Speakers - EIP Water Conference 2019

We are pleased to present a great line up of speakers. The list below is in alphabetical order.

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Alicia Asín

Alicia Asín is the CEO and co-founder of Libelium, a Spanish IT company that has created “Waspmote”, a wireless, modular and open source sensor hardware platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). Alicia is a computer engineer focused on how the IoT can change our world, starting with Smart Cities and Precission Agriculture, among other applications. Link to featured projects. Libelium’s technology is present in more than 120 countries worldwide, developing projects to monitor and improve efficiency in agricultural crops, with environmental control systems to prevent climate change, or even through e-health control equipment to universalize access to health services in developing countries.

Alicia has been awarded for her entrepreneurial merits and technological innovation: she began being recognized with the highest distinction for her research in Computer Architecture (WCAE 2007, San Diego). She was also the first Spanish woman to receive the National Young Entrepreneurs Award in 2014. In October 2015, Marca España recognized her as “Spanish with Talent”, leading the worldwide campaign for the international diffusion of the prestige of the country along with figures such as the singer Alejandro Sanz. In 2016, she was awarded with the National Computer Science Prize for her career, progression and internationalization of her company. A few months later, the business association CEPYME awarded Libelium as international company that exports the 90% of its annual turnover. In October 2017, Alicia Asín has received the Award “Rey Jaime I” fom His Majesty the King and Queen of Spain, the highest distinction for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs. In June 2018, she was awarded with the 2nd position of the EU Prize for Women Innovators, given by the European Commission. Alicia holds a master’s degree in computer engineering from the Polytechnic Center of the University of Zaragoza and is a graduate of the Cambridge Judge Business School and ESADE.

"Since we entered the age of information and telecommunications in the 70’s we had not seen anything similar to the Internet of Things in terms of its potential impact on process change and power to create a new business ecosystem. The IoT is more than a new generation of the Internet, it is the next technological revolution —horizontal and global— in which we will finally see the digital and physical world blended”, Alicia Asin says.

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Isle Utilities
Fiona Griffith - MODERATOR

Fiona is a technophile with a keen interest in innovation, technology development and commercialisation, and has supported the growth of Isle’s Technology Approval Group (TAG) from the outset. As Group Director, Fiona is well placed to lead Isle’s strategic business development, always looking for opportunities to facilitate collaboration not only across international boundaries but also between different market sectors.

Over the years Fiona has gained considerable experience both in the UK and overseas, working alongside technology companies, end users of technology and investors. She has managed complex projects, coordinated strategic partnerships and identified and secured appropriate funding sources. More recently she has also mobilised a new Innovation Platform to deliver robust technology solutions into Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Institute of Chemical Synthesis and Homogeneous Catalysis, University of Zaragoza-CSIC
Luis Salvatella

Professor Dr Salvatella is a Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Zaragoza. His professional career has been mostly devoted to propelling the implementation of Sustainable Chemistry by means of both research and educational pillars. His research career has been focused on the study of chemical reactions through a combined theoretical-experimental approach in order to improve the efficiency of such processes, thus leading to lower consumption of reactants and energy as well as a lower waste generation. In the last few years, he has become interested in upcycling chemical materials (including underused raw materials as well as the valorisation of hexachlorocyclohexane –HCH– waste). He has participated in the organisation of two Chemistry conferences (devoted to Green Chemistry and Catalysis), whereas he is now organising a summer course on the future of HCH waste. He has been the coordinator of the Master's degree in Sustainable Chemistry of the University of Zaragoza and a member of the Management Council of the Suschem-Spain technological platform. He is now leading the organisation of a Master's Degree in Circular Economy as a joint degree involving four universities (University of Zaragoza, University of Lleida, Public University of Navarre, and University of La Rioja) based on an intensive use of e-Learning.

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PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Maria Witmer

Maria Witmer is policy researcher at PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, an independent governmental research institute in the fields of climate, environment, nature and spatial planning. PBL has the mission to improve political decision-making by conducting integrated outlook studies, analyses and evaluations. Maria has always been interested in the interface between research and policy and has been working at both sides. She developed a national water management plan at the Ministry for Transport and Water and was head of the surface water section in a regional government, before she joined PBL. Also, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on climate change adaptation in developing countries. At PBL, she was head of the surface water section, lead several complex projects such as the National Environment Outlook and Nature Balances and coordinated the European projects. Currently she is leading the policy analysis in the Horizon2020 project SIM4NEXUS.

