former director (San Sebastian Technology Park, Miramon, Spain)

Manuel Cendoya received his Degree and PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Navarra (Spain). He later specialized in Technology Transfer at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), the Imperial College (London), and the Fraunhofer-ISI Institute (Karlsruhe, Germany). He carried out scientific research at CEIT and was a professor at the universities of Navarra and Deusto (Spain).
For more than 20 years he has collaborated with different governments and institutions at international level on knowledge & technology transfer and regional development projects. From 1990 he set up and ran San Sebastian Technology Park, and was its Director since its foundation in 1994 to the end of 2003. He participated in research projects in collaboration with partners such as MIT, European Space Agency, the Stanford University, the Fraunhofer-IGD, and the London Symphony Orchestra. From 2004 to 2009 he lived in Panama, where he led a European Union Project on Technology Transfer between Europe and Latin America. Currently he works as an international consultant.

Managing board, (CRANE - croatian bussines angel network )

Saša Cvetojević is an entrepreneur and a business angel investor. He is member of the Board of Croatian Business Angel Network (CRANE) and a business angel investor with the highest number of implemented projects in Croatia. He invests in Health, Internet Technologies and Distribution and Logistics. He is an active member of the Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP) as a member of HUP Council and chairs the Pharmacist Association. Among his renown projects are Salespod (cloud-based informatics system for monitoring field work in all activities), Hipersfera (stratosphere airship for remote research), Eko Val (ecological carwash at customers’ location), ONCE (monitoring football statistics), Entrio (ticket sale via mobile phones) and the project E-Care (informatization and monitoring of nurses’ work). Saša runs several own companies out of which Insako d.o.o. (distributer of consumer goods and the leading provider of accessories and cleaning products as well as personal hygiene products) is the biggest. In 2008 he successfully sold Farmako drugstores to Atlantic Group.

Business Development Manager (Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany)

On behalf of the Application Center for Satellite Navigation (subsidiary of the German Aerospace Center) Ulrike has been managing the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) since 2006. The ESNC is an international ideas competition globally searching for the most innovative global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) applications with the aim of systematically supporting entrepreneurs and start-up companies and to foster the realisation of the awarded ideas. Ulrike is responsible for promoting, coordinating and enlarging this unique network of 23 partner regions, 180 experts, 350 yearly participants and sponsors such as NAVTEQ, TÜV SÜD, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Since spring 2011 Ulrike has taken over the project management for the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Masters competition, a newly launched initiative of ESA and other stakeholders to promote the commercial use of GMES. Ulrike also has wide experience in the organisation of GNSS related conferences and trade shows and holds an MBA in international marketing.

director, (Regional Development Agency Međimurje REDEA Ltd., Croatia)

Matija Derk acts as Project Manager of the project Technology Innovation Centre Međimurje. As the director of Regional Development Agency REDEA Ltd. (2006 – present) he has served as Project Leader on numerous projects funded through various EU programmes (CARDS, INTERREG, Intelligent Energy Europe, IPA, etc). From 2002 to 2004 he worked as a Project Manager at the Ministry for European Integration, Directorate for Coordination of EU Assistance and Cooperation Programs.
Matija holds an MA in International Relations from Dublin City University, and a BSc. in Political Sciences from University of Zagreb.

Director of RAZUM Program (Business Innovation Center of Croatia – BICRO Ltd.)

Ivo Friganović, dipl.ing. was born in Šibenik in 1958. He graduated in 1982 from the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology at the University of Zagreb. In the period from 1982 to 2003 he has been working in Pliva Ltd. as a process engineer, technology development coordinator, coordinator of biochemical engineering laboratory, director of biosynthesis and biotechnology department, assistant director for business development, expert analyst for biotechnology, pharmaceutical operations, strategic marketing. He has been working in Business Innovation Center of Croatia – BICRO Ltd.
From 2003, at first as the coordinator for biotechnological infrastructure and development, in 2004 as the director of TEHCRO Program and from 2005 onward as the director of RAZUM – Development of knowledge based enterprises. His interest lies in commercialization of innovations and technology transfer. He is particularly committed to promoting the protection of intellectual property rights with special emphasis on use of intellectual property and commercialization of innovations in business. He is member of Croatian biotechnology society, Croatian society of chemical engineering and technologists, Croatian society for genetics, Croatian society of microbiology and Club of food technologists, biotechnologists and nutritionists.

founder (Triangle Ventures, Germany)

Bernd is one of Triangle’s founders. He is focused on physical technologies and technology-related software companies. Besides Triangle, he also chairs the IPR Master Class of EVCA and advises the European Commission’s ICT task force and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Currently he serves on the boards of 20/10 Perfect Vision, iPharro and KLASTECH.
Bernd studied physics in Berlin, Ypsilanti(Michigan, USA) and Heidelberg and holds a PhD in Natural Sciences from the prestigious University of Heidelberg.

