Our interdisciplinary team of experts
- Marco Michele Acquafredda
- Dr Patricia Alveen
- Nina Baltes
- Iva Baršić
- Dr Sonja Bergner
- Katrin Boisvert-Bilodeau
- Daniela Brehm
- Christa Brettar
- Thuy Duong Bui
- Ema Cerimagic
- Dr Wannes De Man
- Sabine Dier
- Nadine Drechoux
- Michele Dubbini
- Marta Dugandzic
- Pascal Fichot
- Claire Fritz
- Astrid Gindorf-Scherer
- Dr Verena Gluschak
- Andreas Gothe
- Valentina Guštin
- Jakob Haardt
- Corinna Hahn
- Melanie Haupenthal
- Andreas Hemmer
- Samuel Hoefman
- Yuliia Hornitska
- Janine Jost
- Anne Kopka
- Nikolina Lednicki
- Kyle Lee
- Saskia Lennartz
- Dr Chiara Lonoce
- Marina Lorenz
- Sabine Lukas
- Djevaire Memedi
- Tamara Messer
- Dr Cora Meyer
- Katrin Neisius
- Mechthild Piro-Hoffmann
- Juliane Piwonka
- Heiko Poth
- Léna Prochnow
- Martina Radanovic
- Gabrijela Radic
- Dr Sanja Šale
- Dr Lavinia Sammel
- Vanessa Santamaria
- Michaela Scheid
- Jörg Scherer
- Klara Schneider
- Laura Schweigert
- Ineke Thielmann
- Svenja Tregel
- Sandra Türk
- Mirna Vela
- Smiljka Vikic-Topic
- Dr Silke von Sehlen
- Andreas Wagner
- Laura Wallrich
- Stephanie Weber
- Nina Weiler
- Martha Whiteman
- Christopher Yepmo
- Cemresu Yücebalkan
- Sofia Zielonka
- Antonija Zrno Culap
After completing his studies in Italy and Germany, Marco Michele Acquafredda worked at a Berlin-based international academic publisher for over five years. He has worked with scholars and institutions worldwide in various roles, managing a wide variety of projects ranging from Open Access book acquisitions to social media campaigns. With his in-depth understanding of the European and global research landscape, as well as his passion for strategic communications, Marco joined the Eurice team as Communications Manager in 2022.
Head of IP & Innovation
After completing her PhD in mechanical engineering at University College Dublin, Ireland, Dr Patricia Alveen spent several years in Austria and Liechtenstein, where she worked in industry as a technical project manager, focussing on materials research. During this time, she led many collaborative research projects, including managing IP and innovation strategies. Since joining Eurice in 2020, she has used her project and innovation management experience in projects such as AIDAVA, ENLIGHTENme, REALM and SafePolyMed, as well as providing expert support to the European IP ecosystem.
Equipped with Master’s degrees in business administration/marketing and evaluation and a professional certificate in international project management, Nina has worked with a wide range of international organisations. Her professional engagements in the UK, Germany, Tanzania and Uganda built her expertise in communication and fundraising as well as organisational development and project management. Having joined the Eurice team in 2020, she supports multiple research and innovation projects such as INCREASE, ENLIGHTENme, APRICOT, ImmUniverse and SBR through targeted communication activities.
Dedicating her professional life to science and research, Dr Sonja Bergner is an expert in plant physiology, biochemistry and biotechnology. She, therefore, leads the Food & Farm-to-Fork key thematic area at Eurice. After her biology studies in Germany and Australia, she worked as a researcher in interdisciplinary research projects at the Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology (IBBP) and the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPIMP). Sonja is fascinated by research endeavours and technology transfer activities that create change and strengthen the impact on global health and the conservation of natural resources. At Eurice, she focuses on innovation management and dissemination activities in food projects such as AGENT and FOODLAND. Additionally, she enjoys providing strategic advice to ERC grant applicants and hands-on support during all proposal writing stages of collaborative research projects in the health, food and biotech fields.
Having graduated in intercultural communication and business administration (M.A.), Katrin Boisvert-Bilodeau deepened her personal interest in multidisciplinary surroundings and European cooperation working for the cross-border city network QuattroPole and the Chair of Romance Culture and Intercultural Communication at Saarland University. Additional study visits and internships in Montréal, Canada, and Toulouse, France, have further strengthened her passion for the Francophone world as well as her language and communication skills, which she has been applying in her daily work as a Project Manager at Eurice since 2017.
