new era, presidency conference

26-27 October 2021

Brdo Congress Center, Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia

new era, presidency conference

26-27 October 2021

Brdo Congress Centre, Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia

Speakers Day 1


Igor E.

Igor E. Bergant is a multi-award winning Slovenian journalist. He started his media career as a sports commentator at the public broadcaster TVS, but later switched to world news. Since 2011, he has been the host of the daily late evening news programme on TVS Channel One. He is a regular presenter and master of ceremonies at major national and international conferences. In 2020, he received the Reader's Digest Trusted Brand Award for the most trustworthy TV personality in Slovenia, based on a market survey of a representative sample of the Slovenian population.


Eva is basically run by Python and C. She is very capable. She can calculate with the help of a book. She can calculate equations and also knows how to set up random equations herself and in the end tells us the solution. If we choose the easier way, it tells us the results by addition and subtraction. Medium difficulty contains multiplication. However, if we choose difficult equations, she combines addition, subtraction and multiplication. She can recognize animals from the book and imitates them. She knows how to imitate Elon Musk very well. Of course, she also knows how to dance, walk and perform tai chi.

Conference opening


Mariya Gabriel is a Bulgarian politician and a member of the GERB party serving as European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth since 2019.
Her tasks among others is ensuring full implementation of the Horizon Europe programme, working with Member States, the research community, civil society and other Commissioners. As part of this, ensuring sufficient investment flows to disruptive research and breakthrough innovations, notably through the European Innovation Council. Working with Member States to build a true European Research Area in which we pull together all national and European efforts. And ensuring that research, policy and economic priorities go hand in hand.


Professor Simona Kustec is the Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport. She also serves as a full professor at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences. Prof. Kustec is a political sciences researcher, with a rich and diverse body of work, and is involved in several research project groups in Slovenia and abroad.
The common thread of her research was the study of elections and electoral behaviour, democracy and various public policies, including sports policy. She was an established name in numerous professional scientific networks and associations and a respected member of the academic and research community.

Ministerial policy roundtable



Jean-Eric Paquet became Director-General of DG Research and Innovation on 1st April 2018; his involvement in EU research policy dates back from 2002, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of Philippe Busquin, then Commissioner in charge of Research and Development. He also worked in DG Transport, where he led the development of the Trans-European Transport Network Policy. He was also EU Ambassador in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania from 2004 to 2007. Between 2015 and 2018, he was the Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission in charge of Better Regulation and Policy Coordination.
In all his endeavours, he puts co-creation and systemic change at the heart of the decision-making process, and strongly believes that citizens should be more involved in shaping public policy agendas.



Manuel Heitor has been the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal since November 2015. From March 2005 to June 2011, he served as Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education.
Manuel Heitor is full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, IST, in Lisbon, and was the founder and director of the IST´s “Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research”, and director of the IST´s doctoral Programs in “Engineering and Public Policy, EPP” and in “Engineering Design”. In 2011-12 he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard and since 1995, a Research Fellow of the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin.


Professor Simona Kustec is the Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport. She also serves as a full professor at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences. Prof. Kustec is a political sciences researcher, with a rich and diverse body of work, and is involved in several research project groups in Slovenia and abroad.
The common thread of her research was the study of elections and electoral behaviour, democracy and various public policies, including sports policy. She was an established name in numerous professional scientific networks and associations and a respected member of the academic and research community.


Before being appointed Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in 2017, Frédérique Vidal was President of the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (UNS), since 2012. She holds a a Ph.D. from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, where she was recruited as a lecturer in 1995. Since 2004, she has been a university professor in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology at the UNS. She was also deputy director of the life sciences department from 2007 to 2009. She was previously in charge of internships, then assistant director of the pharmacology master's degree. She was an external member of the Inserm regional scientific council from 1999 to 2003. She has been a member of the jury for the Master's degree in virology at the U.P.M.C.-Paris Diderot-Institut Pasteur since 2004. She was co-leader of the European Tempus project on the implementation of the 3 cycle system in the Balkans, from 2006 to 2009.


Mr Pavel Doleček has been working at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) since 2014, from 2015 to 2016 as Head of the Conceptual Unit of Higher Education Institutions. From 2016 to 2017, he served as Vice-Deputy Minister of the Higher Education, Science and Research Section. Since the end of 2017 he was in the position of Acting Deputy Minister, officially appointed Deputy Minister in July 2019. He is in charge of conception and realization of higher education, research and development policy under the authority of the MEYS, including international bilateral and multilateral cooperation, legislative framework and funding policy. He currently holds a position in a number of governing boards. Prior to joining the MEYS, he dealt with pedagogical, publishing and research activities.


Wilfried Kraus, is coming from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). He studied law in Cologne and started his career in 1988 at the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology (BMFT). From November 2006 until August 2009 he has been Head of the Education and Research Division of the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU.


Matilda Ernkrans is a Swedish politician of the Social Democratic Party. She has been a member of the Riksdag since 2006 and a replacement member of the Riksdag from 2002 to 2006. She was appointed Minister for Higher Education and Research on 21 January 2019 and is responsible for Higher education, Research, Student finance and Space issues.
She studied at Örebro University and holds a university degree in political science and sociology.

Address by the special guest


Helga Nowotny is Professor emerita of Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich and former President of the European Research Council. She has been Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria from 2013-2019. She has held teaching and research positions at universities and research institutions in several countries in Europe and has been actively engaged in research and innovation policy at European and international level during her entire professional career. Among other she received honorary doctorates from the University of Oxford and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Her latest publication “In AI we Trust. Power, Illusion and Control of Predictive Algorithms” has been published by Polity Press in September 2021.

