Key Note Speakers

10th EASN Virtual International Conference Keynote Speakers


The 10th EASN Virtual International Conference programme includes important Keynote Lectures, given by distinguished personalities of the European Aviation and Space Community, including industry, research and policymaking.

The keynote lectures, given at the 10th EASN Virtual International Conference by our distinguished guests, can be found here

The names of this year's Keynote Speakers are the following, in alphabetical order:  

Dr. Marcello Amato
CIRA | EREA's Ηead of the Aeronautical Research Group

Keynote title: PRORA the Italian Programme for Aerospace Research

With a background in Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Head of the CFD Laboratory and Fluid Physics Unit at CIRA for many years; currently he is in the International Affairs Unit of CIRA scpa.

Currently M. Amato has an active role in the following groups:

  • Italian Representative in ACARE Member State Group and General Assembly, ACARE WG-5
  • ACARE-Italia (Co-Chair of the Council; chairing Group for European Affairs of ACARE-Italia)
  • EREA-ARG (chairing 2006-2010, 2012-2013,2014-2015,2018-2019, 2020-2021), EREA GA
  • ESRE GA, ESRE Technology Advisory Board

He has participated in many EC R&TD funded projects in FP5, FP6 and FP7. Recently, he has been involved in EC funded projects related to support European research policy implementation mainly in aviation domain and recently in Space domain as well:
  • AirTN-FP6, Air-TN-FP7, AirTN-Nextgen (coordinating)
  • CANNAPE, OPTI, OPTICS, OPTICS2, CAPPADOCIA, Gabriel, Future Sky Safety
  • SAT-Roadmap, CARGO-Map, E4U

Some recent relevant documents
  • Amato, M., “The Italian National Programme for Aeronautics and ACARE-ITALIA, ACARE Aerodays 2005, Brussels 30-31 March 2005
  • Amato, M., “ The Italian National Programme for Aeronautics – ACARE-Italia, Aeronautics Days 2006, Vienna, 19-21 June 2006
  • Altri & Amato. M “Out of the Box Thinking – Ideas about the Future of Air Transport System - Part-1”, CIRA-06-3809, funded by EC
  • Altri et M.Amato, “Italian Vision for R&TD in Aeronautics, 2006
  • Amato, M, et Altri, “Italia Strategic Research Agenda for Aeronautics, 2006
  • Altri & Amato. M “Out of the Box Thinking – Ideas about the Future of Air Transport System - Part-2”, printed in November 2007
  • Altri and M.Amato, CIRA contribution to “R&TD Priorities for National Industry“, AIRI book 2008
  • Altri & Amato, M: ” The National Research Program (PNR) - PNR and R&TD priorities for Aeronautics – Contribution to PNR by National Technological Platform ACARE Italia, September 2009
  • Altri & Amato, M: ”ACARE Italia – National Technological Platform for Aeronautics – Proposal for a National R&TD Programme for Aeronautics”, January 2010
  • Altri & Amato, M : “Reflections for an aeronautical JTI in FP8”, February 2011
  • Altri et M.Amato, contribution to ACARE SRIA – Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for European Aviation, August 2012
  • M.Amato et Altri, Observation Platform to assess the fulfilment of Vision 2020 goals fromTechnological and Institutional standpoints - OPTI Synthesis Report, 2013, CIRA-TR-14-0060
  • Amato, M. et Altri, COMMON VISION on the development of a Small Aircraft Transportation system, SATROADMAP project, funded by EC, 2012, CIRA-TR-14-0061
  • De Graaf, A., Amato, M. et Altri, “SAT Roadmap on the Development of a Small Aircraft Transportation System”, 2012, CIRA-TR-14-0062
  • Altri and Amato, M, “Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda Italia”, Marzo 2014
  • M. Amato, et altri, “Proposal for the update of PRORA – Italian Programme for Aerospace Research”. 2019



Mr. Bart Biebuyck
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) | Executive Director

Keynote title: Preparing a zero carbon aviation in Europe


Bart Biebuyck is since 16th May 2016 the Executive Director of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public-private partnership aiming at facilitating the deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in Europe. Under his leadership, a strong emphasis on cooperation with cities and regions led to the creation of the European Hydrogen Valleys partnership with around 40 European regions. Dissemination of project results, building technology awareness and enhanced basic research became his key focusing points

Before the FCH JU, Bart Biebuyck was at the Fuel Cell department of Toyota Motor Europe where he held the position of Technical Senior Manager. His expertise in the automotive industry includes extensive knowledge related to the deployment of new technologies in the European market. It is as part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) program in Berlin that Bart worked at reinforcing European trials for the Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle. He also had the opportunity to develop and expand his expertise in Japan, where for two years he worked on the development of Toyota and PSA’s small vehicle.

