Big technology companies tend to drive evolution of technology. Thus, big technology companies largely determine what products, solutions, technologies and tools are going to find their way to the industrial and consumer markets. Many products, to mention smart phones, incorporate solutions and technologies created by hi-tech startups and small technology firms. The presence of those small firms in the physical vicinity has been appreciated for long time by major international firms located in Silicon Valley and other major technology development centers all over the world.

Top executives from major international hi-tech firms from Europe and the USA responsible for innovation & technology and technology acquisition, as well as executives from international venture capital and investment firms, will talk about policies and practices of their firms regarding innovation, technology acquisition, funding for technology development, and tangible benefits their companies derive from the activities of hi-tech startups and small technology firms.

The Summit will offer a unique insight into policies and practices of the hi-tech industry leaders with respect to innovation, technology acquisition and funding of technology development. The presentations will be in the context of innovation ecosystems essential to the success of hi-tech startups.

This is the first ever gathering in Central Europe of hi-tech industry leaders . Not to be missed!

Summit is recommended to:

  • management of international technology firms with operation in Poland
  • management of hi-tech startups
  • persons responsible for technology development and transfer
  • local and central government authorities
  • researches/students planning commercialization of their results through startups or direct commercialization
  • academic institution units involved in commercialization (Technology Transfer Centers), as well as the management of Technology Parks and hi-tech firms operating there


  • AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow
  • Innovation 4.0 Institute

AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow
10 Maj 2017, 09:00 – 17:30
Aula główna, pawilon A0
Al. Mickiewicza 30, Kraków 30-059

Summit Venue

The Summit will be held in the main Aula of the AGH University of Science and Technology pavilion A0, entrance from al. Mickiewicza 30.



Morning Session
Chair: Prof. Tomasz Szmuc
AGH University of Science & Technology in Krakow

09:00 – 09:20 Opening Remarks
09:20 – 10:00
Keynote: Why Is The Israeli Innovation Ecosystem One of the Most Robust and Sustainable in the world?
Nava Swersky Sofer, IDC Beyond and IMI Systems - Israel; and International Commercialization Alliance, Toronto, Canada.
10:00 – 10:30
How to speed-up innovation in a digital world
René Cotting, ABB, Switzerland
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:30
Act local, win global…the Krakow ecosystem as catalyst
Ramon Tancino, Cisco, Poland
11:30 – 12:00
Hidden value behind corporate startup accelerator
Michał Dżoga, Intel, Poland
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break

Afternoon Session
Chair: Prof. Krzysztof Zielinski
AGH University of Science & Technology in Krakow

13:00 – 13:30
Growing Cadence to a 2 billion dollar company: acquisitions and organic growth
Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Cadence Design Systems, Inc., USA; and University of California at Berkeley, USA
13:30 – 14:00
Beyond the myths, new realities for the European startups ecosystem?
Jérôme Wittamer, Expon Capital. President, Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, Luxembourg
14:00 – 14:30
Startup community is facing "Industry 4.0'... Q: Next 'buzz' or investment El Dorado?
Marek Kapturkiewicz, Co-founder, Investor & Partner at Innovation Nest, Poland
14:30 – 15:00 Coffee Break
15:00 – 15:30
Cooperate to innovate - positioning Fraunhofer as a partner within the startup-ecosystem
Niels Dietzsch, TechBridge, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany
15:30 – 16:00
Win : Win scenario - why the partnerships does matter in the era of digital disruption.
Piotr Pietrzak, IBM, Poland & Baltics
16:00 – 16:30
Can Krakow become Silicon Valley of Poland?
Richard Zurawski, ISA Group, USA
16:30 – 17:00 Recapitulation & Closing

Summit Speakers

  • Rene Cotting

    Head of Operations, Innovation and R&D, ABB; Chairman, ABB Technology Venture, Switzerland

  • Niels Dietzsch

    Programm Manager, TechBridge, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany

  • Michał Dżoga

    Corporate & Government Affairs Director, Europe Region, Intel, Poland

  • Stefan Heuser

    Vice President of Operations and Innovation, Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC), USA

  • Marek Kapturkiewicz

    Co-founder, Investor & Partner at Innovation Nest, Poland

  • Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli

    Member of the Board of the Strategy Committee and Chief Technology Advisor, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA; The Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of EECS, University of California at Berkeley, USA

