Our team

GIID EUROPE draws together experienced researchers and practitioners in this fast-changing field to help Europe’s innovation districts achieve best in class.

Julie Wagner

Julie Wagner

Managing Director
Founder & President, The Global Institute on Innovation Districts

Julie is president and founder of The Global Institute on Innovation Districts, where she is currently leading a Global Network of 23 innovation districts worldwide with the ambition to advance them—both individually and collectively—as leaders in this fast-evolving practice. To support the Global Network and other districts elsewhere, she is leading a team of researchers in the development of cutting-edge analysis on districts including their R&D strengths and specializations and their combined assets that create innovative and inclusive places. Julie is also playing a leading role in GIID Europe, a new not for profit organization designed to support district and other innovation geographies advancing in and across Europe. She is a prolific urban researcher and is co-author of the papers “The rise of innovation districts: A new geography of innovation in America” and “The evolution of innovation districts: The new geography of global innovation.”

Julie has over 25 years of experience advancing cities and urban areas. For over the past decade, she served as a non resident senior fellow at The Brooking Institution. She is also a visiting scholar for the Esade Business School’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics. Julie has co-authored several papers on the changing role of innovation and place, including “Innovation spaces: The new design of work” and “Advancing a new wave of economic competitiveness: The role of mayors in the rise of innovation districts.”

Living in Europe, she continues to help advance the competitiveness of cities and regions globally, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Milan, Silicon Valley, Sheffield, Sydney, and Turin. Julie is supporting the development of innovation districts in cities across Israel in her capacity as strategic advisor to Israel’s National Economic Council.

A trained city planner, Julie served as a deputy planning director for the District of Columbia, where she developed the city’s long-range plan. She earned a master’s degree in city planning from MIT and holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Northeastern University. Julie has received several planning awards from MIT and the American Planning Association for her work.

Igor Ozeran

Igor Ozeran

Project Manager
Communications and Project Manager, The Global Institute on Innovation Districts

Igor is communications and project manager for The Global Institute on Innovation Districts, where he drives and supports the implementation of cross-team projects. He played a key role in the development of the Global Network of Innovation Districts and works closely with The Global Institute’s Steering Committee. He is passionate about digital technologies, which are at the heart of his day-to-day job at The Global Institute.

Igor first started working with innovation geographies at The Brookings Institution, where he worked on a global scan of innovation districts with Julie Wagner at the Bass Initiative for Innovation and Placemaking. Prior to Brookings, he supervised a small team in a research institute in Switzerland, mainly working on projects commissioned by the Swiss Federal Statistics Office.

Igor holds a degree in communication sciences from the University of Lugano and is certified by the Swiss branch of the International Project Management Association. He speaks English, Italian and Russian.

Andreas Spiegelberg

Andreas Spiegelberg

President and Board Chair
Founding Partner, Intelligent Invest SA

Andreas is the founding partner of Intelligent Invest SA, a Multi Family Office based in Lugano. The company offers its wealth management services to a clientele based mainly in Switzerland and Europe.

Andreas has over 25 years of experience working in the banking industry, both on the investment banking-, and the institutional brokerage- sides. He has covered leadership roles with major industry players in the Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, where his focus has been on the Equity Markets.

Andreas is an experienced executive with a track record of increasing market share, driving business development, and forming highly successful partnerships and alliances across national and international markets.

He was further involved as the acting COO of a $100M medical research firm based in the Netherlands, where he performed critical equity and debt funding and revamped the company’s strategy to focus on the medical devices’ revenue stream, which led the firm’s commercial operation to reach breakeven and laid the foundations for a positive cashflow in the following year.

Prior to banking, Andreas has worked at a leading law firm in Zurich.

Andreas holds a Master of Arts (Lic.iur.) from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Fiorenza Lipparini

Fiorenza Lipparini

Vice President of the Board
Co-founder & Managing Partner, PlusValue

Fiorenza has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and knowledgeable people. She found herself becoming an expert in the most diverse areas, believing that real change is always a matter of empowering the right people to work together towards the achievement of the greater good.

Fiorenza is Founding Partner and Director of Research at PlusValue. Her fields of specialised research are impact investing, impact assessment, urban regeneration, innovation ecosystems, EU RDI programs and policies, and participatory research. Fiorenza has extensive experience in urban regeneration projects in Italy and in the UK, specifically public-private partnerships. She leads the work on ecosystem analysis, managing a broad network of stakeholders and intermediary organisations, as well as developing business models, and more specifically, financial models.

She is also research Fellow at UCL’s Institute for Finance and Technology and Senior Researcher at the Global Institute for Innovation Districts. Before joining PlusValue, Fiorenza worked for The Young Foundation as EU policy senior analyst. She had been a policy analyst in Brussels for Intesa San Paolo for the previous four years, and in 2010 she served as a policy analyst for Atomium Culture. Today, she is regularly consulted by the European Commission on innovation (social and technological) and socio-economic development.

She holds a PhD in Linguistics and is the author of numerous articles, reports and books.

Paolo Bortolin

Paolo Bortolin

Board Treasurer
Deputy CFO, City of Lugano

Paolo is Treasurer of the Board at The Global Institute on Innovation Districts Europe. He is Deputy Director of the Finance Division of the City of Lugano. In addition to assisting the director in the management of the Finance Division, he is responsible for the division’s institutional relations.

Living in Vezia, he graduated in 1993 in Business Management with a specialization in financial management at the University of Fribourg. Paolo also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Certificate in Global Management from the University of California Berkeley and has a proven track record of many years of experience in both the public and private financial and accounting sectors.

Paolo held the general manager positions at Tecnoarreda SA from 1999 to 2007, and at start-up MBES SA from 2008 to 2010. From 2011 to 2019 he took on the position of head of the Treasury and Invoicing Office of the Canton of Ticino. For the past two years, he has been Head of Distributional Retail Banking for the Ticino Region at ​​PostFinance SA.

Paolo is a member of the City’s Blockchain & Crypto Task Force.

Bruce Katz

Bruce Katz

Board Secretary
Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University

Bruce is director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University in Philadelphia, which aims to deepen and accelerate the burgeoning field of metro finance. He is also co-founder of New Localism Advisors, which helps cities design, finance, and deliver transformative initiatives that promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

Bruce was the Centennial Scholar at The Brookings Institution from January 2016 to March 2018, where he focused on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. He assumed this role after 20 years at Brookings, where he founded the Metropolitan Policy Program. Bruce is a prolific, globally renowned author and opinion-shaper in the field of urban and metropolitan growth and redevelopment. He is co-author of two papers on innovation districts: “The rise of innovation districts: A new geography of innovation in America” and “The evolution of innovation districts: The new geography of global innovation.”

Before joining Brookings, Bruce served as chief of staff to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and was senior counsel and then staff director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. Bruce is co-author of The new localism: How cities can thrive in the age of populism and The metropolitan revolution: How cities and metros are fixing our broken politics and fragile economy. He is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School.

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