10th Italian Business Forum, 18th April 2023 at 9:00 at Jozef Stefan Institute (Aula Magna), Ljubljana

We are excited to invite you to attend the X Italian Business Forum on Tuesday, 18th April 2023 at the Aula Magna of the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana.

The event, which is being held at the 10th Anniversary of the association Italian-Slovenian Forum, will focus on the theme of “Accelerating Good Innovation“. It will feature a range of distinguished speakers and industry leaders who will share their insights and expertise on various topics related to the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in the current economic climate.

Topivs in the focus of thus years’s conference include economic growth, productivity through innovation, robotics, and creating innovation at the borderline. There will also be a poster exhibition featuring tech startups.

We hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be an inspiring and informative conference. Participation is free of charge upon a conpulsary registration to the event. Please, fill in the registration form below.

Keynote speakers

Polona Domadenik Muren, Associate Professor in Economics at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics and member of Management Board at Slovene Research Agency

Earned her PhD in Economics in 2003 at Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, during her studies she spent a year as a visiting scholar at CERGE-EI, Charles University, in Prague. In 2004 she got IMF/GDN research grant and spent 5 weeks at IMF headquarters in Washington, DC. In 2007 Polona was awarded by University’s Award for young fellows for extraordinary achievements in teaching and research. In the period of 2009-2010 I was a Fulbright scholar at University of California, Davis.

In the last 15 years Polona published several papers in refereed journals (Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Manpower, Journal of International Business Studies, Review of Comparative Economics and others) discussing the problems of corporate governance, enterprise restructuring, firms’ labor demand, labor market institutions and youth unemployment in transition economies analyzing firm and individual level data (registry and survey data). In last decade Polona participated at several international conferences. In the period of 2013 – 2015 she served as a member of EALE Executive Committee. Polona was a coordinator of two GDN projects and member of the research team of several research projects, financed by Slovene government, PHARE program and European Commission.

Giancarlo Miranda, President of the Supervisory Board of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Slovenia

Giancarlo Miranda graduated in political sciences at Catholic University Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and earned his Master of Arts degree in development economics from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.

Formerly Director of the Credit Programme at International Subsidiary Banks Division of Intesa Sanpaolo group; during his career he covered several executive roles in banking in Intesa Sanpaolo Group, International Subsidiary Banks Division (2003-2017), including Vice-President of the Management Board of Banka Intesa in Belgrade, Serbia, Vice President of the Management Board of Privredna banka, Zagreb, Croatia and President of the Management Board in Intesa Sanpaolo Bank inKoper-Capodistria in Slovenia. he had also covered other professional roles in  affiliated banks in the Goup in Hong Kong and New York and MIlan. In the year 1984-87, he served as a researcher at Nomisma.

In the years of his permanence in Slovenia he served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bank Association of Slovenia (2014-17).

Serenella Marzoli, Director of Ljubljana office of Italian Trade Agency (ITA/ ICE)

Ms. Marzoli is the Italian Trade Commissioner to Slovenia and Head of the Trade Promotion Section of the Embassy of Italy in Ljubljana. She is a career Government Officer within the Italian Trade Agency, the Governmental agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation that supports the business development of Italian companies abroad and promotes foreign investment towards Italy. She graduated in Rome magna cum laude in Foreign Literatures, with a master’s degree in Marketing and Communication. Throughout her career, she has been active with increasing responsibilities in an international setting to foster Italian international trade and business relations, assisting the entry or expansion of Italian companies in foreign markets.

She holds a relevant experience in business development and building relations between Italian manufacturers and foreign leading companies. She also coordinated the Italian Ministry of Economic Development’s project to promote Milan’s candidacy at the 2015 Expo. In 2017 she was Head of the 1st Project on Female Entrepreneurship, dedicated to Mediterranean Countries and organized by the Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. After a specific training in Brussels within the European Commissions, she became Head for promotional projects with FESR funding dedicated to Italy’s Southern Regions. She worked several years in communications as editor of the Agency’s official newsletters and magazines on foreign markets and international relations. Among her pro bono activities, she was a volunteer for the Italian Red Cross and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.

