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17 November 2020 - 19 November 2020
Virtual AI Roadshow: USA - Baden-Württemberg - Canada

Our Speakers

Sherin Abdelhamid
Technical Advisor, Automotive and Mobility Innovation
Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, Ontario Centres of Excellence

Abdelhamid is the Technical Advisor on Automotive and Mobility Innovation with the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) at Ontario Centres of Excellence. 

With AVIN, she is leading and managing all aspects related to research and data analysis from proposal writing, research design, analysis and interpretation of results, through to developing research studies and technical reports.

Prior to joining AVIN, Sherin worked as a research associate and adjunct assistant professor at the School of Computing - Queen’s University, where she received her PhD in 2014.

Sherin is a subject-matter expert in smart vehicle technologies and mobility innovation and has been recently named by Automotive News Canada as one of the 2020 Canadians to Watch in the auto industry. She is an award-winning researcher with more than thirty publications in many top journals, magazines, and conferences.


Allan Benchetrit 

Algolux Inc.

Business leader with over 25 years in technology firms including pioneering companies in computer vision, mobile video and mobile Internet. Proven ability to create and execute strategic business plans, raise venture funding, recruit a global team and senior board members, build brand equity, negotiate multi-million dollar commercial agreements and nurture successful customer and partner relationships.

Currently serving as President & CEO of Algolux, a leading provider of robust computer vision technology.

2020: Tech.AD’s Most Innovative Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Development of Autonomous Vehicles and Respective Technologies

2019: IDC Top 5 Computer Vision Innovator 

2018: AI Breakthrough Award for Computer Vision; EVA Vision Product of the Year

2017: AutoSens Most Exciting Startup, cohort member of Plug and Play Mobility and C100’s 48Hrs in the Valley


Kyle Chintalapalli 
Vice President of Business and Economic Development

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

Kyle Chintalapalli serves as the Vice President of Business and Economic Development at the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.  He joined the team at the PRA last year after spending seven years in the Pittsburgh city government.   His most recent role was as the Chief Strategy Officer for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, where he spearheaded their internal efforts to develop an organizational strategic plan. For the four years prior to that, he worked in the Mayor’s Office, one year as the Housing Manager before moving into the role of Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development. There he supported the Mayor and Chief of Staff as the primary staff on a number of critical projects and policy initiatives - everything from the Affordable Housing Task Force to the initial Amazon HQ2 proposal. 

Kyle moved to Pittsburgh in 2010 to pursue a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM) from Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College, where he graduated in 2012 with the highest honors.  Before moving to Pittsburgh, Kyle worked in the private sector for nearly six years at a commercial-industrial general contractor in his hometown of Erie, PA, after receiving a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) from Penn State University in 2004.

Dennis M. Davin 
Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)

Davin was appointed to serve as Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in January 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf. 

In this position, Secretary Davin leads the commonwealth’s efforts to support business growth, strengthen the workforce, and revitalize communities across Pennsylvania.

He oversees DCED’s $1.6 billion investment in community and economic development projects since 2015, serving nearly 13 million Pennsylvanians.


Dr. Wolfgang Fischer
Procurator, Divisional Head of Projects and Cluster Activities
e-mobil BW - State Agency for New Mobility Solutions and Automotive

Dr. Wolfgang Fischer studied history, rhetoric, political and economic sciences and holds a PhD in History. Since 2011 he works for e-mobil BW - State Agency for New Mobility Solutions and Automotive Baden-Württemberg, an innovation agency and competence center for the transition towards automated, connected and electric mobility in a sustainable energy system. As Divisional Head he is responsible for projects and cluster activities, especially the management of the networks Cluster Electric Mobility South-West and Cluster Fuel Cell BW, but also the close cooperation with municipalities. Especially in recent years, a special focus of his work is the transformation of the automotive industry, especially helping small and medium-sized enterprises to cope with structural change. In 2017 the state government of Baden-Württemberg initiated a Strategic Dialogue for the Automotive Sector, in which e-mobil BW plays a coordinating role.


