NineSigma Europe Team

NineSigma Europe, a full owned subsidiary of NineSigma Inc., has several satellite offices located throughout the region.  We are committed to helping European companies build open innovation capacity to increase access to new capabilities, knowledge and solutions. 

NineSigma Europe brings together a team of innovation specialists that provides the highest professional level in Open Innovation products, services and practices. Our sales directors are located in their native territory, understanding your local cultures. Our program managers have an exceptionally wide range of knowledge and expertise in all the major industrial sectors.

Meet the Team 

  • Diane SchepersOffice Manager
    Diane joined NineSigma when the European office officially started on August 11, 2008. As Office Manager, she supports contract administration, HR, accounting and Marketing. Diane comes from a hospital environment with 25 years of experience in managing heterogeneous groups, quality procedures, standardization and automation, safety and security.

    After graduating with a bachelor in Medical Management, she worked as an intern in different departments at different hospitals for short periods of time before joining the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University Hospital in Leuven. She supported the research programs and set up procedures for account administration and safety. Fifteen years later she was offered a job closer to home as a staff member at a regional hospital, focusing on co-ordination of ambulatory surgery, medical imaging and outpatient care.

    Diane lives in a small picturesque town. Above all else she likes to read, anything, anytime, anywhere.

    Entering the world of open innovation in 2008 was a totally different experience which opened a whole new and extremely interesting world. The extra courses in marketing, communication and people assessment come in handy. Diane likes to work at NineSigma because she likes to be a part of the group that makes things happen.
    Diane Schepers

  • Francois BourachotBusiness Development Manager

    François Bourachot joined NineSigma in 2016 bringing over 20 years of experience in international business development, especially innovative products and solutions.

    François lived for 10 years in Sweden and Germany, working in the industry and marketing innovative technical products. Since 2001 François was involved in the business development of digital learning technologies and services into new markets in Europe, Asia and America.

    François holds a Master degree in International Marketing from EM Grenoble, a Master in International Politics from Paris Assas 2 and a Master in Corporate Finance from Sciences Po Paris. He speaks French, English, Swedish, German, Spanish and reads Russian.

    At NineSigma, François is a contact person for the Nordics and German speaking countries.
    Connect and contact:
    Telephone: +33 607237015

    Francois Bourachot
  • Patrick FerranVice President, France
    Patrick joined NineSigma Europe in September 2012 as the business development director for France. He is responsible for evangelizing the NineSigma Open Innovation approach, expanding the client base in France, and ensuring that clients get the results they expect.

    Patrick gained professional experience through his work in various management positions in large corporations and in start-ups, from engineering to operations to general management. Prior to joining NineSigma, he began his career working for General Electric Corporate R&D as a research engineer. He then took a project management position at Sextant Avionique, a leading avionics firm in France. He was later appointed to manager of customer services for Africa, the Middle East, and South Europe within the same company. After receiving his MBA, Patrick joined Accenture as a manager in the Business Process Outsourcing and CRM practices. He seized an opportunity in 2000 to move to entrepreneurship, taking part in the creation of a technology startup, Xyleme, where he was COO. In 2005 Xyleme was acquired by a US-based company and Patrick founded another start-up developing internet service, while providing management consulting services as well.

    Patrick hold his MS in engineering from the Free University of Brussels and his MBA from Sciences Po in Paris.
    Patrick Ferran
  • Renzo ProvedelDirector of Business Development, Italy
    Renzo joined NineSigma in October 2010 as the Director of Business Development for NineSigma Europe. He is responsible for providing coaching and services to facilitate an open innovation new paradigm diffusion in Italy.

    Prior to joining NineSigma, Renzo served as the Director of Innovation Division for SCOA where he analyzed business needs in the area of innovation and designed the appropriate change processes to improve the skills of the client’s organization. Renzo brings almost 40 years’ experience in management and open innovation to his position at NineSigma and has worked with companies such as SOSLOG, Fareimpresa Srl, the Italian Federation of ICT Association, and Fiat.

    Renzo is a certified Practitioner of Business Coaching from the SCOA School of Coaching and WABC. He earned his degree in Electronics from Politecnico di Torino where he graduated with honors.
    Renzo Provedel
  • Julia RoelofsenBusiness Development Manager, Northern Europe
    Julia Roelofsen joined NineSigma Europe in June 2014, bringing an additional 10 years of business experience, international background and entrepreneurial spirit.

    Before joining NineSigma, Julia promoted and developed technology campuses. She has a profound expertise in building public private innovation partnerships, as for example university-industry or cluster type of cooperation. Julia gained practical competences in the field, working for biggest network of the technology parks in Northern Europe, Technopolisand for spin-out company, InnoPraxis.

    Julia consulted and trained innovation policy makers from 30 countries, including Finland, Denmark, Russia, Ireland, Poland and Botswana, helping them to improve regional innovation system and entrepreneurial climate, which, she believes, affects both private companies and public sector stakeholders.

    Julia earned her university degree in international management from St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance. She speaks English, Russian, German and Finnish.

