from developer to top-executive, from R&D to business units’ leader. An early supporter of the need for continuous innovation, he is a big fan of the startup ecosystem, active member of evaluation commissions, and being board member and co-founder of FOOLFARM.com, the first example of Startup Studio in Italy.

Amongst other roles Francesco has represented the IT world and then became Vice President of Confindustria (Italian Trade Association) for Valle D’Aosta.
Living in Italy, in the countryside out of Milan, married and father of three sons, he loves music and played in several independent live and record productions since the 80s.
Francesco believes in the power of collective intelligence, lateral thinking, and teamwork, as a propeller for transformation, in the business as well as in the whole life!

Axel Deininger
CEO, secunet Security Networks AG

Biography

Axel Deininger

CEO, secunet Security Networks AG

Axel Deininger has been on the Management Board of secunet Security Networks AG since January 2018 and took over as CEO in June 2019.

In October 2021, Axel Deininger was elected Chairperson of the European Cybersecurity Organisation (ECSO).

Before joining secunet, Axel Deininger held various positions at the Munich-based Giesecke+Devrient Group for more than ten years, most recently as Group Senior VP and Head of Division Connectivity & Devices at G+D Mobile Security GmbH. The industrial engineer has also gained many years of management experience from positions at companies such as Siemens AG, Infineon Technologies AG and Samsung Semiconductor Europe GmbH.

Francesco Mazzola
Chairman of the Board of Directors, T.net

Biography

Francesco Mazzola

Chairman of the Board of Directors and Head of the Cybersecurity and Data Compliance Business Unit, T.net

Francesco Mazzola is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Head of the Cybersecurity and Data Compliance Business Unit in T.net. He defines and implements Cybersecurity Strategies for several customers by leveraging different skills and maturity acquired through a multidisciplinary background.

GDPR Data Protection Officer of many International Customers with more than 10 Million data subjects managed; he is the Urban Policies Expert for Smart Cities Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructures of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, an ISC2 CISSP Certified Security Professional, a senior member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and in the IEET IoT Initiatives he’s the Architecture leader of the Smart Cities Working Group.

In IEEE he has already published different well-known papers on the topic and is the inventor of the Smart City Block cooperative approach for delivering sustainable smart city projects.

Nick Merritt
Head of Partnerships, Strategy, and Operations, Vault Hill

Biography

Nick Merritt

Head of Partnerships, Strategy, and Operations, Vault Hill

Nick Merritt is the Head of Partnerships, Strategy, and Operations at Vault Hill – the world’s first human-centric metaverse designed to enhance human experiences. Nick has a background in Business and Technology Strategy having joined Vault Hill from Accenture. His work has seen him travel the world advising clients on customer centric products, technology teams, and introducing new ways of working into large corporate organisations. Outside of work, Nick is a keen reader, with an interest in Behavioural Psychology, he is a proud father to a Dog named Bella who is Vault Hill unofficial mascot.

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Mattias Björnmalm
Deputy Secretary General, CESAER 

Biography

Mattias Björnmalm

Deputy Secretary General, CESAER

Mattias Björnmalm, PhD, is an experienced scientist and policy professional. He works as Deputy Secretary General of CESAER. His other engagements include as an Honorary Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute, as an invited member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network and in the Marie Curie Alumni Association. Previously, he led the project qBionano at Imperial College London and was an editor in science & policy for the journal Angle.

In addition to his advocacy and policy experience, Mattias has an extensive scientific background in engineering, nanoscience & biomedicine, with dozens of publications in peer-reviewed journals.

In 2017, he was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Union; during this process he was selected as one of Europe’s thirty most “highly promising researchers” out of the 8,916 funding proposals submitted.

In 2019, he was awarded an Imperial College London President’s Award: “recognised for outstanding achievements in policy engagement“.

Mattias is originally from Stockholm (Sweden) and following some years in Melbourne (Australia) and London (United Kingdom), he is currently based in Brussels (Belgium).

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Bram Nauta
Professor, University of Twente

Biography

Bram Nauta

Professor, University of Twente

Bram Nauta received the MSc and Ph.D. degree from University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.  In 1991 he joined Philips Research, Eindhoven the Netherlands. In 1998 he returned to the University of Twente, where he is currently a distinguished professor and heading the Integrated Circuit  Design group. His current research interest is high-speed analog CMOS circuits, software defined radio, cognitive radio and beamforming. He is fellow of the IEEE and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

The University of Twente is a public technical university located in Enschede, Netherlands. With about 12.000 Bachelor and Master students.

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Jeroen van Lent
President, EIT Digital Alumni Foundation

Biography

Jeroen van Lent

President, EIT Digital Alumni Foundation

Graduated from the EIT Digital Master School, Jeroen van Lent is the current President EIT Digital Alumni Foundation. He has been a part of various industry leading companies and NGO’s enabling Digital Transformation in Higher Education and Erasmus+. He is working on the roll out of the European Student Card and has been involved in the development of the Erasmus+ App. Jeroen has a passion for bringing people together and has been involved in numerous Executive Boards ranging from the EIT Alumni to the Erasmus Student Network. The firm belief in working across sectors and generations to improve society, is what makes the EIT Digital ecosystem so interesting for him.

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Jean-David Malo
Director, European Innovation Council

Biography

Jean-David Malo

Director, European Innovation Council

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).

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Thibaut Kleiner
Director for Policy, Strategy and Outreach, DG Connect

Biography

Thibaut Kleiner

Director for Policy, Strategy and Outreach at DG Connect

Thibaut Kleiner is the Director for Policy, Strategy and Outreach at DG Connect. He has worked since 2001 at the European Commission. The first ten years of his career in the Commission were spent in the area of competition policy (merger, antitrust and State aid). He was notably member of the cabinet of Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for Competition, in 2007-2010 and head of unit for State aid coordination in DG Competition. In September 2011, he moved to the digital policy area, as advisor of Vice-President Neelie Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda, and supervised Internet policies at large (Internet Governance, cybersecurity, cloud, data). From January 2014 to June 2016, he was head of unit in charge of network technologies (5G and Internet of Things) in DG Connect. From June 2016 to December 2019 he was the deputy head of cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of Budget and Human Resources and he then came back to DG Connect to head the unit in charge of Research Strategy and Coordination. An economist by training, Thibaut holds a Master from HEC Paris and a PhD from the London School of Economics.

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John Bell
CEO, HighTechXL

Biography

John Bell

CEO, HighTechXL

John Bell is CEO of HighTechXL, the Netherlands’ only deep-tech venture builder, based at High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Before joining HighTechXL, John spent five years at Johnson & Johnson in the U.S. as Vice President, External Innovation & new Business Models. There he led the External Innovation Department and worked closely with entrepreneurs, strategic suppliers and partner companies to co-create game-changing innovations. He also led J&J’s internal accelerator.

Prior to J&J, John was VP of Strategy and New Business Development at Philips Research, where he was responsible for open innovation, partnerships with tech institutes and collaboration with startups, including HighTechXL startups.

In these roles, John gained extensive experience in open innovation, new business creation, partnerships and strategy.

John has a PhD in Business Economics from Tilburg University and is part-time professor of Alliance Strategy.

John is a native Dutch speaker and is fluent in English, French and German.

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