Brave New Interfaces. Individual, Social and Economic Impact of the Next Generation Interfaces


Crosstalks Publications

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The first CROSSTALKS book “How open is the future? Economic, Social and Cultural Scenarios inspired by Free and Open-Source Software – VUB Brussels University Press - 2005” has now become the first volume of a series. We are proud to present you with a new, quite exceptional collection of articles bundled in this second CROSSTALKS publication. Some of the articles are loosely based, while others are directly based, on the discussions, insights and perspectives raised during the Brave New Interfaces workshop of 27 April 2006 in Brussels. The topic of exploring existing and future interfaces and their design emerged from numerous discussions on whether some spectacular technological innovations also meant or implied something more than just technological progress. Depending on the gender and the technological literacy of the conversationalists, the answer might be yes, no, or somewhere in between.

Another drive behind this publication was the need to find a common language to discuss all things interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinarity has been a major buzzword for a couple of years, but reality proves that different descriptions, meanings and implications are tagged to it. What exactly are we talking about? Everything can be labeled interdisciplinary in our culturally diverse and quickly changing world. So we gathered key people from the European design, architectural and technology-driven worlds to reflect on the meaning of working, thinking and acting in an interdisciplinary way … and what the added value could be.


[...] CROSSTALKS offers a cross-disciplinary platform to the researchers, thinkers and decision-makers of today and tomorrow. They meet in an open, yet compelling public space where in the first place a common ground is created through exchanging knowledge, visions and perspectives. Taking the time to listen to one another is a good way to understand complex ideas, different attitudes to science, art and the world; and yes, it is an opportunity to gain deeper trust. The kick-off or mind-broadening CROSSTALKS seminars are followed by exclusive science & industry lunches with limited participation to focus on particular issues. The next step is to share the most relevant insights, emerging common issues and the most provoking presentations with the rest of the world in a publication.

This book – again like the first CROSSTALKS volume from 2005 - will not so much offer answers to questions, but rather function as a source of evidence upon which to base further reflection and discussion. The following quote has been attributed to the 19th century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer as well as to the 1933 Nobel Prize winner for Physics, Erwin Schrödinger: “Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.” Whoever the true deviser is, it’s at this kind of messy crossroads that scientists and artists find their inspiration and it’s exactly here that knowledge begins. But exchanging ideas and results between different scientific disciplines or between science and art is one thing, engaging in collaborative projects or research is another. The following chapters are first-hand accounts of cooperative processes by researchers in an academic or corporate context exploring trans-disciplinarity, of artists evoking new knowledge and of architects, entrepreneurs and corporate directors pursuing innovation through new narratives that combine mathematical methods and strategic frameworks with aberrations and poetry.

Since we want to avoid producing words with no strings attached, we summoned some co-thinkers and cross-talkers in mid-July 2006 to exchange insights and possibly come up with some directives for urgent action on the work and research floor, in education but also in the meeting rooms of political decision-making. We didn’t need to verbalize whether we thought a cross-disciplinary approach should be taken up, but rather, as one of our editorial discussants described it: “ The question is no longer ‘Whether it should be done?’ the question is rather ‘What is the best way to do it’?”

Pronounced directives did emerge from the flow of the discussion, which in turn moved logically rom the needs of the public, to the need for more interdisciplinary teams in research & development with an eye on innovation and creativity and the need for issue-driven education with an interdisciplinary approach to enhance motivation for science and technology studies.
The core issues and directives are summarized in the epilogue to this article.


CROSSTALKS is the industry and university network
of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Launched in 2003, it
acts as an open and interdisciplinary platform to discuss policy-probing
issues. CROSSTALKS manifests itself by interweaving practices
from various scientific disciplines, different innovative companies
and the art world.

For this book we gathered key people from the European design,
architectural, art and academic and corporate technology-driven
worlds to reflect on the meaning and impact of existing and future
interfaces – and on what the added value could be.

The topic of exploring existing and future interfaces and their
design emerged from numerous discussions on whether spectacular
technological innovations also meant or implied something more
than just technological progress. Depending on the gender and
the technological literacy of the conversationalists, the answer
might be yes, no, or somewhere in between.

Jan Cornelis (1950°) is vice-rector
of research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), director
of the department of Electronics and Informatics Processing –
ETRO at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, and coordinator of
the research group on image processing and machine vision –
IRIS. Cornelis is a member of the board of directors of the Interuniversity
MicroElectronics Centre – IMEC – and Chairman of the
board of directors BI3 (Brussels I3 NV) – the incubation
fund of the VUB.