  • Piotr Pietrzak

    Chief Technology Officer, IBM Poland and Baltics

  • Ramon Tancinco

    Director, IT Services, Cisco Systems - Regional Operations in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia-CIS, Middle East and Africa; Krakow Site Leader, Cisco Systems, Poland

  • Jérôme Wittamer

    Founding Partner, Expon Capital. President, Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, Luxembourg

  • Richard Zurawski

    Managing Partner, ISA Group LLC, USA

René Cotting

Dr. René Cotting, Head of Operations, Innovation and R&D, ABB; Chairman of TechnologyVentures of ABB Group, ABB, Switzerland

Dr. René Cotting is the newly appointed Head of Operations, Innovation and R&D as well as the Chairman of Technology Ventures of ABB Group. Hereby, he is responsible for the implementation and deployment of ABBs Innovation strategy initiatives, investments and the global controlling of R&D. Additionally, he is leading the common industrial and software development centers in India and Poland and ABB’s lean product development program.

Rene joined ABB in 1995 and has held different management positions in finance and strategic management in Switzerland, in the Silicon Valley and Houston (USA). His last position has been CFO of ABB Switzerland and member of the Executive Board.

Rene holds a PhD in Strategic Management, Accounting and Macroeconomics from University of Fribourg, Switzerland, with further studies at IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland), Harvard Business School (Boston, USA) and Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University (Evanston, USA). He is among others Member of the foundation and economic advisory board of Switzerland Innovation (

Niels Dietzsch

Programm Lead of Fraunhofer TechBridge and Investment Manager at Fraunhofer Venture, Germany

Niels Dietzsch is Programm Lead of Fraunhofer TechBridge and Investment Manager at Fraunhofer Venture. Mr. Dietzsch supports Fraunhofer-Startup-Collaboration and venture development of various portfolio companies in the ICT-segment. Mr. Dietzsch has own entrepreneurial expertise and several years of work experience in Venture Capital and Corporate Finance Advisory. He studied at TUM Business School in Munich and HEC in Paris.

Fraunhofer is Europe's largest application-oriented research organization. Its venture unit, Fraunhofer Venture, is the central partner for all venture related activities. It enables and supports all spin-off activities as well as external start-ups seeking technology collaboration. Besides it provides an ecosystem for startups, investors and other partners.

Michał Dżoga

Corporate & Government Director, Europe Region, Intel Corporation

Michał Dżoga joined Intel Corporation in 2010. He is Corporate & Government Affairs Director for Europe Region. He is leading a team responsible for government, university and international organizations relationship management. Michał Dżoga has been responsible for creation of Intel startup engagement program in EMEA region, currently leading corporate largest IoT accelerator in the region together with Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telecom – Challenge Up! Together with other institutional partners, Michał Dżoga has created Coalition for Polish Innovations, a movement that advocates innovation processes friendly legislature and good practices in Poland.

In 1999 Michał Dżoga joined the Team of Advisors to the President of the Republic of Poland leading educational community projects in the field of new technologies and connectivity. He has created and led the Internet in Schools program. In 2004, Michał Dżoga became an advisor to the CEO of Polish Telecom responsible for corporate affairs. He has created and led the biggest corporate foundation in Poland - TP Group Foundation, known today as the Orange Foundation.

Michał Dżoga graduated in International Affairs from the Warsaw School of Economics.

Stefan Heuser

Vice President of Operations and Innovation, Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC), USA

Stefan Heuser is the vice president of operations and innovation at Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC).

Stefan has global operational responsibility for a 300 person organization that focuses on innovation programs in the areas of digital health, storage and data center, Internet of Things (IoT), and smart machines. He is also responsible for university relations.

Prior to joining SSIC Stefan built an early stage venture investment team for Samsung Global Innovation Center (GIC), was responsible for university relations and technology scouting.

Earlier in his career, Stefan was the CFO and VP finance for Siemens smart grid applications. Before this he led Siemens Technology to Business (TTB) an innovation center in Berkeley, California, where he focused on innovation projects and venture investments.

He began his career at Siemens in the finance organization where he learned best practices in corporate finance and cash management and treasury. He then expanded his skill set to include strategy and operations.

Stefan holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München (Munich, Germany).

Marek Kapturkiewicz

Co-founder, Investor & Partner at Innovation Nest, Poland

Co-founder, Investor & Partner at Innovation Nest, an early stage VC firm focused on B2B Software and Industrial Internet; previously i.a. long-term executive board member, COO and senior vice president of the (the largest horizontal portal in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe) and director of Promotion and Product Development Department in Tymbark SA (important FMCG company in Poland); having rich experience in internet, marketing, media, technology and investment; engineer - constructor with long experience (electronics, IT) at the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology in Cracow; a graduate of the University of Science and Technology (AGH) in Cracow (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science and Electronics), and of business studies at the School of Business – National Louis University in Nowy Sacz.