Chairman (INI-Novation, Germany),

After finishing studying business management and economics at the University of Mannheim, Germany, Wolfgang Kniejski started his business career in 1991 as the Financial Manager of Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, in Darmstadt, Germany. In 2004 he founded his own innovation management company, INI-Novation GmbH,for which he is serving as its Chairman. In this capacity he developed and implemented successfully methodologies and processes to support the technology commercialisation for universities and research institutions via licensing and spin-off activities. Mr. Kniejski spun his technology commercialisation knowledge off into his own company and created INI-Novation GmbH as an innovation management and consulting entity. In 2006, he won the innovation award of the Singaporean government for exploiting the integrated technology commercialisation concept to Singapore. He was appointed as innovation consultant by different governmental agencies on an international level to develop concept for High-Tech Incubators and Business and Science Parks, and he is also jury member in several international business plan and idea competitions. Today, Mr. Kniejski is running his own consulting business in the fields of technology transfer, innovation policies and SME development. He is represented as shareholder in the Boards of several high-tech spin-off companies and technology transfer organisations all over the world, as well as through his membership in several professional advisory bodies.

Partner and Director (Bearing Consulting Ltd., Sweden)

Lars-Göran Larsson (born 1947), educated in electronics and computer engineering, is a senior management consultant with 30 years of experience from executive management and board positions.
Larsson worked in the aviation industry in the 1970s and later gained international experience as Managing Director of Scandinavian and US-origin IT companies. These positions involved major innovation challenges, business development and restructuring responsibilities including reorganisation, business process re-engineering and implementation of new sets of KPI’s to measure and benchmark the restructured businesses. By use of corporate innovation methodologies business areas not matching the new market driven general corporate strategies where salvaged to revitalize in new constellations.
He has also held the CEO position and later Director of the board of a Swedish publically listed security technologies company, where he supervised the international expansion of the group.
From the position as chairman of the board he led the development of an industrial cluster of SME’s in a municipality in Sweden. This industrial park aimed at strengthening the cluster companies’ competitiveness and to broaden their market presence outside the local market by development and integration of the SME’s businesses into, regional, national and international contexts. This was one of the first true public-private-partnerships (PPP) that was established in the country.
In recent years, Larsson has been involved in regional innovation development specializing on strategy and design of different types of PPP based innovation systems, regional business and talent development and M&A projects. The last 3 years Mr. Larsson has been instrumental in development of strategies and design of modern 3rd. generation regional innovation environments in Sweden, Europe and China.
As a complement to Larsson’s firm understanding of different international business cultures and modern innovation systems his key personal strengths are strong leadership and coaching qualities. This, in combination with his genuine hi-tech back-ground with experience from a broad range of industries; i.e. aviation, information technology, media, graphic, safety and security and flight simulation, has brought Larsson to the level of career he has achieved.
Larsson’s professional experience can be summarized within the areas of strategic alignment, innovation development, international business development and change management.

Director (BICRO, Croatia)

Dalibor Marijanović was born in 1972 in Split. He graduated from the Mathematics Department at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Zagreb. In spring 1999 he went on to specialize in the USA where he worked at the Department of Genetics and Development Biology at the University of Connecticut. After ten months he started working at the Department of informatics where he formed a group of informatics experts to develop institutional applications. In December 2000 he was promoted to project manager, and during that time he developed two important administrative projects for hospitals. At the end of his stay in USA he was promoted to the position of Deputy Manager for informatics. In November 2003 he returned to Croatia and started to work as a Financial and human resources manager at the Polyclinic Sveti Duh 2 in Zagreb where he implemented business process and material optimization used in hemodialysis process. From 2005 he has been working at BICRO – The Business Innovation Centre of Croatia as the Manager of the Programme IRCRO which encourages R&D. From November 2007 he has worked as the General Manager of BICRO where he signed a series of contracts worth over 220 million KN during almost 4 years with BICRO Programme beneficiaries – managers of innovative micro, small and medium enterprises.

President(Croatian Venture Capital Association, Croatia)

Mirna Marovic is the President and one of the founders of the CVCA. She is responsible for organizing all CVCA activities (VentureXchange South East Europe events, competition, networking, cooperation with national and international institutions and partners). She is the Lecturer at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management where she teaches undergraduate, MBA and executive education courses in finance. Before joining ZSEM, her former position in Croatia was the Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Prior to returning to Croatia in 2004, she was based in London and held corporate and structured finance positions at major investment banks including Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole Indosuez. Ms. Marovic holds MBA from INSEAD, undergraduate degree in Economics (B.Sc. (Econ)) from the London School of Economics and has completed Investment Management and Corporate Finance Programmes at the London Business School. She is pursuing the PhD Program in Financial Management at University of Ljubljana and she is the author and the editor of the book Financing SMEs (Bionza Press, 2008). She speaks six languages: English (fluent), French (fluent), Italian (fluent), Spanish (fluent), Russian (good) and Croatian (mother tongue).

