All Speakers

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.

Igor Beuker

Igor Beuker

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

Rick Tumlinson

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

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia.

Ilga Šuplinska

Ilga Šuplinska

Ilga Šuplinska, Minister for Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia.

Reinis Znotiņš

Reinis Znotiņš

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia, Member of the Parliament of Latvia, Member of Budget and Finance Committee, European Affairs Committee, Economics, Energy and Innovation Committee of the Baltic Assembly; Chairman of IT and innovations subcommittee.

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.

Ana Avaliani

Ana Avaliani

Ana Avaliani is the Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development 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.

Dr. Inese Čakstiņa

Dr. Inese Čakstiņa

A scientist studying the hard to see world with uncovered eyes – the human cells and all about them. Working at the Riga Stradiņš University Oncology Institute. During her career she has also gained extensive experience working in artificial fertilization clinics.

Kaspars Rožkalns

Kaspars Rožkalns

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.

Karina Sotnik

Karina Sotnik

Karina Sotnik is the director of business incubation and acceleration programs 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.

Lauma Mužniece

Lauma Mužniece

Lauma is the Director of Technology Department 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.

Dr. Piret Tõnurist

Dr. Piret Tõnurist

Dr. Piret Tõnurist is the Senior Project Manager at the OECD. She leads three programs in the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) in systems thinking, measurement and anticipatory innovation governance.
Piret works towards aligning foresight and futures work with the everyday innovation practice in the public sector. She also holds a research fellowship at Taltech and does research in in organizational studies, public sector innovation, technology governance, digitalisation and decision-making under uncertainty. She has previously advised the Parliament of Estonia and helped build up the innovation team for the State Audit Office.
She has worked together with innovation teams and labs around the world. Piret holds a PhD and MA from TalTech in technology governance and MSc from KU Leuven in policy evaluation.

Nikolai Adamovitch

Nikolai Adamovitch

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

Ilona Gulchak

Ilona Gulchak

Ilona Gulchak, MBA – an executive and an entrepreneur with extensive experience in finance, investments and management. Spent 20+ years in the banking industry, including 10 years as a Chairperson of the Board at Baltic International Bank, presently continuing at the Supervisory board.
Actively engaged in deep-tech, managing investment, supporting science commercialization and helping new enterprises to bring value. Part of Commercialization Reactor’s team.

Dr. Josef Aschbacher

Dr. Josef Aschbacher

Dr. Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General
Josef Aschbacher is Austrian space researcher, worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, where he was the Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Space Applications Institute, being responsible for scientific strategy and resource allocation. During last 15 years he became Head of the Copernicus Space, promoted to Head of Programme Planning and Coordination at ESRIN and in 2016 he was appointed as Director of Earth Observation Programmes.
Josef Aschbacher became the ESA Director General on 1 March 2021.

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.

Frank Maximilian Salzgeber

Frank Maximilian Salzgeber

As Head of Innovation and Ventures Office at European Space Agency, Frank is overseeing the largest Space Entrepreneurship network in the world. His team has initiated over 370 industry transfers, supported over 1000 start-ups. He supports the exploitation of the ESA patent portfolio and promotes the ESA BA (Business Applications) offer of ESA which have supported additional overt 600 business cases. In the next 3 years ESA Space Solutions will invest 220 Mio Euro in Seed.
Before joining ESA, Frank held the position of Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO and CFO) for an IT start-up, headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company was merged with CANCOM SA.
Frank also spent seven years at Apple Computer as an account and sales manager, responsible for Central Europe. He was positioned in Germany, the US and the Czech Republic.

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.

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.

Gearoid Mooney

Gearoid Mooney

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.

Fabrice Testa

Fabrice Testa

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.

PhD Kajsa M. Paulsson

PhD Kajsa M. Paulsson

Kajsa M. Paulsson, PhD in Tumor immunology at Lund University
Kajsa M Paulsson leads a research group at Experimental Medical Science, Lund University focusing on antigen presentation in relation to both immunotherapy and molecular mechanisms. She has a PhD in tumor immunology from Lund University and after a postdoc at University College of London she set up her own research group at University of Copenhagen before coming back to Lund University as principal investigator.
She has a proven track-record in strategic development of research infrastructures as well as leading cross-border and cross-disciplinary multi-partner projects. KMP is the board member of e.g., Lund Institute of Advanced X-ray and Neutron Sciences (LINXS), Lund Protein Production Platform (LP3), director of Microscopy Community Lund University and a panel member and consultant for educational and infrastructure initiatives at Lund University such as the research school ‘Imaging of 3D structures’ and ‘Life Science Microfluidics platform’. KMP is the project manager of Hanseatic League of Science (HALOS) building a unique collaboration between Hamburg and South-West Scandinavia, bringing together the four unique research facilities MAX IV, ESS, DESY and European XFEL, and creating a centre for integrated, world-leading Life Science innovation and research. HALOS funds projects with high innovation potential through a model developed for cross-border collaborations involving use of new techniques. KMP has also a strong engagement in horizontal criteria and management and is frequently engaged in e.g., panel debates and as a lecturer on topics ranging from life science research infrastructures to sustainability and other horizontal criteria.