In addition to his industrial experience, Bart has been politically active in his local town since 2006. In 2013 he became the vice president of the City Council, responsible, among others, for the local economy and education.

Bart’s term as the Executive Director of the FCH - JU was extended for four years until 15 May 2023.



Dr. Rémy Denos
European Commission | Policy Officer – Space research, innovation and start-ups DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)

Keynote title: Space Research and Innovation under Horizon Europe: state of preparation


“Rémy Denos got a PhD in Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer from the University of Poitiers, as worked in industry, has been associate Professor for 6 years at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics. He joined the European commission in 2006 where he has been research programme officer and policy officer in Aeronautics at DG RTD, Smart Grids at DG ENER and today space at DG DEFIS under the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation FP6, FP7, Horizon 2020 and now Horizon Europe.”


Mr. Andrea Gentili 
European Commission | Deputy Head of Unit - D3 Low Emission Future Industries

Keynote title: EU aviation R&I in HE: present and future perspectives

“Andrea Gentili is currently the Deputy Head of the Unit "Low Emission Future Industries" in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. The unit is in charge of the European research and innovation activities in aviation, waterborne and coal&steel industries.

From 2016 to 2019, he acted as Deputy Head of the Unit "Aviation" in charge of the Clean Sky European research public-private partnership. From 2011 to 2016, he acted as Deputy Head of the Unit "Advanced Manufacturing Systems and Biotechnologies" and he has been strongly involved in the setting up of the contractual Public-Private Partnerships within Horizon 2020. In 2009, he was appointed responsible for the Commission for the implementation of the "Factories of the Future" and "Energy-efficient buildings" Public-Private Partnerships. In 2004, he was in charge of the setting-up and running of the Manufacture European Technology Platform, and he was responsible in RTD for several innovative advanced manufacturing areas such as automation, photonics, micro-nano manufacturing and additive technologies.

Before joining the European Commission in 2001, he had several different experiences in the private and public sectors. He started his career in an Italian SME producing industrial refrigerators as production manager, and then he joined the Ecole de Mines d'Albi in France as researcher. In the late 90's, he came back to industry and joined, as technical director, an American software and engineering company. Finally, in 1998, he became associate of a French SME and run his own business in the area of mechanical engineering services (e.g. static and dynamic/acoustic analysis, crash and multibody systems simulations, topology and parametric optimisations), mainly for the automotive and aerospace sectors.

Andrea has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pisa in Italy. Andrea is happily married and is the proud father of three children. In his leisure time, he practises free-diving and plays squash and tennis.”


Mr. Axel Krein
Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking | Executive Director

Keynote title: Clean Sky: towards climate-neutral aviation

On 1 February 2019, Axel Krein was appointed Executive Director of Clean Sky, the European Public-Private Partnership bringing together the European Commission and the aeronautics industry, SMEs, research centers and academia. Clean Sky 2 is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, and develops innovative technologies in order to reduce emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft. To achieve the formidable challenge of carbon neutrality by 2050, an aggressive research & demonstration programme as part of Horizon Europe is currently under definition, together with an accelerated development and adoption of sustainable low-carbon fuels. Only combining the resources and funding in Europe will produce a substantial leverage effect and help reach the challenging objective of deep de-carbonisation.

Axel Krein joined Airbus in Hamburg in 1992 and held various positions including heading the Cyber Security Program Directorate (September 2014-January 2019); Senior Vice President Research & Technology (2007-2014); Senior Vice President Strategic Development (2004-2007); and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (2000-2004). Axel holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering/Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Aachen and worked at the university in the field of hypersonic space transportation.