Head of Office (University of Porto Innovation, Portugal)

Maria Oliveira has a degree in Zootechnical Engineering from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. She holds a Post graduation in Management of Technology and Innovation from the University of Aveiro and a M.Sc. in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship (MIETE) from the School of Engineering of the University of Porto. She took the Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership at Sloan School of Management, MIT and was invited as a fellow to collaborate with the Office of Technology Development (OTD) of Boston University under the scope of UTEN Program.
During her career Maria Oliveira took part in the evaluation of structural funds (FIFG) execution in several countries, working for the European Commission in Brussels. In Madrid she worked for a multinational animal nutrition company supporting the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). During 3 years she worked as manager of European RTD projects in an innovation consulting firm based in Porto and connected to the biggest European private group of innovation services. She joined UPIN in 2005 to coordinate GAPI Project (Industrial Property Office). Since 2008, she is the coordinator of the office

Director (SpinPark, Portugal)

Avelino Pinto holds a MSc from University of Texas at Austin and extensive courses in innovation in IESE, Northwestern University, ESADE, CCL, IE, University Cambridge. As the Director of Spinpark, a technology incubator of the University of Minho, he has over 20 years of experience in business development, technology transfer and innovation and strong expertise in design thinking, innovation strategy and entrepreneurship development.

Director,(Vicomtech, Spain)

Jorge Posada holds Ph.D. in Engineering from the Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany), and a diploma degree in mechanical engineering (honors) from the EAFIT University (Colombia). After working for some years at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in Darmstadt, Germany, in the Department of Industrial Applications, he helped to create and establish the Applied Research Centre VICOMTech (www.vicomtech.org /San Sebastian, Spain). Jorge Posada has been Associate Director of Vicomtech since 2001. Vicomtech currently has more than 100 highly qualified researchers in Digital TV & Multimedia, Future Internet, Medical Applications, Human Language and Speech Technologies, Industrial Applications, and Culture & Entertainment. He is also President of the Board of GraphicsMedia.net (www.graphicsmedia.net), an international network for the cooperation in Applied Research in Computer Graphics, Multimodal-Multimedia Technologies and Visual Interactive Digital Media Technologies, with leading institutions in different locations worldwide (DFKI and HPI in Germany, Graphitech in Italy, CCG in Portugal, Mivtech in Panama and Vicomtech in Spain).

Jorge Posada is member of IEEE, ACM and Eurographics. He has participated in several committees of international conferences. He has been member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the international Journal Computer & Graphics (Elsevier) and is currently Associate Editor of the International Journal of Virtual Reality (IPI Press).

Institute for International Relations, Croatia - moderator

Jakša Puljiz holds master degree in Economics from the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Zagreb and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Split (Croatia). He has published a series of expert and scientific papers on regional and local development, economic growth and competitiveness. As a consultant and adviser he has participated in several projects financed by inland and foreign clients like European Commission and World Bank, mainly in the area of regional development and use of pre-accession programs of the European Union.

Executive Manager (UPTEC, Portugal)

FátimaSãoSimãowasbornin Porto, in 1981, whereshecompleted her firstdegree inEconomics, at Universityof Porto. During her studies, sheworked as anactress, bothintheatreand film. FátimahaslivedinItaly, as anErasmus student, andin the UK, whereshecompleted her MA inCulturalPolicyand Management, at City Universityof London. In 2008, shestartedworkinginUniversityof Porto as Project Manageroffutureplaces – DigitalMediaandLocalCultures, a UTAustin-Portugal Colab festival. She is currentlyresponsible for PINC, theCreative Industries Centre ofUniversityof Porto’s ScienceandTechnology Park (UPTEC) andshe is alsoan activememberofSemPalco (performingarts), Sair do Lugar (Video and Film) and MovingCause (SocialAwareness), developing artistic and social projects.

Director (Railway - Carriages factory, Croatia)

Dražen Vidović, (graduated mechanical engineer) born in Čakovec in 1970. He graduated at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor. He has been working in Railway-Carriages factory Čakovec Ltd. from 1994, at first as quality and environment representative and from 2008 as general manager. He is accredited as Lead auditor for ISO 9001. During his three years at the position of general manager, the company has manufactured and marketed three new products and is intensively working on commercialization of patents and innovation.