Cornelia Frank 
Head of Department International Economic Cooperation and Location Marketing 
Baden-Württemberg International GmbH

Since 2012, Cornelia Frank has been head of the International Economic Cooperation and Location Marketing department and head of the North America desk.

Ms. Frank has many years of experience in supporting Baden-Württemberg companies in opening up markets worldwide , but with a special focus on the USA and in attracting foreign investment to Baden-Württemberg.

Ms. Frank holds a Master of Business Administration in General Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Management.


Dr. Peter Freier  
Attaché commercial, science et technologie Délégation générale du Québec

Since 2007, Peter has been the business and science attaché of the Québec General Delegation in Munich, covering a range of sectors such as Industry 4.0 and AI in the DACH region.

Previous positions include Bavarian Science Coordinator for Canada, research associate with the Bavarian Research Alliance and the Technical University of Munich, founding managing director and associate of several biotech start-ups, and research and teaching associate at the Institute for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. Prior to this, he was employed as a banker at Dresdner Bank and as a community service worker at Diakonisches Werk, both in Pforzheim.

Peter obtained a master of science in Technical Biology at the University of Stuttgart and was a visiting scholar at the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center and the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Cambridge, USA. He received his doctorate in business administration from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.


Melissa Froelich
Senior Manager, Government Relations
Aurora Innovation, Inc.

Melissa Froelich is on the Government Affairs team at Aurora, the company delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. Melissa works with federal and state officials to advance policies that support the safe testing and deployment of self-driving technology.

Before Aurora, Melissa served as Chief Counsel for the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where she worked to develop and advance the first federal bills directly addressing self-driving car technology.

Prior to that, she was Legislative Counsel at the National Retail Federation. Melissa is a proud alumni of the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University and the University of Miami.


Ryan Gariepy
Chief Technology Officer
OTTO Motor/Clearpath

Ryan is the CTO of Clearpath. He drives research and development of the OTTO industrial self driving vehicle software and guides the continued expansion of Clearpath’s world-leading efforts in supporting robotics researchers. He is also a co-founder of the Robot Operating System developers’ conference and is a member of a variety of industrial and academic steering committees. He is on the Board of Directors for the Open Source Robotics Foundation and Next Generation Manufacturing Canada.

He has completed a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo, and has over two dozen pending patents in the field of intelligent systems. His previous work experience included UAV user experience and control systems design at Aeryon Labs followed by deployment and systems analysis on fleets of robots at Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics).


Dr. Kathrin Gassei
Senior Program Manager, Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data, Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance and Assistant Director, Commercial Translation Architecture, sciVelo
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Gassei received a MSc in Biotechnology and a PhD in Biology from the University of Münster, Germany, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Magee-Womens Research Institute where she studied the interactions between male germline stem cells and Sertoli cells. She worked as a Clinical Scientist at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital where her research focused on new methods to restore chemotherapy-induced infertility in cancer patients. Before joining the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, Dr. Gassei worked at a Pitt spin-out, Immunetrics, and supported the integration of biological pathways into quantitative systems pharmacology models of autoimmune diseases. Dr. Gassei recently completed a Certificate in Medical Product Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering at Pitt and she is currently a student at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in the EMBA in Healthcare program.

At the Alliance, Dr. Gassei manages a portfolio of early stage digital health projects geared towards commercial translation.


Prof. Rayid Ghani
Carnegie Mellon University

Rayid Ghani is a Distinguished Career Professor in the Machine Learning Department and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Rayid is focused on the use of large-scale AI/Machine Learning/Data Science in solving critical public policy and social challenges in a fair and equitable manner. Rayid is also passionate about teaching practical data science and started the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship.

Before joining Carnegie Mellon University, Rayid was the Founding Director of the Center for Data Science & Public Policy, Research Associate Professor in Computer Science, and a Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Previously, Rayid was the Chief Scientist of the Obama 2012 Election Campaign where he focused on data, analytics, and technology to target and influence voters, donors, and volunteers.