After receiving her MA in linguistics from Saarland University, Christa Brettar gathered almost 25 years of professional experience in international work environments in academia, industry and at SMEs alike in Scotland, South Korea and Germany before joining Eurice in 2015. Christa’s strong organisational skills and extensive experience in partner and process management have laid the foundation for her daily work with multinational research consortia. Her current portfolio includes management, monitoring, communication and dissemination activities in the IMI2 JU project Hypo-RESOLVE as well as in the Horizon 2020 projects TomGEM and APRICOT.
Ema Cerimagic has a humanities and social sciences background with MA degrees in Art History and Museology and Heritage Management. Before joining the Eurice team, she acquired experience at the national body implementing EU-funded programmes and initiatives in Croatia and at several international cultural institutions in Italy. She has been responsible for project cycle management, research coordination and policy work on inclusion and diversity. As a certified Prince2 project manager, Ema now uses her knowledge and experience by managing collaborative international research projects at Eurice.
With his experience in interdisciplinary research in agricultural and food science, Dr Wannes De Man is a Project Manager intrigued by challenges in the global food system with respect to sustainability and nutrition. After finishing his studies in bioscience engineering at KU Leuven (Belgium), Wannes pursued a PhD at the same university on the in-depth structure elucidation of wheat flour dietary fibres. He believes bridging various disciplines has great potential in creating innovative solutions for current agricultural, food, and environmental challenges.
After obtaining her Master’s degree in geography and humanitarian assistance, Sabine Dier quickly got acquainted with the world of international project management. Working for different NGOs took her to Vietnam and Armenia while collecting valuable experience in managing international projects funded by the EU, national governments and several UN organisations. Since 2015, she supports the Eurice team as a Project Manager. Her thematic scope encompasses social sciences, engineering studies and life sciences. Sabine’s current portfolio includes management and dissemination activities in Horizon 2020 project SysMedPD and IMI project 3TR.
After completing her studies of applied languages and translation, Nadine worked as a study programme coordinator at the University of Luxembourg for seven years before joining the Eurice team in January 2020. As Project Manager, Nadine is currently responsible for management and dissemination activities in the Horizon 2020 projects cmRNAbone, MIMY and PIONEERED.
With a B.A. in international law from the Catholic University of Milan, Italy and an M.A. in intellectual property law from the University of Alicante, Spain, Michele Dubbini had the ideal prerequisites to join Eurice as an IP & Innovation Advisor and legal expert. Since 2014, he has supported the European IPR Helpdesk as a speaker for webinars and on-site training events on IP Rights throughout Europe. Thanks to his international legal background and IP expert knowledge, he contributes to the creation and revision of consortium agreements and grant contracts for multinational research consortia and speaks at training events and workshops Eurice is involved in.
Before starting her career in corporate communication, Marta Dugandzic studied journalism in Zagreb and obtained her master’s degree in corporate communication from Baruch college in New York City. She gained experience in journalism and worked in the marketing communication department at a digital marketing agency in New York City. Marta later returned to media work: For TV, where she worked as a scriptwriter, director and executive producer and for radio, where she was executive producer, sales and marketing coordinator and, later, program director. In addition, she has experience in developing and executing marketing campaigns, finding tailored solutions for various project needs, social media strategy, content creation (both digital and print), and creating audio-visual materials. She joined the Eurice team in 2023.
Senior Project Manager
Prior to joining Eurice in 2014, Claire Fritz worked as a Business Development Manager in an international industrial group and gained experience in strategic controlling, business valuations including financial modelling and post-merger integration processes. Since entering the IP world, Claire has built an extensive track record in the successful project and stakeholder management of IP and innovation support initiatives, such as the European IP Helpdesk, the South-East Asia IP SME Helpdesk, the India IP SME Helpdesk, the Horizon IP Scan service and several projects for and with the EUIPO. She has profound expertise in strategic project planning, management and coordination, successful tender writing, establishing and implementing holistic long-term stakeholder partnerships and IP community management processes (EC, Enterprise Europe Network, EIC, EIT, EUIPO, EPO, CPVO, national patent offices, clusters, NCP Academy, etc.).
