Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Jari Gustafsson has served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment from October 2015. Earlier Gustafsson served as Ambassador of Finland to China and as Ambassador to Ja-pan. During the six years in East Asia he worked in promoting deepening political, trade and economic rela-tions as well as public diplomacy issues. Before moving to Tokyo Gustafsson was a Board Member of the EBRD, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development based in London. He had a strong focus on investments especially in the infrastructure, environment and clean tech sectors. Before that Gustafsson served as Deputy Director General of the Department for External Economic Relations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and for the Trade Department of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. During his tenure in these two Ministries he was responsible in foreign trade and economic issues.
Birmingham Law School & School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
Karen Yeung is Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow in Law, Ethics and Informatics at the University of Birmingham, based in Birmingham Law School and the School of Computer Science. She has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Melbourne Law School since 2016.
Karen is actively involved in several technology policy and related initiatives in the UK and world-wide, including those concerned with the governance of AI, one of her key research interests. In particular, she is a member of the EU’s High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (since June 2018) and a Member and Rapporteur for the Council of Europe’s Expert Committee on human rights dimensions of automated data processing and different forms of artificial intelligence (MSI-AUT) and special adviser to Council of Europe's European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), Working Group of Experts on AI and the Criminal Law (from September 2019).
Her recent academic publications include Algorithmic Regulation (co-edited with Martin Lodge, Oxford University Press (2019 in press)) and The Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation and Technology (co-edited with Roger Brownsword and Eloise Scotford) in 2017. She is admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria (Australia), having completed a brief stint in professional legal practice. Karen is on the editorial boards of Big Data & Society and Public Law.
Signe Ratso is Deputy Director-General and a member of the Management Board of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. She is the Chief negotiator for Horizon Europe Association. She is also responsible for Open Innovation and for citizens’ engagement in research and innovation policy and for overall coordination on international cooperation.
Signe Ratso joined DG Research and Innovation as Deputy Director General on 1 March 2018. In this function her particular areas of responsibility included International Cooperation in Research and Innovation as well as R&I in Industrial Technologies and in the area of Transport until 1 June 2019.
Before joining DG RTD she worked in different senior management positions in DG TRADE since 2006. From 2011 to 2018 she was Director for Trade Strategy, Analysis and Market Access in DG TRADE. Previously (from 2007 to 2011) she was Director for WTO, legal matters and food-related sectors in DG TRADE, covering also covered OECD issues, export credits and export controls of dual use goods. After joining the Commission at the beginning of 2006, she held the post of Principal Adviser in DG TRADE for the first year.
Before joining the Commission Signe Ratso worked as Deputy Secretary General (from 1994 to 2005) at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Estonia. In this position she was responsible for all EU-related issues in the following policy areas: trade and industrial policy, energy, transport, telecommunications, information society, internal market affairs. During Estonia's accession negotiations she was responsible for negotiating 6 economic chapters.
She has two University degrees. In 1983 she graduated from Tartu University in Estonia as an English philologist, in 1993 in International Trade and International Economics.
The European Commission nominated Veronica Gaffey as Chair of the independent Regulatory Scrutiny Board in March 2019. This Board, which is independent of the Commission services and has no policy-making responsibilities, examines the evidence base of all impact assessments for new policy proposals and most evaluations.
Veronica was Director of the Paymaster’s Office of the Commission from 2016 to 2019 and before that was Director of Resources in the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy in July 2015.
Veronica Gaffey worked in the area of evaluation for 23 years of her career. She was Head of Evaluation in the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission from 2007 to 2015. She joined the Evaluation Unit in 2000 from the ESF Evaluation Unit based in the Ministry for Enterprise and Employment in Dublin, Ireland. There she managed the unit from its inception in 1992. Before that, she worked in the Ministry for Labour from 1986. Her academ-ic background is the study of English literature.
Dirk Pilat, a Dutch national, is Deputy Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. He helps oversee OECD’s work on science and technology, innovation, productivity and business dynamics, digital economy policy, consumer policy and industry policies.