Caroline Gittus
Regional Manager North America  Science, Research and Arts
Baden-Württemberg International GmbH

Caroline Gittus is the Regional Manager North America for the department Research, Science and Arts at Baden-Württemberg International.

She manages all aspects related to Higher Education Marketing for the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Further she manages digital projects within the company.

Prior to her position at Baden-Württemberg International, Caroline Gittus has been a Project Manager for Digital Learning Projects for a Stuttgart-based company and worked in Marketing at the Boston Consulting Group and FischerAppelt.


Peter Gitzel
Vice President

Many years of IT activities in the areas of AI, Car IT, Outsourcing and turn around project management. Peter has a wealth of experience in the sectors of manufacturing, automotive, telecommunications and logistics.

He combines deep business and process knowledge with broad technical expertise. Responsible for complex IT programs and outsourcing contracts. E.g. Safeguarding autonomous driving, RPA for automotive.


Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Director of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Armin Grunwald is a Full professor of Philosophy at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. He is director of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis at KIT (ITAS) and Director of the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag.

His professional backgrounds include technology assessment, ethics of philosophy, theory of sustainable development, and the epistemology of inter- and transdisciplinary research.

In his professional work, he is member of several advisory commissions and committees in various fields of the technological advance. In his research work, he is developing a theory of technology assessment in conjunction with applications in the fields of the transformation of the energy system, the ongoing digitalization and new and emerging technologies such as synthetic biology and human enhancement.

He is an author and editor of multiple professional and research publications, among them “Technology Assessment in Practice and Theory” and “Der unterlegene Mensch”.


Prof. Dr. Philipp Hennig                                                      
Chair for the Methods of Machine Learning,
Co-Speaker of the Cyber Valley Initiative                     
University of Tübingen / MPI f. Intelligent Systems / Cyber Valley

Philipp Hennig holds the Chair for the Methods of Machine Learning, and is an adjunct scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. He studied Physics in Heidelberg and London, and received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK for research on machine learning. With his research group members, Hennig develops computational algorithms to make artificial intelligence more efficient, reliable and robust. His research was/is supported, among others, by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Union (DFG), an independent Research Group of the Max Planck Society, and a Starting Grant of the European Commission.

Hennig is a co-speaker of the Cyber Valley Initiative; Co-Director of the ELLIS Program on Theory of Modern Learning Systems, and a Member of the Steering Committee of the Center of Excellence for Machine Learning in Science. He is a Co-PI of the IMPRS for Intelligent Systems and the Competence Center for Machine Learning in Tübingen.



M.Sc. Martin Herrmann
Business Development Manager ADAS & Automated Driving
IPG Automotive GmbH

Since 2016 Business Development Manager ADAS & Automated Driving IPG Automotive GmbH, Karlsruhe/Frankfurt, Germany

2014-2016 Engineer Test Systems & Engineering,IPG Automotive GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany

2008-2014 Bachelor and Master Student of Automotive Engineering at TU Ilmenau, Germany


Dr. Christian Herzog
Managing Director
Baden-Württemberg International GmbH

As CEO of Baden-Württemberg International, Dr. Christian Herzog (born in 1975) promotes the internationalisation of the business location Baden-Württemberg.

He supports local companies, universities and research institutions in their move abroad and shows foreign investors and talents the potential of the German Southwest. Herzog is convinced: "If you want to shape the future, there is no way around Baden-Württemberg. We are the No. 1 location for innovation in Europe – and especially in times of change, we are attractive for all those who are looking for new perspectives".

As Head of Department Digital Economy at Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH (2012 – July 2020), Herzog was responsible for strategy development for technology transfer, digitisation and support of start-ups and scale-ups as well as initial contact for investors; founder of the international programme "Start Alliance“.

Master’s degree in business administration at the Freie Universität Berlin and doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.) in cluster theories at the University of Potsdam


    Dr.-Ing. Darko Katić
    Senior Team Leader
    ArtiMinds Robotics GmbH

    Dr.-Ing. Darko Katić is currently a Senior Team Leader at ArtiMinds Robotics GmbH where he supervises work on data-driven optimization and learning for robots in industrial applications.