Marleen Wynants (1958°) is a freelance
publicist. She was editor of the post-punk magazine Fabiola, wrote
copy and articles for the major media groups in Belgium before
reorienting her focus on interdisciplinary networking and science
projects, and even more so on the people behind them. Wynants
is the operational director of CROSSTALKS, the university and
industry network of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and reports
on art and science in <H>art and Janus Magazine.


BRAVE NEW INTERFACES Individual, Social and Economic Impact of the Next Generation Interfaces
(click on a name to read bios)
Preface & Acknowledgements - Jan Cornelis (Vice-rector Research VUB) & Marleen Wynants (Operational Director CROSSTALKS)

Table of Contents

Part I Some theoretical approaches

1. Technology & interface challenges for the 21st century
Hugo De Man (Prof Emeritus KULeuven & co-founder of IMEC)
2. The economic impact of demographical evolutions
Jørgen Mortensen (Associate Senior Research Fellow Centre for European Policy Studies)
3. Creative communities in a network society
Ezio Manzini (Research Design and Innovation for Sustainability (DIS), Politecnico di Milano)

PORTFOLIO Reading the city through its public spaces
Wim Cuyvers (Architect & advisor-researcher at Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht)

Part II Creativity & innovation in a corporate context

4. Interfacing with the future
Josephine Green (Director of Trends and Strategy at Philips Design)
5. Beyond the User Interface
Jan Bouwen (Project Lead Alcatel Research & Innovation)
6. Minding the business that minds the user
Interview with Joannes Vandermeulen (Business Manager Namahn) by Liz Morrison

PORTFOLIO Fluxus or a hardline approach to software based art
Angelo Vermeulen (Science & New Media Artist)

Part III Breakthrough case studies from Belgium

7. Beyond the building
Salvatore Bono (Architect & COO of Buro2.Networks)
8. Socio-economic challenges for a mobile networking society
Jo Pierson & An Jacobs (Researchers at Studies on Media, Information & Telecommunication, SMIT-VUB)
9. The Virtual Worlds of Workspace Unlimited
Wayne Ashley (New York independent new media creator & curator)
Exploring social dynamics and identity through digital art
Interview with Kora Van Den Bulcke & Thomas Soetens (Founders of Workspace Unlimited) by Marleen Wynants
10. Messiaen reflected: development of a meta-model for musical analysis
Peter Swinnen (Musician & researcher) & Tom Deneckere (Mathematician at VUB & musician)
11. Probo, a friend for life?
Kristof Goris, Selma Yilmazyildiz, Jelle Saldien, Björn Verrelst, Dirk Lefeber, Werner Verhelst (Researchers Robotics & Multibody Research Group, VUB)
12. Human ++ Emerging technology for body area networks
Bert Gyselinckx (Program Director Human++, IMEC NL) & Philippe Mattelaer (Business Development Manager, IMEC NL)
13. Bridging the gap – Research in an experience-oriented world
Nico Verplancke (Program Manager IBBT)


14. Power to the people
Jan Van Den Bergh (CEO I-Merge)

FINAL LINK Philippe De Jonckheere

About The Editors
List of Pictures



Hugo De Man was professor in electrical engineering at KULeuven, Belgium from 1976 to 2005. Since October 2005 he is professor Emeritus of the KULeuven. In 1975, he was visiting associate professor at U.C.Berkeley teaching device physics and IC design. His early research was devoted to the development of mixed-signal, switched capacitor and DSP simulation tools as well as new topologies for highspeed CMOS circuits. He is cofounder of IMEC (Interuniversity Micro-electronics Center), where he was Vice-President from1984-1995, in charge of design methods for DSP and telecom-oriented chip architectures. Since then he is a Senior Research Fellow of IMEC, working on design methods for low-power post-PC systems in nanoscale technologies. In 1999 he received the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, The Phil Kaufman Award of the EDA Consortium and the Golden Jubilee Medal of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. In 2004 he received lifetime achievement awards respectively of the “European Design and Automation Association (EDAA)” as well as the “European Electronics Industry”. Hugo De Man is a Fellow of IEEE and a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Belgium.

Jørgen Mortensen is Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Within CEPS his main responsibility is the management of the European Network of Economic Policy Institutes (ENEPRI), initiated by CEPS in 1999 with financing from the European Commission’s Fifth Framework Programme for Research (FP) and for the formulation and coordination of several FP5 and FP6 research projects implemented by consortiums formed within, but also with outside partners, the ENEPRI framework.

