CECIMO Brussels Forum 2023


Opening Remarks

Filip Geerts

Director-General, CECIMO

Filip Geerts is the Director General of CECIMO. He specialises in the management of corporate and governmental affairs departments of companies, national and EU trade associations, and non-profit organizations. He was the deputy-director for the largest Belgian association for the technology industry, the public and regulatory affairs manager for IBM (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and the secretary general for numerous European trade associations. He has degrees from INSEAD Fontainebleau and Singapore, the London School of Economics, Vlerick, the College of Europe, The Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, and the Catholic University of Leuven in commercial engineering

First Keynote Speech

Markus Schulte

Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Iliana Ivanova

Markus Schulte is Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Sport. Prior to this posting, he was since December 2019 Principal Adviser to the Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs. During this time he served as from May 2020 to end 2021 as Board Director at the European Investment Bank and from May 2020 to 2023 as Board Director at the European Investment Fund representing the European Union. From 2021 to 2023 he was Alternate EU Director on the Board for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. From 2013 to 2019 he was Member of Cabinet of EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger in various portfolios, most recently the EU budget. From 1999 to 2005 Schulte worked as staff member at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C in various functions. He holds a PhD in economic history from the London School of Economics.

Conference on Innovative Manufacturing: Paving the Way to a Sustainable Future

Dr. Amaryllis Verhoeven 

Head of Unit for Digital Transformation of Industry, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)

Dr. Amaryllis Verhoeven is Head of Unit for Digital Transformation of Industry in the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) at the European Commission. Before her current position, Dr. Verhoeven held different functions in the EU Commission related to Intellectual Property, Single Market and Energy files. She has also worked as an attorney with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Dr. Verhoeven holds a Ph.D. in law and political philosophy from the University of Leuven, where she is also lecturing on a regular basis.

Thomas Hahn

Vice-Chairman, Gaia-X and Chief Expert Software, Siemens AG

Thomas Hahn is since 2011 Chief Expert Software at Siemens AG. After studying computer science at Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen he joined the company in 1986. Thomas Hahn had several responsibilities in the area of manufacturing such as Head of Software Development for Industrial Automation Systems.Beyond his activities at Siemens, Thomas Hahn is a member or board member of various bodies, including Openlab CERN and steering committee Plattform Industrie 4.0. He is vice-president OPC Foundation, Vice-Chairperson GAIA-X AISBL, chairman of Labs Network Industrie 4.0, Boardmember of the Bavarian “KI-Rat” and president Big Data Value Association.

Ivan Štefanec

Member of the European Parliament, EPP Group

Ivan Štefanec is a Slovak politician and manager and former member of the Slovak parliament. He was the first Slovak person to be awarded a Dale Carnegie Leadership Award, regarded as the most significant management award. He entered politics in 2006. Coming from a business environment, he became aware of the obstacles and problems politicians caused to businesspersons. Thus, he understood that if he wanted things in Slovakia to evolve for the better, he must do so through a mandate coming from the citizens. Since 2014, when he was elected to the European Parliament where, to this day, he is an active member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. He is the Head of the Slovak delegation in the EPP Group, and he serves as the president of SME Europe and the Brewers of Europe. Ivan Štefanec was a Rapporteur on Machinery regulation between 2021-2023 and Shadow Rapporteur on Committee of Human Rights on Due Diligence Directive, where he voted against a final proposal.

Nicholas Deliyanakis 

Policy Coordinator and Work Programme Sherpa, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), European Commission

Nicholas Deliyanakis is a policy coordinator and work programme Sherpa in the ‘Prosperity’ Directorate of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. He is currently coordinating the industrial aspects of the Horizon Europe Work Programmes; and working on policy and R&I aspects of advanced manufacturing (including the Made in Europe partnership). Previously, he was a Deputy Head in the strategy unit for industrial technologies; and has also worked on nanotechnology policy. Before joining the Commission, he worked on nuclear fusion at JET, the European nuclear fusion project; and as a physics tutor in Oxford University. He holds a first-class degree in physics from King’s College London and a doctorate in engineering from Oxford University.

Michael Präger

Chief ESG Officer, Bystronic Group

Michael Präger is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Bystronic Group, a leading technology company in sheet metal processing. Prior to joining Bystronic, he held leadership roles in communications and sustainability in the USA and in Europe, at companies such as Alcoa, Textron and Eaton Corp. In addition, Michael advised global companies on practical ESG and impact strategies through his own consultancy.

