Maria Cuevas, IAB Chair

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  • Mobility Research Theme Principal, BT

Maria’s 21 years of experience in the telecoms industry, ranging from design, architecture, technology strategy and research at various departments across BT, is testament to her passion for technology and innovation.

Maria leads the Networks Research unit in BT’s Network Strategy and Research department. Her team’s mission is to identify and co-develop new technologies to enhance BT’s networks and services in terms of capacity, efficiency, coverage, security, and customer experience.

Technology areas under the programme include, amongst others:

  • Edge Cloud;
  • 5G network slicing;
  • O-RAN;
  • M-MIMO evolution;
  • mmWave;
  • self-learning networks;
  • wi-fi evolution;
  • wireless and wireline convergence.

Maria also plays a key role in standards and industry bodies, including ETSI, the GSMA and more recently the Telcom Infrastructure Project, where she is member of the Technical Committee.

Maria had the honour of receiving a ‘Women in Telecomms’ award by The Institute of Telecommunications Professionals (ITP) in the UK in 2017. She has co-authored 29 published inventions, 17 of which have become granted patents. She also mentors young professionals and is actively involved in supporting equal opportunities and helping attract talent to our industry.

Maria is also a Director in the Board of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). She also acts as Industry Advisor in the UKTIN (Telecoms Innovation Network)

Maria Cuevas

David Boswarthick, Director of New Technologies, ETSI

David heads the ETSI new technologies division Responsible for tracking and capturing ICT developments that are ripe for standards activities. Links to R&D and academia, EU research projects and the creation of new or augmented standards groups in ETSI. In past roles David has led the Committee Support Center (CSC) which is an international team of experts who provide comprehensive support to the numerous technical groups in ETSI.

He has been active in the creation, launch and support of several key Industry Groups such as NFV, MEC, and ZSM, and is actively involved in attracting new technical standards development work into ETSI.

Previously he was involved with the “3rd Generation Partnership Project” (3GPP), supporting various core network groups and was also responsible for the launch and build of the initial M2M work in ETSI. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the telecommunications sector, which includes 19 years of experience in standardisation.

Professor Harald Haas

Luke Ibbetson, Head of Group R&D, Vodafone Group

Luke Ibbetson has been with Vodafone since 1996 and leads the Vodafone Group Research and Development organisation, responsible for all aspects of future research including trials of emerging / disruptive technologies, new industry partnerships and the creation of future revenue engines through advanced technology.

Related positions

Luke is an active participant in several Industry Initiatives including:

  • Board member of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA);
  • Chairman of the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Strategy and Programme Committee;
  • Vice Chair for the GSMA Post Quantum Telco Networks Task Force;
  • Advisory Board for UK TechWorks;
  • Board member for several venture backed new technology companies in which Vodafone has invested including AST Space Mobile.

Luke is a proud pioneer of Narrow Band IoT technology and is currently shaping Vodafone’s thinking on 6G, the adoption of non-terrestrial networks, and preparing for the Quantum era. Luke is a passionate supporter of innovative thinking, helping to create new opportunities for technology to change lives and society for the better.

Kostantinos Katsaros

Sergi Figuerola-Fernández, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, i2CAT

With two decades of experience in the R&D ecosystem, Sergi currently holds the position of Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at i2CAT and serves as the CTO of 5GBarcelona, an initiative he co-founded. At i2CAT Sergi steers the company’s strategy in R&D, Knowledge and Technology Marketing, Innovation Business Development, and EC strategy. His professional interests lie in strategy definition, open innovation, digital and internet technologies, and 5G.

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Sergi was:

  • Project Coordinator for 5GCity, 5GPPP, H2020 and MANTYCHORE FP7;
  • Technical Manager for GEYSERS FP7;
  • Research Activity Leader for FEDERICA FP7;
  • Work Package Leader for PHOSPHORUS FP6.

Additionally, he contributed to the scientific community as a Program Committee member for conferences such as OFC and TNC, while also evaluating R&D projects in Catalonia, Austria, and Luxembourg.

Sergi has been lead or joint author on over 80 publications and boast an impressive history of guiding research projects through roles on Industrial boards.

Sergi Figuerola-Fernández

Paul Jones, Senior Investment Manager Regional Funds, British Business Bank

Paul is a performance-focussed and highly effective leader who’s strategic and customer-centric approach has led to high levels of success in business development, relationship banking, leadership, and growth within the financial and industrial sectors.

With an extensive business foundation of 30 years within banking and finance, Including working for banks such as the Lloyds Banking Group and the Bank of Scotland. Paul now focuses on strategic investments in the Southwest and has a keen interest in early-stage research.

The British Business Bank is a government-owned economic development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. The UK Network was originally announced as part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, with a remit to identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.

Paul Jones

Zubeir Bocus, Senior Associate, Ofcom

Simon Fletcher

Holger Claussen, Head of Wireless Communications Lab, Tyndall National Institute

Prof. Holger Claussen is a CONNECT Principal Investigator and Head of the Wireless Communications Laboratory at Tyndall National Institute, and Joint Professor of Wireless Communications at University College Cork (UCC), and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), where he is building up research teams in the area of RF, Access, Protocols, AI, and Quantum Systems to invent the future of Wireless Communication Networks.

Previously he led the Wireless Communications Research Department of Nokia Bell Labs located in Ireland and the US. In this role, he and his team innovated in all areas related to future evolution, deployment, and operation of wireless networks to enable exponential growth in mobile data traffic and reliable low latency communications. His research in this domain has been commercialised in Nokia’s (formerly Alcatel-Lucent’s) Small Cell product portfolio and continues to have significant impact.

He received the 2014 World Technology Award in the individual category Communications Technologies for innovative work of “the greatest likely long-term significance”.

Prior to this, Holger directed research in the areas of self-managing networks to enable the first large scale femtocell deployments. Holger joined Bell Labs in 2004, where he began his research in the areas of network optimisation, cellular architectures, and improving energy efficiency of networks.

Holger received his Ph.D. degree in signal processing for digital communications from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom in 2004.

He is author of the book “Small Cell Networks”, more than 130 journal and conference publications, 78 granted patent families, and 46 filed patent applications pending. He is Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the World Technology Network, and member of the IET.

Holger Claussen

Federico Boccardi, Head of Telecom Policy, AWS

Federico Boccardi is Head of Telecom Policy for Europe in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Related positions

  • Before AWS, he held senior positions in Ofcom, where he contributed to a very diverse set of areas, including:
  • defining the spectrum strategy for 5G;
  • leading the studies to open a new Wi-Fi band at 5 GHz;
  • building a team of world-leading experts to deliver the emerging technology programme;
  • guiding the Ofcom telecom supply chain diversification works.

Before Ofcom, he carried our R&D activity in Vodafone and Bell Labs (Alcatel-Lucent), where he made key contributions for the theoretical development of wireless communications and their applications to real world systems.

Federico has tens of highly cited publications in the field of communications, and he patented wireless technologies that are critical for the operations of 4G and 5G systems. He received a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy, and a Diploma in Strategy and Innovation from the Oxford Saïd Business School. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol and a Fellow of the IET.

Federico Boccardi