Hugo A.M. van Veghel
Director and Senior Expert M&E
Hugo has > 15 years of experience in the development and management of EU funded projects. Following several years of work in EU-funding contexts in the Western Balkan, Hugo became an expert in technical assistance projects, specifically in the field of regional development, PCM / RBM, knowledge / technology transfer, creativity for innovation and coordinated EU and direct funding. In addition to his knowledge of EU regional policy and rich experience in project management, Hugo is also renowned for his lecturing as docent and skills as trainer. He holds a Dr.Sc. degree, defended with his thesis on “Monitoring and Evaluation of Discrete Projects implemented by the Not-for-Profit sector”. He is member of the “Science Parcs and Innovation Centers Expert group (SPICE – Berlin) and TARAIC’s founder and Director since the company’s inception.
Human and Minority Rights Senior Advisor/Expert
After studies in Zagreb (physics and political sciences) and Frankfurt (philosophy), Žarko became assistant and then professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Zagreb. He is Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, visiting professor at the Free University in Berlin, European University center for Peace Studies in Stadtschlaining (Austria) and at the University of Klagenfurt with occasional lectures at many major European universities. He is Member of the Transcend network, of the Advisory Panel of The European Journal of Philosophy and of the Standing committee on inter-societal relations of the Ethikon Institute, Los Angeles. He was awarded with the European Club of Rectors Extraordinary Award for Peace and against Xenophobia 1993. Žarko Puhovski was co-founder of the first alternative political movement in former Yugoslavia in the year 1988, and of the Croatian Helsinki Committee for human rights in 1993. He retired from his academic career in 2012 and became TARAIC’s Senior Expert in Human and Minority Rights. Žarko is also a trainer in TARA IC’s accredited training programme in PCM/Human resource development.
Technology Transfer and Innovation Senior Advisor/Expert
After studies in Tallinn, Estonia (physics) and St. Petersburg, Russia (hydraulics and engineering hydrology) and Twente, the Netherlands (educational technology) Rein became Associate Professor, Vice-Dean and Dean in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Managing Director of the Centre for Educational Technology. He developed and managed innovation support, technology transfer and clustering services for SMEs and public organizations: Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn Science and Technology Park TEHNOPOL, Tartu Biotechnology Park; Tallinn City Government:; Institute of Technology of Tartu University; T; ELIKO – Competence Centre for Electronics, Info- and Communication Technologies. He has been part of about 40 EU projects in total, in last years has fulfilled role of Project Manager, Team Leader and Key Expert in several EU IPA projects: “Science and Innovation Investment Fund”(Croatia); “Institutional Capacity Development of 3 Innovation Centers and the Research Sector” (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Tallinn Technology Park Development Foundation -Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol (Estonia); “Technical Assistance (Institutional Building) for Development of the Research & Technological Infrastructure of Gaziantep Technopark” (Turkey). He is member of the world-wide SPICE (Science Park and Innovation Centre Experts) group, chairman of the supervisory board of R&D company Guardtime Ltd., Estonia and associate partner in investment company The Collins Group, (Canada). In cooperation with Novatum Ltd (Estonia), Rein is TARAIC’s Senior Expert for Technology Transfer and Innovation.
Natura 2000 and Protected Areas Senior Advisor/Expert
Ivaylo has a MSc. Degree in General Ecology and Environmental Protection. After his studies in Sofia (General Ecology and Environmental Protection) and Budapest (Environmental Science and Policy) Ivaylo worked as Protected Areas Expert and later Natura 2000 expert at the National Nature Protection Service of the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria. His main duties were the selection and designation of protected areas in accordance of the national legislation and later EU approximation and development of the Natura 2000 Network in the country.
Since 2007 Ivaylo is a freelance consultant working for different nature protection projects (2007-2009 Rhodope project, Bulgaria; 2012-2015 Support to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives in Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Ivaylo has experience in monitoring EU funded projects and since 2009 is monitoring LIFE Programme funded projects in Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus on behalf of the European Commission.
He has also been used by the European Commission as an independent Natura 2000 expert for technical evaluation of Complaint cases related to breach of Birds and Habitats Directives.
Biljana van Veghel Kondić
HR and Communication manager and Senior Expert Capacity and Project Development
Biljana has > 15 years of experience in the development and management of EU funded projects. She holds a MA in Psychology and MSc in HR Management. Following several years of work in developing and managing civil society organisations, Biljana embarked on broader development issues and became an expert in technical assistance in and for projects within the Western Balkan, specifically in the field of HR, PCM and RBM in regional development. She has a rich experience in project management capacity and capability building and is renowned for her deep project insight and organisational skills. She is an expert in Mediation, Facilitation and Burnout Prevention and is TARAIC’s HR and Communication Manager and Senior Adviser for Capacity and Project Development since the company’s inception.
SME development and gender/inclusion advisor/expert
Natalia Meylunas holds a MA in languages from Hertzen State Pedagogical University (St.Petersburg, Russia) and an MBA from Vlerick Leuven Gent. Early on she combined her academic background with sound practical business experience, acquired in Cuba and in Russia, where she has worked for one of the first private hi-tech companies, gaining immediate business acumen in the turbulent economic environment of the 1990’s. Since then she has successfully applied this experience to her activities in SME development at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Natalia was instrumental in launching and managing the EBRD business advisory services programmes in North-West Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, South Caucasus, Northern Mediterranean and Western Balkans. She has carried out feasibility studies and developed recommendations for starting programmes in new countries and regions. Natalia has a keen understanding of challenges faced by SMEs in different environments and is capable of translating the results of needs analysis into practical, successful capacity building and development programmes and projects, such as a EUR 40 million Women in Business programme in Western Balkans, a Knowledge Transfer programme with the SME Development Agency in Croatia etc.
Natalia’s strengths include ability to engage and coordinate all kinds of stakeholders, balancing diverse interests in order to obtain desired outcomes: she has led a team of 18+ people and managed multi-million EUR programmes in Armenia, Georiga, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro.
After studies in Novi Sad (philosophy) Rastko joined TARAIC as translator under an ALMM programme. Besides in house trainings on PCM he familiarised himself with the EU project jargon and was involved in translations and proof readings for several projects covering a variety of fields. Rastko is also involved in education in the English language and is since 2010 TARAIC’s prime translator.
Elena is an undergraduate student in English and joined the team as a voluntary intern. She is TARAIC’s hands-on office assistant.