Dr. Rosario Pavone

Dr. Rosario Pavone

Rosario Pavone is the Sectretary at SME4SPACE. SME4SPACE is the Panel of Space SME Associations of the ESA Member States and ESA cooperating States as well as of European Union Member States.

Andris Grunskis

Andris Grunskis

Andris Grunskis is a Head of Embryology Laboratory at IVF Riga. 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. Thomas Kostka

Dr. Thomas Kostka

Head of Corporate Venturing at ALTANA AG.
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 held the position of a Senior Investment Manager for Adhesive Technologies at Henkel Ventures before joining ALTANA in 2020 as Head of Corporate Venturing.

Rudi Tielemans

Rudi Tielemans

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.

Pauls Irbins

Pauls Irbins

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.

Dr. Juris Šteinbergs

Dr. Juris Šteinbergs

Molecular Biologist, Medical Director of the AmberLife Clinic, TV Anchor.

Jānis Kondrāts

Jānis Kondrāts

Jānis Kondrāts is Co-Founder and CEO of Exonicus. He has been working as the CTO at Exonicus since 2015. He believes in using new technologies for the benefit of people, not the other way around.

Mansour Esmaeil Zaei

Mansour Esmaeil Zaei

Mansour Esmaeil Zaei is the project coordinator at EIT Food RIS Research Infrastructure Network (RIS RIN) and EIT Food research fellow at EIT Food Government Executive Academy (GEA), providing insights into new agri-food technologies, mission-oriented innovation policies for the food system, and best practices in leveraging publicly funded research infrastructures relevant to the contemporary agri-food system for industrially oriented R&D and entrepreneurship, to representatives of the public sector in Southern and Eastern Europe countries, covered by the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS), through a science-industry consortium coordinated by the University of Warsaw.
Prior to joining the RIS RIN and GEA, Mansour worked at the Technology Transfer Centre of the University of Warsaw (UOTT UW) as a technology deployment manager, supporting scientists throughout the whole commercialization path – from the idea, through filing a patent application, to establishing a spin-off company, selling a license or a single transfer of rights, and acquiring investment. Mansour also serves on the editorial advisory board of the Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies (EEMCS).

Rafael Lucas Rodriguez

Rafael Lucas Rodriguez

Rafael Lucas has more than 30 years of experience in satellite navigation. After several years managing R&D activities in this domain, he was responsible for the definition studies of the EGNOS and Galileo projects at the European Space Agency and for managing the GNSS Evolutions Programme. He has been also responsible for Galileo service engineering activities leading to the successful introduction of the Galileo initial services. Currently he is Head of the Technical Programme Office of the Navigation Innovation and Support Programme, the ESA programme to support European industry succeeding in the highly competitive and rapidly-evolving global market for satellite navigation, and more broadly Positioning, Navigation and Timing technologies and services, while supporting the ESA Member States in enhancing their national objectives and capabilities in the sector. Rafael Lucas graduated in Telecommunications Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia at Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Prof. Maija Dambrova

Dr. Prof. 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.

Paweł Bochniarz

Paweł Bochniarz

Serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and expert in commercialization of new technologies
Alumnus of Economics studies at the Warsaw University and an Advanced Management Program at IESE Business School. Expert and adviser experienced in the field of startups creation and acceleration.
Chairman of MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. www.mitefcee.org. MIT EF CEE is one of the largest acceleration programs in Central and Eastern Europe focused on deep tech startups. MIT EF is a 40-year old not for profit organization originally established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). Today MITEF has chapters in major cities in the U.S.A and a growing number outside of the U.S., including many in emerging markets. MIT EF informs, connects, and coaches technology entrepreneurs—enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies. We are a global network of local organizations, inspired by MIT, and open to the world.
CEO at ValueTech Seed Fund. www.valuetech.pl. Valuetech is a seed fund investing in early stage deep tech startups. Valuetech Seed is based in Warsaw, Poland.
Previously, Paweł Bochniarz was a Director at PwC, Strategic Advisor to the PM of the Republic of Poland and a Co-founder of Coalition For Polish Innovations

Diāna Lāce-Davidova

Diāna Lāce-Davidova

Dealflow manager at Superangel. Previously leading Latvian Startup Association and managing investments at Overkill Ventures.
Founder of Global Shapers Riga (powered by World Economic Forum). Also teaching entrepreneurship at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.

