EIC pilot advisory board

The EIC pilot relies on the input and advice of a wide range of innovators. On this page you will find the biographies of the members of this board

What is the EIC pilot advisory board?

This EIC pilot advisory board was convened by Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General for DG R&I, and endorsed by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

Throughout 2019 to 2020, the group will advise the Commission on the EIC pilot and provide guidance on designing a fully-fledged EIC for the next European research and innovation framework programme.

From 2016 to 2018, the former High-Level Group of Innovators advised the Commission on the EIC pilot (2018 – 2020), and provided guidance on the design of a fully-fledged EIC for the next European research and innovation framework programme.

Chair of the EIC pilot advisory board

Mark Ferguson

Entrepreneur, Science Foundation Ireland

Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson is Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland. He is an Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. His experience as a researcher led him to investigate novel fields, e.g. scar free healing, and led to applications for international patents. As an inventor and entrepreneur, he co-founded a rapidly growing European Biotech company. The company grew from two to 200 employees, raising VC funding from international VC’s, and was floated on public markets. It was the largest European IPO that year in terms of cash raised (£67.5M) and licensed US rights to a large Pharma company. This $825M licensing deal was the largest Biotech deal in the world that year, while retaining all of the European rights for the company to continue its growth path and further development.

He has experience in radical restructuring after an unexpected negative phase three clinical trial and successfully re-growing the company in a completely different field. More recently, Mark Ferguson developed new approaches to RD&I funding in Ireland that significantly improved both inputs and outputs. He holds doctorate degrees in science and dentistry and was made a C.B.E. Commander of the British Empire (1999).

Vice-Chair of the EIC Pilot Advisory Board

Hermann Hauser

Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners

Hermann Hauser

Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, Dr Hermann Hauser CBE has wide experience in developing and financing companies in the information technology sector. He co-founded a number of high-tech companies including Acorn Computers which spun out ARM, E-trade UK, Virata and Cambridge Network. Subsequently, Hermann Hauser became vice president of research at Olivetti. During his tenure at Olivetti, he established a global network of research laboratories. Since leaving Olivetti, Hermann has founded over 20 technology companies and has made more than 100 investments in high-technology companies over a 30 year period. Some of these companies have failed, some have become successful companies and six have become companies worth more than $1bn. The most successful of these companies, ARM was sold to Softbank for over $30bn making it the most valuable Cambridge technology company.

In 1997, he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners. At Amadeus he invested in CSR, Solexa, Icera, Xmos, Cambridge Broadband, Prowler and Graphcore. In 2001 he was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’. In 2004, he was made a member of the Government’s Council for Science and Technology and in 2009 became a member of the Government advisory panel for New Industry/New Jobs. He produced a report for the British Government on “Technology Innovation Centres” which resulted in the establishment of Catapult Centers which have attracted funding of over £1bn. In 2012 he was elected to be a member of the Royal Society and in 2015 he was awarded a KBE.

The members

Kerstin Bock

CEO of Openers

Kerstin Bock

Kerstin Bock is co-founder and CEO of Openers – a network of facilitators and service provider at the intersection of innovation helping technology companies enter new markets - and founding member and Head of Public Relations of Tech Open Air (TOA), one of the largest Tech Festivals in Europe. In 2019, TOA is welcoming more than 20,000 attendees from all over the world in Berlin for its 8th edition. Kerstin Bock also serves as Member of the Committee for Digital Business at IHK Berlin, and as start-up mentor for many companies and accelerators such as LeAD Sports, Startup Teens, Beyond 1435, METRO Accelerator and GRACE.

Jo Bury

Managing Director of Flanders Institute of Biotechnology

Jo Bury

Jo Bury is managing director of VIB, the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology. VIB is a multisite institution, integrated within the campuses of the universities of Ghent, Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt. It is based on a joint venture agreement of VIB with these five partner universities. In VIB, 1600 scientists perform ground breaking basic research with a strong focus on translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications. VIB start-up companies include Ablynx, Devgen, CropDesign, Multiplicom, to name but a few. Together, these companies employ about 1.000 employees in Flanders.