Specialties: technology, Internet, marketing, media, investment

Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli

Member of the Board of the Strategy Committee and Chief Technology Advisor, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA; The Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of EECS, University of California at Berkeley, USA

Dr. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli co-founded Cadence Design Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA; and Synopsys Inc., Mountain View, CA – the two world leading EDA companies.

Board of Directors: Cadence Design Systems, KPIT-Cummins, Sonics, and Expert Systems. Former Advisory Boards: ST Microelectronics, HP Strategic Technology, General Motors, United Technologies Corporation.

Governmental and Strategic Research Organizations: former advisor to the Singapore Government for microelectronics and new ventures; Advisory Board of the Lester Center for Innovation and Center for Western European Studies, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; Berkeley Roundtable of the International Economy (BRIE); Governing and Public Authority Board, High-Level Group and Steering Committee of the EU Artemis Joint Technology Initiative, EU; Executive Committee of the Italian Institute of Technology.

Boards & Committees of Technology in Investment Funds: Walden International (USA), Sofinnova (France), Innogest (Italy), Xseed(USA) - Advisory Boards; Atlante Ventures (by Banca Intesa/San Paolo, Italy) and Fondo Next (Italy) - Investment Committees; Strategic Committee of the Italian Strategic Fund, President, since 2013

Recipient of two honoris causa doctorates from University of Aalborg, Denmark (2009) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (2011).

Piotr Pietrzak

Chief Technology Officer, IBM Poland and Baltics

Piotr Pietrzak is Chief Technology Officer, IBM Poland and Baltics. Technology evangelist, visionary and forward-thinking IT enthusiast with 17 years of experience in the IT industry. Piotr specializes in enterprise digital transformation projects, business model optimization, incubation of innovative projects and their commercialization. He is responsible for collaboration with VC/PE investment firms, incubators and accelerators. On daily basis engaged in IBM R&D works. Always willing to go an extra mile to deliver innovative solutions. In his current role as a CTO in IBM responsible for development of the cloud and cognitive computing market in Poland..

Author of many industry specific and business publications. Member of the Academy of Technology and CAS Advisory Board at Technical University of Gdansk. Member of the innovation committee of the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry.

Nava Swersky Sofer

Managing Director of IDC Beyond, Israel; Member of the Board of Directors of IMI Systems – Israel Military Industries, Israel; President & Chairperson, International Commercialization Alliance, Toronto, Canada. An adviser to the Israeli government on innovation and international R&D collaborations, and an adviser to the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on innovation.

Nava Swersky Sofer is a member of the Board of Directors of IMI Systems – Israel Military Industries, the Board of Governors of the Ruppin Academic Centre and a mentor at the IBM Alfa Zone accelerator (Israel) and the Nanjing Microsoft Incubator (China). Most recently she was the founding Managing Director of IDC Beyond, IDC Herzliya's presidential programe to create innovative ventures that apply exponential technologies to solve 21 st century global challenges.

In addition, she is President & Chairperson of the Toronto-based International Commercialization Alliance; Founder of NanoIsrael, the international nanotechnology conference & exhibition; an adviser to the Israeli government on innovation and international R&D collaborations, and an adviser to the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on innovation. She is the Israeli delegate to OECD’s Business & Industry Advisory Council (BIAC) nanotechnology committee and development/innovation network and a board member of Rome-based INSME, the International Network of Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises and of the Brussels-based Knowledge Economy Network.

From 2005-2009 she was President & CEO of Yissum, the technology commercialization company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which carries out 1/3 of academic research in Israel. Ms Swersky Sofer is credited with establishing the company as a global leader in technology transfer, increasing revenues by 75% to $60 million and growing the pipeline by 50% while signing 1,200 collaborative agreements. Prior to Yissum she spent 15 years as a partner at leading venture capital firms in California and Israel – Sanderling Ventures, Concord Ventures and Columbine, and as a Vice President at Ciba (now Novartis) at the head office in Basel, Switzerland and in the US.

