Ana Avaliani heads up the Enterprise Hub team at the Royal Academy of Engineering supporting engineering and technology entrepreneurs looking to solve today’s most complex economic and social challenges. Ana started her career in a telecommunications start-up with a role focusing on technology scouting, finding and implementing novel technologies. Ana has extensive experience in innovation management across public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. Prior to joining the Academy, Ana worked at PA Consulting Group, technology and innovation consultancy firm, leading on high profile projects including the setup of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub in Lebanon, Beirut.
In the space of 25 years, Igor was kicked out of professional football and went from a college dropout to a radical marketing visionary and modern-day serial entrepreneur. He has become one of the prominent speakers in the international business speaking circuit. A misfit on a mission.
In the spotlights, Igor Beuker is a top marketing innovation keynote speaker and publicist known for his foresight on trends and technologies that impact business, economy, and society. With his radical vision and reliable voice he inspires audiences around the globe. At conferences and on social media, Igor is frequently a trending topic as “Math Man in a world of Mad Men” and described by audiences as “Burning Man meets TED.”
Behind the scenes, a serial entrepreneur with 5 exits and 24 angel investments, an award-winning marketing strategist for brands like Amazon, L’Oréal, Nike and Unilever, and a new breed trendwatcher for Fortune 500s, the World Economic Forum and the European Union.
Igor Beuker is a speaker, publicist, entrepreneur and investor. Igor’s purpose is to inspire the idea that people can use technology to be a great force of good. Through technology, we can cure diseases and save the environment. Expedite education and exchange knowledge. Create equal opportunities for everyone on Earth.
Rick Tumlinson has been called one of the world’s top space “visionaries” and is credited with helping create the commercial space industry of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, often referred to as NewSpace. As a result of his world changing work, in 2015 he won the World Technology Award. He is a founding partner of SpaceFund, a new type of investment firm at the intersection of digital financial technologies and space development focused on early stage space companies. A leading writer, speaker, policy expert and Congressional witness, he led the commercial takeover of the Russian Mir space station, signed the first space tourist, co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation, and was a founding board member of the X-Prize. His non-profit organizations, The EarthLight Foundation and
Dr. Ashkan Fardost
Dr. Ashkan Fardost
Ashkan is a former musician and a scientist with a PhD in organic chemistry. After his music and science career he got involved in the Stockholm startup scene and Soundtrap. Today he’s a Collaborator at the international business school Hyper Island, runs his investment firm Oddball Ventures, and is writing a book about being human in the internet era.
Dr. Björn Heindryckx
Dr. Björn Heindryckx
Björn Heindryckx is Principle Investigator at Ghent-Fertility and Stem cell Team, Department for Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital and Professor at Ghent University.
Björn is author and co-author of 98 A1 publications, member of Ethical Committee of ESHRE, Co-founder of the Belgian Society for Stem Cell Research and Board Member of the Belgian Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Main topics of research:
• Lineage segregation during early embryo development in mouse and human
• Investigating different pluripotency states of embryonic stem cells in mouse and human
• Failed fertilization after ICSI & the oocyte activation mechanism
• Nuclear Transfer to overcome mitochondrial diseases and Infertility
• Gene editing in the mouse and human germline
Dr. Maija Dambrova
Dr. Maija Dambrova
Prof. M. Dambrova is Head of the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, and Professor in the Riga Stradins University. She has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Biosciences from Uppsala University (Sweden) and also holds a MBA degree from RISEBA, Latvia. Prof. M. Dambrova is specializing in drug discovery, investigations of the molecular action mechanisms of drugs and newly synthesized compounds for applications in CNS and cardiovascular fields in collaboration with academic research partners and pharmaceutical industry.
Research interests include pharmacology and medicinal chemistry related to the anti-ischemic drugs with novel mechanisms of action, cellular energy metabolism, and inflammation.
Educational background in Business Economics, Finance and Strategy from Edinburgh Business School, University of Wageningen, NTNU and NMBU. Worked with Business Development, Investments, Financing, Tech transfer and IP management from Research Institutions and private companies since 2004. Currently in the board of 6 promising start-ups, advising additionally 15 companies in different stages of development and partly working for an early-venture capital fund. Interested in the following Tech sectors: ICT (Cyber Security, IOT, Digitalization/IT transformation), Industry (Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, Metals, Composites, Robotics).
