Peter Žiga

Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic


1990 – 1995: University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of Business Economy, Košice
1991: Course for students from Eastern Europe under the auspices of the Union Bank of Switzerland- St. Gallen, Switzerland
2006 – 2009: Technical University of Košice


2016 – present: Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic
2012 – 2016: Minister of the Environment of the Slovak Republic
2010 – 2012: Member of Parliament, National Council of the Slovak Republic
2006 – 2010: State Secretary, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic

Thomas A. Schmid

Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor Europe

As Chief Operating Officer, Thomas A. Schmid is responsible for setting business direction and overseeing Hyundai’s pan-European sales, marketing and customer service operations. Mr Schmid joined Hyundai Motor Europe in May 2013. Prior to this, he held various senior management roles in the European automotive industry, covering multiple brands and disciplines. He graduated from the University of Vienna as Master of Business Administration, Master of Law and Economics, and Master of Laws, as well as completing further professional and business qualifications in the USA.

Dr. Matthias Erb

Head of Holistic User Experience, Volkswagen AG

Dr. Matthias Erb was named Head of Holistic User Experience (HUX) in April 2018. Located in Volkswagen’s headquarters Wolfsburg, Germany, the newly created division is steering the interaction between Technical Development, Design, Product Lines and Sales, in order to ensure the smooth integration of the vehicle into the digital world. The scope of work will gradually extend to the entire model portfolio.

Previously, he served as Chief Engineering Officer for Volkswagen’s North American Region (NAR) since April 2016, and also took over responsibility for the company’s NAR Product Strategy.

Since 2014, in his role as Executive Vice President Dr. Erb has been responsible for the setup of Volkswagen’s North American Engineering & Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The center serves as a core entity for engineering related activities of Volkswagen in the region. The establishment of the center is a cornerstone of Volkswagen’s new strategy for the North American market.

Dr. Erb joined Volkswagen Group in 2003 and has held various management positions at AUDI AG and Audi of America. In 2008, he started leading the office of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Erb had spent several years as a lecturer for Quality Assurance at the University of Mainz, Germany. He earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics at Aachen University of Technology as well his PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

Jong Hun Kim

Director of Development, LG Chem Poland

2018 ~ present: Development Director, LGCWA
2013 ~ 2017: Research Fellow, Center for Advanced Automotive Battery Development
2006 ~ 2012: General Manager, Battery Research and Development

Dr. Oliver Grünberg

Chairman of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Slovakia

Dr. Oliver Grünberg graduated from Physics at the University of Technology in Braunschweig, where he also received a doctorate in engineering. Dr. Oliver Grünberg started working for the Volkswagen Group in 1995 as a PhD student. In the years 2007 to 2009 he ran the production area of the Volkswagen Group Rus in Kaluga. In 2010 he held the position of Managing Director and Director of Technical Affairs at ŠKODA AUTO India. In 2012 he was responsible for the project VGR-GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod. From 2014 to 2017 he led the ŠKODA AUTO brand planning in Mladá Boleslav. In 2017 he returned to Russia again, where he worked as technical director and deputy general manager of the Volkswagen Group Rus in Kaluga.

Sir Jonathan Faull

Chair of European Public Affairs, Brunswick

Sir Jonathan Faull joins Brunswick after a distinguished career at the European Commission working at the highest level on a wide range of policies including competition, justice and home affairs, transport and financial services. As the Commission’s most senior British official his recent roles included Director-General Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, as well as Director-General of the Task Force for strategic issues related to the UK Referendum.

Jonathan became Director for Competition Policy at the Directorate-General for Competition in 1995, Deputy Director-General in charge of State aid in 1999 and Spokesman and Director-General of Press and Communication in 1999. He was Director-General of Justice and Home Affairs (later Justice, Freedom and Security) from 2003 to 2010 and then Director-General in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA) between 2010 and 2015. Latterly he has served as Director-General of the Task Force for Strategic Issues related to the UK Referendum.

He studied law at the University of Sussex and has an MA from the College of Europe in Bruges. He has been a visiting lecturer at Sciences Po, a visiting fellow of the University of Cambridge Centre for European Legal Studies, a visiting professor at the College of Europe since 2009 and Emeritus Professor of Law at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) since 1989.