Jo Bury has also been a board member of different life science-related companies and research endeavours, such as Seghers Genetics and Nutrition NV, Vitamex NV, Oystershell NV and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratories (Singapore). Furthermore, he was chairperson of the Review Committee of the Horizon Programme of the NGI (the Netherlands' Genomics Initiative), a SAB member of Genome Quebec (Canada) and board member of Hercules. Currently he also serves as a board member and chair of NERF (Centre for neuro-electronic research Flanders), a board member of EU-Life and a board member of FWO. In addition, he is member of the GIGA Board of Counselors and member of the scientific advisory board of IIMCB (Budapest), HCEMM (Warschau) and the MDC (Berlin). Jo Bury has a background in pharmacology and holds a Master's degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (University of Gent). He obtained an MBA degree at the Vlerick School for Management in Gent.

Dermot Diamond

Principal Investigator: INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics, Dublin City University

Dermot Diamond

Dermot Diamond received his Ph.D. and D.Sc. from Queen’s University Belfast and joined DCU in 1987. He was Vice-President for Research at Dublin City University (2002-2004) and was director (2007-2015) and founding member of the National Centre for Sensor Research at DCU. In May 2014, in recognition of his academic contributions and achievements, he was admitted to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy. In 2018, his contributions to music, arts and culture were recognized by the award of an honorary Doctorate by Ulster University (D.Litt). He is currently a principal investigator in the SFI INSIGHT Centre and was co-chair of the EU Future and Emerging Technologies Advisory Group (FETAG) until February 2019. His research is focused on the fundamental science of stimuli responsive polymers, the development of futuristic autonomous chemical sensing platforms, and the use of analytical devices and sensors as information providers for wireless networked systems i.e. building a continuum between the digital and molecular worlds.

Dermot Diamond is deeply committed to innovation and believes that it generates real impact for taxpayers and citizens. His research led to a spin-out company, Ambisense, which now employs 15 people with offices in Ireland and the UK. He is also an inventor and holds 20 patents from his research.

Laura Gonzalez-Estefani

Founder and CEO at TheVentureCity

Laura Gonzalez-Estefani

Laura is founder and CEO at TheVentureCity - a new venture and growth acceleration model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact. Originally from Madrid, Laura is passionate about making the global entrepreneurial ecosystem more diverse, international and accessible to fair capital.

Mother of three children and proud dog owner, she opened TheVentureCity in 2017. With campuses in Madrid and Miami; offices in San Francisco, Sao Paulo and El Salvador, she connects the European, LatinAmerican and US Innovation hubs to gives access to best opportunities.

She spent more than 8 years at Facebook leading international growth, business development and strategic mobile projects, reporting to the headquarters in California. She opened Facebook in Spain when it was still a startup and she became their first executive in Southern Europe. Throughout her tenure of 8 years at Facebook, she held different positions in Silicon Valley and Miami offices.

After moving to Silicon Valley to lead the platform in Latin America, she launched many mobile and strategic initiatives, such as the first Internet.org project in Latin America and to connect Cuba to the rest of the world. Prior to Facebook, she held managing roles at eBay, Siemens and Ogilvy Group and co-founded Esplaya.com, the first beach tourism digital platform in Spain in 2000.

She is an active advocate for Woman in Tech, Coach at the Babson College WINLab (Female Entrepreneurs), Mentor of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Leadership Initiative, and Board member and Mentor and Panelist at Endeavor. She also actively invests in start-ups both personally as an angel investor, through Genus Ventures and through TheVentureCity Fund I, her first institutional fund that operates in both the Americas and Europe.

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Chair Siemens AG, Chair AP Moller Maersk A/S

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Jim Hagemann Snabe is Chairman at Siemens AG (D), Chairman at A.P. Moller - Maersk (DK), and Vice Chairman at Allianz SE (D). He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and is Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). He is former co-CEO of SAP AG and holds a Master’s degree in Operational Research from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Through his 25-year career within the IT industry, Jim Hagemann Snabe has continuously built on his experience and knowledge, starting as Trainee in SAP AG in 1990. Throughout his career, he has held multiple leadership roles at SAP and IBM as well as leading consulting, sales, and product development organisations. He was appointed member of the Executive Board of SAP in 2008 and co-CEO of SAP AG alongside Bill McDermott in 2010.