Lauma is the Deputy Director of Technology Department – Head of Technology Transfer Unit at the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia – organisation actively involved in supporting and facilitating knowledge and technology transfer and entrepreneurship in Latvia. Commercialisation of research and intellectual property management are her fields of expertise that she has developed by working with and within research organisations.
Kaspars Rožkalns is Director General at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
Subordinate to the Minister for Economics of Latvia, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) aims at increasing export and the competitiveness of Latvian companies, facilitating foreign investment and implementing tourism development and innovation policies. K. Rozkalns has been working for the LIAA for the last five years, initially as the Head of the LIAA Representative Office in Shanghai, China, and since 2018 as the Head of the LIAA Representative Office in Germany. Prior to that, he worked for a long time in the private sector in the service industry.
Dr. Aivita Putniņa
Dr. Aivita Putniņa
Aivita Putniņa is social anthropologist, associate professor, head of the Department of Anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Latvia where she has established BA and MA level study programmes in socio-cultural anthropology in 2009. She specializes in medical and biotechnology anthropology, gender and family, violence prevention and non-violence research.
Serial entrepreneur, co-founder of deep-tech startups Koatum and Vortex Oil Engineering, Forbes 30under30 nominee. Executive Board member and strategist at Longenesis. Visiting faculty at Riga Graduate School of Law and Riga Stradins University, focusing on venture capital and IP rights.
Dr. Thomas Kostka
Dr. Thomas Kostka
Senior Investment Manager, Adhesive Technologies at Henkel Ventures. Thomas holds a PhD in Chemistry from the FAU University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
He has first-hand experience working in two start-ups and his own consultancy in the field of Chemoinformatics & Computer-Aided Drug Design (USA & Germany).
He joined Henkel in 2007 and held several positions in R&D, heading teams in Scientific Computing and in Technology Scouting.
He then moved to Strategy and New Business development, identifying and evaluating innovation opportunities through strategic Foresight Management, Scouting, Start-up Screening, and Venturing.
Thomas’ current position is Senior Investment Manager for Adhesive Technologies at Henkel Ventures.
Ella is Commercialization Reactor’s Acceleration Programme Director. She is a great believer in entrepreneurial talent and systems approach to entrepreneurship. Ella has been trained in developing entrepreneurs at Harvard Business School, she has designed and delivered eight deep-tech start-up support programmes for Commercialization Reactor companies. Ella is also a CEO and co-founder of a bio-tech startup Arlabion developing a new generation agrochemicals for crop protection.
Head of Science Commercialization Division, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. With previous experience in innovation and higher education policy making process in Ministry of Economics and Ministry of Education and Science. Currently working with brightest minds and innovative ideas of public research institutions of Latvia. While being a PhD student himself, in his daily work Reinis meets with innovators from research organisations, businesses and start-ups.
Founder and CEO at Commercialization Reactor.
Founder and CEO of the Commercialization Reactor science-based start-up creation and acceleration platform, business angel investor and entrepreneur. Entered the venture capital business in 2006, after exiting a $100M+ turnover FMCG business in Russia and Latvia.
Currently serves as a board member at more than 30 high-tech companies, including: Eventech, Adaplab, Conelum Biotech, Pogritech, EVOLed, NCapture, Snowision, ET Tech, Arlabion, Mahydy, NanoOptoMetrics, Vortex Oil Engineering, Koatum, Adiabatic Nanotechnologies, Nano Ray T, ConvertIQ, Alloy Advisor, Catalyco, Earth Pumps, Nivetap, Medhydrogel and Semantic Intelligence. For more information, see: http://www.commercializationreactor.com
Sorainen Latvia Associate. As part of Sorainen’s Latvia intellectual property team Linda helps clients to resolve various with intellectual property protection related matters. For example, Linda can help you to understand, how to develop an intellectual property protection strategy; how to prohibit other’s to use the name of your product or start-up; how to battle domain squatters; and how to develop intellectual property in cooperation with other persons without unnecessary disputes.