Dirk joined the OECD in February 1994 and has worked on many policy issues since then, including innovation, the role of digital technologies for economic growth, climate change and environmen-tal innovation, labour markets, regulatory reform, global value chains, productivity and entrepre-neurship, as well as health innovation. He is currently helping to coordinate the OECD's Going Dig-ital project, which is a multidisciplinary, cross-cutting initiative that aims to help policymakers bet-ter understand the digital transformation that is taking place and help develop recommendations for pro-active policies that will help to drive greater growth and societal well-being.
Dirk was responsible for the OECD’s Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy from 2006 to January 2009, and for the Committee on Industry, Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Febru-ary 2009 to December 2012.
Before joining the OECD, he was a researcher at the University of Groningen, where he also earned his PhD in Economics, working primarily on productivity and economic growth.
VTT; EARTO Executive Board
Dr. Antti Vasara is the President & CEO of VTT Ltd since 2015. VTT is a visionary research,
development and innovation partner with over 2000 people and turnover exceeding 250 MEUR.
He is president of EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations)
and chairman of the board of Palta (Finnish Service Sector Employers). In addition, he is a nonexecutive
director of Elisa Oyj (largest communications operator in Finland) and a board member
at EK (Finnish Confederation of Industries). He has served on several high-level groups on
industrial and innovation policy of the European Commission in addition to several groups in
Finland on artificial intelligence and research policy. Previously, he has worked in the private
industry for close to 25 years at Nokia, Tieto, SmartTrust and McKinsey & Company. Earlier in his
career, he was a researcher in optical communications with 20+ peer reviewed articles and one
international patent. Dr. Vasara holds a Doctor of Science (Technology) degree from Aalto
University in Finland.
Harry leads Nesta’s futures work, exploring the potential impacts of emerging technology and innovations, like Artificial Intelligence, on industry, society and the economy with a goal to supporting responsible innovation in a wide range of sectors. His research has covered everything from machine learning, cyber-security and the internet of things to nanosatellites and the emergence of local energy systems. He leads Nesta’s thinking on new approaches to regulation and Nesta's work on Europes Next Generation Internet agenda, including the ethical and responsible development of AI and machine learning tools.
Pekka Koponen is the Founder and Chairman of Spinverse. At Spinverse, Pekka has created a platform for his passion for bringing new technologies to market, driving the growth of new business and building partnerships. Founded in 2004, Spinverse is the Nordic leader in innova-tion consulting, specialised in driving open innovation ecosystems, arranging funding and com-mercialising emerging technologies. Under Pekka’s leadership, Spinverse has helped its custo-mers get more than 420 M€ of EU funding and coordinated over 2,3 B€ of large scale innova-tion programs. Since January 2018, Pekka has also acted as the Chairman of Working Group on Innovation&Competitiveness by Technology Industries of Finland.
Pekka has strong international experience in bringing new technologies to markets. He is espe-cially known for his work in commercialising emerging technologies as a behind-the-scenes deal-maker for the most respected organisations in the world. Before founding Spinverse, Pekka had exciting 14 years at Nokia during its growth phase. He joined Nokia as a smart card expert for the company’s first GSM phone and wrote software that shipped in 500 million pockets. His later achievements included cellular network market entries in a number of emer-ging countries, facilitating company’s ecosystem strategy and developing corporate venturing operations. His extensive international career includes expatriate assignments in China, Singa-pore, UK and Czech Republic.
Pekka holds an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Oulu. His marriage with Laura inclu-des an extended family of five children. A finisher of a dozen marathons, triathlons and long-distance races in cycling and cross-county skiing, he relaxes by snowboarding, playing golf and boating
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Olli-Pekka Rantala has served as Director-General of the Services Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications since 2016. The Services Department is responsible for transport services across the sector (public transport, road, rail, air and maritime transport) and communications services (electronic communications, media, public service broadcasting, postal services). Before his current position, he served as Director-General of the Ministry’s Data Department and held several managerial and specialist positions at the former Communications Policy Department at the Ministry. From 2002 to 2007, Rantala worked in Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU.