Jim Hagemann Snabe is actively engaged in efforts related to the digital transformation of business and society. These efforts bring together policy makers, business leaders, and leaders in society to understand current issues and shape a better and more sustainable future.

Ingmar Hoerr

Founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CureVac AG

Ingmar Hoerr

Ingmar Hoerr, PhD, MBA, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CureVac and CEO until 2018, founded the biopharmaceutical company in Tübingen, Germany in 2000. His entrepreneurship was motivated by a surprising discovery during his doctoral research. As inventor of the mRNA technology platform he spun out the Start-Up from the Tübingen University with his colleagues. CureVac was the first ever company to treat a human subject with an mRNA drug and that is now a leading European “unicorn” in the research and development of mRNA-based drugs. Since its inception, CureVac has received more €400 million in equity investments lead by main investor Dietmar Hopp, SAP founder, among others like the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Fredrik Hörstedt

Vice president of utilisation Chalmers University of Technology

Fredrik Hörstedt

Fredrik is highly committed to getting more innovation and business impact from investments in research. He believes that in each societal challenge lies a great business opportunity. He is currently a university vice president and has experiences from other significant sectors, such as business, research institutes and academia. He held a multitude of roles ranging from an individual contributor and co-worker to senior management roles (deputy CEO in a company, CEO and president in a research institute group, and vice president in a technical university). His industry career includes experiences from working in two start-up companies.

Since 2012, he has served as a board member and chairperson on numerous (+20) boards of directors of legal entities, consortia and programs, of which many are pan-European and directly at the research and innovation interface. Currently, he is chairing seven boards and has held many advisory positions – to the European Commission and to other national and international organs. Amongst other roles, he was a member of the FET Advisory Group for three years and advised the Swedish government on research and innovation policy for two years. In his current role as vice president he operates frequently at the interface towards politics and the public sector.

Heidi Kakko

Partner of BaltCap Growth Fund

Heidi Kakko

Heidi has been contributing to building-up the early stage eco-system in Estonia – now one of the most successful start-up countries in Europe boosting the highest number of unicorns per capita – for more than a decade. She has helped to advance all stages of innovation funding – from prototyping as an expert jury of Prototron Foundation to the growth phase as a partner of BaltCap Growth Fund.

Her track-record in developing the startup and innovation eco-system includes building the first and largest portfolio of 18 venture-backed innovative companies in Estonia (started in 2008) at the Estonian Development Fund, a publicly backed venture investor and think-tank. Heidi as a fund manager successfully set up the first institutional venture capital fund in Estonia (SmartCap Early Fund I&II) in 2011-2013. She initiated the Estonian Venture Capital Association and has been one of the founding board members since 2009. She was a key player in facilitating the Estonian Business Angels Network in 2012 and managed the initiative in 2014-2017. She advocated for the deep-tech early investment fund as an idea generator and evangelist in 2018-2019 (to be established in 2020), and serves as a mentor and coach for young innovative companies at local and international level since 2009. Heidi also serves as the Council member of the oldest and largest uni in Estonia (University of Tartu), and a member of the Innovation Policy Committee of Estonia.

Bindi Karia

European Innovation Expert + Advisor, Connector of People and Businesses

Bindi Karia

Bindi is incredibly passionate about all things startup in Europe and has worked at the heart of innovation and disruption in Europe since 2000 – over which she has also influenced and co-designed policy and governance at the EU level. She is deeply inspired by entrepreneurship, and is the founder of a Boutique Advisory Firm, bindi ventures, focused on advising and connecting the dots across four core Innovation pillars (Corporate, Startup, VC Managing Partners, Government Innovation) all in the pursuit of their commercial success.