Dr. Andris Zeltiņš
Dr. Andris Zeltiņš
Dr. biol. Andris Zeltins is Head of the Scientific Council and Group leader of Plant Virology laboratory, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre. After receiving degree from Riga Technical University Faculty of Chemistry he started working on his doctoral dissertation at Latvian Academy of Sciences Institute of Microbiology. In 1990, he defended his dissertation. He also obtained training at Osnabrück University, Germany and University of Helsinki, Finland. His research interests include biotechnology, plant virology and vaccines based on virus-like particles.
Dr. Pierluigi Mancini
Dr. Pierluigi Mancini
Pierluigi Mancini has more than 30 years of experience in the space sector where after several years of R&D activities in the spaceborne radar domain, he has been involved in the definition and implementation of several ESA missions such as ERS, Envisat, Small GeoSat as well as some key strategic developments in the field of space-based applications.
Pierluigi Mancini has been responsible for the Strategy and the Feasibility Studies Divisions in ESA’s Directorate of Telecommunications & Integrated Applications and in this capacity he conceptualised the actual creation of the Integrated Applications Programme. He is now heading the NAVISP Programme which aims to further foster European industry’s succeeding in the highly competitive and rapidly-evolving global market for satellite navigation, and more broadly Positioning Navigation Timing technologies and services, while supporting the ESA Member States in enhancing their national objectives and capabilities in the sector.
Specialising in electrical engineering, Pierluigi initially graduated cum laudae from Naples University, then was awarded a Master’s by the Polytechnic Institute of New York, and subsequently took a PhD at University College London.
Commercialization advisor at Institute of Solid State Pysics, Univesity of Latvia. Ģirts helps researchers to guide space industry related R&D projects towards commercialisation.
Working for MATX project in Adaptive Optics field. We are developing new measurement and optical correction technology for space industry to correct wavefront errors and improve optical system performance when observing long distance objects in space.
Gearoid Mooney, BEng Electronic Engineering 1984, is Division Manager, Research & Innovation with Enterprise Ireland. He has held CTO and project management positions in Irish owned high-tech start-ups, is a member of IET and is a Chartered Engineer. He joined Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Transfer and Business Partnership Programme in 1991. Since then he has been involved in every aspect of Technology Transfer and Business Partnerships, from client consulting through to partner identification and from technology identification through to negotiations.
Andris Grunskis is an embryologist, laboratory specialist and a quality system manager at Ava Clinic. He is the responsible person of both laboratories- embryology and medical. He regularly attends international and local congresses, conferences and workshops to improve his skills and knowledge. He is a member of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).
Dr. Kristaps Jaudzems
Dr. Kristaps Jaudzems
Kristaps Jaudzems holds a PhD in Chemistry from Riga Technical University and has obtained postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute (USA), The European Center for High Field NMR in Lyon, France and Australian National University. He is currently Head of Laboratory of Physical Organic Chemistry at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis and Associate Professor at the University of Latvia. His research interests include investigation of the mechanisms of drug molecule action and structure-function-property relationships of spider silk proteins, with the aim to create novel drug candidates and new biomaterials.
Vidmantas Tomkus is Researcher of Department of Laser Technologies. Graduated from Vilnius University, Faculty of Physics in 1985 and worked in the Institute of Semiconductors of Lithuania 1985 – 1990. Starting from 1994 he held different leading positions in Telecommunications and Satellite industry like CTO at Radio M-1, CEO at Dicto Citius UAB and Arcus Novus UAB. Vidmantas Tomkus led the development and construction of Satellite Teleport and Data Centre in Liepiskes, Vilnius region in 2010-2012. 2010 he was assigned as FP7 and Horizon 2020 Space expert from Lithuania. Vidmantas Tomkus contributed as Chief Technical Officer to the launch of Litsat-1 being one of first Lithuanian satellites in 2012 – 2014. Since 2015, Vidmantas Tomkus is engaged in the research in the Centre for Physical Sciences and Technology (CPST) of Lithuania. The Department of Laser Technologies covers nano-photonics, new design of fiber and solid-state based lasers, High Intensity Laser Fields and their application in the precise material processing and optical classical and quantum communications.