He is a visiting Professor at King’s College, London and a member of the boards of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris and the Centre for European Reform in London. Sir Jonathan has also been named by the University of Sussex as Honorary Professor and Fellow of UKTPO within the Business school, as well as Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

Sir Jonathan was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2017 for services to UK relations with the European Union.

Jan Burdinski

Executive Director, Government Relations, Hyundai Motor Company Brussels Office

Jan Burdinski is Head of Government Relations for the Hyundai Motor Group in Europe. Having joined the company in 2017, he is a seasoned government relations professional, who has had senior roles in the automotive sector.

Zdenek Tuma

Partner, KPMG Czech Republic, former guvernor of Czech National Bank

Zdeněk is a partner in KPMG Czech Republic where he leads consulting in financial services. He held various positions in the financial sector in the last 25 years. He was the governor of the Czech National Bank in 2000-2010 as well as a member of the General Council of the ECB. He has been lecturing at Charles University since beginning of the 1990s. Zdenek is a member in scientific and statutory boards at several universities. He is a member of the Czech Economic Society, of which he was the president in 1999-2001.

D.R. Seckinger

Deputy Chief, Political and Economic Section. U.S. Embassy in Bratislava

D.R. Seckinger is the Deputy Chief of the Political and Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava. He has previously served in Barbados, Taiwan, and most recently in Moscow. D.R. has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University, and a MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Martin Hrdlicka

Head of the Chassis and Powertain Development, ŠKODA Auto a.s.

Head of Chassis and Powertrain Development at ŠKODA AUTO a.s., graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague in 1992. In 2002 he obtained an MBA degree from North Carolina’s Pfeiffer University and in 2006 he earned his doctorate from the Ostrava Technical University

1992 Mercedes Benz AG, Stuttgart – Research / Development commercial vehicles, trucks
1993 – 1995 Škoda automobilová a.s.
Design Engineer – specialist in traction control systems
1995 – 1996 VW AG, Wolfsburg
Specialist in chassis development
From 1996 ŠKODA AUTO a.s., Technical Development
Various positions:
– Assistant Department Manager – brake systems (1996 – 2001)
– Simultaneous Engineering Team Manager of Chassis Development for FABIA and SUPERB (1997 – 2001)
– Department Manager, powertrain integration development (2001 – 2005)
– Department Manager, chassis development (2005 – 2008)
– Head of chassis and powertrain development (since 2008)

Member of
– Scientific Council of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague
– State Examination Board of the Czech Technical University in Prague
– Scientific Council of the Research Centre of the Technical University in Plzeň
– Board of Directors of Doctoral studies in Production Machines and Design department of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Technical University of Ostrava
– Czech Automobile Society
– Assessment Committee of the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education
– Chairman of the Board of Education of the Dr. Josef Pekař Secondary School Mladá Boleslav
– Management Board of the Endowment Fund of ŠKODA AUTO

Christoph Stürmer

Global Lead Analyst Autofacts, PwC Germany

Christoph Stürmer is the Global Lead Analyst of Autofacts, PwC’s independent competence and research center on the global automotive industry. Christoph has more than 20 years’ experience in the automotive industry, with a background in product management and strategic planning at a leading OEM, and long-ranging experience in industry analysis and market forecasting, as well as manufacturer strategy assessments.

Jonathan Carrier

Vice President of Corporate Development, AeroMobil

Jay Nagley

R&D Specialist - Automotive Team at the Department for International Trade, UK

Jay has been associated with the car industry since working for Porsche in the late 1980s. Through the 1990s he ran the UK division of a major German consultancy and in 1998 he set up his own consultancy, Spyder Redspy Ltd, providing market analysis, product planning and online services to the car industry. He ran the company until 2014, when he joined the Automotive Sector Team as R&D Specialist.

He now works with UK technology companies to develop their international markets in three key areas: low carbon propulsion, lightweight vehicle structures and connected and autonomous vehicles. He also works with overseas suppliers to increase the amount of R&D they undertake in the UK.

Petr Karásek

Crisis Manager - ASCALAE, Vice President - Czech Association of Interim Management; Advisor to the President - Automotive Industry Association of the Czech Republic, CEO - TATRA TRUCKS

Petr Karásek is manager focused on restructuring or another dynamic changes in companies (restructuring, transfer of production, crisis management, insolvency situation etc.). In the past he worked among others as Executive manager of restructuring in Škoda Transportation, DISA Industries, KORD Group, Jablonex Group, AWELD, ESSA Czech, Kovosvit MAS, and previously as a Commercial director and member of board in Karosa – Renault V.I – IVECO. His most succesfull project was rescue and stabilization of traditional producer of heavy off road trucks TATRA. He is Vice president of Czech Association of Interim management, Member of international Turnaround Management Association, Advisor to the President – Automotive Industry Association of the Czech Republic and Governmental Councillor of the road safety by the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic.

