Edgar Beugels, Head of the Research and Development Unit, Frontex

Edgar Beugels worked for 15 years for the Immigration Service (IND) of the Netherlands before joining Frontex (the European Union’s External Border Agency) right from its foundation in 2005. Today Edgar is Head of the Research and Development Unit having however started as acting security officer and then moving to the R&D unit in 2007.

The Frontex Research and Development Unit follows up on research and developments that are of relevance for border security. In this context the Unit carries out assessments of technologies, provides (technical) support to its stakeholders (Member States of the European Union and the European Commission), strives for harmonisation and contributes to new developments. The unit also participates in short, mid and long term border security related projects being executed at EU level.

During the past years Edgar actively participated in the development of the border control/security policy at both national and international levels (EU and beyond). He was deeply involved (participation in EU Council Working Groups) in the development of the Schengen acquis as well as its implementation (Schengen Evaluation). As a policy advisor in the IND he facilitated the introduction of innovative techniques in the field of border control (automated border control-biometrics based).       

Edgar has taken part in many missions to all Schengen Member States as well as in numerous border security related missions across all continents.

Edgar holds a MA in law from the University of Leyden. 

Markus Clabian (Austrian Institute of Technology, Project Manager of the EU-funded FastPass project)

Dr Markus Clabian is a Senior Engineer and Project-Manager at AIT. He received his MSc and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Technology in Vienna. He has worked in the fields of software engineering and image processing for more than 15 years and has led several national and international research programs in computer vision and security applications. He managed the Video Surveillance Business Unit for three years as well as the competence center Advanced Computer Vision. Markus has successfully proposed national and international research projects on ABC systems, is now coordinating the EU-funded research project ‘FastPass’ and is a speaker at major events in the fields of border control and document security.

Antonio Fulco (Head of Sector – Service design and transversal services, eu-LISA)

After obtaining a Master’s degree in Business Administration, he became attracted to information technology where he spent more than 18 years working first as a specialist for Fortune 15 ICT players and subsequently as an IT consultant within the public and banking sectors. Antonio has now spent over three years in eu-LISA initially responsible for the service level and program management of Eurodac central system. In mid-2014 he also took over the responsibility of the Smart Borders Pilot project.

Krum Garkov (Executive Director, eu-LISA) 

Krum Garkov has more than 15 years of cross-cultural experiences spanning the public and private sectors. Prior to taking up the Executive Director post in eu-LISA in November 2012 Mr Garkov  was the Operations Director for the Experian Group ltd., a leading global information provider serving the finance industry, and before that the Program Manager at a major technology company Hewlett Packard. Mr Garkov has also served the National Revenue Agency and the Centre for Mass Privatization in Bulgaria. Krum Garkov holds a M.Sc. in Computer Technologies from Technical University (Varna, Bulgaria) and an MBA in Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey, United States).He received executive education from the London School of Business & Finance (London, United Kingdom) with a Master of Business Administration in Management Consulting.

Kier-co Gerritsen, partner in Proodos Consultancy

After 15 years working for the Dutch Government Kier-co joined Proodos Consultancy as a partner. Mr Gerritsen was an expert for the Federal Police in Belgium for the Automated Border Control
project at Brussels Airport and is a member of the ABC expert pool for Frontex. He also initiated and advised the Aruba Government and Airport to restructure their passenger ground processes e.g. biometric enrolment, Self-service passport and boarding control and initiated the ‘Happy Flow’ concept to ensure maximum passenger facilitation.
From January 2009 to September 2012 he was General Project Manager and responsible for the introduction of Self Service Passport Control at Schiphol Airport. This was a Public-Private initiative under the responsibility of the Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relationships in strong cooperation with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in a public – private partnership. Kier-co is a Senior Manager and has proven his quality in the last years by running large scale (IT) projects including procurement activities (procurement strategy, requirements setup etc) in the areas of Biometric usage, Business process redesign, benefits management, logistics supply chain, governance establishment on Visa processing with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Committee Expert Visa liberalization and divers Change Management programs.
Mr. Gerritsen was the initiator and Chairman of the ABC working group which is now under the responsibility of the EU agency Frontex. He published several documents at the time covering topics such as Global initiatives related to identity management and facilitation processes based on Biometrics.
As partner of Proodos Consultancy since January 2014 his mind-set and expertise creates new ideas for innovative concepts. With a focus on key strategic beneficial points for each stakeholder, procurement strategies and the use of a large international network of Governments, end-users and Industry partners to set up the right dialogue. He is able to co-create new views and benefits.

