José Manuel Leceta is the Chairman of the IFI High-Level Advisory Board. Former DG of Red.es from 2016-2018. Former Director of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) from 2011 to 2015. Former International Director of the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) from 2004-2010.
Jose Manuel was Director General of Red.es, the Spanish Government Digital Transformation Agency from November, 2016 to July, 2018 where he revamped the 15 years old organization with a new Strategic Plan, Operational Plan and innovative culture. Before, following a European-wide competition involving circa 200 candidates, José Manuel was appointed Director of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in 2011 nurturing partnership relations with EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) and inspiring first offerings as an Institute for Europe which he codified later as visiting fellow of the European University Institute (EUI).
Formerly, before joining EIT, he was CDTI’s International Director from 2004 to 2010, where he successfully raised the Spanish participation in the EU R&D Framework Programs by 50 %. He also represented Spain in CREST, Eureka and TAFTIE – serving as Executive Secretary in 2010 – and widened CDTI´s Overseas Network with Delegations in India and the US, successfully launching a set of Bilateral Programs.
Having joined CDTI in 1992 to foster Spain´s role and leadership in the practical applications of space, he became Head of Department for Technologies and Space Programs at CDTI in 1996. From 200 to 2002 he was Chairman of the European Space Agency Ariane Board and Vice-Chairman of Telecommunication Board. Also, he played a pivotal role in pioneer space initiatives, notably ESA´s water mission SMOS, AMERHIS (first Hispasat on-board digital multiplexers) and EGNOS-Galileo.
A Telecommunications Engineer from the Technical University of Madrid, José Manuel also studied Business Administration and has diplomas in Space Studies (ISU), Strategic Management of ICT, Economics of Telecommunications, International Studies and Economics and Management of Innovation. He started his business career in Finland in 1987, working thereafter in space industry in France, Spain and Japan.