30 Apr



Prof. John Conly, MD, University of Calgary, W21C Founder
John Conly, MD, is a physician trained in infectious disease, and is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Recently the Head for the Department of Medicine at U of C, Dr Conly was the catalyst for the creation of W21C. His vision was to create a centre that enables health system innovation through a state-of-the-art clinical and research space. Since its inception almost 10 years ago, W21C has engaged interdisciplinary researchers to collaborate on exciting approaches to improve patient safety and quality of care. His focus on innovation and multidisciplinary networking has contributed significantly to W21C success to date. Dr Conly was the founding Co-Chair of the Canadian Hospital Epidemiology Committee, past President of the Canadian Infectious Disease Society, past Chairman of the Board for the Canadian Committee on Antibiotic Resistance and a previous Vice Chair for the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee. He is currently a Board member for the Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Editor-in-Chief for the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology. He has received numerous career honours including the Joe Doupe Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, an Award of Excellence from the Riverdale Hospital, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Infectious Diseases Society. With over 120 peer-reviewed publications in his career, and over $10 000 000 in funding secured in the last 5 years alone, Dr. Conly has achieved substantial results in furthering his research agenda focused on innovative infection control.

Hong Kong

Prof, Alex Molassiotis, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Professor Molassiotis is currently the Chair Professor of Nursing, Endowed Professor in Health & Longevity and Head of School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Oncology Nursing. He has been a Bloomberg International Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor at the Australian Catholic University (Sydney), and the National University of Singapore. He is currently Visiting Professor at a Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa and Jiagnan University, Wuxi, China. His research focus is on complex symptoms and the development of interventions to manage chemotherapy-related symptoms, currently focusing on cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, peripheral neuropathy and cough/breathlessness in lung cancer.

South Africa

Mr. McLean Sibanda, CEO, The Innovation Hub
McLean Sibanda holds Masters degrees in Engineering and Commercial Law from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) and the University of South Africa (UNISA), respectively, and is a Doctoral candidate at UNISA. He is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, and is also a registered South African patent attorney. He has wide experience in innovation, intellectual property and innovation management, policy development, technology transfer as well as supporting entrepreneurs and start-up companies in the ICT, green economy and Bioeconomy sectors. He presently serves as the President of the African Division of International Association of Science Parks (IASP), as well as on the Boards of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, South Africa), Technifin, Ideanav, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO). He has held senior and executive roles in private and public sectors, which included being a Principal Research Fellow and Head of Intellectual Property team at De Beers Industrial Diamonds, Acting Executive Director and Senior Patent Attorney at the Innovation Fund and Group Executive for Commercialisation at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). He has served as an Expert to the African Union (AU), the Department of Science and Technology on drafting of Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research & Development Act as well as review of Tanzania National System of Innovation, and continues to serve as an expert resource and patent searching course tutor for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). McLean has authored and co-authored a number of scientific and intellectual property articles, including a study on the State of Patenting in South Africa, published by The Innovation Fund in 2007, as well as other studies commissioned by WIPO. @mcleansibanda

Dr. Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, GM: Research, Development and Innovation, The Innovation Hub
Dr Semete is the GM for R&D and Innovation at The Innovation Hub. She is responsible for setting the innovation strategy for The Innovation Hub across sectors and establishing sector specific cluster strategies. She supports biotechnology SME’s through the hub’s incubation model and fostering collaborations among biotechnology SME’s, academia and the industry. Dr Semete has a Ph.D. (Biochemistry). She also holds a certificate in Management Advancement from Wits Business School. She completed her postdoctoral research training on Nano drug delivery systems at the University of Nottingham and EPFL, Switzerland. She was with McKinsey & Company for 2 years as a McKinsey Leadership Fellow. Prior to that, between November 2006 and June 2011, she was at the CSIR’s Polymers and Composites Division as a Senior Researcher. Her research team focused on developing Nanotechnology drug delivery systems for TB, HIV and Malaria. She has published as a first author and co-author in original papers, review articles and book chapters. Boitumelo has also served as a guest lecturer in Nanotechnology at the University of Pretoria (June 2008 – June 2011), as well as a part-time lecturer in Immunology at the University of Pretoria (February 2007 – June 2007).


Prof. Didier Pittet

Didier Pittet, MD, MS, WID Co-founder
Dr. Didier Pittet is Professor of Medicine, Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of the Infection Control Programme and World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety at the University of Geneva Hospitals (HUG) and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland. He holds Honorary Professorships at Imperial College London, UK, Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Health and Social Sciences and at the Medical Center of Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Professor Pittet is Lead Advisor of the first WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge, “Clean Care is Safe Care”, and the African Partnerships for Patient Safety at WHO Headquarters. He is the recipient of several national and international honors, including a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II for services to the prevention of healthcare-associated infection in the UK (2007), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Lectureship for his contribution to infection control and healthcare epidemiology (2008), and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases’ Award for Excellence (2009). Professor Pittet is co-author of more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 50 textbook chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the American Journal of Infection Control, Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, and Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. He is also an editorial consultant at The Lancet. His current research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare-associated infections, methods for improving compliance with barrier precautions and hand hygiene practices, as well as innovative methods for improving the quality of patient care and patient safety. He is also involved in research on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, and public and global health issues. The experience of his team in engaging nations and healthcare facilities worldwide in a universal commitment to patient safety is unique. A leader in his field, Dr. Pittet launched the first Innovation Day at HUG in 2007 and is co-founder of WID. A novel about his pioneering work around hand hygiene is set for release in 2014. @DidierPittet

Dr. François Gilardoni

François Gilardoni, PhD, WID Co-founder
François Gilardoni is a venture capitalist, innovation expert and award-winning scientist educated in Switzerland and the USA with nearly two decades of international experience (EMEA, USA and Japan) in the high-tech and financial industries. He sits on the board of directors of several invested companies and advises IT, ICT, healthcare and cleantech companies. Building on the success of the first Innovation Day (ID) held in Geneva in 2007, in 2012 he partnered with Prof. Didier Pittet, ID founder and world renowned specialist in patient safety, to foster a global culture of innovation in Medical and Healthcare Science by promoting IDs around the world. In 2013, they launched the World Innovation Day (WID) global initiative. Francois has further launched the World Innovation Academy (WIA), an affiliate fund to guide entrepreneurs in bringing disruptive enabling technologies to a global market. These technologies are issued from and are deployed within WIA’s global collaborative development network. He is founder of Global Advisory Services (GlobAS), a boutique firm providing non-discretionary investment advisory services to clients seeking to expand their private equity portfolio in the high-tech industry and to ventures raising capital (debt or equity). Francois holds a PhD (cum laude) in Computational Chemistry, as well as advanced degrees in Environmental Science and Computing. He was awarded the prestigious Swiss Prix LATSIS for his achievements in computational chemistry and has authored numerous publications in highly ranked international journals. @GilardoniF