    His works involves customer projects as well as publicly funded research with industrial and academic partners.

    He has an extensive publishing record of academic research (over 25 publications) with a focus empowering people to better understand and cope with processes, complications and inefficiencies.


    Dr. med. Philipp Kellmeyer, M.Phil.
    Head of research group Neuroethics & AI Ethics Lab,
    Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Center Freiburg

    Dr. Kellmeyer is a neurologist at the University Medical Center Freiburg. He studied medicine in Heidelberg and Zurich and received a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.

    As a neuroscientist he works in the fields of neuroimaging and translational neurotechnology, in particular the clinical application of artificial-intelligence-based brain-computer interfaces. He is a scientific member of the BrainLinks-BrainTools cluster of excellence at the University of Freiburg and Research Fellow in the “Responsible Artificial Intelligence” research group at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS).

    In his neuroethical research he works on ethical, legal, social and political challenges of neurotechnologies, big data and artificial intelligence in medicine and research. He is also an affiliate of the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich, where he also teaches biomedical ethics.


    Peter Kendall
    Chief Revenue Officer

    Peter Kendall is a proud Canadian, with over 20 years of senior sales and marketing experience. Most recently, he was VP of Sales and Marketing for the Medisys Health Group/TELUS Health. Peter has worked with Canada’s largest healthcare providers as a strategic sales and marketing expert. Bringing together experiences in Primary Care, Acute Care, and Allied Health from a business and technology perspective.

    He now is responsible for the Global growth of PetalMD. Described as an outstanding coach and strategic leader.


    Dr. Zayna Khayat
    Future Strategist
    SE Health

    Zayna Khayat is Future Strategist with SE Health (formerly, Saint Elizabeth Health Care) a health and social impact enterprise with a major focus on creating a better future for aging adults in their homes and communities.

    Zayna is Faculty of Singularity University’ Exponential Medicine stream, and is adjunct faculty in the Health Sector Strategy stream at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

    Dr. Khayat was previously the lead of health system innovation at MaRS Discovery District, a health innovation hub in Toronto, Canada.

    In 2017 she was seconded to the REshape Innovation Centre at Radboud university medical centre in the Netherlands. Zayna completed her Ph.D. in diabetes research from the University of Toronto (2001), followed by a career in strategy consulting, including as a Principal in the healthcare practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She currently resides in Toronto with her husband and three children and is proficient in French and Arabic languages.

    Sandeep Konam

    Sandeep is the co-founder/CTO of Abridge, a startup focused on helping everyone stay on top of their health using medical conversations. Previously, he worked on enhancing the perception capabilities of UAVs and on multi-robot coordination. He also built several health-tech tools - a clinical-trial matching tool, an augmented reality application to aid low vision patients, and a mobile app to detect cancer biomarkers using blood-sample image analysis, to name a few. He received an MS in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University with his thesis centered on the interpretability of deep learning models.


    Carsten Kraus
    Omikron Data Quality GmbH

    Carsten Kraus is a thought leader, innovator, entrepreneur, speaker and founder of Omikron Data Quality GmbH.

    His first major innovation as a teenager was a programming language that Atari bought from him and shipped with 700,000 computers. Carsten Kraus dealt with fuzzy logic from an early age and artificial intelligence. 

    His curiosity for algorithms and AI resulted in numerous products that today clean up the master data of large corporations and that almost every European uses when shopping on the Internet. Due to his expertise, he was elected chairman of the AI specialist group at bwcon. In the last three years alone, he has applied for several patents on AI processes and is a sought-after speaker at conferences and meetings. 

    In his lectures he takes the audience on an expedition into the realm of a new species that is currently undergoing rapid evolution - and will revolutionize the whole world in the medium term. Europe's companies have to catch up. The time is - now!


    Dr. Yves Lostanlen
    Managing Director, Head of EMEA
    Element AI

    Dr. Yves Lostanlen leads the European expansion of Element AI, a Canadian company that delivers AI software products designed to make businesses stronger, safer and more agile in fintech, insurtech and supply chain.