Prof.Ing. Leonardo Lecce
Novotech - Aerospace Advanced Technology Srl | CEO & President

Keynote title: Innovation Aspects in Design, Manufacturing and Testing of a Small Seaplane as Personal Transportation Vehicle

Presently is President and CEO of an innovative SME company, named: NOVOTECH – Aerospace Advanced Technology Srl ( , that he funded in 1992.
Graduated in 1971 with honors in Aeronautical Engineering at University of Naples “Federico II”. Have is academic carrier at the same University, starting in 1973 as Assistant Professor and ending on Sept. 1st, 2016, after his retirement as Full Professor of Aerospace Structures. From 2000 to 2006 has been Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. Supervisor of more then 250 graduation thesis and 20 Doctoral (PhD) Thesis, has been Coordinator of many Master, some with the involvement of Boeing and with the University of Missouri-Rolla on System Engineering.
Many times member of the UE Expert Commission for the Evaluation of the research proposal. Has been member of CIRA Scientific Committee for many years, as also member of the Council of ACARE-Italy from 2001 to 2017. From 2006 to 2016, Member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Structural Health Monitoring. Founder and President of the Alumni Association of the Aerospace Eng. graduated at University of Naples; President for many years of the Naples branch of the AIDAA (Italian Association of Aeronautic and Astronautic) and from 2013 to 2017 as been National President of AIDAA.
His main research interest have been: Prediction and Control of Noise and Vibration in Transportation Systems; Smart Structures and Systems; Damage Detection and Health Monitoring of Structures; Wing and Control Surface Morphing and recently New Technologies for Out of Autoclave and Automated Composite Manufacturing. The results of his research activities are in more than 250 papers published on national and international journals and Proceedings.
Has been Scientific Responsible of several national and EU funded research contract and European Scientific Coordinator of MADAVIC in 5th FP and MESEMA in the 6th FP. Within the 7th FP (2007-2013) is coordinator of the Airgreen Consortium (9 different partners), Associate Member of Alenia managed JTI Clean Sky-ITD Green Regional Aircraft (GRA).
Presently with his Company NOVOTECH is coordinator of 6 Research Project (founded by EU and national programs) focused on new technology for manufacturing composite structures.


Mr. Francesco Ferrigno
European Space Research Establishments (ESRE) | Representative of CIRA in ESRE

Keynote title: ESRE and the White Paper on Space trends and Technologies shaping next decade

Born in Naples, Italy, he received a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering at Federico II Naples University, and then a Master Diploma in Business Administration.

After a mutliannual cooperation with the Aerospace Dept. at Naples University, he joined CIRA in 1998, where he started working on the development of measurement techniques. He then managed for several years some of the main Wind tunnels at CIRA. After a period of two years when he teached at the Industrial Engineering Faculty in Argentina, he joined again CIRA is Project Manager for the realization of Space Propulsion Test Facilities at CIRA. Since 2006 he belongs to the Business Development and Strategic Programming Unit at CIRA, focusing his activity on the Space sector end on the Research Infrastructures, and represents CIRA in several national and international associations, including ESRE.



Dr. Marco Protti
Leonardo Aircraft Division | VP Advanced Research

Keynote title: The future of aviation: the technology challenges ahead

Marco Protti joined Leonardo Aircraft Division (formerly Aeritalia) in 1987.
He is currently VP of Advanced Research and he has the responsibility to oversee the Division Innovation process including research projects portfolio definition as well as the industrial exploitation of the developed technologies and management of the national and International research collaboration network.
In the past 30 years he has matured a large experience in managing National and International research projects acting as Technical Project coordinator and Program Manager.
Since 2014 is member of the Governing Board of the Clean Sky JU where he acts as deputy chairman.
He is the chairman of ACARE Italy, member of the General Assembly of ACARE, of the ASD R&T Commission, of the European Materials Modelling Council - Industrial Advisory Board (EMMC-IAB), of the Technical Committee of the Italian Aerospace Technology Cluster.
He has been also member of the SESAR JU Administrative Board.


Dr. Marcel Rommerts

European Commission | Head of Unit - Transport Research, Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Keynote title: Horizon 2020 Collaborative Aviation Research - an overview of results and impact

Marcel Rommerts is Head of Unit for Transport Research in the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency of the European Commission. His unit manages over 300 research and innovation projects under the Horizon 2020 Programme (2014-2020). In previous positions in the European Commission, he developed and coordinated EU policy on transport research and innovation, and EU policy in the field of urban transport and mobility. Marcel holds degrees in Transport Engineering and Business Studies and Engineering. He received a Ph.D. in Transportation Studies from University College London.