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EU-Russia Innovation Forum & EBN Annual Congress

Top speakers at Lappeenranta Forum in June!

Media release.
Published: 04-May-2012 11:12 am
Publisher: EU-Russia Innovation Forum & EBN Annual Congress

Nobel Prize Academician, the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Executive Vice President of Rovio Entertainment which developed Angry Birds, and Head of the European Space Agency's Technology Transfer Programme among the speakers of the EU–Russia Innovation Forum and the EBN Congress.

The main speakers' names for the events of 13–15th June 2012 in Lappeenranta, the EU–Russia Innovation Forum and the EBN Congress, have been made public. At the opening day of the Forum, on Wednesday 13th June, the speakers will include a winner of the Nobel prize in Physics Zhores Alferov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan Ruslan Minnikhanov, Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies, former Director General of Academy of Finland Markku Mattila and Director of the US Market Access Center Chris Burry under whose leadership the Center helps foreign companies in establishing themselves in the Silicon Valley. During the day focusing on research cooperation, energy and company development, Portuguese, German and Russian experts on innovation and company development will be heard among others.

The themes for Thursday, 14th June 2012, are logistics, environmental technology and nanotechnology. Internationalisation of companies will be dealt with from the viewpoints of mentoring, making positioning on the market easier, open innovations of large companies and finance. Among approximately 100 speakers one can find, for example, Pekka Viljakainen, who is an advisor for the Skolkovo Foundation in a Russian city of technology companies, Gilles Bouchard from Harvard Business Angels, Executive Vice President Harri Koponen from Rovio Entertainment which developed Angry Birds mobile game, Head of International Integration Department of Russia's Ministry of Education Igor Prochenko, Entrepreneurship & SME Policy Advisor for the European Commission at the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry Christian Weinberger and Franz Salzgeber, the Head of Technology Transfer Programme at the European Space Agency. On Thursday, there will also be the Money Talks event where entrepreneurs meet each other and financiers.

On Friday, 15th June 2012, there will be discussions concerning cities' environmental challenges and venture activities of large companies, and the awards for the Best International Incubator and the Best Young Business Ideas will be given.

Pekka Viljakainen, whose presentation will take place on Thursday, sees international cooperation as important also from the global economic viewpoint.

"The world's economy has changed to a degree that the opposing sides in the competition are not the different European countries – the question is whether Europe will be able to compete with Asia or South-America. During the past few years, many new opportunities for cooperation between Russia and the rest of Europe have opened up, and this development is still continuing," Pekka Viljakainen says.

Viljakainen, who studied technology at the Lappeenranta University of Technology, tells that small and medium-sized companies play a central role in the transition of the world economy.

"International business is not the privilege of just large companies. Small and medium-sized companies often are the fastest and more customer-oriented actors. The question, above all, is about courage, because finance is available. It is worthwhile to come to the Forum to hear about the kinds of possibilities that, for example, Russia's special programmes offer", Viljakainen points out.

The event includes representatives of prestigious international companies who will talk about practical experiences in their internationalisation, top researchers in their fields, who will talk about the latest innovations, as well as internationalisation experts, who will discuss how to support companies' development and internationalisation. The detailed programme can be found on the web at www.eurussiainnoforum.com, where it is also possible to register for the event.

More information about the programme of the event:
Minna Martikainen
Vice Rector, Professor
Lappeenranta University of Technology
tel. +358 40 569 2652

More information about Pekka Viljakainen and the Skolkovo Foundation he represents; www.sk.ru

Representatives of media are welcome to the events. Participation requires accreditation on the web: http://www.eurussiainnoforum.com/registration

Inquiries about accreditation and practical matters to:

Eeva Pihlajaniemi
tel. +358 40 569 2652


The EU–Russia Innovation Forum and the EBN Congress will be arranged in Lappeenranta 13–15th June 2012. The events provide support for the cooperation between the EU and Russia by concrete means: by providing information and contacts. The themes of this year's event are energy and environment, logistics and mobility, as well as networking of companies. The events are organized by the City of Lappeenranta, the Lappeenranta Technical University and the European BIC Network.


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