About the team

PwC Luxembourg

Laurent Probst

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2199
email: laurent.probst@lu.pwc.com

Laurent is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and leads the Research & Development activities Unit of PwC Consulting Luxembourg. After having developed a research centre in Investment management, he specialised over the last 7 years in Economic development initiatives for governments and regions and high growth companies. Laurent initiated and developed international partnerships in life sciences, agriculture and information technology raising more than $200 million as of August 2010 for setting up local research infrastructure with economic objectives. Laurent actively contributed to the improvement of the tax and regulatory framework and the financial investments vehicles to support economic development. Laurent has advised several non-profit organisations to increase their financial resources to tackle food security and access to medicine programs and economic growth. Laurent regularly advises European, National and Regional Authorities on economic development and financing strategies. Laurent has recently been appointed leader of the ―Regional Innovation Cluster‖ competence in the PwC Network and has 7 years experience in fields relevant for cluster policy and mapping.

Erica Monfardini (PhD)

Tel: +352 49 48 48 6194
email: erica.monfardini@lu.pwc.com

Erica holds the position of Director for the Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical and Diagnostics sectors at PwC Luxembourg. She joined PwC in February 2009, after more than 10 years of professional experience which combined science and business related experience. She started her professional development in scientific research at the University of Ghent (Belgium), at the University of Milan (Italy), and at the USDA in Maryland (USA), and then continued with a career in business, working 10 years in marketing at a European level within the pharmaceutical industry.
Prior to joining PwC, Erica has worked for Baxter Healthcare, where she was in charge of managing several businesses of this company throughout the western European countries. The oncology business has been one of her major areas of focus. At Baxter, she has developed the EU strategy, the business plans, EU marketing plans, and budgeting for the lines she was in charge of. Moreover, she has been evaluating licensing opportunities, and driven projects for marketing and sales excellence analysis.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Erica has been involved in strategy and market assessment projects for clients in the diagnostics sector, she has worked on projects involving regional and economic development, hospital management, and carried out assignments for leading NGOs and Foundations actives in the Vaccines space. Erica is currently working on 2 assignments aiming to help development and sustainability of Bioclusters in Europe, and in the Russian region.

Laurent Frideres (PhD)

Tel: +352 49 48 48 4378
email: laurent.frideres@lu.pwc.com

Laurent is an expert for economic development, innovation and clustering with the Consulting department at PwC Luxembourg. He develops strategies, methodologies and implementation plans to increase industry productivity and to boost economic development in European regions and other key international markets. Prior to joining PwC, Laurent was a lecturer in economic geography at the University of Cambridge. His research interests focused on regional economic development, industrial clusters and transnational knowledge networks. His teaching included courses on the contemporary geographies of capitalism, the globalisation of the economy and public policy in the knowledge based economy. From 2001 to 2003 Laurent was in charge of educational exchanges at the Asia-Europe Foundation, an inter-governmental organisation based in Singapore. In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2005, Laurent worked as a GIS Officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. He was a Director and co-owner of London-based Rosetta Translation from 2007-2010. Laurent obtained his PhD in economic geography from the University of Cambridge. His PhD thesis on spatial industrial clustering and competitive advantage was awarded the prize for best PhD thesis in economic geography by the Royal Geographical Society. He also has an MA in Pacific Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and an MPhil in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing from the University of Cambridge.

Nuray Unlu Bohn (PhD)

Tel: +352 49 48 48 4113
email: nuray.unlu.bohn@lu.pwc.com

Nuray is mainly responsible from managing and taking part on the assignments carried out for the European Commission as well as some other European Institutions. Additionally, she is responsible from the management of PwC Global service offering on “Regional Innovation Ecosystems” aiming to support regions and regional stakeholders on achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive regional development in-line with smart specialisation strategy of the European Commission. Main specialisation areas include: Knowledge-based (Bio)-economy; Clusters (establishment, development, internationalisation, performance assessment, benchmarking, analysis on framework conditions, etc); Boosting innovation (of goods, services, business models, etc.) capacity and capability at company, knowledge institutions and regional levels; SMEs (development, internationalisation, performance assessments etc.); Capacity Building; Evaluations and Impact Assessments; Policy Analysis around these areas. Before joining to PwC, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the USA for a long time, in the field of clinical nutrition following the completion of her graduate studies (i.e. PhD and MSc in Food Science obtained from Ege University, Food Engineering Department, Turkey).

PwC Netherlands

Kristina Dervojeda (PhD)

email: kristina.dervojeda@nl.pwc.com

Kristina is actively involved in policy research in the field of clusters, innovation, entrepreneurship, and university-industry interactions. One of the recent assignments refers to the Regional Biotechnology study commissioned by the European Commission, DG Research. The study focuses on the KPIs of regional innovation systems (with emphasis on biotechnology-related sectors). Kristina is working with the issues such as cluster management, cluster assessment platforms (including monitoring and evaluation) and cluster governance models. 
Kristina is a Master of Science in Innovation Management (University of Twente, NL) and is doing her PhD on university-business cooperation in nano- and biotechnology (University of Twente, NL). Kristina is a frequent speaker at the national and international knowledge transfer and commercialisation forums. For example: Entrepreneurship Division Events of Academy of Management (USA; 2009), University of Twente Lustrum Symposium on Open Innovation (2008), Technology Transfer Conference (Coimbra, April 2007).

PwC Belgium

Axel Comhaire

email: axel.comhaire@pwc.be

Axel is Director within the Enterprise Advisory division of PricewaterhouseCoopers in the public sector. He works particularly with the Walloon Region regarding economical development. Over the past 10 years, Axel has acquired experience in the domains of public administration, institutional reforms and the organisation of public services. Within PricewaterhouseCoopers, he has specialised in advising companies and public authorities, mainly regarding the organisation, and management of change and strategic support (―policy advice‖). He took part in numerous projects for the public sector, mainly as regards setting in place management tools, developing indicators and management contracts, organisational analyse, human resources management and administrative simplification. More specifically, he took part or led several projects which were related to the Walloon Region and/or administrative simplification.