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12 October 2022 - 13 October 2022
Linz, Austria
Danube Business Talks 2022

Confirmed Speakers

Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology

Since January 2020 Leonore Gewessler has been Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. After her high school graduation in Graz, Austria and her studies of political science in Vienna, Leonore Gewessler worked from 2006 as office manager in the office of the district head of the 7th district of Vienna. In 2008, she moved to the Green European Foundation in Brussels, where she took over the management of the Europe-wide active NGO.
From 2014 on Leonore Gewessler worked as Political Director of Global 2000 – Friends of the Earth Austria back in Austria. In addition to her professional activities, she was also a member of the board of Friends of the Earth Europe.

European Coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor
European Commission

Inés Ayala Sender is European Coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor as of 1st January 2021, following Ms Karla Peijs.
Inés Ayala Sender was born on 28 March 1957 in Zaragoza (Spain). She was associated teacher at the University of Zaragoza (1981 – 1991), Member of the National Board of General Union of Workers, Madrid, Deputy General Director FUNDESCOOP (social economy EU programs), National expert at DG Environment, European Parliament administrator in various committees and delegations of the European Parliament and Member of the European Parliament (2004-2019). From 2019 until now, she is elected member of the City Council of Zaragoza.

European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

Dirk Beckers, a Belgian national, has more than 30 years’ experience within the European Commission implementing projects in the transport, energy, research, and innovation fields. After more than 15 years’ experience as Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), he is now Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), with a budget of more than 58 billion euros for the period 2021-2027, and more than 500 staff. He is responsible for the overall management of financial and human resources and for coordinating the Agency’s funding activities, to ensure the successful implementation of the European Commission’s operational priorities and policies concerning the European Green Deal.

Head of Directorate General Transport

Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology

Vera Hofbauer, born in Vienna, studied urban and regional planning at the Technical University of Vienna and the Universidad Politecnica in Madrid. She started her career at urban planning and spatial analysis agencies. Between 2004 and 2017 she worked for viadonau, the Austrian waterway operator, where she managed national and international project in the fields of inland waterway policy and built up the team knowledge management. In 2017, she joined the Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology as head of the department “Shipping – Technology and Nautics”. Since 2022, she is head of Directorate General Transport at the Federal Ministry.

Managing Director
viadonau – Austrian Waterway Company

Hans-Peter Hasenbichler graduated from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna. Following his studies, he worked as Project Manager for the Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen AG (ÖSAG) in the field of traffic planning and construction. In 2004 Mr. Hasenbichler started as Head of Internal Audit at the government infrastructure holding ASFiNAG and later became Head of Financial Controlling.
On 1 November 2008 Mr. Hasenbichler was appointed as Managing Director of via donau – Austrian Waterway Company by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology.
Managing Director 
CMB Germany GmbH & Co. KG & Hydrogen Ports

Benjamin Weinacht is a qualified shipping businessman (Schifffahrtskaufmann) and holds a Bachelor degree in Transport and Logistics. He has been a part of the CMB Group since 2006 and has professional background in container business (Feeder Shipping). Mr. Weinacht is the former Managing Director of Team Lines Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG. He is Managing Director of CMB Germany based in Hamburg since November 2019 and since December 2021 he is also Managing Director Hydrogen Ports for the CMB Group.

Head of Development Marine Engines
MAN Engines | MAN Truck & Bus SE

Mr. Löser completed his vocational training in industrial mechanics at MAN in 1995 and obtained a degree in mechanical engineering at University of Applied Science in Darmstadt in 1999. He spent a total of 26 years with MAN Truck & Bus, thereof more than 20 years in the field of marine engine development including design, performance & emissions, testing and homologation. In 2010 Mr. Löser became Head of Performance & Emissions Marine Engine and 2016 Head of Design Marine & V-Engines. Since 2019 he is Head of Development Marine Engines and holds Project lead of Dual-Fuel Marine Engines (hydrogen-diesel) at MAN.

Sales and Chartering Manager

First-DDSG Logistics Holding GmbH 

Mr. Jina is the sales and chartering manager in the First-DDSG Logistics Holding GmbH group. After his education he started working in river transportation sector in 2006. Since about 8 years he is now working in his present position and is responsible for selling the freight capacities of the entire fleet.

Senior Expert and Project Manager

Expertise and Innovation Centre Barging (EICB)

Martin graduated in 1999 at the Technical University Delft and is specialised in policy analysis, systems engineering and management in transport and logistics. Martin has 20 years experience in research based consultancy. He is continuously involved in policy development for inland navigation on national and European level. During the past years the focus topic of Martin is the energy transition and the development towards zero-emission inland waterway transport from the well-to-wake perspective. Martin provided technical assistance for the process of the NRMM Stage V and in 2020/2021 he coordinated the study team for the energy transition for the fleet as input for the CCNR roadmap which was published early 2022. As action of the Dutch Green Deal, Martin was involved in the development and implementation of the emission label instrument. Martin chairs the working group alternative energy carriers at the EICB Innovation Lab and Martin is project coordinator of the PLATINA3 project (2021-2023) supporting the implementation of the NAIADES III policy of the European Commission.
Executive Director
Green Award Foundation 

