Do Innovation come from the industry and inventions from the academia?

Past event


Full datetime event: 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019From 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm


Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center
475 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305
United States


Is fundamental research as the sole thrust of academia a sustainable approach? Has "partner or perish" replaced the "innovate or die" paradigm? If yes, how should academia and industry mix? Should professor become members of an industrial team? Should industry become an extension of a campus laboratory? How can they go from incremental to disruptive innovation?

Join BAIA and ISNAFF for a night of knowledge, networking, and much more. Learn from a range of experts and leaders for a conversation around these topics.


Leandro Agro, Design Executive, awarded IxD/UX expert (+20y), IoT pioneer, books author and patents contributor. Founder and co-author of Frontiers of Interactions a leading Interaction design Conference; Frontiers is the place where the design and technology guru from all over the planet meets together. Past speaker list includes the inventor of TED conference Richard Saul Wurman. Leandro is author of "IoT Designer" (Franco Angeli Editore) and "Internet of Humans" (Egea) and contributed to seven other books.

Francesco Impari, Director at BlueThink US, Master in Public Policy at the UC Berkeley, MD Aerospace Engineer, book author and scientific articles contributor. He has established and managed companies in China, Italy, UK and USA in their start-up phase. BlueThink is an Engineering Consultancy that supports R&D teams of Top 500 Fortune companies by developing innovative products in the form of proof of concept and patentable intellectual property.

Luca De Alfaro, a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1998, and is a professor of computer science and engineering at UC Santa Cruz. In 2012, he co-founded Camio, a company providing video processing and machine learning as a service. In 2013, he founded CrowdGrader, a company building educational tools for high schools and universities.

Stefano Foresti, Director of Innovation, at University of California Merced, and Associate Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS @ UC Merced). Stefano also serves as the Academic Ambassador of VLAB, a premier forum in Silicon Valley for 25 years, connecting entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors and technologists to grow high-tech ventures. Stefano holds a Doctorate in Mathematics, and was Senior Scientist at the University of Utah, Center for High Performance Computing for over a decade. He was the Director of CROMDI, a Utah State Center of Excellence in information design, and led the development and commercialization of data intensive user interfaces for health care, cyber-security, and financial trading. Stefano was co-Founder of several startup companies, including Intellivis,, the Italian portal of Gruppo Espresso, and Xoopit, a company that provided enhanced email search, and later acquired by Yahoo.

Mehrdad Nikoonahad, a retired technology executive who has lived and worked in Silicon Valley, California for some 30 years. Presently he offers seminars and courses on technology entrepreneurship and helps selected technology startups as advisor/mentor. In spring of 2019 he was invited and served as Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Trento, Italy. He was formerly Founder & CEO at Partoe Inc., a solar energy company located in Menlo Park, CA. Previously he was cofounder & CEO at Solar Notion Inc., a Sunnyvale-based privately-held company focused on a novel silicon process technology for PV module manufacturing, where he raised $16M venture capital (VC) funds.

Enzo Carrone, Deputy Chief Information Officer at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a research facility operated by Stanford University on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, and home to the world’s most powerful X-Ray laser (based on a 2-mile long particle accelerator). Prior to this, he was in corporate as VP of production, project director, business development manager in the Medical Technology industry. Enzo got a PhD in Physics from CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland, and an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic of Bari, Italy. Enzo I also an alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated from the program on entrepreneurship and innovation.


6-6:45pm: Check in/Networking
7-7:45pm: Opening remarks. Panel starts.
7:45-8pm: Q&A
8-8:30: Networking. Event ends.

Food and drinks will be served.