Ezio Manzini is professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano where he is Director of Unit of Research Design and Innovation for Sustainability and coordinator of the Doctorate in Industrial Design. Currently, he is also visiting lecturer at the Tohoku University in Japan. In the past, he has been Director of the Domus Academy in Milano and Chair Professor of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In the 2006 he has been nominated Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at The New School of New York. His works are based on strategic design and design for sustainability, with a focus on the scenario building and solution development. He has been involved in several international commissions, expert panels and working groups. His recent and current research activities are: HiCS, Highly Customerised Solutions, within the Growth Programme of the European Community (2001- 2004); EMUDE, Emerging User Demands, within the VI Framework Programme of the European Community (2004-2006); Sustainable Consumption Research Exchanges, within the VI Framework Programme of the European Community (2005 - 2007); LOLA, looking for likely alternatives, within the framework of the EU CCN, Consumer Citizens Network (2005-2006). Some relevant results of his recent research activities have been edited in the books: Manzini, E., Jegou, F., Sustainable everyday, Edizioni Ambiente, Milano, 2003, and Leong B.D., Manzini, E (2006) Design Vision : a Sustainable Way of Living in China, Ningnan Publishing House Ltd., China and in several papers (some of them can be found in:

Wim Cuyvers (°1958) graduated as an architect at the Hoger Architectuurinstituut Gent (B) in 1982. His work includes buildings (schools, kindergarten, private houses, laboratories) and urbanistic proposals. His concepts and realizations are often remarkable because of the wayward interpretation and projective transposition of its prior conditions. He did individual exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions from Antwerp to Venice, Bordeaux, Rome and Plymouth. He obtained honourable mentions in different design competitions and won the ‘Cultuurprijs Architectuur van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap – 2005. Since his graduation he has been active as an author of critical essays on architecture and on broader cultural questions. Together with photographer Mark De Blieck he is the author of an untitled book treating about the rear of public space (Yves Gevaert publisher, Brussels, 2002) Cuyvers has taught in Sint Lucas Gent (B), Design Academy Eindhoven (NL), Academie voor Bouwkunst Tilburg (NL), Ecole d’Architecture Paris Malaquais (F) and is currently advisor-researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Cuyvers designed the space for the art- and architecture foundation Stroom in Den Haag and engages in the Kick Off Cancer project of the Ghent Museum for Contemporary Art (SMAK) and the Hospital AZ Maria Middelares to design two rooms for the cancer patients.

Josephine Green studied History and Politics at Warwick University in England. She has worked both in International Marketing and Sales and in Futures and Socio-Cultural Research for companies and organizations. Since 1997 she is Senior Director of Trends and Strategy at Philips Design, Royal Philips Electronics. Her main role is to promote new thinking, new ideas and new knowledge, particularly in the field of Foresight and Society, Cultures and People Research, and its application to strategic thinking, innovation and growth. She is responsible for the ‘Strategic Futures Program’ that helps customers thinking about and implements a human focused approach to innovation and new value creation. She has consistently worked with customers to introduce new thinking and sustainable development into their culture and processes. Josephine has given many international presentations, lectures at a number of universities’ masters and executive courses and is Visiting Professor at The Glasgow School of Art and Design.

Jan Bouwen, Strategic Project Lead ReNA, joined Alcatel’s corporate CTO organization
in 1998, where he worked on VoIP architectures and protocols and contributed to Alcatel’s broadband applications strategy. Since 2003 he’s leading the Residential Networked Applications project in Alcatel-Lucent’s Research & Innovation department. Before joining Alcatel, Jan worked in the automatization and space industries as purchaser and project manager. Bouwen holds a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering from the University of Leuven.

Joannes Vandermeulen owns and manages Namahn, a consultancy for the usercentered design of digital products. He was educated as an archaeologist and Oriental linguist at K.U.Leuven. After short stints in academia and multimedia art, he became an executive secretary, introducing him to the workings of international business. He was introduced to Human-Computer Interaction while working in New York. In 1987, he founded Namahn, operating from Brussels. Joannes spends his working time on business development, consulting assignments, coaching and teaching.