She currently sits on the Advisory Boards of seven startups, one Venture Debt fund, and is a Strategic Advisor for a growth stage London VC. She also sits on Corporate Digital Advisory Boards (Shop Direct from 2016-18, Centrica from 2019-present), the Advisory Boards of European Innovation Council, Startup Europe, Tech London Advocates, Ambassador for Innovate Finance, Governor at the University of East London, and was appointed by World Economic Forum to their Digital Leaders of Europe Group. She strongly believes in promoting Women in Tech, and as such, many of her Advisory Board roles are for women-founded businesses.

She has gained deep technology sector insights as a Consultant (PwC Consulting), as a Corporate (Microsoft BizSpark /Ventures), as a Startup employee (Trayport), as an Advisor (Startup Europe, TechStars Startup Weekend, Tech London Advocates, European Innovation Council, WEF), as a Connector (GQ UK, the IoD and Evening Standard have all recognised this) and as their Banker (Silicon Valley Bank). She has worked closely with entrepreneurs to build ecosystems and this experience has given her deep insights into Tech Ecosystems all across Europe. Bindi is based in London, UK, but you are more likely to find her on plane to somewhere in Europe all in the pursuit of deepening her expertise of the European Innovation ecosystem.

Anita Krohn Traaseth

Former CEO Innovation Norway

Anita Krohn Traaseth

Anita is a Norwegian business executive, writer and former CEO of Innovation Norway (from 2014-2019). As the head of Innovation Norway, one of the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry, she also oversaw the important role as National Contact point for SMEs in Horizon 2020. Under her lead, Norwegian companies were highly successful in securing an important place in EU programs such as the SME instrument.

She is a high-performer with more than 20 years of experience from the private and public sector, and has broad operational experience leading and transforming complex matrix organisations. She was also the first female managing director of Hewlett-Packard Norway. Her academic background is in communication and management (Norwegian Business School), and she completed an executive leadership program at Harvard University, as well as earning a certificate in strategy and innovation at MIT.

She received several awards, including Best Female Leader in the ICT Industry in Norway 2012 and Social Media Personality of the Year in 2013. She was one of "Top 20 Women in Business in Northern Europe", "Top 50 Most Inspiring Women in European Tech" in 2015 and 2016 is "On the Radar of Emerging Thinkers globally, by Thinkers50" in 2018.

Jerzy Langer

Physicist, Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Jerzy Langer

Prior to becoming an Emeritus Professor of Physics, Jerzy was active in the area of condensed matter physics. Some of his major internationally acclaimed scientific achievements and discoveries include the discovery of bistability of defects in semiconductors and their negative-U character and the co-discovery of a novel mechanism of efficient holographic storage in semiconductors with bistable defects and physics of recombination phenomena in solids.

The President of Poland awarded Jerzy Langer the Professor of Physics title in 1987. Besides academic post, he was Advisor to the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences and served as Deputy Prime Minister for Science and Information Society Technologies. He has vast experience in pan-European organizations such as Academia Europaea, the ESF and Euroscience and participated in numerous high-level debates and assessments, national and regional, related to breakthrough science and innovation.

He held well over 150 public presentations and is author of numerous journal publications on EU science policy, including an European Parliament hearing on FP simplification and also published papers in “Foresight” and “ResearchEurope”, and made significant contributions to the European Science and Innovation policy design and its implementation. Participated in numerous high-level expert groups, including EURAB, ISTAG. Between 2015 and 2016, he acted as a FET-AG chair, conducted, and coordinated analysis to underpin the EIC and the ERC.

Ana Maiques

Chief Executive Officer, Neuroelectrics

Ana Maiques

Ana is the CEO of Neuroelectrics, a company aiming to change the way we interact with the brain, developing innovative technologies to non-invasively monitor and stimulate the brain to help patients in need. Neuroelectrics technologies are being sold worldwide (in over 35 countries) for research purposes and as a treatment for depression chronic pain and stroke rehabilitation in Europe.

Ana received the EU Prize for Women Innovators from the European Commission in 2014 because of her unique experience in bringing top cutting edge science into the market and providing a novel approach to scientific innovation. She was nominated by IESE as one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Spain and recipient in 2010, of an award in the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. In 2015 and 2016, Ana Maiques was named one of most inspiring women on the Inspiring Fifty list in Europe of women technological leaders and innovators. As a company, Neuroelectrics received the Best Start-up in Health Award in 2015 by Wired UK magazine and in 2016 was recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List, the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America.