Mārtiņš Daugulis

Mārtiņš Daugulis

Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Riga Stradins University. Political scientist, social anthropologist, researcher and journalist at the Latvian Institute of Foreign Policy. Runs the consulting company “Growth & Intelligence”, which provides education and consulting services. Mārtiņš Daugulis spends all his free time following the latest technology trends around the world and how they interact with human nature. He also organizes informative and educational activities and discussions in the field of technology&humanities. An experienced conference, forum and seminar moderator.

Mārtiņš Ražuks - Ebels

Mārtiņš Ražuks - Ebels

A deep-tech start-up founder and technology enthusiast on the lookout for that next big something.

Olga Barreto Goncalves

Olga Barreto Goncalves

Olga holds BSc in Economics and Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and MSc in Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment from the Norwegian School of Economics. Having worked in the real estate, investment banking and renewable energy sectors, she gradually gravitated towards entrepreneurship, innovation and tech4good. After nearly a decade spent in South East Asia, Olga returned home in 2016 to become a Chief Startup Instigator at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, where until July 2020 she was leading StartupLatvia team, a governmental taskforce to design startup support instruments and promote local innovation ecosystem globally. Currently Olga is involved in various pan-European projects aimed at nurturing cross-country innovation/startup ecosystems.

Emīls Sjundjukovs

Emīls Sjundjukovs

Connecting the power of computing with needs of healthcare for a brighter future.

Ģirts Ozoliņš

Ģirts Ozoliņš

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.

Pavels Razmajevs

Pavels Razmajevs

Chief Operating Officer at Eventech and TimeTag.Space. Pavels Razmajevs holds Bachelor degree in Internation Business and Administration from Fontys Hogeschool Venlo. Has international experience in Sales and Financial Advisory domains.

Jānis Jātnieks

Jānis Jātnieks

Founder and CEO of Baltic3D
Janis has worked with additive manufacturing since early 2013. He is founder and the CEO of Baltic3D and its sister company AM Craft. The team behind these companies has created one of the biggest industrial 3D printing centers in Europe with focus on manufacturing custom components for aerospace, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Using the company’s infrastructure and engineering expertise together with WIDE Virtual Prosthetics & Orthotics clinic, Baltic3D has produced hundreds of custom medical devices, including braces, casts, orthotics and surgical planning tools.

Dr. Baiba Pētersone

Dr. Baiba Pētersone

Dr. Baiba Pētersone has held the position of Director of International Department at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) in Latvia since December 2014. She is responsible for the University’s internationalisation strategy, including its collaboration with the Health KIC at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. In 2018 she, along with other colleagues, established EIT Health Hub in Latvia that seeks to strengthen the healthcare eco-system in the region. Her experience in higher education spans 15 years during which she has held various administrative, teaching and research positions at several universities. Before joining RSU, she was at Middlesex University in London, Zayed University in Dubai and the University of Maryland College Park in the USA. Prior to her career in higher education, she worked in the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C., including The U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation and The Johns Hopkins University’s American Institute for Contemporary German Studies. She earned a master’s degree at the University of Maryland College Park and holds the doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Georgia, both in the United States.

Prof. Dr. Bastian Halecker

Prof. Dr. Bastian Halecker

Professor Dr. Bastian Halecker has been working for many years at the
interface between corporates and tech startups in Berlin (Germany).
Through his versatile activities as entrepreneur, business angel and
advisory board as well as one of the youngest entrepreneurship professors
in Germany, he is able to connect the world of established companies with
the world of young startups like no other. In the meantime, he has
(co)founded several startups, supervised and managed more than 35 projects
in (deep) tech context and is the founding partner of the German Deep Tech Institute.

Ilze Zaharāne

Ilze Zaharāne

Ilze Zaharāne is founder of CheeksUp and a certified speech and language therapist in her own private practice. CheeksUp is a computer game for speech therapy homework. Ilze started her entrepreneurial journey by experimenting with 3D cameras and facial recognition as a tool for automatization. That led her to the accelerator in USA and social impact Grant from Dubai. Later through testing and development, she researched how to use technology to deliver engaging interaction for preschool-age children to substitute the creative, but repetitive work at speech therapy sessions. With CeeksUp families can do quality training at home and with that increase the therapy efficiency up to 3x times.