J.A.A.J. (Jan) Fransen graduated from the maritime academy and started his career in the Dutch merchant. In the 80s, he became involved with Vessel Traffic Management systems with the Dutch Ministry of Transport and finally with the Port of Rotterdam. After working as Traffic Manager and Casualty Officer with the Port of Rotterdam, Jan became acquainted with the ISO 9000 and 14000 systems, ISM and ISRS (International Safety Rating System) as well as auditing these systems.
He started at Green Award in the early 90s when he initially served the Foundation as a Certification Manager. From 2001 he took on the position of Deputy Managing Director and in April 2005 he was appointed the Managing Director (later changed to Executive Director). Jan can be seen as the ‘expedition leader’ of Green Award, informing relevant stakeholders about the Green Award Foundation and establishing relations.

Senior Expert Strategic Logistics, BU Refining & Petchem Assets

OMV Downstream GmbH

Jana Gavril graduated from the University of Vienna honors Corporate Finance. Following her studies, she worked as financial and internal auditor. In 2006 Ms. Gavril joined the OMV Group and was holding diverse roles mostly within Supply Chain Process. Currently is she beside developing logistics contracting strategy and managing the logistics tender pipeline, also involved in future concepts of sustainable logistics within the ongoing OMV transformative projects (Reoil, H2, LNG, SAF & other biofuels). To complement her everyday operational experience with the latest technology trends and industry best practices, is she attending the newly launched Mobility Transformation MBA Program of Technical University Vienna.

Mobility Advisor
Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Marjan Beelen works for the Port of Antwerp since 2011 as a Mobility Advisor specialised in inland navigation. In this function, she has been working on several projects and themes such as efficiency projects for container barge transport, infrastructure projects, initiatives on alternative fuels for barges and smart shipping. Marjan holds a Master degree in Transport Economics from the University of Antwerp. Prior to working for the Port of Antwerp, she held a research position at the University of Antwerp where she achieved a PhD in applied economics.

Felbermayr Transport- und Hebetechnik
GmbH & Co KG

Mr. Stöttiger has a degree in mechanical engineering and a degree in economics. He worked as a project manager at Arminger Schwertransport GmbH & Co KG, Wels, Austria and also at Europe Lloyd GmbH, Karshi, Usbekistan, while also being an authorised representative at Europe Lloyd GmbH, Nuremberg, Germany. Since 2009 Mr. Stöttinger has been working for Felbermayr Transport- und Hebetechnik GmbH & Co KG, Wels, Austria, first as Head of Projects and since 2010 he holds the position of CEO.
Rhenus Donauhafen Krems GmbH & Co. KG

Jürgen Plauensteiner studied export-orientated management at the FH IMC Krems and European law at the Danube University Krems both part-time while working full-time as sales manager at Böhler-Uddeholm Precision Strip, now Voestalpine Precision Strip (5 years, from 2004 to 2009) and Sunpor Kunststoff GmbH (from 2009 to 2017, 8 years). He was responsible for the activities in Western Europe with focus on insulation solutions for the markets Germany, France, BENELUX and Spain. In 2018 he joined the Swedish-Finnish company Stora Enso as Sales director for Eastern Europe and Austria. Since 2021 he is responsible for sales of port services at Rhenus Donauhafen Krems.
Director General
Danube Cruises Romania

Radu Comanici, had his first service encounter on board river cruise vessels in 1991. Since then he was involved in the very dynamic, complex and fascinating world of river cruising. Today he is overseeing the operation of the entire Amadeus River Cruisers consisting of 16 modern vessels and his commitment is to offer not only operational excellence, but also a strategic direction to make the difference in the art of river cruising, on Europe's most beautiful waterways. He is a proactive promoter of the Lower Danube potential, triggering to build up integrated solutions for new destinations and port development, as a recipe of success adding substance and value to the cruise experience. He holds an MBA and Master of Engineering.

Port Governance Agency

Vuk Perovic graduated trade law on Faculty of Law of University of Belgrade, with degree Bachelor with Honours of Laws. He is certified public internal auditor and specialist in corporate governance.
Perovic has 20 years of strong experience in both public and private sectors, especially in the field of law, project management (EU funded projects) and international cooperation. Vuk Perovic is the Director of the Port Governance Agency (PGA) of the Republic of Serbia since 2014. In previous years PGA significantly improved port sector in Serbia through strengthening of the legal framework, investments in infrastructure and cooperation with national and international stakeholders. Perovic is working on development projects, including construction of the new terminal for bulk cargo in Belgrade, expansion of the cargo port in Sremska Mitrovica, new international passenger terminals, network of marinas etc. He is the Agency’s team manager on Interreg projects and the creator and initiator of the project ‘’Awake the Danube’’.
Perovic is member of Working Group of the Rhine-Danube Corridor, Special Committee of European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) and Danube Commission’s Experts group for ports and port operations.
Perovic is born in Belgrade, the Republic of Serbia, in 1976. He is married.

Closed since 11 October 2022
Location Palais Kaufmännischer Verein| Landstraße 49 | 4020 Linz
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