    During his career as an expert in leading innovation transfer and as a senior executive, Yves was the CEO of the North American subsidiary of a Global Fortune 100 company, advised Facebook, Google, Bell Labs, Orange and AT&T, mentored and founded several startups and worked with more than 100+ scientific research labs.

    He holds a Habilitation, a PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from MIT and is an Adjunct Full Professor at the University of Toronto and Senior Executive Fellow at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

    Yves is an active contributor to the creation of business and innovation ecosystems in Europe and North America.


    Sean C. Luther
    Executive Director

    Sean has spent the past decade integrating advanced economic development, sustainability, mobility and real estate fundamentals into urban place management. Prior to launching InnovatePGH, Sean was at the helm of Envision Downtown, a next generation public/private partnership between City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Sean also previously directed Green Building Alliance’s Pittsburgh 2030 District and served as President & CEO of Downtown Roanoke, Inc. in Roanoke, Virginia.   

    A Pittsburgh native, Sean earned a BS in Political Science and a Masters in Real Estate Development from Clemson University. Sean also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois-Chicago and is a LEED AP ND.


    Joe Marks
    Executive Director, Center for Machine Learning &Health
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Joe Marks is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Machine Learning and Health at Carnegie Mellon University. Joe has been involved with invention and innovation for over 30 years in multiple contexts (academic, corporate, entrepreneurial) and multiple industries (defense, computers, electrical equipment, media & entertainment, marketing, healthcare). He holds an AB in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Computer Science, both from Harvard University. His areas of expertise include AI, human-computer interaction, and computer graphics. He has published extensively in the academic literature (Google h-index = 34, i-index = 60), and managed over $100M in corporate and academic R&D spend.


    Christopher Martin
    Director, Research & Development
    Robert Bosch, LLC; Research & Technology Center

    Christopher Martin, Director of Research and Development at Robert Bosch LLC, is responsible for the Bosch Research and Technology Center (RTC) and the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence (BCAI) in Pittsburgh, PA.  Partnering with universities and national agencies, as well as others in the business sector, Chris helps to guide Bosch strategy through early identification and shaping of technology and market forces for the Internet-of-Things (IoT), with a special focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.

    Chris holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and has nearly 20 years of experience at Bosch in leveraging corporate and academic research to identify, create and transfer innovative products and services. Over the last decade, he has been responsible for global research teams across the US, Europe and India, having taken on diverse leadership roles within the Bosch Group on multiple international assignments.


    Patrick Myles
    Huron Digital Pathology

    Patrick Myles is the CEO of Huron Digital Pathology, a Canadian medical device and software company pioneering image search to connect pathologists to the vast knowledge contained in the world’s pathology reports. Prior to joining Huron, Patrick spent 18 years at Teledyne DALSA, most recently as Vice President of Business Development. He is board member of the Digital Pathology Association.


    Dr. Jekaterina Novikova
    Director of Machine Learning
    Winterlight Labs

    Jekaterina leads a team of research scientists and engineers at Winterlight Labs and helps the team to incorporate state-of-the-art research into business priorities.

    Jekaterina holds a PhD from the University of Bath/UK and did her PostDoc at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh/UK.

    The key area of Jekaterina's research is development of natural language interfaces, with applications ranging from human-robot dialogue systems to ML-based platforms detecting cognitive and mental diseases from human speech. Jekaterina authors over 40 peer-reviewed papers in this area published at top-tier conferences.

    In recent years, Jekaterina was invited as a speaker to various events across the globe, such as CogX 2017 in London/UK, Re-Work AI Summit 2018 in Toronto/Canada, MLconf, 2019 in San Francisco/US. Jekaterina's work has been recognised with a nomination of "30 Influential Women Advancing AI in Canada", as well as best research paper nominations at the conferences HAI and SigDIAL.