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Technical University Vienna, Institute for Water Quality and Resources Management
Norbert Kreuzinger

Norbert Kreuzinger is Assistant Professor at Technische Universität Wien, Institute for Water Quality and Resources Management, Vienna, Austria.

His main research topics are linked to the effects of treated wastewaters on the aquatic environment considering chemistry and microbiology of surface waters and wastewater. Fate assessment, risk management and technology development for contaminants of emerging concern related to wastewater and surface waters are the key focus. His scientific work is focusing on reuse aspects of treated wastewater and full-scale implementation of advanced wastewater treatment technologies for further removal of ECEs from municipal wastewater considering toxicological requirements.

He is a member of national and international boards discussing the implementation of further treatment steps in municipal wastewater treatment plants from scientific and applied point of view. Currently Norbert Kreuzinger is coordinating the Water JPI Knowledge Hub on Contaminants of emerging concern.

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Isle Utilities
Piers Clark - MODERATOR

Piers is Chairman of the Isle Group Ltd. Isle is a technical, specialist, water consultancy, employing over 80 people and with offices in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the USA, Australia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Isle works with over 200 utilities around the world helping them identify and adopt new technology.

Piers was previously the Managing Director for the $1bn private equity fund Global Water Development Partners (GWDP), a Blackstone portfolio company. From 2010-14 he was the Commercial Director at Thames Water, the largest of the UK water companies. Piers was responsible for all of Thames Water’s non-regulated business activities. Piers also served as Interim Asset Management Director for Thames Water. Prior to joining Thames Water, Piers was Managing Director of Mouchel’s Regulated Industries leading a team of 3,000 staff providing engineering consultancy and operational maintenance services in the water, energy, environment and rail sectors.

In 2006, Piers helped establish an innovative funding mechanism for technology companies, called TAG (Technology Approval Group). TAG bridges the gap between venture capital investors and the water company end-users and has resulted in over $1bn being invested in water-related cleantech companies in recent years.

He is a Board director for the IFC-backed Haiti-based water kiosk business Dlo Haiti, and a Non Exec Director for Modern Water plc. He has a PhD in Civil Engineering.

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UN Environment Programme
Susan Gardner

Susan Gardner is Director of Ecosystems Division of UN Environment Programme. She has over two decades of experience in science and environmental policy working for both the Mexican and United States governments. Prior to this position, she was a senior official at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Dr. Gardner’s multilateral work included the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, the Global Mercury Partnership and the Stockholm Convention. She was awarded the Gold Medal for Exceptional Services from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for her contributions to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Dr. Gardner created the first Ecotoxicology Program at the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste. Her research has generated over 30 publications including a book and book chapters on topics related to ecology, toxicology, fisheries management and species conservation. 

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European Commission - DG Environment

Veronica Manfredi is the Director for Quality of Life in DG Environment since February 2018. Her Directorate plays a pivotal role in leading Europe towards a Zero-Pollution ambition and contributes to tackle the Climate and Biodiversity crisis. It is indeed responsible for key EU policies for Clean and Well-Managed Water (including the protection all EU Freshwater and Marine environments, prevention from Floods, compliance with high health standards for Drinking Water), Clean Air, control on Industrial Emissions and prevention of Industrial Accidents. Internationally, her team leads the EU negotiations within the UN Minamata Convention on Mercury and the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. It also provides steady support to the work of the Regional Sea Conventions (HELCOM – Baltic Sea, OSPAR – North Atlantic Sea, Barcelona – Mediterranean Sea & Bucharest Conventions – Black Sea) and the International Commissions for the Protection of the Rhine and Danube rivers.

A lawyer by background, Veronica deepened her knowledge of International and EU law in Rome, Turin, Kiel, Bruges and Brussels. Between 2002 and 2004 she worked in the Cabinet of the Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. She then joined the Cabinet of Vice-President Siim Kallas, working first in the Portfolio for Administration, Audit and Anti-Fraud issues (2004-2009) and then in the Portfolio for Transport (2010-2011).

Until January 2018, she has been the Head of the Consumer and Marketing Law Unit in DG Justice, overseeing the correct implementation and modernisation of key EU Consumer Law Directives, and leading the work for the launch of the 2018 New Deal for Consumers.