18 - 19 November 2020

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

13:30 - 14:25 Keynotes

Speaker: Diederik Samsom, European Commission, Head of Cabinet

Speaker: Sabine Herlitschka, Infineon, CEO and Chief Technology Officer


14:25 - 16:20 The European Green Deal

14:30 - 15:00 Enabling the Deployment of Low Carbon Hydrogen

Global warming is a vital threat, which requires a rapid energy transition towards a carbon-neutral economy. Hydrogen will be a key element in this transition, enabling the decarbonisation of sectors that are difficult to electrify (industry, heavy mobility…) while bringing flexibility to power grids. The European Commission recognized its importance through its Hydrogen Strategy. Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) strongly support this ambitious strategy, which will require the development and deployment of new hydrogen technologies: production (high-temperature electrolysis…), storage and use.

The European Union needs to seize this opportunity to be a leader on the yet-to-emerge low carbon hydrogen market. To develop all the required technologies and assess their potential, RTOs have an essential role to play, in support of both the public authorities and the European industry.

Speaker: Ángel Díaz Gallo, Director of Smart Grids Business Area, Tecnalia

Speaker: Wolfgang Hribernik, Head of Center for Energy, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

15:10 - 15:40 The Biobased Side of Circular Economy

The bioeconomy is central to achieve the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Bioeconomy is also well suited for a circular economy to a reduced environmental footprint.  The transition to a biobased, circular economy requires collaborations along the value chain and policies to be adopted to allow for circulation of materials. This session will discuss how RTOs support different industries in their transition towards a biobased and circular approach and demonstrate solutions that are actually already in place. 

Speaker: Sabine Amberg-Schwab, Scientist for barrier & multifunctional coatings, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research (ISC)

Speaker: Friedrich Breidenbach, CEO and Co-Founder, Zeroplast

Speaker: Anne Christine Steenkjær Hastrup, Director of the Center for Bioresources and Biorefining, DTI

Speaker: Jari-Jussi Manninen, Executive Vice President, VTT

Speaker: Victor Trapp, Head of Marketing and Sales, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC


15:50 - 16:20 Post-Pandemic Mobility: Sustainable and Smart?

Mobility drives development, links people, connects local communities, builds markets and facilitates trade. Mobility challenges need knowledge-based, technology driven solutions that drive sustainable development. At this session, leading European researchers and industry motivate why and how smart mobility also must be green, and how it can strengthen the EU Green Deal. They document best practice programs that will accelerate the shift towards a new mobility system.

Speaker: Jan Adriaenssens, Director of City of Things, imec

Speaker: Robert Missen, Head of Unit for transport research and innovation, EU DG Move

Speaker: Beate Kvamstad-Lervold, Special adviser Mobility, SINTEF

Speaker: Dr. Javier Coleto, Manager of Sustainable Transport, Tecnalia



16:20 - 16:45 Break

16:45 - 18:40 A Europe Fit for the Digital Age

16:50 - 17:20 Cybersecurity in the Digital Age

Digitalization has changed the rules of our economy and society at an impressive pace. Recent developments offer a huge potential for creating new applications, businesses and value streams. However, the threats to our digital systems have also radically changed and intensified. The current COVID-19 crisis has been accompanied by new cybercrime patterns, due to more intense teleworking and e-commerce. This illustrates how strongly the functioning of our economy and society depends on cybersecurity.

The Cybersecurity Breakout Session will virtually bring you together with relevant stakeholders of the cybersecurity eco-system in order to come up with a joint view on what remains to be done to make Europe secure and fit for the Digital Age.

Speaker: Andrien Bécue, Head of Innovation, Airbus Cybersecurity

Speaker: Helmut Leopold, Head of Center for Digital Safety & Security, AIT

Speaker: Jean-François Junger, Deputy Head of Unit, Cybersecurity Technology & Capacity Building, DG CONNECT,  European Commission

17:30 - 18:00 Artificial Intelligence – From Theory to Good Practice

Big dreams, big possibilities,  ... and big challenges. That’s the state of artificial intelligence today: Colossal data sets are pumped into gigantic cloud data centers to be analyzed by endless algorithms leading to game-changing insights. In the field, autonomous AI systems analyze real-time situations to provide seamless mobility, security and productivity. The aim of this session is not only to show the improvements brought by AI today and in the future but mainly on how to put AI into good practice: autonomous objects, artificial communication, artificial reasoning and trustworthiness of AI will be in the focus.