Second Keynote Speech

Kerstin Jorna

Director-General, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)

Kerstin Jorna is a German national and a civil servant at the European Commission where she has held various positions, amongst others as Head of Cabinet of several Commissioners and different Director posts. Mrs. Jorna is the Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Before, Mrs. Jorna was Deputy Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs. Mrs. Jorna also held positions on the Board of the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund as well as the European Innovation Council Fund. 

Conference on Skills for Manufacturing – Bridging Current Gaps and Future Trends

Paola Fantini

Director of Education, EIT Manufacturing 

Paola Fantini is the Director of Education at EIT Manufacturing Asbl, she considers people and skills, as the main drivers for the industrial competitiveness, resilience and sustainability. She is expert in developing education and training programs for advanced manufacturing, innovation, entrepreneurship and deep techs.

Felix Rohn

Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL)

Felix Rohn’s professional start made him explore the markets of Central and Eastern Europe as they emerged in the early 1990ies. Equipped with this experience, he then worked in a project team for the monitoring and assessment of the EU Phare Programme, which paved the way to the EU enlargement of 2004. In 1998 he became a civil servant in the European Commission where he worked in the policy fields enterprise, higher education, vocational education & training before he changed to skills and qualifications where he is working today.  Today in charge of the Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills and working in the Pact for Skills team, he is the interface between his skills and qualifications unit in DG Employment and sectoral units in other DGs in the Commission.

Francois Duval

Managing Director, GF Machining Solutions SAS

François Duval has over 20 years of experience in the machine tool business, including leading the French trade union SYMOP’s machine tool manufacturers and importers group. He started as the Managing Director of Cinetic Machining, eventually merging it with Metrap to form Fives Machining. He later became the VP of Business Development for Fives’ Metal Cutting & Composites division, gaining experience in additive manufacturing. With a global career that includes Eastern countries, China, Asia, and Australia, he now serves as the Managing Director of GF Machining Solutions France since July 2020.

Mark Jordan

Chief Strategy Officer, Skillnet Ireland. 

Mark is the Chief Strategy Officer at Skillnet Ireland. Having worked in the UK, US, Switzerland & Ireland, he is an experienced and innovative leader possessing expertise in business strategy, commercial partnerships, technology deployment, operational management, system transformation and regulatory compliance. At Skillnet Ireland, Mark is leading the skills investment and partner strategy. He is engaged with the european commission, higher education, government departments, business representative groups, enterprise agencies and both international and indigenous companies operating across all major business sectors – all with a focus on supporting the competitiveness of business in Ireland, and readying companies for future world of work.

Olha Hunchak

Policy and Projects Officer, CECIMO

Olha Hunchak took on the role of Policy and Projects Officer at CECIMO in 2022. She specialises in skills development for advanced manufacturing and raw materials supply. In her current project management role, Olha actively oversees EU-funded projects focusing on innovation and skills development, with a particular focus on communication and dissemination activities.

Event Moderator

Andrew Lynch

Chief Innovation Officer, Irish Manufacturing Research.

Andrew is the international Vice President of the EUREKA SMART Manufacturing Board of Directors, he leads the ManuFuture ETP Working Group (State Aid Strategies- Research & Innovation) and is the national delegate to the European manufacturing policy platform, ManuFuture High Level Group (HLG). Andrew is a member of the Made in Europe Partnership Board, and was the founding chair of the European Industry 4.E Lighthouse Initiative (LIASE) within ECSEL (now KDT). Andrew is on the Board of Directors of both the Irish Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE) and the W8 Innovation Centre (Ireland NW). He is the founding chair of the Irish National Steering Committee on Collaborative Robotics, a member of the Ingenuity Executive Steering Committee and is on the National Advisory Board for the Digital Manufacturing Futures Centre (AIM). Andrew is a contributing expert on several key international policy directives for manufacturing, including the ManuFuture policy document (Vision 2030), the EFFRA Made in Europe program, ManuFuture ETP Strategic Working Group Initiatives, the ECSEL LIASE I4 Whitepaper on the Future of Manufacturing and the ECS SRA (Electronic Components & Systems, Strategic Research Agenda).

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