Advisory Board

Meet Our Advisory Board


The FUTURE4PRIMA project is honored to be guided by a distinguished Advisory Board comprised of eminent leaders and experts in the fields of Mediterranean research, innovation, sustainable resource management, and policy development. 

The Advisory Board plays a pivotal role in steering the project towards achieving its ambitious goals, aligned with the European Green Deal and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Our Advisory Board consists of distinguished individuals from various sectors, including academia, industry, and governmental organizations, each bringing a wealth of experience and unique perspectives to guide our project. 

Advisory Board

Sanaa Zebakh

Member 1

Zebakh Sanaa is an agronomist engineer with a PhD and MBA. She has over 10 years of experience in UE-Moroccan S&T cooperation at the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education and Research, managing bilateral agreements and policy dialogues leading to joint programs like ARIMNET and PRIMA. In 2003, she established Morocco’s first National Contact Point (NCP) to support participation in European research framework programs, contributing to over 30 projects to enhance Moroccan and South Mediterranean S&T capacities.

From 2010 to 2021, she served as Director of International Cooperation at IAV Hassan II, negotiating around 600 agreements and promoting South-South cooperation. She launched initiatives to support research valorization, patenting, and entrepreneurship to impact local agriculture and food systems. Since 2019, she has been the focal point for the SKIM project funded by ICARDA, developing knowledge management strategies for agriculture in Morocco, Sudan, and Moldova.

Mrs. Zebakh is actively involved in the Agriengage project (ERASMUS+), enhancing agricultural entrepreneurship and employability in Africa. She serves as an evaluator for EU FP’s, H2020 projects, PRIMA, and CIRAD’s strategic plans. Her expertise includes agricultural research policy, innovation, higher education management, scientometrics, and entrepreneurship in agriculture.


Sergej Možina

Member 2

Sergej Možina, a political scientist by academic background, has extensive experience in national and EU research and innovation policy-making.

As Slovenian science attaché at the Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, he helped shape the EU research and innovation policy and negotiated among others the last two EU framework programmes, Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, and other legislative frameworks, such as the ERIC Regulation, EIT or European Partnerships legislative acts and others. He chaired the Research Working Party in the Council of the EU during the Slovenian Presidency in 2021.

At the beginning of 2022, the Member States elected him as their co-chair of the ERA Forum. He has been involved in the activities of the PRIMA partnership from its conception, throughout its negotiations in the Council of the EU and as the representative of the Slovenian Trustee in the PRIMA Boart of Trustees from 2017 until 2022.




Katarzyna Walczyk

Member 3

Katarzyna is the Vice-President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce for High Technologies and Deputy Head of the Centre for Research Programmes of the EU at IPPT PAN.

From 2016 to 2020, she served as Deputy Director at the National Contact Point for EU Research Programs. Beginning her career in 2008 at NCP Poland, she specialized in SME/EIC and Widening NPC roles and served as an expert for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Program Committees at the European Commission.

Katarzyna manages international research and innovation projects, fostering collaboration between science and business.With experience in over 40 EU Framework Programme projects, she coordinated the NCP_WIDE.NET and NCP_WIDERA.NET projects.

Currently, she leads the Innovation Coach project and participates in committees on structural and European funds issues. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the ERA-LEARN project (2018-2022) and leads the RMA team at IPPT PAN.

Katarzyna also contributed to four Polish Teaming 4 Excellence Projects, totaling 120 million Euros, and served as President of the TOP 500 Innovators Association from 2014 to 2020. She graduated from the Top 500 Innovators Program at Stanford University.

Ian Gauci

Member 4

Ian Gauci Borda, based in Malta, is a distinguished legal consultant specializing in technology, media, telecommunications, and intellectual property.

As a partner at GTG Advocates and director at Afilexion Alliance, he provides strategic legal and compliance advice on emerging technologies. Ian’s expertise in ICT law, data protection, and e-commerce is vital for organizations integrating technology initiatives within legal standards.

He has significant experience in RTDi policy, representing Malta in high-level European forums and preparing positions for EU meetings.

Notably, he co-chaired the Research Working Party during the Maltese Presidency in 2017, advancing the PRIMA Initiative and serving on its Board of Trustees.

Ian enhances synergies between national and EU programs and leads work packages focused on Mutual Learning in EU-funded projects.

He also serves as the Programme Committee Member and National Contact Point in domains like Health, Cancer Mission, Research Infrastructures, Widening, and the European Research Area, ensuring PRIMA’s initiatives are legally compliant and strategically sound.

Giovanni Bidoglio

Member 5

Giovanni Bidoglio, a senior expert at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and former Head of the Water Resources Unit, brings extensive expertise in water management and the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus.

His knowledge, especially in the Mediterranean context, aligns with PRIMA’s sustainability goals. Giovanni’s experience at the European Commission provides valuable insights into EU policies and research strategies, ensuring PRIMA’s alignment with European objectives like the Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy.His WEFE Nexus specialization allows him to offer strategic advice on environmental sustainability, addressing water scarcity, energy efficiency, food security, and ecosystem health.

Giovanni’s leadership in water resource management guides innovative research approaches for PRIMA projects.

His extensive collaboration with EU member states enhances stakeholder engagement, fostering partnerships across the Mediterranean.

His expertise in capacity building and knowledge transfer strengthens PRIMA’s impact, organizing training sessions and workshops for local researchers and policymakers.



Member 6

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Our Mission

The Advisory Board’s mission is to provide strategic counsel, validate the project’s direction, and facilitate connections with broader networks and initiatives. 

By leveraging their expertise and insights, the board ensures that FUTURE4PRIMA remains at the forefront of addressing the critical challenges facing the Mediterranean region.

Impact and Engagement

The Advisory Board’s insights and guidance are integral to the strategic planning and execution of the FUTURE4PRIMA project. 

Through their engagement, we ensure that our efforts are not only scientifically and technically sound but also aligned with broader socio-economic and environmental objectives.

Their contributions are evident across the project’s work packages, from enhancing Mediterranean innovation ecosystems (WP4) to fostering progress on the SDGs and the Green Deal (WP6). 

Their strategic oversight ensures that our initiatives are both impactful and sustainable, paving the way for a more resilient and prosperous Mediterranean region.


  • Strategic Guidance: Offering expert advice on project strategy, ensuring alignment with global standards and policies.
  • Validation of Objectives: Assessing and validating the project’s goals and implementation strategies to maximize impact.
  • Facilitating Connections: Enabling synergies with other European and Mediterranean initiatives, enhancing the project’s reach and efficacy.
  • Promotion of Alignment: Encouraging the project’s alignment with key international agendas, such as the European Green Deal and the UN’s SDGs.