Elena Manuela is public affairs professional and researcher with 10+ year experience in the areas of national defence innovation systems, public procurement, and related policies in defence, homeland security and emergency preparedness.
She is Founder and Managing Director of PôleCM (Civil-Military Innovation Network), initiative that provides strategic advice to and representation for Research Spin-Offs, Small- and Medium- Sized Enterprises and their investors. Prior to founding PôleCM, she worked in Belgium for Burson-Marsteller, Instinctif Partners and Politics Matters, and as researcher for a Belgian research institute focused on export control of defence and dual-use technologies.
As public affairs consultant, Manuela initiated and managed consultations between industry and public stakeholders (NATO, EU, several EU member states) on such issues as security of supply in case major crises, national or joint procurement in defence, as well as market, regulatory and doctrinal issues related to the use of new technologies in defence (e.g. sensors, surveillance, demilitarization, logistics and medical, AI).
She has successfully assisted market uptake and stakeholder acceptance of new or disruptive technologies stemmed from small businesses/ research consortia that received grants from governmental agencies / mechanisms (e.g. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority [USA]; Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency [USA]; Direction Générale de l’Armement [FRA]; Fonds Unique Interministériel [FRA]).
Manuela is member of NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) Industrial Interface Group (IIG), industry IIG representative to NATO Life Cycle Management Group (Quality issues). She participated in several NATO NIAG studies with focus on land capabilities, logistics or new technologies.
Manuela has a background in political science and international political affairs (Free University of Brussels and University of Bucharest), with focus on defence innovation systems and export control of military equipment and dual-use technologies in the transatlantic space.
She speaks Romanian (native), French and English (proficient), Italian and Spanish (understanding).
NATO Tide Sprint