Mr. Bergs is an entrepreneur with long track record of successful businesses in fields of IT and Electronics. Currently serves as the CEO of SAF Tehnika and co-founder and Advisor to Fintech Company Mobilly. Bergs is a long-term president of Latvian Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry Association (LETERA) and a member of the Supervisory Council of Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) as well as the Chairman of the Council at Competence Centre of Electrical and Optical Equipment Production Sector of Latvia.
Dr. Shai Vyakarnam
Dr. Shai Vyakarnam
Dr. Shai Vyakarnam is an educator, mentor and entrepreneur. He has designed and delivered courses for science, technology based entrepreneurs for over 20 years; mentored hundreds of new and emerging businesses and has himself over 6 start-ups and new ventures. He is currently mentoring 4 technology business as well as having invested in three of them.
Dr. Peter Wostner
Dr. Peter Wostner
Dr. Peter Wostner is an expert on economic development, competitiveness and territorial policies, EU budget and EU Cohesion Policy where he has been, for over 15 years, directly involved in the EU budget and regulatory negotiations as well as setting up of the programming framework and implementation arrangements, including design of (RTDI, competitiveness and HR) policy instruments. He has been the driver of setting up of Slovenian clusters, the Strategic Research and Innovation Partnerships, as well as of the Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy design and implementation: he has been heading S4 coordination division within the Slovenian Government between 2014 and 2019. Currently he works as senior analyst dealing with productivity, digital and structural transformation as well as territorial dimension at the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development. He is a lecturer, moderator and also author of number of articles, especially as regards innovation, economic and territorial development, EU budget and Cohesion policy. Dr. Wostner is also the chairman of the OECD’s Working Party on Rural Policy and Vice-Chair of the Regional Development Policy Committee.
Uldis Rekners is product development director at TENAX Group since 2012. TENAX group includes the companies TENAX, TENAPORS, TENAX PANEL and TENAX INSTALL. Before carrier at TENAX group Uldis has worked at the construction products certification institution and at the manufacturing companies of construction products sector. He has been involved in standardization processes in Latvia and in Europe since 2000 until 2015.
Caterina Ciminelli received her Laurea degree in Electronic Engineering in 1996 and PhD in Electronic Engineering in 2000, both at Politecnico di Bari, Italy.
Currently she is member of the Italian Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society. She is also a senior member of both IEEE and OSA. She serves as referee of several international journals.
Her scientific interests are in the field of optics and guided-wave optoelectronics, in particular, on fabrication, characterization, modelling, and design of devices for optical beamforming, switching, filtering and sensing, photonic bandgap devices, lasers, and semiconductor optical amplifiers. She is author or coauthor of more than 230 papers and 2 books.
Her main recent research achievements are in the field of microwave photonics, mainly wideband delay lines for phased array antennas, in the field of the optical resonant gyroscopes, mainly devoted to space applications, and the field of the biosensors based on photonic and plasmonic configurations. She is involved in several research programs supported by the Italian Research Ministry (MIUR), by the Italian Space Agency and by the European Space Agency (ESA), acting also as coordinator. She is co-inventor of a patent.
Dr. Aivars Rubenis
Dr. Aivars Rubenis
Dr. oec cand. Aivars Rubenis, a member of the scientific council of Competency Centre for Transport and Energy. Aivars Rubenis has been involved in development of sustainable transport policies for the last 10 years. In 2013 he was a consultant for government of Latvia developing Latvia national e-mobility plan. Lately he’s been working in co-operation with International Energy Agency Agreement on Hybrid and Electric Vehicles taskforce on Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging and Electric Roads, helping to set out the future of electric mobility.
Kristaps Klauss is Executive Director of the Latvian Forest Industry Federation and Ex-leader of Forest Sector Competence Centre of Latvia. For more than ten years, he has led a federation of leading companies in Latvia’s most export-oriented industry. He is an active creator, expert, advisor and opinion leader of the business ecosystem environment. The ability to learn is considered to be the only thing that will remain constant for any decade.