    Prof. Ragunathan "Raj" Rajkumar
    George Westinghouse Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University
    Technical Staff Member at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
    Research Staff Member at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Labs

    Other roles:
    Primary Co-Founder, TimeSys Corporation.
    Expert Witness offering both deposition and court testimony in patent litigation.
    Consultant for several companies in the technology space.
    Scientific Advisory Board for Centers of Excellence.

    Specialties: Embedded systems, real-time systems, operating systems, distributed systems, automotive systems, smartphones, wireless sensor networks, resource management, cybersecurity and physical security, cyber-physical systems, networking and QoS.


    Joel Reed
    Executive Director
    Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN)

    Joel Reed is a robotics business expert with deep connections to one of the world’s top robotics ecosystems in Pittsburgh.

    Joel has 25 years strategy, business development, and startup experience having transformed innovations to create new solution categories.

    Joel introduced the first commercially available autonomous mobile robot as a new class of manufacturing and warehouse AGVs.

    He also led the commercialization of a 3D (LiDAR) data processing application, which was acquired by AutoDesk to enable survey and architectural reality capture solutions. And recently, he served as CEO at IAM Robotics, where he led a $20M Series A and secured the industry’s first deployment of mobile picking robots for e-commerce fulfillment.

    Joel currently advises early stage firms as Principal of the Reed Business Group; he serves as the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN); and he holds a faculty appointment at Carnegie Mellon University teaching student venture groups.


    Gennadi Schermann
    Head of Department of Innovation and Digital Ecosystems
    CyberForum e.V./Digital Innovation Center

    Gennadi Schermann (male) is running the department of Innovation and Digital Ecosystems at CyberForum e.V. as well as the Digital Innovation Center - a joint initiative of CyberForum and FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik.

    Digital Innovation Center (DIZ) is a statewide contact point for digitalization, artificial intelligence and it-security. The Digital Hub Network Baden-Württemberg is coordinated by the DIZ. Mr. Schermann studied industrial & business engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland.

    He gained his international experience during his professional stations at the South East Research Center in Thessaloniki (Greece) and at the Levono Technology Co. in Shanghai (China). Mr. Schermann is member of the innovation board in the upper rhine region as well as involved in the digital strategy of the state of Baden-Württemberg.


    François Simard

    Co-Founder and CEO
    Omnirobotic Inc.

    François Simard founded his first innovative company in the manufacturing sector in 2000. 

    A graduate of the École Polytechnique de Montréal in robotics engineering, he is already passionate about autonomous robots and leads the university’s robotics team in international competition events.

    Mr. Simard has extensive knowledge of the manufacturing industry, visited more than 400 manufacturing plants in sectors such as aerospace, military, automotive, food, and semiconductor.

    The inventor of two patents, his passion for artificial intelligence and robotics led him to co-found Omnirobotic in 2016. Mr. Simard believes autonomous industrial robots will be transformational across the manufacturing industry in the same way autonomous vehicles will impact transports.


    Alexis Smirnov
    Chief Technology Officer
    Dialogue Technologies Inc.

    Over the last 25 years in the software industry,  Alexis has delivered products and services at startups and Fortune 100 companies.

    Prior to Dialogue, he led the design and development of the social analytics system, built an award-winning semantic search engine, incubated a platform for conversational apps. 

    Alexis has co-founded Pi Corp, a pioneering cloud startup and successfully sold it to EMC. An active member of Montreal's technology startup community, Alexis holds several software patents.


    Angela Spreng
    Senior Commercial Officer
    Ontario International – Munich Trade and Investment Office

    Angela Spreng has been with the government of Ontario office in Germany for 12 years, promoting Ontario and supporting Ontario-based products and services in Germany and Austria, assisting German and Austrian companies with their investment plans in Ontario, and forging research and innovation collaborations.

    Prior to that, Angela headed the Canadian Programme at Amerika Haus Munich. She also worked in Marketing and Business Development for an American software company in Germany. Angela holds an M.A. from Carleton University, Ottawa, and an M.A. from University of Augsburg.