During her biology studies at the Justus-Liebig University of Gießen, Germany, Dr Verena Gluschak focused on microbiology, biochemistry and physiology. For her PhD studies, she joined the Institute for Microbiology and Molecular Biology which forms part of the university’s interdisciplinary Research Center for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition (iFZ). Verena started building up her international project management experience at the EU Grants Office of the university and joined the Eurice team as a Research & Innovation Manager in 2012. With her extensive knowledge of proposal management and support for large collaborative research projects, she significantly contributed to the success of several proposals in the field of health (IMI), food and biotech, including BIOMAP, G2P-SOL, TomGEM, and BRESOV. Being an expert for research alliances and multi-stakeholder management at national and European level, Verena also takes responsibility for the professional network management of the German national life science initiative NVKH.
Valentina Gustin obtained her master's degree with a major in Marketing at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Zagreb. She gained work experience as a marketing and sales manager in the furniture production industry and as a project manager assistant working on various projects and products for the HR industry. Her interests lie in marketing, PR, and project management. Valentina joined the Eurice team in May 2023.
Head of Berlin Office
Following his graduation in European studies (M.A.), Jakob Haardt gained hands-on experience in scientific project coordination, proposal writing and risk management as a research associate at the Federal Highway Research Institute before joining the Technical University Berlin as EC Liaison Officer. Since becoming a Research and Innovation Manager at Eurice in 2016, he has been focusing on collaborative innovation management and exploitation strategies for life science projects in the EU framework programme Horizon 2020 (e.g. the Innovation Action TBMED) as well as on strategic alignment and proposal management within the public-private Innovative Medicines Initiative (e.g. IMI projects PERISCOPE and Hypo-RESOLVE). Highly adept at developing and applying innovative tools and procedures, his cross-linked approach has helped SMEs to streamline their innovation potential in the frame of the regional EU innovation support initiative Route2025 and funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator. In 2020, Jakob became the Head of Eurice’s Berlin team.
Since joining Eurice as a Research & Innovation Manager in 2000, Corinna Hahn has built up a long track record of successful project proposals including p-medicine, SysMedPD, PneumoNP and B-SMART. Having started as a translator and FP4 project manager at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) Saarbrücken, her experience ranges from national funding schemes e.g. by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to the current EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020. Corinna is an expert in the field of nanotechnology with a strong personal interest in interdisciplinary research initiatives at the interface between medicine, nanotechnology and ICT. Her skill set includes strategic project planning and management of international research alliances, proposal writing and negotiation with particular expertise in engineering projects and ERC consultancy. Additionally, Corinna provides training sessions and workshops on knowledge transfer and innovation management.
Since joining the Eurice team in 2006, Melanie Haupenthal has built up a long track record comprising multiple funding programmes and areas of research. Having managed various highly innovative technology development projects in the FP7 Framework Programme (e.g. OSTEOGROW and CHIC), her impressive project portfolio now comprises Horizon 2020 life science projects such as CureCN and EXPERT. Melanie is a conscientious project manager with a passion for organisational structures, clearly defined processes and multifaceted, international research teams.
After completing his MA in political sciences in Strasburg, Samuel Hoefman worked as a project collaborator and coordinator at the University of Applied Sciences of Kaiserslautern for 3 years before joining our team as Project Manager in 2021. Specialised in international project management and intercultural communication, his work experiences in education and project management have helped to develop his passion for transnational cooperation. At Eurice, Samuel manages the Horizon2020 projects PLATOON and NEON and the Horizon Europe project RELiEF.
Having received a Master’s degree in law in 2008, Yuliia started working as a legal counsel, which led her through various positions in her 14-year career. In 2010, Yuliia completed her study in finance, and in 2012 she obtained a bar certificate. Working for different international companies in the food industries, she has gained immense experience in managing large-budget projects, as well as dealing with organisational matters at the foundation stage and in full-cycle maintenance, including companies’ finance coordination. At Eurice, Yuliia manages the Horizon 2020 food project AGENT and coordinates project management activities in a large-scale contract research project with an international pharma consortium, the TiO2 initiative.
Head of Project Management
With her many years of experience in the management of collaborative international research projects, Janine Jost is now one of the Senior Project Managers at Eurice. Already during her studies of applied languages and translation and her time working as a legal translator, she gained experience in the field of European law and intellectual property and developed a special interest in international communication and European project management. Besides managing research consortia in the fields of ICT, NMP, aeronautics and life sciences, she takes responsibility for internal knowledge transfer and resource management at Eurice. Janine’s current portfolio includes the NMBP project NanoBat as well as our first Horizon 2020 Innovation Action TBMED.