Prof. Dr. Christian Bressler

Prof. Dr. Christian Bressler

Christian Bressler is Leading Scientist at European XFEL and Professor of Physics at the University of Hamburg. He has been developing the field of ultrafast x-ray science over the past 20 years at several synchrotron and free electron laser facilities. He received his PhD from the Free university of Berlin, and spent his postdoctoral period at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. He relocated to Switzerland, where he became 2002 assistant professor for physics at the University of Lausanne and then at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). In 2009 he moved to Hamburg as Leading Scientist and designed, implemented and inaugurated the Femtosecond X-Ray Experiments Instrument at European XFEL, while pursuing a rigorous research programme in structural dynamics research. This was accompanied by several research campaigns with his group at several FEL and SR facilities leading to an improved instrument design. He has served on several national and international advisory boards, and connected to the scientific community via more than 180 invited presentations and more than 80 publications. His current research interests include structural dynamics of functional molecular materials with an emphasis on understanding their emergent behavior and the influence of solvent molecules surrounding reacting molecules during the ongoing ultrafast reaction.

Artis Ozoliņš

Artis Ozoliņš

Event host, freelance communication consultant and creator of technology podcast #DigitālāsBrokastis (#DigitalBreakfast).
Logical and structured thinking and an IT background established with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Computer Science from Latvijas Universitate. Practical knowledge in PR is currently being strengthened at Riga Stradins’ university Strategic Management and Public Relations Masters Degree program.

Sven Lilla

Sven Lilla

Sven Lilla is Head of Operations for ESA BIC Estonia with background in technology transfer and business consulting for 10 years. He has worked as a business relations coordinator for the University of Tartu for 7 years. For the last 3 years he has been responsible for daily activities of the ESA BIC Estonia and mentoring its companies. Photo is in attachment.

Paul Liias

Paul Liias

Mr Paul Liias is Head of Space at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication. Paul has created the Estonian Space Policy and Program 2020-2027. Today he is working on Estonian national space legislation and a decentralized e-government solution for Space Traffic Management. Paul is part of the Estonian delegation to ESA and European Union Space Programme.
He has been engaged in various roles in the space sector for past 13 years. In 2008 Paul joined the first Estonian satellite project ESTCube-1 and lead the development of mechanical systems. After the successful launch of ESTCube-1 in 2013 Paul continued as an entrepreneur in the space sector until 2016 when he joined the ministry.

Līva Pērkone

Līva Pērkone

Liva is the co-founder and CEO at Helve, a consulting business helping ambitious companies drive open innovation through partnerships with the startup ecosystem. She is a Member of the Board at TechChill Foundation, and has been actively involved in the startup ecosystem in Latvia, rooting for Baltic tech on a global scale. She has a background of a decade in marketing and business consulting.

Rolands Bogdanovs

Rolands Bogdanovs

Rolands is the acting Director of the freshly established Investment and Tourism Agency of Riga, which will seek to attract foreign direct investment and improve the business environment; recover and develop tourism; as well as advance Riga’s global recognizability through digital marketing campaigns, cooperation with local and international partners and climbing in global competitiveness indexes.

Stephen Airey

Stephen Airey

Stephen (aka Phil) is the Head of Section for New, Associate and Cooperating States where he is in charge of the team tasked with developing space capabilities and compentences in countries wanting to become member states of ESA and ensuring the smooth transition of those states towards that goal while helping them to realise their space strategies. He was educated as an Astrophysicist but has spent the last 21 years working for the European Space Agency, firstly as an Attitude and Orbit Control engineer responsible for sensor and actuator development before moving to his current position.

Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Leister

Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Leister

Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang Leister is assistant research director at Norsk Regnesentral (Norwegian Computing Centre, NR) in the department for ICT-Research. His research interests include human-machine interaction and user engagement, healthcare applications, smart information systems, and social robotics. He received his Dr. rer.nat. degree from the University of Karlsruhe (now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT) on a thesis within informatics in 1991. He has also worked as development engineer in an SME within metrology. He is the author of over 70 scientific articles, and he has participated in a variety of both academic and innovation-based projects.
Norsk Regnesentral (Norwegian Computing Center, NR) is a private, independent, non-profit foundation established in 1952. NR carries out contract research and development projects in the areas of information and communication technology and applied statistical modelling. The clients are a broad range of industrial, commercial and public service organizations in the national as well as the international market. Our scientific and technical capabilities are further developed in co-operation with The Research Council of Norway and key customers. The results of our projects may take the form of reports, software, prototypes, and short courses.