Angelo Vermeulen (°1971) obtained a PhD in biology in 1998 at the K.U. Leuven, together with a degree in photography at the Academy of Fine Arts. After his studies, he moved to London to collaborate with Nick Waplington, a photographer who introduced him to the local art scene. Back in Belgium he became an artist in residence at HISK (Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten) in Antwerp. His most recent project is ‘Drumlander’, a creative platform on game culture set up in collaboration with Canadian gamer and artist Louis Blackburn. Recently Drumlander created audio performances with game music and installations with underground games. Vermeulen is regularly invited to give lectures on art, science and new technologies in universities and art institutes, and is a lecturer at Sint-Lucas Visual Arts in Ghent (department of the Institute for Higher Education in the Sciences & the Arts). He is preparing his first book on the relation between art, technology and spirituality in partnership with art philosopher Antoon Van den Braembussche.

Salvatore Bono was born in Sicily and spent his formative years between Rome and Paris. He studied Architecture at La Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He is specialized in engineering and construction design. From 1975 to 1985, he worked in Italy as a freelance architect and engineer in creative structural and construction design. During this time he also taught construction design at the Building Technology Institute of the Architecture School of La Sapienza University, as the assistant of Professor Antonio Michetti. After a brief, but intensive experience in social projects for underdeveloped areas in southern Italy, he worked as Director of the Design and Research department of the Fratelli Dioguardi construction company. In this function, he developed advanced design activities for large-scale projects in Italy, France, Czechoslovakia and Germany, often collaborating with famous Italian architects such as Renzo Piano, Aldo Rossi and Pierluigi Spadolini. In 1995 he decided to move with his family to Belgium, his wife’s home country.
From 1995 to 2002 he was partner of Groep Planning, a major architectural office in Flanders. During this period he re-oriented his professional profile towards sustainable architectural design. Since 2002 he is Innovation Manager of Buro2, a dynamic west-Flanders based architecture office. He leads a team of young architects engaging in experimental projects. Since January 2006 he is C.O.O. of Buro2.Networks, a new branch office of Buro2, which develops cross- disciplinary platforms for the production of innovative architecture.

An Jacobs is a sociologist. She joined IBBT SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication) - one of the founding members of IBBT (Interdisciplinary institute
for BroadBand Technology) - in 2005 as Senior Researcher. Integrating social research within all phases of the development process of innovative products is her core interest. Therefore she specializes in user research and design ethnography in particular. Within the team she is responsible for the co-ordination of the projects within the health and care field. At the moment she is also doing research projects in the domains of e-government and new media. Previously she worked at the Department of Sociology (University of Gent), where she did her PhD research on the visions of graduated sociologists on their profession and the application of their knowledge in the process of developing new consumer products. She is guest lecturer sociology at the Hogeschool Antwerpen in the Department of Design Sciences.

Jo Pierson is Senior Researcher at SMIT (Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication) - member of IBBT (Interdisciplinary institute for Broad Band Technology) - and holds a PhD in social science (communication studies). In the past he worked as a researcher-advisor for the Dutch knowledge institute TNO in Delft. He now lectures bachelor and master courses on socio-economic issues of the nformation society and on qualitative research methods at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel for the department of Communication Studies (Faculty of Arts and Philosophy). His core expertise is situated in the field of innovation strategic research on the meaning and use of fixed and mobile media technologies at home, at work and in public settings. In this domain he is managing a range of projects. In addition he is doing research on involving users in the technological development process based on ethnographic study and Living Lab research. He also publishes on the adoption and domestication of ICT by small business (SMEs and micro-enterprises). Other research areas include e-inclusion issues and information society policy at European and national level.

Kora Van den Bulcke (1972) graduated as an architect at the University of Montreal. In 1996 she received the Gold Medal of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada for the “Invention Factory – Cultural House of the Future”. Kora Van den Bulcke is co-founder of Workspace Unlimited new media organization and co-conceptualized Common Grounds. Her vision as an architect is not limited to designing tomorrow’s physical space but creating virtual and hybrid ambient/augmented environments that coexist within our global Web-culture. Though she is conceptually engaged with the materiality of architectural space and urban life, her creative output focuses on electronic 3D interfaces that activate a field of relations between things, people, buildings, institutions and the larger environment.

Thomas Soetens (1972) is the founder and director of Workspace Unlimited new media organization. For the last five years he has been developing diverse strategies for articulating new public domains that connect physical urban spaces and the potential public sphere of electronic networks. Workspace Unlimited has been at the forefront of parallel gaming explorations producing some of the most complex networked virtual worlds in collaboration with an international cadre of cultural institutions, curators, researchers and software engineers. In 2001, Thomas initiated and conceived the international initiative called Common Grounds, a cross-disciplinary virtual platform for digitally- born art, creation, research, theory and innovation.