Panel 1 – Journey to new ERA



Karina Angelieva is a former Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria. During the Bulgarian Presidency in the first half of 2018 she chaired the Council’s Research Working Party and led the discussions on the future of EU Research and Innovation. Angelieva has a long-term experience in international and EU research programme initiatives having been directly responsible for the National Strategy on Research Development and the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. Karina was involved in the coordination, preparation and management of different projects and initiatives related to the development and deployment of new applications and services in the field of R&I, research infrastructure, technology transfer, career development and mobility of researchers, etc. Karina Angelieva has an academic background in Contemporary History and European Integration. Ms. Angelieva is a founder of the Club of Young Scientists in Bulgaria.



A lawyer by training (PhD (1995), KU Leuven), Kurt Deketelaere is working, in various capacities, in the field of EU research, innovation, education, energy, environment, climate change and sustainability policy and law. As a director, Kurt is on the board of MRBB, AIF, Arvesta, VITO, and M-Tech. He also acts as an advisor to Eneco Belgium, Crowdhelix, and Humanitas University. Furthermore, Kurt chairs Sustainability College Bruges, and is still full professor of environmental, energy, climate and construction law at KU Leuven. Last but not least, Kurt is Secretary-General of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) since 2009.

Bello Mora

Miguel Belló is CEO of the Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre), international organization to develop scientific and technological applications in the Atlantic region. Miguel has been entrepreneur in the European Space sector involved in the management of International Space Programs and Institutions.
Miguel is Full Member for Section 2 (Engineering Sciences) of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Member of the Astrodynamics Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Chairman of the Mission and Constellation Design Session of the IAC Astrodynamics Symposium. Miguel was Member of the European Space Agency Space Debris Advisory Group (SDAG) and Invited Professor on Space Debris Environment at the Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and Celestial Mechanics at La Sapienza University in Rome.


Prof. Lenarčič received Ph.D. degree from the University of Ljubljana. He has been employed at J. Stefan Institute since 1979, where he held the position of Head of the Robotics Laboratory, Head of the Department of Automatics, Biocybernetics and Robotics and Director of the Institute. He is Full Professor at the University of Ljubljana and collaborates with the University of Bologna. He is Full (Founding) Member of the Slovenian Academy of Engineering and Corresponding Member of the Accademia delle Scienze di Bologna. Prof. Lenarčič serves in national and international committees, among these the Executive Board of EARTO.

Maria da
Graça Carvalho

Maria da Graça Carvalho is currently a member of the European Parliament. She was a senior advisor of Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, from November 2014 to December 2015. Previously, she was a member of the European Parliament, between July 2009 and May 2014. In that capacity, she was one of the rapporteurs of Horizon 2020. She was also Principal Adviser to President Barroso in the fields of Science, Higher Education, Innovation, Research Policy, Energy, Environment and Climate Change from 2006 to 2009. She served as a Minister of Science and Higher Education of the XV Constitutional Government of Portugal and Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education of the XVI Constitutional Government. She is a Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon).


Stephane Berghmans is the EUA Director of Research and Innovation. He joined the Association in 2020 after working for Elsevier since 2013 as Vice President of Academic Relations in Brussels, responsible for strategic relationships and partnerships with research organisations and EU institutions. Prior to this, Stephane worked for the European Science Foundation as Head of the Biomedical Sciences Unit, managing the secretariat general for the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC) with activities in science management, policy and strategy. He is a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine who obtained his PhD in genetics and molecular biology at the University of Liege (Belgium).


Anna Panagopoulou is Director of ‘European Research Area & Innovation’ at the Research and Innovation Directorate General of the European Commission. She is responsible together with her teams to co-create with Member States and stakeholders policies to shape a globally competitive European research and innovation system that is open, performant, cohesive and conducive to transformative innovation for a sustainable future. She has been working in the Commission in various policy and management roles for 24 years. She holds a master degree in electrical engineering and has a long professional experience in private and public sector.


Dr. Paul Ruebig, born in Wels (Upper Austria), was member of the European Parliament from 1996 to 2019 and belonged to the European People's Party (EPP). He is married and has two children.
In the European Parliament Paul Ruebig was full member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Budgets. In addition, he was substitute member of the Committee on Development and in the Committee on International Trade. He was the Chairman of STOA (Panel for the Future of Science and Technology), an official body of the European Parliament that is supported by external experts such as universities, scientists or research institutes.
Paul Ruebig is very active in the field of the small-scale business promotion. He is president of SME Global, a working group of the International Democrat Union (IDU), whose objective it is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and to improve their business environment.
In 2019 Paul Ruebig was appointed to the Advisory Board of Rübig Holding GmbH. He is also member of the Governing Board of the EIT (European Institute of Innovation & Technology) and member of the European Economic and Social Committee.


Berthold Neizert received his diploma in physics from the Technische Universität München in 1986. He continued his physics studies as a PhD student at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, from which he graduated in 1990. During his PhD studies at LMU Munich he also worked as a doctoral assistant (1986 – 1989) and scientific staff member (1989 – 1991) at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in the field of laser and atomic physics. In 1991, he was promoted to Head of Administration and Technical Services of MPQ. In 1996, he became Head of the Unit for International Relations of Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society. Since 2011, Berthold Neizert is holding the position as Head of the Department for Research Policy and External Relations at Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society.