Speaker: Director, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS

Speaker: Mieke De Ketelaere, Program Director, imec

18:10 - 18:40 Digital Transformation - Making it Work in the European Industry

Advanced Robotics, Internet of Things, trusted clouds and Artificial Intelligence: these are just a few of the new technologies pushing the Fourth Industrial Revolution forward and rapidly disrupting the European industrial landscape. European RTOs play a key role in making the digital transformation work in the industry by ensuring that 1) the new technologies are developed, tested and adapted to the industrial applications; 2) the businesses, and particularly their employees, have the necessary skills to adopt the technologies; and 3) the business models evolve alongside with the new technologies being implemented. This session will depict how the digital transformation affects many aspects of businesses from the skills of their workforce to their client/supplier relationships. Through a series of cases the session will discuss what is needed to best face these challenges in terms of technology development, business impact and associated public policies.

Speaker: Cathrine Lippert, Senior Consultant in the Centre for Ideas & Innovation, Danish Technological Institute 

Speaker: John Blankendaal, Managing Director, Brainport Industries

Speaker: Matthijs Punter, Researcher Data Science & Smart Industry, TNO 

Speaker: Riikka Virkkunen, Professor of Practice, VTT


Thursday, 19 November 2020

09:15 - 09:45 Keynote

UNAIDS on Sustainable Development Goals and Innovation Ecosystems 

Speaker: Pradeep Kakkattil, Executive Office, Director of the Office of Innovation, UNAIDS

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ralf B. Wehrspohn, Executive Vice President, Technology Marketing and Business Models, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

09:45 - 11:40 Industrial Competitiveness

09:50 - 10:20 Solving Health Challenges with New Technological Innovations

How do we take care of Europeans when facing challenges of demographic change and the rising cost of healthcare? How can we actually achieve preventive and participatory care? Research and innovation are crucial in developing new approaches and applications to promote public health. In this session, the focus will be on two subjects - health technology and health data. How to create impact with more effective uptake of health technology? How to improve efficient, secure and responsible exploitation of health data? Join the session to discuss future visions for a Europe that has solved these crucial questions!

Speaker: Mark Van Gils: Research Professor, VTT

Speaker: Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Representing Finland and the S&D Group, Member of European Parliament

Speaker: Mikko Saajanlehto, Founder & CEO, eLive Ecosystem Oy


10:30 - 11:00 Quantum Technology - The Future is Now

The time for quantum science to be translated into functional quantum computing and communication technologies is now. To win the global competition for dominance in the realm of quantum technology, Europe needs to collectively invest in the next steps that take it from being a big quantum science player to the global leader in the QT industry. During this session we will discuss the next steps needed. The discussion will be fostered by a white paper which the RTOs will prepare and which will be open to comments from registered participants. Input collected during the session will feed into the final version of the paper, which will be shared with the European Institutions when finalised.


Enrich our paper with your comments here, and set the focus for our live session.


11:10 - 11:40 Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing, i.e. managing production-related operations in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, is a must for the future of the planet, its inhabitants and businesses. Businesses can no longer create products without considering how the manufacturing process and recycling will impact the environment and society; it is no longer just "nice to have", but a business imperative and competitive advantage. 

Companies across the world face increased costs of materials and energy, and compliance. They also need to comply with higher expectations from customers, investors, regulations and local communities.

Pursuing sustainability means increasing operational efficiency by reducing cost and waste, new functionality, increasing competitive advantage, protecting and strengthening the company brand and reputation, building long-term business viability and success and responding to regulatory constraints and opportunities.

Europe has the potential to take the lead and develop innovative solutions in sustainable manufacturing innovations based on cross-sectorial idea generation, technological development through open innovation and demos, pilot lines, technology hybridization, industrial symbiosis and new business models.

Speaker: Dr. Haize Galarraga, Head of Additive Manufacturing, TECNALIA

11:40 - 12:15 Closing Session

EARTO and Business Europe on the way forward 

Speaker: Muriel Attané, Secretary General, EARTO

12:15 - 12:30 Closing Words from the RTOs

In parallel with the above event programme, the RTOs will host a series of closed roundtables with high-level European industry and policy leaders on the following topics: 

- Transition to a carbon-neutral and competitive European industry,
Digitalization of the European industry to ensure competitiveness,
The European Defence Fund

The outcomes from these meetings will be shared in our post-event communications. See the participating speakers here and register below to receive this exclusive insight.