David Holm-Glad

David Holm-Glad

Investment Manager for DigitalWell Ventures. Venture Builder, Angel Investor, Startup Mentor and founder of Venture Studio Xplorico in Oslo.

Mārcis Donerblics

Mārcis Donerblics

Mārcis Donerblics works at the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre, Ventspils University College and does research in Electronic Engineering, satellite technologies and RF solutions

Michael Drexler

Michael Drexler

Michael Drexler is Chief Strategy Officer for Brightstar Capital Partners, a U.S. private equity firm partnering with enterprises run by families, founders and entrepreneurs. His prior career spans senior roles with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, the World Economic Forum and Barclays. Michael holds a degree in electrical engineering and a doctorate in mathematics.

Reinis Āzis

Reinis Āzis

Reinis Āzis is Deputy Director General of LIAA. Reinis has a broad background in energy management and investment. His current responsibilities include investment, innovation and financial instruments.
Before joining LIAA HQ he was the Head of LIAA representative office in London, UK, and prior held various positions in private energy sector in fields of energy retail, engineering projects and renewables.
He is passionate about entrepreneurial discovery process via various ecosystems, while exploring change management and risk resilience. Particularly in the fields of innovation investment, energy and political economy.
Reinis holds a degree from King’s College, University of London, and currently is finalizing his PhD thesis in energy engineering at Riga Technical University.

Stefan Skoglund

Stefan Skoglund

Innovation Manager for DigitalWell Ventures. Multi-entrepreneur and Business Developer specialized in Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship.

Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema

Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema

Currently heading Latvian office for Innovation and Technology in Brussels with its main purpose to promote Latvian innovation excellence and to advise and support for European Cooperation. Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema is passionate about promoting Latvia abroad for 20 years in various roles. Being a Latvian diplomat, she matches Latvian companies and research institutions with EU funded programmes in Brussels. Until April 2021 she advised Latvian and Dutch business in the Netherlands.

Dr. Andis Šlaitas

Dr. Andis Šlaitas

20 years of professional experience in drug research and development, scientific and commercial project lead, sales and business lead, scientific research commercialization.
3 years experience as research, development, and manufacturing complex construction chief. Director – general for one of Sweden’s largest drug developers (2011-2013). Andis has a master degree in engineering from Riga Technical University and Medical biochemistry PhD from Karolinska Institute. Guest lecturer at Riga Technical University and the University of Latvia. Co-author of several patents.

Donatas Mishkinis

Donatas Mishkinis

Engineering Manager and Principal Designer with vast, more than 25 years of experience in developing innovative, customer-oriented products, systems and solutions for electronics thermal management. Main competency is two-phase heat transfer/exchange systems (heat pipes, loop heat pipes, vapor chambers, mechanically pumped loops, etc.): R&D, Analysis, Design, Manufacturing & Testing.

Lev Lapkis

Lev Lapkis

Member of the Board of Latvian Space Industry Association

Kalvis Salmiņš

Kalvis Salmiņš

Director of the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Latvia

Dainis Jakovels

Dainis Jakovels

Leading Researcher at Institute for Environmental Solutions

Suzanne Håkansson

Suzanne Håkansson

Suzanne Håkansson, Senior Director Government Affairs Europe and Nordic
Suzanne joined AstraZeneca in 2010 as Government Affairs Director for Sweden. From 2014 she was the VP Healthcare Affairs, responsible for market access, cornerstone brands, communication and policy for the Nordic and Baltic marketing company and in 2018 she joined Corporate Affairs for a combined global and Nordic role.
Policy development and public-private partnership for innovation and patient centricity is at heart of Suzanne’s current role, one example being the build of and engagement in VisionZeroCancer together with other partnersS.
Before joining AstraZeneca Suzanne has held several positions with focus on policy and policy intelligence, among those leading the Science Attaché network at the Swedish Institute of Growth Policy Studies and at the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.

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

Alex Pospekhov

Alex Pospekhov

A successful entrepreneur and strategic communication expert with a public service background for US Department of State. I was the first guy who received startup visa in the 2018, just after the Startup Law was passed. Since then helping Latvian startup ecosystem to growth & shine.

Dr. sc. ing. Uģis Cābulis

Dr. sc. ing. Uģis Cābulis

Director of Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry
Polyurethane chemistry and technology. Rigid polyurethane foams as thermal insulation materials. Polyurethanes from renewable raw materials, mainly available in northern Europe: rapeseed oil, tall oil, lignin. Polyurethane foams as a cryogenic insulation material for the storage of liquefied gases. Cooperation with the European Space Agency.

Contacts

E-mail: deeptechatelier@liaa.gov.lv
Phone: +371 67039454