Nicolas Goniak, Director of immigration’s control applications, French Ministry of the Interior

After graduating from Ecole Centrale Paris as an engineer in real-time computing, Nicolas founded a software company in medical imaging with some friends, which he resold in the early 2000s. He then headed towards the security industry by joining Sagem, now Morpho, where he led R&D, and subsequently the marketing of product lines mixing security in both hardware & software: GSM handsets, electronic point of sales, SIM cards, e-ID cards, cryptographic modules & IT security.
Based on a strategic vision he helped develop in Morpho, he founded their Identity and Access management product line targeted towards the private sector, where the end-user was at the center of all thoughts, especially when it comes to combining smartcard, identity, biometrics for e- or m-payment schemes.
Nicolas Goniak has worked for the French Ministry of Interior for three years, and is now Director of immigration control applications. He lately led, along with the French Border police, the French Smart Borders experiments on behalf of eu-LISA.

Police Major Panagiotis Mertis (Hellenic Police)

Panagiotis has worked for more than 12 years in the IT Directorate of the Hellenic Police Headquarters and has more than 19 years’ experience as a Police Officer. He holds a MSc in Information Systems achieved at the Athens University of Economics and Business in Athens, Greece.

As an officer he has been placed in very demanding positions dealing with Strategy, Program Planning, Governance, Security, Research & Development, Operational Management, Project Management and Software Engineering. Panagiotis has taken part in various large scale operational and European R&D projects that required theoretical proficiency and high operational experience such as the implementation of Athens 2004 Olympic Games Security System, S.I.S. II and more recently the management of the Smart Borders Pilot.

Pasi Nokelainen, System Manager for Border Checks, Ministry of the Interior/Finnish Border Guard HQ, Finland 

Pasi Nokelainen has worked for the Finnish Border Guard since 1992. In his current position, since June 2010, as a System Manager for Border checks at the Finnish Border Guard Headquarters he is responsible for the technical development, implementation and procurement of border check technology. Between 2007 and 2010 Mr. Nokelainen worked as a seconded national expert to the unit for Large-scale IT-systems and Biometrics at the European Commission, where he contributed to the establishment of the Visa Information System and in particular to the technical feasibility of the Entry-Exit system and Registered Traveller programme. He actively took part in the preparations and discussions on the Smart Borders package.

Fares Rahmun (Technical Project Manager VIS & Smart Borders Federal Office of Administration (BVA), Germany)

Fares Rahmun has worked for the German Federal Office of Administration (BVA) as IT Project Manager for Government Information Technology Solutions for 10 years and as such is in charge of the technical integration of the European Visa Information System (VIS) in Germany.

He conducted several national and European pilot projects and is a member of various expert groups in the area of biometrics, visa and border management. Furthermore he is involved in the German implementations for capturing and checking fingerprints, which contributes to the Technical Guideline Biometrics in public sector applications (TR-03121) by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

Currently Fares is the technical project manager for the EU Smart Borders Initiative at the BVA. Here he combines his knowledge of large scale IT-applications and identity management solutions with profound knowledge of the relevant business processes.

Fares holds a M.Sc. degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany.

Jorge Rodrigues (Project Management and Software Development, Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras [SEF], Portugal)

Jorge Rodrigues has over 13 years’ experience in the development and implementation of Government Information Technology Solutions Systems. He worked for the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) as IT Project Manager on several projects for over 8 years and is now in charge of the technical integration of the European Visa Information System (VIS) in Portugal. He has conducted several national and European pilot projects in the area of border management.

In the context of border management Jorge has for many years been a member of the Frontex Working Group dealing with the development of “Good Practices” for the practical implementation of VIS at EU borders as well as a member of the Frontex Working Group contributing to the development of the Best Practice Technical Guidelines for Automated Border Control (ABC) Systems. Jorge is also involved in the ABC4EU – Automated Border Control Gates for Europe project focusing on border checks more flexible and user-friendly for passengers by harmonising the functionalities of border check automation.

Jorge holds a Master’s degree in e-Commerce and Internet from Universidade Aberta (UAb) in Lisbon.