Martina Le Gall Maláková

President, Industry Innovation Cluster, French-Slovak Chamber of Commerce

– President of Industry Innovation Cluster – IIC
– President of French and Slovak chamber of commerce – FSOK
– Economic advisor of France – CCE
– Co- owner and general director of company ELECTRIK

Carlos Navas

Strategy Officer, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking

Peter Švec

Spokesman and Director of External Relations, PSA Groupe Slovakia

– Journalist – by leading Slovak economic week magazine TREND
– Spokesman of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic
– Director of Communication in different international companies
– Current: since 2006 spokesperson and External Relations Director by Groupe PSA Slovakia
– Current: since 2018, representing Groupe PSA Slovakia – General Secretary of the Industry Innovation Cluster (IIC)

Ivan Hodač

Event moderator

Ivan Hodač is a Founder and President of the Aspen Institute Prague. He was Secretary-General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) from 2001 until October 2013. He is the Chairman of the Board at cabinet DN. The Financial Times listed him among the most influential personalities in Brussels politics. Before joining ACEA, he was Senior Vice-President and Head of the Time Warner Corporate office for Europe. Previously he was Secretary-General of the trade organization IFMA/IMACE, Senior Economist at Didier & Associates, and Assistant Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges. He was born in Prague, where he studied mechanical engineering. He completed his education in economics and political science at the University of Copenhagen and the College of Europe in Bruges (European studies).

Alexander Matusek

President, Automotive Industry Association of the Slovak republic

Vojtech Ferencz

Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic

Date of birth: August 20, 1970

2007 – 2010 University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of Business Economy, Košice, dissertation defense /PhD title/
1991 – 1995 University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of Business Economy, Košice, Department of Management, Marketing and Accounting /Ing title/
1989 – 1991 University of Economics in Prague, Department of International Trade
1985 – 1989 Secondary Grammar School Kráľovský Chlmec


06/2012 – 03/2016 State Secretary, Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
04/2012 – 06/2012 Advisor to Minister, Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
09/2010 – 04/2012 Deputy Director for Economy, Slovak Water Management Enterprise, s.p.- plant in Košice
07/2010 – 09/2010 CEO, Advanz, s.r.o. Košice
04/2007 – 06/2010 Director General of Strategy Section, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic
11/2005 – 03/2007 Accountant and Financial Manager in private companies in Košice
08/1995 – 11/2005 Assistent GR, Plant Manager, Financial Director, Východoslovenské strojárne a.s.,

Foreign Languages
Hungarian – advanced (spoken and written)
English – advanced (spoken and written)
German – intermediate (spoken and written)
Russian – intermediate (spoken and written)
Spanish – beginner

Dušan Okénka

Founder and Owner, X-COMPANY

Dušan Okénka (42) is the founder and owner of X-COMPANY company, which focuses on the development of companies with a focus on management, leadership, logistics and purchasing. During his 10 years of experience in the automotive industry, he has gained experience in logistics management, purchasing and running of several projects.

At the present, he is focusing on the development of training programs for Volkswagen Slovakia, DHL Exel Slovakia and reputable suppliers. X-COMPANY itself has a sophisticated training system in logistics and purchasing, constantly developing educational management and leadership practices. On the supply day of Volkswagen Slovakia, X-COMPANY was introduced as a partner for supplier development this year (mainly project startups, pre-series and serial logistics).

X-COMPANY’s vision is to contribute to the development of logistics and purchasing training with a focus on the automotive industry at high and high schools.

Dušan Okénka is an alumnus of the University of Economics in Prague with a focus on business economics and management, with secondary specialization being logistics – international transport and forwarding.

Filip Svab

Executive Director of International External Affairs, AT&T Germany, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe

Filip Svab is responsible for supporting AT&T’s international external and regulatory affairs team in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. His main task is to advocate AT&T positions towards governments, public administration and regulators in this region. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve over 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000.