After his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (1983 - 1992), Peter Swinnen receives a master degree for Composition with Mr. A. Laporte from the Queen Elisabeth College of Music in Waterloo (1989 - 1992). He finishes his education through Master Classes with Mr. M. Finnissy (1993) and Mr. B. Ferneyhough (1998). Being a cello teacher at Music Schools in the period 1990 - 1997, he also teaches, since 1992, Analysis, later also Music Technology (2002) and Composition (2004) at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He was involved in a project on software developing for eartraining at the K.U.Leuven 1997-2004, and on musical analysis with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 2004. Apart from freelance activities for the VRT-television (= dutch speaking Belgian television), he is frequently asked by several ensembles to perform Live Electronics in contemporary pieces and/or as a sound producer for CD recordings. Peter Swinnen is also founding member and president of the International Society for Contemporary Music Flanders since 2005. Amongst many awards for his compositions are the “Prijs CERA - Jeugd en Muziek Vlaanderen 1991” for his complete works and the “Provinciale Prijs voor Muziekcompositie 1992 van de provincie Antwerpen” for his opera “The petrifying Blue”. In 1997 his piece “Quar’l” receives the “Prix de Musique Contemporaine” de Québec and “Canzone” wins the “National Composition Contest” of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium, a honour which “Ciaccona” repeats in 2001. In 2005 he has been declared “Laureaat van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten”.

Tom Deneckere was born in Aalst (Belgium) in 1973. He obtained a masters degree in mathematics summa cum laude at the University of Ghent, as well as a masters degree in music cum laudeat the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where he studied piano with Jan Michiels and orchestral conducting with Lucas Vis. Tom Deneckere is currently part-time lecturer in mathematics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), but devotes most of his time to music, as a conductor, pianist, accompanist, arranger, and composer. Tom Deneckere is actively involved in promoting music with the school-going youth, in Belgium and abroad. In 2003, he became a member of the Board of Jeunesses Musicales International. As a musical arranger he is involved in “Attakatamoeva”, a project making traditional folk songs accessible for primary school teaching. Skilfully combining his mathematic and musical backgrounds, he co-set up a lesson series entitled “Mathematics for Musicians” at the Brussels Conservatory and co-promoted a masteral dissertation on physical elements in piano playing, and one on tone scale systems. As a piano soloist, Tom Deneckere has concentrated on interpreting work by Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Eric Satie and George Gershwin. He has frequently accompanied Lied recitals and choral performances, and has played the piano parts in larger orchestral and choral works, including compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, Britten, and Honegger.

Kristof Goris was born in Leuven, Belgium, in 1981. He received a degree in Electro- Mechanical Engineering at the Free University Brussels (VUB) in 2005. He is researcher at the Robotics & Multibody Mechanics Research Group at the VUB since then. The focus of his PhD is the design and the construction of the Probo robot and the implementation of inherent safe and compliance actuation.

Selma Yilmazyildiz studied Electronics Engineering at Uludag University, Turkey, between 2000-2004 and obtained a Masters degree in Applied Computer Science at the Free University Brussels (VUB) in 2006 with as specialization Digital Speech processing. She has contributed to many projects during her Vice Chair role of IEEE (the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Uludag University-Turkey Student Branch, including as co-coordinator of the IEEE Student Branches-Industry Relations Project. Currently she is researcher and PhD student at the Research Laboratory on Digital Speech and Signal Processing (DSSP) at the VUB. The focus of her research is emotional speech production and more specifically, she is working on the development of the vocal communication system and the construction of emotional nonsense speech of the Probo robot.

Jelle Saldien was born in 1981. He received a degree in Electronic Industrial Engineering at the De Nayer Instituut in 2003 and a degree in Product Development at the Hogeschool Antwerpen in 2005. He has been a researcher at the Free University Brussels (VUB) since 2005. The focus of his research is the design and construction of the Probo robot and the implementation of intelligence with emotion recognition.

Björn Verrelst was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1972. He received a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Free University Brussels (VUB) in 1996 and also a PhD in Applied Sciences in 2005. Currently he is post-doc researcher at the VUB. The focus of his research is the use of pneumatic artificial muscles in the walking biped Lucy for dynamically balanced walking, and compliant actuation for robotic applications in general. During the period 2005/2006 he was conducting a one-year JSPS post-doc research at the National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan.