Before graduating with a BA in European studies and an MA in East European studies, Anne Kopka already studied in Germany, Latvia and Russia, where she gained working experience at the European Parliament and other European institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg. Ever since, she has had special interests in Eastern European countries, precisely structuring complex processes – and in food projects! As a Project Manager at Eurice, she manages several projects in the food and healthcare sector, such as BRESOV, and is involved in AGENT and BreedingValue. Her portfolio comprises FP7, Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe research and innovation projects as well as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (MSCA-ITNs).
Nikolina Lednicki is a Marketing and Communications professional with over 5 years of experience. She is pursuing her PhD in Marketing at the University of Ljubljana, where she conducts research on crisis communication. In addition to her studies, she worked as a Dissemination and Communication Officer on the European Processor Initiative project at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER). Before joining FER, Nikolina worked at the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association and the European Parliament Liaison Office in Croatia, where she gained expertise in public relations, content creation, and social media management.
With her molecular biology background and her experience in genetics and evolution, Dr Chiara Lonoce is a Research and Innovation Manager interested in health, biotechnology, and climate change. After her Master of Science in Genetics and Molecular Biology, she completed her PhD in Biotechnology at ENEA Research Centre in Rome before moving to Germany to work as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. At Eurice, she focuses on innovation management and dissemination activities in Horizon Europe projects and provides support during proposal writing of collaborative research projects in the health, food and biotech fields.
With a BA in cultural anthropology and American studies, Marina Lorenz’s background lies in cultural studies. She subsequently added an MA in cultural management to focus more on business aspects. Her studies and work experience in various cultural, academic, and public institutions provided the basis for her start as Project Assistant at Eurice in 2019. Since 2022, she has used her experience supporting international collaboration projects as Project Manager. Marina manages the MSCA projects EVIDENCE and I-DireCT, as well as the Horizon 2020 project APAL.
After completing a master’s degree in financial management, Djevaire Memedi started her career in administration. She gained several years of experience in project management, working for an international consulting company and coordinating social international projects financed by the European Commission. Djevaire’s professional experience in project management helped establish her love of cross-border collaboration. She strongly believes that innovative ideas with a social impact should be shared and discussed through collaborative partnerships. Djevaire speaks Albanian, Macedonian, Croatian and English.
Tamara holds a master’s degree in intercultural communication and business studies. She gained valuable experience in diverse and international work environments at several academic institutions and one of the world’s leading tech companies. Besides Germany, Tamara has studied and worked in Hungary, France, Spain and Russia. She joined the EURICE team as Project Manager in 2020. Tamara currently manages the IMI project BIOMAP and the Horizon 2020 project INCREASE.
After undergraduate studies in biology, Cora Meyer started to specialise herself in the area of Neuroscience for her diploma. With her PhD work being part of an EU-funded research project in the field of peripheral nerve regeneration at the Hannover Medical School, she built up experience and knowledge on the life-cycle of international research projects. After successfully defending her thesis, she decided to leave the laboratory and gained 5 years of experience in managing FP7, Horizon 2020, and IMI2 projects as well as in providing support to consortia during proposal writing processes. Accordingly, Cora Meyer has already been familiar with the scientific and administrative parts of international research activities before joining Eurice as a Project Manager in 2020. As a neuroscientist by training, she is mainly involved in the management of projects in the health sector (e.g. IMI project ImmUniverse), but is now also expanding her focus area to societal projects such as Horizon 2020 project PAVE.
Prior to joining Eurice as a Graphic Designer in 2018, Katrin Neisius has gained valuable experience in the field of media design for digital and print formats in different advertising and communication agencies. Moreover, she has been supporting several private companies as a freelance designer and consultant. With a diploma in media art and design, Katrin brings in profound expertise in the development and implementation of corporate identity concepts ranging from brand and product design to the visualisation of complex scientific concepts and technical processes. Her skill set also include the professional management of film projects for which she has received several grants and awards.
A Bachelor’s degree in Communication and English/American Studies as well as a Master of Arts in Media and Political Communication form the academic foundation for Juliane Piwonka’s work at EURICE. Juliane gained practical experience in the field of communications when working in science PR for an internationally renowned university hospital. Another professional station was her work in brand communication for an advertising agency with an international client base. In recent years, she has been intensively involved in radio usage research for a globally operating radio brand. Since November 2021, Juliane is part of the EURICE communication team.
