Dr Izabel Alfany, Business Development Manager, leading Health Strategic Projects, LEITAT Technological Centre, Spain
Izabel is a biologist from the Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos - UFSCar (Brazil), with a PhD degree in Biomedicine from the University of Barcelona (Spain). After 6 years in research, she became the International Project Manager responsible for the Health sector at LEITAT, a role that retained a proximity to research but looking from the management and business side. As LEITAT increased its international presence, Izabel took on her current role of Business Development Manager. Izabel is also an independent expert for the European Commission, reviewing proposals and projects.
Dr Rachel Simpson, Technology Transfer Manager for the University Technology Transfer Office at the University of Dundee, UK
Rachel's role involves finding and negotiating commercial deals for the licensing of varied University inventions. Rachel's first degree was in Agriculture, specialising in crop science, which she then followed up with an industrially-sponsored PhD in plant genetics. She completed two post-doc places in industry, including setting up a new laboratory, before changing field into human disease epidemiology and then law. Rachel undertook a 'law conversion' course and a legal practice course over two years before engaging in a 2 year training contract with an IP specialist firm. Rachel practised property and construction litigation before taking a role as a contracts manager for a group of research institutes. Rachel was a contracts manager for 8 years before developing her role to be involved in the creation of deals as well as their negotiation
Dr. Claire Skentelbery, Nanotechnology Industries Association, Belgium
After a degree in agriculture and PhD in plan biochemistry, Claire decided upon different direction than following a career at the bench. She entered scientific marketing, working within the UK biotech sector, followed by a role as the SME National Contact Point for biotech in FP5. This gave her the contacts and experience to become independent, working across the biotech sector in technical writing and marketing, closely involved with the biotech business network in Cambridge UK. During this time, she was part of the founding team behind the Council of European BioRegions, which she then managed and transferred to Brussels in 2009. She took on an additional role running the European Biotechnology Network, until she left both organisations and became Director General of the Nanotechnology Industries Association in 2017.