Werner Verhelst obtained an engineering degree (Burgerlijk Werktuigkundig Electrotechnisch Ingenieur) in 1980 and a PhD in 1985, both at the Free University Brussels (VUB). He specialized in Digital Speech and Audio Processing in general, and in Speech and Audio Signal Modification in particular. Werner also studied speech synthesis at the Institute for Perception Research and audio signal modeling at the Catholic University of Leuven. Since graduation, he has headed the Research Laboratory on Digital Speech and Audio Processing (DSSP) at the VUB and teaches courses on Digital Signal Processing, Speech and Audio Processing and Spectrum Estimation. Dirk Lefeber was born in 1956. He received a degree in Civil Engineering at the Free University Brussels (VUB) and also a PhD in Applied Sciences in 1986. He is currently professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering and head of the Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group at the VUB. His research interests are new actuators with adaptable compliance, dynamically balanced robots, robot assistants, rehabilitation robotics and multibody dynamics.

Bert Gyselinckx is program director at IMEC Netherlands for the Wireless Autonous Transducer Solutions program at the Holst Centre (www.holstcentre. com). This program offers one stop solutions for partners looking for enabling technologies for highly integrated wireless autonomous systems. Envisaged applications are in the domain of health care, lifestyle, gaming, education, and industrial process control. Bert received a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Rijksuniversiteit Gent (Belgium) in 1992 and a degree in Air and Space Electronics from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de 282 human++ Figure 2: A thermal scavenger powers the wireless pulse oximeter. l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace, Toulouse (France) in 1993. At this time, he was also a trainee at the Research and Development group of Siemens in Munich, Germany. Bert has authored and co-authored over 50 research papers and five patents.

Philippe Mattelaer, Business Development Manager, Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions, IMEC-Nederland. In 2005, Philippe Mattelaer joined the Holst Centre, IMEC-Nederland, a newly formed research institute. Philippe is currently setting up research partnerships with the industry worldwide in the field of wireless autonomous sensor network solutions. Prior to joining Holst, Philippe gained more than ten years experience in technology commercialization in the UK and the USA. As Associate Vice President at BTG International, Inc., Philippe identified, acquired and commercialized fundamental technologies and patent portfolios through licensing and new venture creation. From 1989 through 1994, Philippe was with Hewlett Packard, Medical Products Group Europe where he held several business development and product marketing positions in Germany, France and Belgium. Philippe holds an MBA degree from Imperial College, London, a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Group T, Leuven and a post-graduate degree in biomedical engineering from KULeuven.

Nico Verplancke graduated in 1997 with a Masters in Applied Economics from the University of Leuven. However, he decided to pursue a career in IT and started as a junior at Guidance Benelux, a Microsoft service provider. After a brief interval at Sydney Tristar, a software company, he co-founded the java competence center of the Real Software group in 2000. As part of the management team, he helped to build this unit into a successful group with over 50 employees in a few short years. He was primarily responsible for project follow-up, technology and pre-sales. At the end of October 2004, he joined the IBBT as a program manager. Since then, he has been working with research groups, companies, government, and cultural organizations, to create and successfully complete research projects in the field of eGovernment and New Media.

After a “red” career as a fulltime but freelance revolutionary on the dole (1972-1977), Jan Van Den Bergh (°1952) found a real job in 1978 as junior copywriter in an advertising company where French rather than Dutch was the official language. It took him four months to discover the existence of similar companies where the creative process was in Dutch, and he then moved to a small company “LVH”which was renowned for its large-scale and green-minded ambitions. After 13 faithful years, he became a member of the board of Directors (1982), Creative Director (1984) and General Manager (1988-1991). In those days, the entrepreneur in him grew stronger and ambitious blood (creating, changing, money making, better DIY) started running through his veins. With the support of two former LVH colleagues and a fourth BBDO-member, he founded Quattro, the company known today as Saatchi & Saatchi Belgium. When in 1994 the Internet
started to flourish, Jan Van Den Bergh was the first to sing its praises and Quattro became the pioneer company in Internet advertising. In 1999, that first, tender love became wild and passionate with the establishment of a new company, i-Merge (, determining itself as The Very First Interactive Brand Breeding Agency. i-Merge expanded rapidly and since early this year, i-Merge is also setting foot ashore in Ireland and in China, where Jan Van Den Bergh is currently working. In his spare time, Jan Van Den Bergh is a prospective article writer. Before his departure to China, he engaged in various political initiatives on bridging the gap between North and South. He was cofounder and chairman of Kauri and MO* (



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