Meet our Speakers


Morning Keynote: October 9

Koenraad Debackere

Koenraad Debackere is a professor of Technology and Innovation Management and Policy at the Faculty of Economics and Business of KU Leuven. He is managing director of KU Leuven Research and Development, the technology transfer organization of KU Leuven. He chairs the board of Gemma Frisius Fonds, the seed fund of BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC and KU Leuven. He has been a board member of technology startups as well as established companies. He focuses on the technology dimension of corporate governance.


Afternoon Keynote: October 9

Ulla Engelmann

Ulla Engelmann is Head of Unit for Clusters, Social Economy and Entrepreneurship within DG GROW, the Directorate General being responsible for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, at the European Commission since March 2017. Previously, she worked at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the in-house science service of European Commission, for many years in different functions. She started in the JRC in Ispra (Italy) in 1993 as a post-doc in fusion research, and moved on to manage various units (communication, international relations, and others) in Ispra and Brussels.


Morning Keynote: October 10


Prof. dr. Elvira Haezendonck is a full-time professor at the Solvay Business School of the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and a part-time professor at the Faculty Business and Economics of the University of Antwerp. She has more than 20 years of expertise in the strategic and policy aspects of competition and the role of infrastructure, as well as the evaluation of port projects and strategies, in particular in the areas of clustering and sustainability. From 2010 to 2018 she was chair holder and co-promoter of the Public-Private Partnership (PPS) Chair at the VUB and since year she leads a chair in Infrastructure Asset Management. Her applied research, including in more than 50 research projects and numerous publications, aims primarily to be practical and policy relevant.