Ms Swersky Sofer served on the boards of X Technologies (sold to Guidant), Optonol (sold to Alcon), Dynavax (NASDAQ: DVAX), Novagali Pharma S.A. (floated on Euronext, then sold to Santen), BioCancell and Proteologics (both traded on TASE), among others. As active chairperson of Aderis pharmaceuticals, she took the company from a $6 million dollar valuation to over $120 million, leading its corporate and business development, including multiple deals. Aderis was sold to Schwarz Pharma, now part of UCB. She was also an advisory member of Toronto-based DRI Capital, the $1 billion healthcare investment company. Selected past public boards include BioJerusalem, the Israel Technology Transfer Organisation ITTN, an advisor to the Israeli Government’s $50 million biotechnology consortium and a member of the ILSI-Biomed steering committee.

From 2008-2013 she served as a management board member and vice chairperson of the Center of Excellence for Commercialization of Research (Canada), the $25 million initiative funded by the Canadian federal government. Ms Swersky Sofer has also advised the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, on technology transfer and commercialization. She is often quoted on Israeli innovation models, including in the best-selling book “Start-Up Nation”.

Ms Swersky Sofer holds a law degree from the Tel Aviv University, an MBA from IMD International in Lausanne, Switzerland and diplomas from the Sorbonne (Paris), the Goethe Institute (Munich) and the Instituto Trentino (Italy).

She is a member of the Israel Bar Association, the youngest ever to have been admitted, and a retired Captain in the Israel Defence Forces.

Ramón A. Tancinco II

Cisco Krakow Site Leader; Director, IT, Cisco Systems, Inc. – Krakow, Poland

Ramón A. Tancinco II is the Cisco Krakow Site Leader and the IT Theatre Relationship Executive for Central Eastern Europe, Russia/CIS and the Mediterranean. He was previously the Head of Strategy and Business Development for Central and Eastern Europe for Cisco Systems®, where he focused on macro-economics, strategy and business development and is a Cisco veteran of 17 years. In other Cisco roles, he was a Manager in the Cisco Services group where he led an Information Technology Development team as well as the Optical Networking Group (Cisco’s Cerent start-up acquisition) where he had Engineering Management responsibilities in global business planning, new product introduction and process improvement/implementation where he was personally responsible for the launch of a product which achieved over one billion dollars worth of revenue within the first year of introduction. He has also completed Cisco’s prestigious Global Leadership Program in Athens, Greece and Cisco’s Leadership Pipeline program focused on the company’s top 2% talent.

Ramon's background includes work at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), an ERP software start-up (purchased by Metamor Technologies), and as a Captain in the United States Army Armor Corps. He is a member of the Executive Board of ASPIRE, Poland’s premier business association, and was formerly the Chairman of the High-Tech Committee for the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland and the Executive Board of the US-Poland Fulbright Commssion.

He is also an active angel investor in global start-up companies.

Ramón A. Tancinco II received his Bachelor of Science in Management and Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Jérôme Wittamer

Founding Partner, Expon Capital. President, Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, Luxembourg.

Jérôme Wittamer is Managing Partner at Expon Capital, a global Venture Capital firm dedicated to exponential technologies and markets. He is also President of Luxembourg’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (LPEA). Before he was Managing Director at Genii Capital (Investment Management and Corporate Finance Advisory). Previous roles included senior member of the management team at BIP Investment Partners S.A. While at BIP, he co-founded VOXmobile, a mobile telephone operator sold to Orange, where he served as Board Member and CFO. Jérôme also successfully invested in media and communication technology companies such as EVS, OPTION and Evertz.

Richard Zurawski

Managing Partner, ISA Group LLC, San Francisco, USA

Dr. Richard Zurawski is Managing Partner in a San Francisco based private equity firm specializing in the hi-tech sector. He has over 40 years of academic and industrial experience, including a professorial post at the University of Tokyo (東京大学 Tōkyō daigaku), Japan.

He was Director of R&D at Kawasaki Electric in Tokyo, Japan, and held various executive posts at a number of hi-tech companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

Dr. Zurawski co-founded three Silicon Valley based hi-tech companies. He was a partner in a joint venture in China with OrientTech, involved in the development of telecommunication equipment for the Chinese market. He has been involved in due diligence done for venture capital companies in California and NYC for close to 20 years.




ABB is a pioneering technology leader that is writing the future of industrial digitalization. For more than four decades, ABB has been at the forefront, innovating digitally connected and enabled industrial equipment and systems. Every day, we drive efficiency, safety and productivity in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure globally. With a heritage spanning more than 130 years, ABB operates in more than 100 countries and employs around 132,000 people.



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