After graduating from Saarland University as a chemist in 1999, Heiko Poth spent 15 years in research and development in both the academic and the industrial field. He worked as a scientist on several national and EU-funded research projects covering diverse technological innovations, mostly in the field of nanotechnology. For the next five years, he specialised in product and process development, technical sales and project management in the water treatment sector. Fascinated by the positive impact that technological and medical innovation can have on human life and wellbeing, Heiko joined Eurice in 2019 so he can use his broad experience to support the European research and innovation efforts in very diverse fields covering medical, social and engineering sciences. As Research & Innovation Manager, he is involved in the proposal writing process of international research consortia and ongoing multi-year projects, from the long-term transition of European industries into an emission-free future to life science projects such as KATY, EMAPS-Cardio and SBR.
A native speaker of German and French, Léna Prochnow studied Engineering Sciences at the École Centrale Paris and Medical Biotechnology at the TU Berlin. After becoming a strategy and marketing consultant in life sciences, she worked as a referee for biotechnology at the French Embassy and as a network and innovation manager for a regional health cluster. Léna is a passionate networker who uses her international and technical experience to help research consortia turn their ideas into successful proposals and promising research endeavours. At Eurice, her fields of action include innovation management and dissemination activities for Horizon projects, mainly in the key thematic area 'Food & Farm-to-Fork', as well as strategic network management for the German biotechnology association IWBio. She has gained profound expertise in Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP) and Citizen Science.
After obtaining a master's degree with a major in management, Martina Radanovic gained business experience within management, marketing and communications teams in various international companies. Before joining Eurice, she was responsible for a gaming and esports start-up's strategy, operations and management. Project management is something Martina takes pleasure in and likes, making sure all the minor elements come together to make a project as effective as possible. Martina joined the Eurice team in January 2023.
After earning her Master's degree in Experimental Biology from the University of Zagreb, Gabrijela Radic gained valuable experience in implementing EU projects and proposal writing while working at the Office for Technology Transfer at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine (UZSM). She was actively involved in the Alliance4Life_ACTIONS project, a bottom-up initiative of twelve leading life science institutions from eleven EU-13 countries aiming to close the divide in European health research and innovation. In addition to her experience with EU-funded projects, Gabrijela also worked on various national and privately funded projects/clinical trials, including those funded by the pharma industry. Subsequently, she transitioned to the Department for Research and Innovation at the University of Split, where she honed her skills in managing and implementing EU contracts and grants within complex organisational structures. In 2023, Gabrijela joined our team as Project Manager, bringing her vast knowledge and expertise with her.
Dr Sanja Šale holds an MD from the University of Zagreb and a PhD from the Department of Biotechnology at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine, she worked on several interdisciplinary research projects. Sanja’s areas of expertise include cell signalling, cancer research and precision medicine. While working in Silicon Valley, Sanja became interested in start-up ecosystems and tech transfer. After returning to Europe, she developed and co-directed the first public biotech incubator in Croatia, where she managed several strategic programmes fostering the growth of an innovation ecosystem in life sciences. In addition, as a Board Member and Chief Science and Technology Officer, Sanja established a contract research laboratory where she managed complex collaborative projects.
With an MA in human rights from the School of Law and Administrative Sciences in Craiova, Romania, an LL.M. in German Law and a PhD in Comparative Law on Personality Rights on the Internet obtained at the Saarland University, Lavinia Sammel has gained broad legal knowledge in comparative, contract and data protection law. After gathering experience in academia, at the German Parliament and the European Commission, Lavinia has developed her project management experience in projects such as HCA | Organoid and APAL since joining Eurice in 2020. She also has contributed to creating and revising consortium agreements and other legal documents for collaborative projects. Moreover, Lavinia manages internal data protection activities.
Having worked as a conference interpreter, translator and freelance journalist before, Michaela Scheid joined the Eurice team in 2015. She easily adapted to the thematic diversity of her daily work – ranging from Factories of the Future and Industry 4.0 to complex medical topics such as bone regeneration therapy or the development of vaccines. Managing large collaborative research projects enables her to combine her professional focus on communication and internationality with a personal talent for strategic thinking, efficient team work and trouble shooting. Her portfolio includes Horizon 2020 projects such as OSTEOproSPINE as well as large-scale IMI project PERISCOPE.