Gwenole Cozigou

Director Industrial Transformation and Advanced Value Chains, DG GROW, European Commission

An economist by training, he has been an official in the European Commission since 1985 in the fields of Enterprise and Industrial Policy and of External Relations.

First working in the area of food industry within the Internal Market and Industrial Affairs Directorate-General (DG), he joined the service in charge of relations with Central and Eastern Europe and the USSR in 1989, and became Assistant to the responsible Deputy Director-General in 1990 until 1996 when he came back to Enterprise and Industry DG.

A former Deputy-Head of Office of Commissioner Liikanen in charge of enterprise and industrial policy, he has occupied several management positions:
– Food Industry and Biotechnology;
– Coordination of the internal market legislation for goods;
– Enterprise and Industrial policy;
– Defence, Aerospace and Maritime Industries.

Since December 2008, he has been Director in DG GROWTH (DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), in charge of competitiveness issues and EU internal market legislation for several industrial sectors, including REACH, engineering industries, medical devices, raw materials, etc..

His main responsibilities today cover: circular economy, energy union and energy-intensive industries, construction, automotive industries, raw materials, engineering industries.

Alexander Micovcin

Director General, Directorate General for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovak Republic

Alexander Micovčin is a Director General for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Between 2012 and 2017 he served as a Deputy Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the EU.
He started his diplomatic career at the Slovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs focusing on Middle East and Africa, and continued working at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in United Arab Emirates, Kenya and as a counsellor at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Denmark and Germany. From 2011 to 2012 he became he the Director General for Economic Co-operation and ODA. He studied at the University of Economics in Bratislava majoring in Foreign Trade.

Jan Vodstrcil

Homologation and Product Safety Manager,Iveco Bus

Jan Vodstrčil is responsible for technical legislation, homologations and safety of product in IVECO Bus group, European No. 1 in bus business. He is certified Expert of Forensic Science in Road Traffic and Machinery, member of Expert Advisory Body of Technological Agency of the Czech Republic. Represents Czech Automotive Industry Association in ACEA in HDV affairs. Since 2011 has participated in several national working groups implementing DAFI and other governmental strategies.

Ján Weiterschütz

Member of the Executive Committee, NVAS (Slovak National Hydrogen Association)

Hydrogen technology promoter in Slovak Rep. Dealing with the low-carb economy transition. Focusing to the clean mobility powered by hydrogen using fuel-cells. One of my goals is to implement a hydrogen value chain for e-mobility in Slovakia. Concretely, the implementation of the green hydrogen production – distribution – hydrogen refueling stations for FCEVs (cars, buses, vans, trucks, trains).

Tomáš Brestovič

Associate Professor, Technical university of Košice

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Košice. He is devoted to power engineering with a focus on hydrogen technology. He is orientated to hydrogen storage in the form of metal hydrides.

Eduard Muřický

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Czech republic

László György

State Secretary, Ministry of Innovation and Technology

Marcin Ociepa

Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology of the Republic of Poland

David Kadleček

Integration and Application Architects Manager, GTS AI/IoT Lab Leader, IBM

David earned a degree in artificial intelligence. Before joining IBM, he worked for start-ups in the Czech Republic and Silicon Valley. He has 20 years of experience in designing and implementing IT systems. He is an architect, developer and intrapreneur at IBM Czech Republic, currently leading innovative and agile teams developing AI and IoT based solutions in manufacturing, finance, and logistics. These solutions focus on turning latest university research into production ready systems.

Vladimír Pšenák

COO, M2M Solutions

He studied Telecommunication and Radiocommunications at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Žilinský University in Žilina. Doctor of Philosophy in the Field of Telecommunication Research Work Adaptation of Mobile Radiocommunication with the use of channel communication prediction. In 2004, he joined Siemens PSE, where he worked as a tester, developer and project manager in the field of information and communication technologies, in particular the third generation UMTS mobile network. Since 2011 he has been working for M2M Solutions, where he supports as COO the development of products and solutions for production and logistics.

Andrej Kršjak

ContiTech Vibration Control, R&D Director

He graduated from the Technical University in Slovakia, focusing on physics and materials.
He worked as a material engineer for the development of high-temperature sensors for automotive in the Czech Republic.
He worked as a product engineer on the development of pneumatic actuators for turbochargers in the Czech Republic.
He created a development center in Slovakia developing silent blocks.
At present, he is Director of Development and Research at ContiTech Vibration Control, the Contitental concern in Germany.