Antonio Bicchi, Professor of Robotics at the University of Pisa, and Senior Scientist at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa

He graduated from the University of Bologna in 1988 and was a postdoc scholar at M.I.T.  Artificial Intelligence lab. He teaches  Robotics and Control Systems in the Department of Information Engineering  (DII) of the University of Pisa. He leads the Robotics Group at the  Research Center “E. Piaggio” of the University of Pisa since 1990. He is the head of the SoftRobotics Lab for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation at IIT in Genoa. Since 2013 he serves ad Adjunct Professor at the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering of Arizona State University.

From January, 2023, he is the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Robotics Reserach (IJRR), the first and one of the top scientific journals in Robotics. He has been the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters  (2015-2019), which rapidly became the largest Robotics journal by number of submissions. He has organized the first WorldHaptics Conference (2005), today the premier conference in the field. He served as president of SIDRA, the scientific society of Automatic Control. He is a founder and President of the Italian Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines (I-RIM) (since 2019),

His main research interests are in Robotics, Haptics, and Control Systems. He has published more than 500 papers on international journals, books, and refereed conferences. For his fundamental research on human and robot hands the European Research Council awarded him with several grants, including an Advanced Grant in 2012, an ongoing Synergy Grant in 2019, and three Proof-of-Concept grants. He is the scientific coordinator of the JOiiNT Lab, an advanced tech transfer lab with leading-edge industries in Bergamo, Italy. He is the recipient of several awards and honours.


8.30 Arrival and registration     
9.00 Opening of the event
9.10 Opening address of the host
Boštjan Zalar, Director, Jozef Stefan Institute
9.15 Opening of the 10th IBF at the 10th Anniversary of Italian-Slovenian Forum
Jurij Giacomelli, President, Italijansko-slovenski Forum italo-sloveno
9.30 Introduction to the 10th IBF
Ivo Michele Polacco, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Italy to Slovenia
9.40 Celebration of the Agreement of collaboration between CNR and IJS
Romana Jordan, Assistant director, Jozef Stefan Institute
10.00 The challenge of productivity through innovation in the context of the EU Green Deal, the case of Slovenia
Polona Domadenik Muren, Full Professor, University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business, Programme director of IMB
10.20 Sustainable Growth in a Transition Economy: a View of the Italian and Slovenian Banking Sector
Giancarlo Miranda, President of Supervisory Board, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank
10.40    A success story: Exceeding 13 billion euro in bilateral exchange between Italy and Slovenia
Serenella Marzoli, Director, Italian Trade Agency, Lubiana
10.55 Business environment and challenges for the EU economy
Luigi Fuzio, CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank
Lorenzo Ramajola, CEO, Unicredit Slovenia
Mitja Feri, Member of the Management Board, Generali Slovenia
11.25 Coffee Break   
11.45 Excellences: Science, society and the innovation mindset to thrive on the “quadruple helix”
Introduction and moderation:
Jadran Lenarčič, President of the committee of warrants of the Forum
12.00 Robotics. What comes next?
Antonio Bicchi, Senior Researcher, IIT, Genova & Professor of Control and Robotics, University of Pisa
12.20 North-Adriatic Hydrogen Valley
Aleksander Gerbec, founder and managing director, ECUBES
Jerneja Sedlar, Senior Advisor, Development and Investments at Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE) Lead project partner
12.35 EFFECTIVE and AquafilSLO
Edi Kraus, Former General manager, AquafilSLO
12.50 Creating Innovation on the borderline: The case of Inkubator Sezana
Dorijan Maršič, Managing director, Inkubator Sezana
13.05 Protagonists of the “Innovation at the borderline” and their founders
Paradigma, Andrej Volpi, founder Genuiny, Nicole Pagnut, Tommaso Salerno, Sebastjan Krizman, founders
13.20 Q&A
13.35 Conclusions
13.45 Buffet Lunch
15.30 Conclusion of the meeting

Download the programme.

You can register here:

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