Speakers October 18, 2017

How can regions and the EU join forces to scale up innovations?


Ivar Diekerhof

Ivar Diekerhof is specialised in urban planning and renewal. Being leader at Woningbouwatelier Almere, he coordinates the Wikihouse project, the first open and digital building system to bring about a digital revolution in the way we built homes. This project is commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Central Government Real Estate Agency and the Municipality of Almere. Besides, he is also a consultant in urban renewal, property development and co-housing at KAW and project leader in restructuring neighbourhood projects.


Mikael Edelstam

Mikael Edelstam is owner and CEO of Miljöstrategi AB (Environmental Strategies), a consultancy company focused on sustainable city development, as well as strategic advice on cleantech and sustainable business. He has worked with business strategy and sustainable business development as well as cleantech innovation and export for both the business sector and public sector since the late 80’s. For several years he has been the coordinator for development and internationalisation of the smart sustainable cities program in Region Skåne’s (Sweden) new innovation strategy, and took part in setting up new innovation platforms for sustainable cities in Malmö. He also used to be the Chair of the Working Group on Financing and market uptake in the EU Smart City Stakeholder Platform and an expert for the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC).


Udo Kock

Udo Kock is Vice-Mayor at the Muncipality of Amsterdam and is responsible for finance, decentralisation, water management and the district of Amsterdam-West. He is also member of the board at the Waternet Association. Before becoming the Vice-Mayor in Amsterdam, he fulfilled several positions at the International Monetary Fund (IMF): he worked as an economist for Iraq and Pakistan and was the Permanent Representative for the Palestine territories. He was also a University lecturer in Open Finance at the Free University in Amsterdam and worked as a consultant for the World Bank.


Pirita Lindholm

In September 2017, Pirita Lindholm became the director of the ERRIN network. ERRIN is a European platform of more than 120 regional stakeholders and organisations and promotes knowledge exchange between its members, focusing on joint actions and project partnerships to strengthen regional research and innovation capacities. Through these actions ERRIN seeks to contribute to the implementation of, among other things, the Europe 2020 Strategy. Before becoming ERRIN director, Pirita Lindholm was director at the Climate Alliance in Brussels. As director she was engaged in local climate and energy initiatives, took care of the European policy advocacy on behalf of the members of Climate Alliance, was the Vice-chair of the European Commission Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on Energy and the Climate Alliance contact point for the United Nations Framework Programme for Climate Change (UNFCCC).


John Nederstigt

John Nederstigt is Vice-Mayor at the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer and is responsible for sustainability, environment, knowledge and innovation, youth and education. Besides this, he is as Amsterdam Economic Board member responsible for Circular Economy. Before becoming the Vice-Mayor of Haarlemmermeer, he was project manager at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, business unit manager at the Tomin Group and commercial director at the PCH Group.


Ronald van Roeden

Ronald van Roeden joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1985. Since July 2017 he is the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the European Union. Before taking up this position in the Ministry of Foreign affairs, he was the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry and Dutch Ambassador to Norway and Iceland.


Anne-Marie Sassen

Anne-Marie Sassen is Deputy Head of the “Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry” unit in DG CONNECT, European Commission. She coordinates the work of the European Commission, the Member States and Regions in setting up a network of ‘Digital Innovation Hubs’ in Europe. Before taking up her current role, Anne-Marie was a project officer managing research projects in the field of software and services and organising the Future Internet Assembly. Before joining the European Commission, Anne-Marie worked as project manager for Atos in Spain and as a researcher for TNO in the Netherlands.


Robert Schröder

Robert Schröder is Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Moedas, the European Commissioner responsible for Research, Science and Innovation within the European Union. As part of Moedas’s team, Robert Schröder supports him in his daily work. He is responsible for Energy, Climate Action and Resource Efficiency, the Bio economy, Innovation and Regulation and the Environment. He used to work as a Policy Advisor in the Directorate-General of Research and Innovation (DG RTD), the Directorate-General of Environment (DG ENV) and the European Parliament.


Dennis Straat

Dennis Straat is Vice-Mayor at the Municipality of Zaanstad and is responsible for urban planning, economic affairs and tourism, employment and income. As part of this, he is a Climate Ambassador at the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Committee member at the International Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG). He is also governor at the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area for European cooperation and Amsterdam Economic Board member.


Nina Tellegen

Nina Tellegen is director of the Amsterdam Economic Board. Being the director, she supports the Boards mission: strengthening the welfare and wellbeing of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Before this, she was director of the ‘DOEN Foundation’ and the ‘Wemos Foundation’, and member of the board at several other foundations: Waterheuvel, the Refugee Foundation and Stop Aids Now. She was also member of the Supervisory Board at Qurrent and member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam.


Audrie van Veen

Audrie van Veen is European Strategic Advisor at the Amsterdam Economic Board, and blogger at www.europeanologist.eu. Before, she worked as a National Contact Point for European research funding at the Dutch government.  She also  was a lobbyist for the Dutch technological industries (FME-CWM) on innovation. For the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs she worked at the Embassy in Paris as diplomatic Attaché for Science & Technology.


Ad van Vugt

Ad van Vugt is a sustainable entrepreneur and all his ventures have the same common theme: sustainability. He is currently working for Exter – a company that is specialised in making authentic tastes while only using natural products –, searching for strategic partnerships to support Exters long term plan. Next to this he is the director of Algae Innovations, a company that is specialised in breeding algae for specific applications in food without using pesticides or fertilizers.


Franc Weerwind

Franc Weerwind is the Mayor of the Municipality of Almere and is responsible for security, public order, control and enforcement and international relations. Besides this, he is as Amsterdam Economic Board member responsible for Digital Connectivity. Before being the Mayor of Almere, he was the deputy municipal clerk in Leiderdorp and municipal clerk in Wormerland. In 2004 he became the Mayor of Niedorp and in 2009 he became the Mayor Velsen.


Willem van Winden

Willem van Winden is an urban economist specialised in urban innovation and policy. Since 2008 he works as a professor of Urban Economic Innovation at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He is also co-founder and owner of Urban IQ, an international consultancy offering strategic, management and financial solutions for urban policy, he is connected as an urban economist expert to the European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (Euricur) and he is strategic advisor to Urbact, Europe’s largest exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development.