Marja Makarow

Biochemistry/molecular biology, director of Biocenter Finland

Marja Makarow

Marja’s career is very diverse and ranges from fundamental and applied research in biotechnology to top operational positions. She has held key positions at the level of strategy and implementation of science and innovation policy, university reforms, governance and management, assessments of national R&I systems. Since 2003, her responsibilities covered a wide array of areas, including technological, engineering, science, scholarly as well as artistic domains.

Currently she is Director of the Biocenter Finland, and previously held positions as Vice-President of the Finnish Research Council - Academy of Finland, as Chief Executive, European Science Foundation (ESF) in Strasbourg and as Vice-Rector (Research, Doctoral Training, Innovation) of the University of Helsinki. She was appointed Professor of Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Helsinki in 2003 and Professor of Medical Biochemistry at University of Kuopio in 1998. Marja is also a member of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Governing Board.

Throughout her career, she developed a passion for knowledge transfer and its impact. She advised the Finnish Prime Minister and Government on research and innovation issues is her work has been recognised by the Chevalier de l’Ordre de Legion d’Honneur (France, 2018), a Doctor of Technology Honoris Causa, Tampere University of Technology (Finland, 2017), and the Commander of the Order of the White Lion (Finland, 2015).

Carlos Oliveira

Serial Entrepreneur, Innovator, Executive President of José Neves Foundation

Carlos Oliveira

Over the past 19 years, Carlos has led the successful growth of several technology and digital enterprises. He has also involved in several M&As with publicly listed companies - Microsoft, Farfetch and SmithMicro.

Carlos has an entrepreneurial and visionary spirit with experience in entrepreneurship, innovation, digital transformation, company growth strategy and policies for innovation.

Carlos is the former Secretary of State for Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Innovation at the Portuguese Government.

Carlos founded MobiComp, a mobile services startup, and led the company as CEO until he sold the company to Microsoft. His work included building the company product strategy, driving sales and scaling the company. Carlos is founder of several startups and worked as an executive at Microsoft and as an angel and VC investor.

Carlos has a consumer-centric perspective with experience in management, strategic planning, and business development. Carlos regularly speaks at industry events as well as contributing to print, radio and television media.

Valeria Nicolosi

Chair of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy

Valeria Nicolosi

Valeria is Professor of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy Schools of Chemistry, CRANN, AMBER & I-Form Director of the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory Trinity College Dublin. Valeria has dedicated her career to innovative research in future technologies and aspires to contributing to maximising the effectiveness of the innovation support ecosystem in Europe.

She has published in more than 200 high-impact-papers, including in Science, Nature, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials and her research has attracted more than €20 million in funding over the last eight years. She was awarded four Proof-of-Concept ERC grants (a total of 6 ERC awards) to bring her research findings closer to market.

One of the fields in which she has been extremely active is energy storage research, leading to two Nature Communication papers (2019). She holds a Chair of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy at the School of Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin and is Principal Investigator in the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres AMBER & I-Form. She is the first woman to have reached the position of Chair in the School of Chemistry since the foundation of Trinity College Dublin in 1592. She is a founding member of the ERC Club at Trinity College contributing to the national strategy and policy in support of innovative research.

Bruno Sportisse

Chair and CEO at INRIA

Bruno Sportisse

Bruno has the strong conviction that fostering disruptive innovation in Europe is a key issue for the development of Europe. Since June 2018, Bruno is the Chairperson and CEO of Inria, the French public research and technology organisation for computer sciences and applied mathematics. Appointed by the French government to further develop excellence in research and technology at Inria, he reinforced the ability of Inria to transfer knowledge to enterprises and develop DeepTech start-ups. Bruno has held numerous positions in the field of disruptive innovation: in academia, in industrial companies, in a startup company and as advisor in charge of innovation for French Ministers – the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Digital affairs and innovation. He was founder of a start-up, the deputy CEO of a midcap medtech, a former director of technology transfer and innovation at Inria. Before holding these positions, he was founder and director of a joint R&D lab of a large company. He is graduated from two major Higher Education schools in France, has a PhD in applied mathematics and a research habilitation in geosciences.