Jörg Scherer, Managing Director and Founder of Eurice, has been working as a Research & Development Manager and Business Advisor in both the academic and industrial sectors for over 20 years. Having founded Eurice in 2000, he acts as a senior innovation management expert for different units of the European Commission, Executive Agencies as well as business and research associations at the national and European level. He has an outstanding track record of coordinating and participating in more than 60 European research and innovation projects ranging from FP4 to Horizon 2020. He has been working as an innovation expert, evaluator, advisor, trainer and coach for EC services, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), research organisations, business incubators and technology transfer centres in Europe. Jörg is frequently invited by the EU Commission to speak about and conduct training sessions on Intellectual property (IP) and innovation management and business development. Involved in the activities of the European IPR Helpdesk for more than a decade, he has been coordinating a comprehensive IP capacity-building scheme with over 60 training sessions and more than 4,000 participants per year. With the beginning of the new contractual period in 2019, he has taken on the role of the European IP Helpdesk coordinator.
Klara Schneider’s background lies in language and culture studies (BA English Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures; Romance Studies in Spanish; European Studies) as well as European and international law (focus on European economic law and international trade law, LL.M.). They provide the basis for Klara’s work as Project Manager for international collaboration projects at Eurice, as do study and work experiences abroad in the USA, the UK and Mexico. In her previous roles in the financial sector, Klara has gained ample experience in administrative tasks, research analysis, project management and leadership, for example in IT, Quality Control or Client Services and Programs. Klara is currently pursuing her MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation to gain broader business and entrepreneurial knowledge. In 2021, Klara has joined the Eurice team as project manager and is responsible for the Horizon projects PERISCOPE and EMAPS-Cardio.
After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Georgia, USA, Laura obtained a Master’s in public policy from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt, Germany. In pursuing her passion for science and international project management, she joined the EURICE team in October 2021. Laura uses her problem solving and organisational skills as well as her ability for critical thinking and attention to detail in the Horizon2020 projects CureCN and HPCQS as well as in the HorizonEurope project NEUROCOV.
Svenja Tregel joined the Eurice team in 2020, bringing with her experience gained from a diverse range of roles both within and outside academia. She holds a Master's degree in English and American Studies and has worked for international companies in Canada and Germany. As a result, Svenja has developed strong oral and written language skills in English. Prior to joining Eurice, Svenja spent several years teaching English-language literature classes at the university level. She then transitioned to a role at a Berlin-based PR agency, where she specialised in science and business communication. Through this, Svenja gained extensive experience in producing and editing texts for various communication purposes and target groups, as well as in media relations and social media management. Her strong language skills and expertise in PR and communication enable her to contribute to a wide range of projects and initiatives.
Before joining the Eurice team in 2021, Sandra Türk completed the VWA Programme for Business Education at the Academy for Administration and Business in Stuttgart. Sandra has gained working experience in several international companies in a variety of fields. She has obtained her Master's degree in Religion & Culture at the Humboldt University in Berlin and holds a BA in Slavic Languages & Literatures and Social Sciences. At Eurice, Sandra manages the strategic network of the German biotechnology association IWBio and the Horizon 2020 projects KATY and PAVE. Since October 2022, Sandra also manages the Horizon Europe project SHAPEDEM-EU and is leading the key thematic area 'Society' on projects in the social sciences and humanities.
Mirna Vela joined Eurice as a project manager in 2023. Her undergraduate studies in management and graduate studies in service leadership and innovation at the Rochester Institute of Technology are a fantastic basis for her diverse career. She has professional experience leading projects in fields such as event planning, manufacturing, language education, translation and systems implementations in various business settings. Mirna enjoys applying her skills, knowledge and experience in diverse environments and continually acquiring new knowledge and experiences.
Head of Croatian Office
Smiljka Vikic-Topic began her career as a researcher in molecular biology at the University of Zagreb’s faculty of natural sciences. She has been a researcher and contract research manager in the pharma industry for 14 years. While spending a total of four years in the USA, she worked in molecular biology labs at Wake Forest University, NIH and Mayo Clinic. She was later trained at the NIH Office of Technology Transfer. In 2009, Smiljka established an office for technology transfer at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine (UZSM), working extensively on implementing EU projects and proposal writing with an emphasis on impact and results exploitation (such as OSTEOGROW and OSTEOproSPINE coordinated by UZSM). She also teaches soft skills for doctoral studies in biomedicine and occasionally evaluates projects with commercialisation activities. Smiljka is an active member and VP-Europe of the knowledge transfer association ASTP. In addition, she is engaged in the Alliance4Life_ACTIONS project, a bottom-up initiative of twelve leading life science institutions from eleven EU-13 countries aiming to close the divide in European health research and innovation. In January 2023, she joined the Eurice team as a Senior Research and Innovation Manager and became head of the Croatian branch of Eurice, RISE – Research and Innovation Services d.o.o., Zagreb.