    At NineSigma, Julia is a main contact person for Northern Europe.
    Connect and contact:
    Telephone: +31 655 340 746
    Julia Roelofsen
  • George VincentVice President, United Kingdom
    George Vincent holds over twenty years’ experience gained working with world-class companies in the telecoms and high-tech sectors. His experience spans a number of industries and includes senior client facing roles.

    George has recently been appointed to lead NineSigma’s business in the U.K. market. Prior to his career at NineSigma,

    he started his portfolio career as an independent consultant offering advice and support to companies and academic institutions on how to unlock the commercial value of their innovations and Intellectual Property Assets. George gained experience in technology investment management and intellectual property management through working as Vice President of Strategic Business Development with the British Technology Group (BTG). George has more than fifteen years’ experience working with a number of blue-chip companies in the telecoms industry including Motorola, AT&T, France Telecom, GE Capital – Satellite Networks and Cisco Systems in a variety of senior commercial and technical roles spanning a range of technologies including satellite communications, mobile telephony, private mobile radio and Internet networks.

    George was also appointed Visiting Professor and adviser at the Royal College of Art & Design (RCA) for the post-graduate course in Innovation Design Engineering, a joint course with Imperial College. His responsibilities included the development and management of the ‘Creative Business Lecture Series’, which introduced students to the commercial realities in taking innovations to market. He has led a number of joint corporate initiatives with the RCA and also developed a mentoring and coaching program for Selected Start-Ups initiative sponsored by Innovation RCA.

    In addition to his consulting roles and involvement with the RCA, George has also worked in interim senior management with roles as a Strategic Business Adviser and Commercial Director.
    George Vincent

  • Jos Cenens, Ph.D.Engagement Manager
    Jozef (Jos) Cenens has a background in academic and industrial research. In his current role he works with innovation-focused companies across industries including packaging, food, oil & gas, vaccines, bio surfactants and manufacturing.

    Jos studied chemistry at the agricultural engineering faculty of the Leuven University in Belgium where he obtained his PhD. His PhD thesis was on studying the behavior of dilute clay suspensions using various spectroscopic techniques. For one of his papers he won the 1989 AIPEA Bradley award.

    In 1989, Jos joined the Shell Chemicals R&D lab in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium, where he was active in several polymer-related projects (epoxy, urethane, elastomeric rubbers, sulphur polymerization). During his more than 20 years with the Royal Dutch Shell Group, he acquired extensive management expertise, including managing customer relationships, research departments and laboratories.

    Jos is fluent in Dutch, English and French and is conversant in German.
    Jos Cenens, Ph.D.
  • Stephen Clulow, Ph.D.VP of Service Delivery

    Stephen Clulow is VP of Service Delivery for NineSigma Europe. A life sciences PhD, Stephen has 20 years of experience in small biotechs and large pharmaceutical companies in the UK, Europe and the USA.

    Stephen has extensive experience of building creative climates, managing innovation and leading change. He has led internal innovation, open innovation and crowd-sourcing programs in multinational companies and start-ups. These initiatives generated novel solutions to long-standing industry problems in science, technology, IT and automation in the healthcare sector.

    Stephen was recently awarded a Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership by City University, London. His dissertation research investigated what motivates people to participate in online innovation initiatives. Stephen is passionate about innovation and believes that web and mobile technologies will play an important role in future innovations in the healthcare industry.

    Stephen Clulow, Ph.D.
  • Martijn NellisenInternet Researcher

    Martijn Nelissen received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 2010 at the university of Leuven, not knowing that this city would play a major role later in his career. After his graduation he returned to his former high school, where his job was to teach 11 to 14 year old girls and boys the secrets of mathematics, the purest of all science. In February 2011 he went back to Leuven to start working for NineSigma Europe. As Internet researcher he assists the Program Managers in locating the world’s smartest minds capable of solving companies biggest challenges.

    Martijn Nellisen
  • Oliver Worsfold, Ph.D.Program Manager

    Oliver Worsfold has a BSc and PhD in Chemistry / Materials science and over 20 years experience in academic and industrial R+D in large corporate and SMEs across UK, Europe and Japan and is lead inventor on several patented technologies. In addition, Oliver has experience of SME formation, funding mechanisms and small business growth management.

     At NineSigma, Oliver is a Consultant / Program Manager for projects in Engineering, Automotive, FMCG, Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic sectors. His work involves scoping, creating and development of projects, sourcing new technologies or partners, commercial assessments (including budgets), critical reasoning, training / leadership and understanding of cross industry technology transfer management. Oliver has extensive experience of strategic planning and business implementation which are key aspects of successful Innovation projects enabling €multi-million(s) product acceleration in several market sectors

    Oliver Worsfold, Ph.D.
  • Tom VrankenInnovation Researcher

    As Innovation Reseacher for NineSigma Tom is responsible for elaborate searches to find experts and advanced technologies for the different NineSigma Projects within defined parameters.

    Tom works closely with the Program Director and together they help companies solve their most critical challenges. Tom joined NineSigma in 2015.

    Tom is currently finishing his PhD at the institute of Material Research of the University of Hasselt where he also holds a Masters’ Degree in Bioelectronics and Nanotechnology and a Bachelors’ degree in Biomedical Sciences.

    His fields of expertise at the University were Protein functionalization and biofunctionalization of solid Carriers for Biosensing applications.

    Tom Vranken