In 2012, he was also appointed Advisor to the French Minister for Research and Higher Education, in charge of innovation, Tech Transfer and digital affairs. During this time and in 2013-2014 as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the French Minister for innovation and digital, he co-designed the French Tech Initiative.

Kinga Stanislawska

Managing Partner and Founder of Experior Venture Fund

Kinga Stanislawska

Kinga is Managing Partner and Founder of Experior Venture Fund (EVF).

Kinga has been working in private equity / venture capital and finance for the past 18 years. She is the Vice President of the Management Board of the Polish Private Equity Association (PSIK). She sits currently on the supervisory boards of Cosmose Inc, Tylko, XTRF Management Systems, Tourmedica and iTaxi. As an independent board member, she represents pension funds in Supervisory Boards of publicly listed companies.

Prior to Experior, she was the Global Head of telecoms, media and technology at Raiffeisen Investment in Vienna. She started her career in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup, London) and followed on to Equity Capital Markets at ING Barings, with responsibility for the EMEA region. In 2001-2007 she was a Principal Banker at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London and Warsaw), where she led investment and financing projects across the TMT and infrastructure sectors.

She is active in supporting women in venture capital (Kinga is founder of European Women in VC community of over 400 members across 19 countries), she is a mentor in Vital Voices and Foundation for Women Entrepreneurship. She is a former member of the EIC High Level Group.

Roberto Verganti

Innovation academic, former RISE group

Roberto Verganti

Roberto Verganti is Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, where he directs Leadin’Lab, the laboratory on the LEAdership, Design and Innovation, and from 1 September 2019 at the House of Innovation of Stockholm School of Economics.

He also serves as a member of RISE, the High Level Group of Research Innovation and Science Policy Experts at DG RTD of the European Commission. He has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School twice, at the Copenhagen Business School, and at the California Polytechnic University. Roberto has issued more than 150 articles. In addition, he is author of numerous books, the most recent being: “Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas”, published by MIT Press in 2017. The work discusses processes and methods to create innovation in a digitalized world. He is also the author of “Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating whaSt Things Mean”, published by Harvard Business Press in 2009.

Roberto, has served as advisor to executives and senior managers at a wide variety of manufacturing and service firms including Ferrari, Gucci, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Samsung, Panasonic, Microsoft, IBM, to name but a few.

Martin Villig

Co-founder of Bolt (formerly Taxify)

Martin Villig

Martin Villig is the co-founder of Bolt (formerly Taxify), the leading European on-demand transportation platform with more than 25 million passengers in over 30 countries across Europe and Africa.

Martin has been an entrepreneur for 20 years, and started and sold his first startup in 1998-1999. He has previously held management positions at Skype, Fortumo and NASDAQ Tallinn Stock Exchange.

Martin is passionate about community initiatives promoting entrepreneurship and supporting citizens in the Baltic States and Estonia to build tech start-ups, having co-founded Estonian Startup Leaders Club and Garage48 Foundation, which organizes hackathons across Europe. In 2018, Martin co-founded a €1m foundation to kick-start innovative initiatives and engage more entrepreneurs in education.

Yousef Yousef

CEO of LG Sonic

Yousef Yousef

Yousef Yousef is an innovator by nature with an entrepreneurial mind-set that never sleeps - LG Sonic is a leading example of a leading green innovative SME, providing environmentally friendly solutions to effectively control algae and biofouling in lakes, reservoirs, treatment plants, and other applications.

From developing original technological solutions that are environment-friendly to setting up new businesses and coaching innovative start-ups into becoming scale-ups. He has founded and invested in several water and data related start-ups. Yousef is advisor of Economy Board of Zuid-Holland, which promotes cooperation, innovation and job creation, and chairman of Groene Groeiers Network, which has more than 240 scales up companies and professionals that accelerate the transition to a green economy. He is also a member of the International Working Group Water and Maritime, and a member of the Advisory Committee Stimulating Cross-Regional SME Innovation.