These esteemed professionals and thought leaders are central to the vibrant discussions shaping EU policy and the Brussels bubble in the realms of science and industry. Comprising seasoned academics, communications experts, and industry veterans, each individual brings a wealth of knowledge and distinctive insights, playing a crucial role in driving the advancement of European science and industry. Following them provides a window into the latest best practices, policy developments, and collaborative initiatives that are influencing the future of these key sectors within the European Union. Return to the main list here.
Stephen Quest – Director-General, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the science service of the European Commission, where Stephen leads a team dedicated to providing independent knowledge and data to support EU policies and positively impact people’s lives. With over 30 years of experience in the European civil service, Stephen has held various positions across different policy areas, including EU budget, environment, and employment and social affairs. Prior to his current role, he served as the Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) and the Director-General for Informatics (DIGIT), driving the digital transformation of the European Commission. Beyond his professional life, Stephen is a father of four, a music enthusiast, and an occasional cyclist. Connect with Stephen Quest to stay updated on the latest developments in European science and research, as he continues to bring science to policymakers and shape the future of EU policies.
Maria Linkova-Nijs – Communications Director at Cefic
Maria is the person behind the communication activities of one of the most prominent industry organisations in Brussels. She stands out as a key figure in the field of industry communications. Maria’s innovative approach positions her as a visionary in communication strategy. She is recognized for her forward-thinking stance on using emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence to advance the interests and influence of the chemistry industry in policy-making spheres. Maria is one of those people who happily and openly shares her knowledge and experiences. She’s a must-follow for both industry professionals as well as communicators and marketers.
Martino Canonico – Head of Brussels Office at European Association of E-Pharmacies
A thought leader in the realm of digital health and e-pharmacy. Martino Canonico is the Head of the Brussels Office for the European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP), where he has been a driving force in public affairs for the e-pharmacy sector in Europe since June 2023. His background also includes a role in a public affairs consultancy, emphasizing his expertise in technology and healthcare. Follow him to stay up to date with key developments in the digitalisation of the pharma sector.
Ewa Kocińska – Lange – Director at NCBR Office in Brussels
Director of the Brussels office for the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR). Her role is pivotal in strengthening the Polish research and innovation community’s engagement with EU R&I programmes. Ewa brings extensive experience from her previous position at the Poznan Science & Technology Park and as an expert for the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. Follow and connect with Ewa as she is the top source of knowledge on the direction of discussions in the area of R&D funding in Europe and Poland.
Kristel Oitmaa – Liaison Officer for EU R&I in Brussels at ETAG – Estonian Research Council
Kristel Oitmaa, with a rich background in science administration, innovation, and international relations, is the Liaison Officer for EU R&I at ETAG – Estonian Research Council in Brussels. Holding degrees from the University of Tartu, Tallinn Technical University, and an EMBA from the Estonian Business School, she is the leader in connecting Estonian research and innovation to the EU landscape. Kristel has been the Chief Representative for Estonia-Baltics at GDP Global Development since March 2018. She is also the Secretary General of the Estonian Windsurfing Association.
Tadas Tumėnas – Head of the Office at Lithuanian RDI Liaison Office LINO
His extensive experience in EU policy, particularly in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), as well as EU Space policy, and Digital Agenda, makes him an insightful figure to follow in these fields. At LINO, Tadas focuses on strengthening European research cooperation, facilitating Lithuanian researchers’ integration into international projects, and advocating for RDI activities at the EU level. LINO is a part of the Research Council of Lithuania and closely cooperates with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania and other national institutions dealing with RDI issues. The office is based at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union.
Craig Winneker – Director of Communications at ePURE
Craig is a seasoned communications professional and former journalist with over 30 years of experience in Brussels and Washington. He currently serves as the Director of Communications at ePURE. Before this, he was a news editor at Politico and held significant roles in public affairs and political communications, including as Director of Public Affairs at the European Crop Protection Association and Director of Political Communications for the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. He held top editorial positions at notable publications, including the Wall Street Journal Europe and European Voice in Brussels, and as the managing editor of Roll Call in Washington. Craig brings a wealth of experience in both communications and journalism to his role, effectively bridging the gap between media and industry. Follow him for many interesting insights as well as access to news on current threads of policy debate in the renewable ethanol industry.
Giulia Forgnone – Director of Public Affairs and Communications at European Aluminium
Newly appointed Director of Public Affairs & Communications at European Aluminium. Her career includes roles at Euroheat & Power, the European Parliament, Friends of Europe, and the European Climate Foundation. Giulia holds a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Kent and a Bachelor’s in Political Science & International Relations from Valle d’Aosta University. Multilingual and multicultural, she excels in demystifying EU policymaking and fostering collaborative environments.s. Her European ethos and passion for EU politics drive her commitment to impactful public affairs strategies.
Claire Skentelbery – Director General at EuropaBio
Claire Skentelbery is the Director General at EuropaBio, bringing over 15 years of experience in scientific network and association development. With a PhD in biochemistry, she has a rich background in biotechnology, including founding the Council of European BioRegions and serving as Secretary General for the European Biotechnology Network. Prior to EuropaBio, she was the Director General of the Nanotechnology Industries Association. Claire is also actively involved in various roles, including as a member of European Women on Boards (EWOB), Vice Chair of the International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA), and a Governing Board Member of the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI). Her career is marked by a strong belief in international collaboration for the advancement of science.
Jorge Molina-Martinez – Project Adviser at the European Research Executive Agency (REA)
Accomplished specialist with over 15 years of experience. His role involves managing a significant portfolio of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects, focusing on areas like European University Alliances, Science Education, and Open Science. Before this, Jorge evaluated project proposals for various EIT sectors and the Ministry of Universities of Spain. He has also held influential positions in promoting European research activities, notably with the Alianza 4 Universidades and Campus Iberus. Jorge’s expertise encompasses policy analysis, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement, making him a key figure to follow in European research and innovation.