The Ministry wants to emphasise a broader and more diverse offering of transport services as a key measure in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from transport. Additionally the Ministry seeks to promote the Mobility as a Service concept through legislation and strategic guidance.
Danish Design Centre
Christian Bason, CEO, Ph.D. leads the Danish Design Centre, a publicly co-funded institution that advances the value of design for business and society. Previously he was Director of MindLab and business manager with the consultancy Ramboll. Christian is the author of seven books on innova-tion, design and leadership, including Leading Public Design (2017) and has published in Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review. He teaches executives at among others Oxford Saïd Business School. Previously he was Chair if the EU expert group on public sector in-novation and is currently a member of the World Economic Forum group on agile governance.
Find a longer bio: https://danskdesigncenter.dk/en/christian-bason
Green and Responsible Business Development / Danish Business Authority
Camilla Hjermind is Chief of Division of the department for Green and Responsible Business Development in the Danish Business Authority. The department is responsible for development of policies and framework conditions supporting new business models, growth and entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. Camilla has previously been Chief of Division of International Relations in The Danish Business Authority and has also been Head of Department of Policy and Legal Affairs in the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. Camilla has a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Co-penhagen.
European Commission, Directorate-General Communications, Content and Technology
Menno Cox works as a policy officer on platforms and e-commerce in the Communications, Content and Technology department of the European Commission. In this capacity, he worked on coordinating the Digital Single Market Strategy, as well as on preparing the recently adopted Regulation 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services (P2B Regulation). In previous capacities, he worked as a case handler in the Competition department of the European Commission, and as a lawyer at an international law firm in Amsterdam.
Israel Innovation Authority
Shomrat Shurtz is the Senior Director- Business Development, at the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA). She brings over 25 years of experience in business strategy, marketing and regulatory affairs.
Prior to joining IIA, Shomrat served as an Executive in several organizations at the Israeli Biopharmaceutical & Medical device field, and earlier as an executive at the financial arena. Shomrat serves as the Chairwoman of the Israeli Gaucher Association.
Shomrat holds an M.Sc. degree in Physiology, and B.Sc. in Biology – both from the Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Harri Kulmala works as the CEO of DIMECC Ltd. since 2008. He has participated in launching several conceptualized and trademarked innovation services e.g. PoDoCo, MPD, Demobooster and One Sea. Before that he worked as a research professor at VTT and senior researcher at Tampere University of Technology, and he has published more than 130 publications on industrial econom-ics, leadership and management. Before the academic career, he worked for Metso corporation (Nordberg-Lokomo Oy) in after sales. In 2017, Dr. Kulmala was invited to the Lamy Group by Commissioner Carlos Moedas to maximise the impact of the EU’s next framework program, Hori-zon Europe 2021-2028
Bernhard von Wendland
European Commission, Directorate-General Research & Innovation
Bernhard von Wendland is a policy officer at the European Commission’s Directorate General Research & Innovation; he is a fiscal economist by training.
Bernhard’s main task is the development of policies that help increasing industrial R&I-investment in Europe, complementary to, and in synergy with the EU’s ‘Horizon’ framework programmes. Among others, the aim is to improve the interplay between the EU’s research and innovation objectives and EU State aid law.
Bernhard joined the European Commission in 2002. From 2004 until 2018, he worked for the Directorate General Competition, mostly on State aid in the area of R&D and innovation, but also on aid for SME-risk finance investments. Moreover, he worked in strategy and policy development in the field of State aid control.
Bernhard has authored a number of publications and legal commentaries in the area State aid law. His recent publications include 'The Art of Regulation - Competition in Europe, Wealth and Wariness', co-authored with Christian Koenig, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017; ‘The Responsible Public Investor and Public Mega Projects', European State-Aid Law Quarterly, 2/2017; Beihilfen zur Erschließung von KMU-Finanzierungen und FuEuI-Beihilfen in: Münchner Kommentar, Beck 2018, 'Wirtschaftliche Nebentätigkeiten von Forschungseinrichtungen und Forschungsinfrastrukturen - ein sicherer Hafen?', Zeitschrift für Beihilfenrecht, I/2019. Bernhard is on the editorial board of CoRe – European Competition and Regulatory Law Review.