Gatis Silovs is Deputy Director of the Sectoral Policy Department of the Ministry of Economics. Professional experience has been gained through the coordination of EU structural funds, tourism policy, innovation support policy and promotion of cooperation projects. Gatis has successfully coordinated EU co-financed investments over three programming periods for more than EUR 1 billion for innovations, investments in production capacity, access to finance, export competitiveness and SME development in Latvia.
Viesturs Slaidins is Head of enterprise resource planning solutions, product manager and business developer of leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in Latvia – Tildes Jumis. Over 10 years of experience in development of finance, accounting and ERP solutions. Viesturs has received his MBA IT degree from Riga Business School.
Dr. Agris Ņikitenko
Dr. Agris Ņikitenko
Agris Nikitenko has received his Dr.sc.ing. in 2006 from Riga Technical University as well as Bc.sc.ing. and Mg.sc.ing. focusing on artificial intelligence in his thesis. His thesis received the award of Verner fon Siemens in 2006. Currently, he is a full professor in the Department of Artificial intelligence and systems engineering of Riga Technical University. At the same time, he is a dean of the faculty of computer systems information technology. His scientific interests cover artificial intelligence and autonomy as well as their applications in robotics. He leads several PhD researchers focusing on different aspects of robot control. He has published more than 30 scientific publications, 8 patents and monographs. At the moment he is a member of IEEE and ACM.
Dr. Ivan Rech
Dr. Ivan Rech
Ivan Rech is an associate professor in the Department of Electronics and Information and Biongegneria (DEIB) of Politecnico di Milano. Here he focuses on the single-photon detection both from the device point of view and related to all the integrated/discrete electronics connected to it up to its end-use applications. Within this site you will find information about not only his career but also his current activities and about the chance to work with him as undergraduates / PhD students or post-doc.
Rolands Cepurītis is a civil engineer with more than 10 years of practical experience in construction, filler, cement and concrete production. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and has a degree in science from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), where he is currently an associate professor.
Rudi Tielemans is the founder and CEO of UniWeb. He has a background in Sportscience, Medicine, Biostatistics and Medical informatics. Over the last 20 years, Rudi and his company specialized in tailored web and mobile applications for Healthcare and Pharma. Rudi Tielemans is an expert in regulatory requirements for both Clinical Trials software and Software as a Medical Device for Healthcare. UniWeb is also involved in several EU funded medical device projects and operates from offices in Belgium and Latvia.
Jānis Geduševs chemist at industrial waste water treatment plant JSC “Grindeks” with Bsc, Environmental Engineer from Avans University (The Netherlands) and Msc. Sustainable Technologies KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). With the expertise in industrial wastewater treatment, renewable energy sources, sustainable technologies and smart cities.
Space activist. The president of Latvian Space Industry Association. Entrepreneur. Science Communicator. Mentoring CleanTech start-ups. 15 years of experience in Training and Consulting – sales skills development, sales process organization, production optimization, supply chain management, business creativity, system behavior.
Āris Jansons is senior researcher at Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”. Leader of the development of tree breeding program for main commercial tree species in Latvia, now being implemented in practice, producing seed material for regeneration of ⁓10000 ha annually. Currently main research topics are related to forest adaptation (natural disturbances: wind and fire) – development of forest wind resistance models and recommendations for establishment and management of resilient stands. Assessment and modelling of carbon balance in old-growth forest and forest originating from improved plant material. Associated professor in Forestry faculty, director of Forestry PhD program.
Karina Sotnik is the director of business incubation and acceleration prorams at University City Science Center, Philadelphia. She is leader with over a decade of experience creating entrepreneurial ecosystems through innovating programs with significant economic impact. Extensive experience in Academic Innovation, Incubation, Acceleration and Global Soft-Landing for startups, universities, and international organizations.
Serial entrepreneur with the ability to launch and coach entrepreneurs to scale, and lead start-up operations, identify and secure key joint ventures, funding, and orchestrate and oversee worldwide operations.
EBAN Space Chairman, exponential thinker, futurist, serial entrepreneur, business angel investor, trusted advisor, public speaker and sought mentor who successfully founded, co-founded or participated in the launch of multiple companies which created hundreds of jobs and generated multi-million revenues.
Phone: +371 67039454