After studying in Germany, Finland and the USA, Dr Silke von Sehlen obtained her PhD in comparative literature and joined the Eurice team in 2016. Her passion for the English and German language and her experience in intercultural and interdisciplinary environments have laid the foundation for Silke’s daily work in multinational research consortia. Her professional focus is on projects related to biotechnology and healthcare, which has included project management, monitoring, communication and dissemination activities within the Horizon 2020 projects B-SMART and SBR, as well as the IMI2 project 3TR.
During her studies in Business Administration with a special interest in Business Informatics and Marketing, Laura Wallrich joined the EURICE team as a trainee. Developing a profound passion for transnational cooperation and European project management, Laura has since gained profound experience in managing large collaborative research projects. As Project Manager, Laura focusses on strategic project planning, meeting organisation and communication activities in the large-scale IMI project PERISCOPE as well as the Horizon 2020 project ImmunoSep.
Head of Communications & Marketing
Before starting her career in the field of corporate communications and public relations, Stephanie Weber studied in Münster, Germany and Salamanca, Spain and obtained her Master‘s in communication studies, political science and English. She gained experience in journalism, media relations and worked as a PR consultant in a renowned German agency, before joining the Eurice team as Communication Manager in 2011. She has developed and implemented targeted concepts and measures including the planning and coordination of events, creation of media kits and the development of digital, print and audio-visual marketing materials. Being a passionate outreach strategist, Stephanie is now heading the communications team at Eurice providing professional advice on science communication and stakeholder management to multiple research and innovation initiatives such as the European IPR Helpdesk and the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).
Head of Communications & Marketing
With a background in media design and information science (M.A.), Nina Weiler started her communication and design career at a communication agency where she gained hands-on experience in visualising, designing and producing digital and print media. Since joining Eurice in 2004, she has been turning complex research endeavours into appealing communication measures with her focus being on the strategic planning of project communication and visual design concepts including the creation of print and digital dissemination materials, audio-visual content and logo designs. Nina has profound expertise in the development of integrated communication campaigns for EU and international R&D projects and has significantly contributed to the creation of the corporate identity concept of the European IPR Helpdesk and the communication activities of the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).
Before specialising in event and project management, Martha graduated from the University of Hull with a BA in German Studies. Following her degree, Martha moved to Germany and has organised events in healthcare, life sciences, food & biotech and education. She has worked on event cooperations with various pharmaceutical companies. Martha has managed exhibitions and sponsors for national and international congresses. She takes pride in and enjoys the organisation of projects, ensuring all the small details come together to make a project as successful as possible. Martha currently manages the IMI project HIPPOCRATES and the Horizon Europe project MELISSA.
After completing her studies in International Finance in Turkey and Business & Economics in Germany, Cemresu Yücebalkan gained working experience in different financial fields. Before joining the Eurice team in 2022, Cemresu acquired valuable IP knowledge during her experience at the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. She has been involved in strategic projects dedicated to raising IP awareness and supporting innovative small and medium enterprises. Drawing on her extensive IP knowledge, Cemresu currently contributes to various IP and innovation initiatives and is also involved in several communication activities.
After studies in biomedicine and a Master’s degree in economics combined with German language and culture studies, Sofia moved from Sweden to Germany to start her career in management consulting, business development and international project management. Sofia has experience predominately in food, health care and life sciences and the railway sector. She has been responsible for the strategy and execution of government-funded projects in Benelux and Germany to promote Swedish food exports internationally. Sofia is passionate about international collaboration and has also organised seminars and business delegations in both Germany and Sweden, as well as trainings for German physicians. Sofia joined the EURICE team in May 2022 and now uses her international project management experience in the projects BreedingValue and APRICOT. Sofia speaks Swedish, German and English.
After obtaining her Master's degree in political science and gaining work experience at a national Ministry and in an NGO, Antonija Zrno Culap discovered her passion for project management. Prior to joining Eurice in 2023, she worked at the University of Zagreb (Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering), where she managed projects funded by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT). Although her primary interest lies in political sociology, Antonija thoroughly enjoys being part of scientific projects that foster innovations impacting society.