Innovation and Enterprise Financing Department Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Ilona Lundstrom, D.Sc. (admin) is head of Innovation and Enterprise Financing Department at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland. In this capacity, she is responsible for Finland’s national innovation and industry policy and its implementation.
Dr. Lundström holds over 15 years of experience in innovation and research gained through funding, evaluating and performing R&D and innovation projects. Her areas of expertise are digitalization, leadership and strategies for growth and renewal.
Lundström received her Ph.D. in Administrative Sciences at Tampere University School of Management. Prior to her current position, she worked at Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (now Business Finland), most recently as Executive Director responsible for all Tekes’ services for large companies and research organisations. Before joining Tekes 2007 she worked in various positions at the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities.
Alexandre Affre is Director for the Industrial Affairs, entrepreneurship& SMEs department at Business Europe, the leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at European level. The organization speaks for national employers and industrial federations across 34 European countries on all business issues dealt with by the European Union.
In this role since 2013, Alexandre is responsible for coordinating the organization’s positions on industrial policy, energy, climate, environment, research and innovation, as well as entrepreneurship and SMEs.
He joined Business Europe in 2007 as advisor in environmental affairs. 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.
Since 2018, Alexandre is managing the corporate Advisory and Support Group (ASG)of Business Europe. The ASG offers particular services to a selection of companies in all sectors of activity.
Kimmo Halme is Managing Director of Finnish consulting company Forefront Ltd. He holds a degree of Licentiate of Technology and MSc (Eng). Kimmo has over 25 years of experience in the design, development and evaluation of research and innovation policy -related activities, having worked in research, for the Finnish government, as a permanent expert for the EU Commission, and for the past fifteen years as a RDI consultant.
Over the years Kimmo has been contributing to the research and innovation policies of several countries and international organisations, including European Parliament, OECD, World Bank and European Commission, as well as in many EU Member States, African, Latin-American and Asian countries.
Over the past years, Kimmo has been heading the European Service Innovation Center (ESIC), has been facilitating innovation strategies and led a number of high-level evaluations, such as the evaluation of Finnish innovation fund Sitra, the impact evaluation Horizon 2020 in Finland, evaluation of Strategic Centers of STI, as well as the ERAC evaluations of Estonian and Danish research and innovation systems. Kimmo is national correspondent to EU Research and Innovation Observatory since 2015, he is board advisor of the Finnish Evaluation Society and an quality assessor for the EU Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility.
Jon Simonsson chairs the Government Committee for Technological Innovation and Ethics. Prior to this he headed the Department of innovation, research and financing at the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. He has been the principal of government bodies such as the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova), the In-dustrial Research Institutes of Sweden, the Patent and Registration Office and Court of Patent Appeals. He has also been head of the global network of Innovation and Research Chancellors located at Swedish em-bassies abroad.
Jon Simonsson has a business background as longtime entrepreneur building global ICT companies. He holds a M Sc in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Linköping University and is alumni of Harvard Business School.
Antero Vartia is a former Finnish MP and the founder of Compensate, a non-profit built to empower individuals and businesses to combat climate change.
Public speaker on diversity and inclusion and project manager at Hanken School of economics.
Kamilla is a bridge builder, Kamilla Sultanova is an award-winning community leader, TEDx speaker. She runs ConnectUz consulting building partnerships across sectors to promote social capital, skills building through employee and youth engagement. Born in Uzbekistan, she has had a home-base in the Nordics for the last 18 years studying, working and changing the world locally and globally through her various roles in Europe to promote inclusive leadership. Alumni of the prestigious networks: European Young Leaders and German Marshall Fund Transatlantic inclusion leaders, and recently first Sitralab education by Finnish innovation fund Sitra, Kamilla's mission is to build future workplaces that can work for everyone.