    Mark Anthony Thomas
    Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

    Mark Anthony Thomas is the president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the economic development affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.  He is responsible for executing the 10-county region’s economic development strategy and advancing partnerships to drive job creation and business investment. Mark brings nearly two decades of experience crafting and executing economic growth strategies and cross-sector collaboration for New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta and serves as the Chairman of the Conference’s Power of 32 Site Development Fund.

    Chris Urmson
    CEO and Co-founder

    Chris Urmson is the co-founder and CEO of Aurora, the company delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. Chris has been instrumental in instigating and advancing the development of self-driving vehicles and the industry for the last 15 years. Before founding Aurora, Chris helped start Google’s self-driving car program and served as CTO. Prior, Chris was a faculty member of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where he worked with house-sized trucks, drove robots in the desert, and was the technical director of the DARPA Urban and Grand Challenge teams. He earned his Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and his BSc in computer engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1998.

    Prof. Dr. Silja Voeneky
    Director, Institute of Public Law
    Freiburg University, FRIAS Fellow Responsible AI

    Prof. Dr. Silja Voeneky is a Director of the Institute for Public Law, Professor of Public International Law, Comparative Law and Ethics of Law and an associated member of the Institute for Philosophy of Law. Since October 2019, she is the Vice Dean of the Freiburg Law Faculty.

    Her research focuses on international law and legal ethics, in particular Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law, and the Governance of Scientific and Technological Innovations.

    She is also part of various third-party funded projects: since the winter semester 2018, she has been a fellow of the interdisciplinary research group Responsible Artificial Intelligence at FRIAS. Since January 2019, she has been a member of the Freiburg CIBSS Cluster of Excellence for Legal and Ethical Issues in Biotechnology, and is one of the heads of the "Human Rights, Science and Technology" working group of the Connecticut/Baden-Württemberg Human Rights Research Consortium (HRRC).



    Andrew Woelfling
    Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
    Argo AI

    Andrew Woelfling is director of public policy and government relations at Argo AI LLC, a Pittsburgh -based self-driving company. Woelfling is responsible for developing and managing the company’s policy and associated advocacy strategy and initiatives, as well as overseeing its entire government relations team.

    Prior to joining Argo, Woelfling was employed by Ford Motor Co. government and community relations as director of smart mobility, where he managed Ford’s federal engagement on policy issues related to connected and automated vehicles. Prior to that, he was Acting Director of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, serving as the agency’s primary liaison with the U.S. Congress. Woelfling also served as the late Congressman John D. Dingell’s deputy chief of staff and legislative director and was a professional staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    Charles Yhap
    CEO & Co-Founder

    Master of Development Economics and International Development, University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). Charles is a serial social entrepreneur and has worked in the fields of human rights and environmental protection, where he has 10+ years of experience catalyzing mission-driven startup organizations


    Katrin-Cécile Ziegler
    Digital Economist & Journalist

    Digital economist, university lecturer for digital ethics and management, tech journalist, multiple media award winner & author.

    Since 2020 she is Ambassador of the "European Digital Society (EDS) / Brussels“ for Baden-Württemberg. In 2019 she held a TedxTalk on AI and brain-computer interfaces at the renowned University RWTH.

    Katrin-Cécile Ziegler is committed to inclusive digitization, among other things as a mentor for various organisations to promoting young entrepreneurs and digital participation of all sections of the population.

    In addition, she is a keynote-speaker and moderator for numerous international events and institutions on the topic of digitization.


    Closed since 21 November 2020
    Organised by
    Australia 1
    Austria 3
    Belgium 1
    Brazil 4
    Bulgaria 2
    Canada 86
    Chile 1
    Côte d'Ivoire 1
    France 4
    Germany 180
    Greece 1
    India 1
    Ireland 2
    Italy 1
    Luxembourg 2
    Malaysia 1
    Mexico 2
    Poland 5
    Romania 6
    Serbia 1
    Singapore 1
    Spain 1
    Switzerland 9
    Tunisia 1
    United Kingdom 2
    United States 55
    Total 374