M.I.A. (Mediterranean Innovation Angels) is the new community part of the Mediterranean Innovation Partnership

To whom does M.I.A. address?

It is aimed at those who want to be part of the Mediterranean Innovation community to represent and generate value for their countries and those who want to continue to learn more about Innovation in the Agrifood Sector and pursue their work as Innovation Managers who have been trained by the Master’s program in Open Innovation & Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Agrifood Sector at CIHEAM Bari.
The M.I.A.’s, act as ambassadors for their countries and promote an Innovation Ecosystem in the Mediterranean region.

m.i.a. Team

Read the short biography for each Mediterranean Innovation Angel by clicking on its photo


A startupper, agricultural innovator, and Open innovation manager. Founder and CEO of an Urban Agricultural Initiative (Osfarm).
A Plant Science Masters student at California State Polytechnic University. Holds a Master’s Diploma in Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor in Agricultural Engineering. Have a strong foundation in innovation, research, and entrepreneurship. My goal is to advance knowledge in controlled environment agriculture and the vertical farming industry, grooming and instilling innovative culture in future agricultural entrepreneurs.



I, Ferdaous Ben Hadj Slama, am a Tunisian agricultural engineer and an aspiring Innovation Manager with 10+ years of experience as an impactful community leader and volunteer. My passion is fueled by the vision to empower young entrepreneurs and revolutionize the agrifood landscape. With my in-depth knowledge of sustainable agriculture, market analysis, and project management, I am poised to make a significant impact. My unwavering commitment to knowledge sharing, collaboration, and driving impactful change positions me as a pivotal force in shaping a thriving Mediterranean Innovation Ecosystem. I am dedicated to fostering sustainability and innovation, and I strive to lead the way towards a brighter and more sustainable future in the Mediterranean region.



Tiba Merghad, I am an aspiring innovation manager and a geneticist. I Have a strong foundation in Agile Methods and Change Management, Social Innovation, the Living Lab approach, Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology.
Additionally, I am skilled in Project Cycle Management, Communication and Marketing for Startups, scientific research, and entrepreneurship.
I speak English, French, and Arabic fluently. And I am learning Italian.
During my studies, I had the opportunity to participate in a curricular internship at the company Tersan Puglia in Italy , where we worked on the project “Biovegetal’s International Business Development” using the human-centered innovation process , Design Thinking and Lean Startup approach.
I aim to promote knowledge sharing and technology transfer to support entrepreneurship, business growth, and innovation in the Mediterranean region and beyond. I am passionate to work on national and international partnerships to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development goals.
Currently based in Italy, I am open to work in national and international companies, as well as in national and International organizations. Feel free to contact me via email: tibamerghad@outlook.com.



Roseline Adeyemo, an agricultural economist and development professional dedicated to enhancing food security and alleviating poverty among smallholder farmers. With a degree in Agricultural Economics and currently pursuing a Master’s in Innovation Development in the Agrifood System, she brings a robust academic foundation. Holding a Master Diploma in Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship from CIHEAM Bari and University of Bari, Italy, Roseline has a proven record of excellence in agribusiness coaching, impacting 4000 farmers in 18 months with the Dutch-funded 2SCALE project. Passionate about empowering women and youth in agriculture, she aligns her efforts with SDGs on no poverty and zero hunger. As a former Innovation Coach with CIHEAM Bari, she contributed to a Digital Skills project involving participants from various countries. Her core competencies include Emotional Intelligence, Business Etiquette, Project Management and AgriFinance. Eager to leverage her skills and experiences for collaborative initiatives.



Mohammed is an experienced professional with a diverse background in engineering and real estate. He holds an Engineer’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master of Science in Land and Water Resources Management: Irrigated Agriculture. With a strong focus on sustainable development and environmental impact assessment, Mohammed has acquired expertise in irrigation management, wastewater treatment, and waste management. In his work experience, he has excelled in various roles, including as an Irrigation Engineer and as a Project Manager. He has collaborated with engineering teams, ensuring compliance with regulations and addressing environmental concerns. Mohammed has also served as a Real Estate Broker, managing property sales transactions and building a network of clients and business associates.
Additionally, he has demonstrated his skills as Social Media Manager and Web Content Manager. He has successfully attracted and engaged audiences through digital marketing strategies and effective communication.
With his strong technical skills, he brings a valuable combination of knowledge and expertise to any partnership. His team-building abilities, leadership qualities, and commitment to sustainable practices make him a valuable contributor in collaborative endeavors.



A PhD candidate in Earth and geo-environmental sciences at the Science Faculty of Ibn Zohr University. Before coming to Ibn Zohr University, I completed two postgraduate programs: an agricultural engineering diploma from Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (Morocco) and a Master of Science in Organic Agriculture from CIHEAM Bari (Italy). I also hold a certificate of the Advanced Specialized Course in “Innovation & Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Agri-food Sector” from CIHEAM-Bari. I will continue to investigate innovation in the agrifood sector as Earth will continue to spin.



A seasoned novel food product developer with a strong focus on plant-based protein and the valorization of agri-food waste. With a background in agriculture development, I’ve worked extensively in manufacturing, rural areas, and vocational training. My skill set includes strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation, along with expertise in research tools and project management. I have a proven track record of successful collaboration with government, private sector, and international organizations to achieve common goals.



Nikola Klacar, 27, is a QA Automation Engineer in Sarajevo. He studied agriculture at the University of East Sarajevo, but his interest in technology and entrepreneurship led him to Italy for a dual Master’s Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He co-founded “Ormaric,” a Bosnian startup that promotes secondhand culture and sustainable fashion. He promotes entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans as a member of Bold (Network 20/20). He has participated in numerous training programs and incubators around the world, including the University of Buffalo, Innovation Nation BH, SFF Munich Germany, and Impact Hub Belgrade.



I am Paul Khalifeh from Lebanon, and I hold a bachelor’s degree in Food Engineering. During my studies, I gained valuable insights into the significance of food technology and innovation within the agri-food sector. Consequently, I collaborated with experts from various countries to study more effective food safety standards, regulations, and their implementation, emphasizing the importance of food safety in food production processes.
I graduated with a Master’s degree in Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Agribusiness Sector, which provided me with the opportunity to develop my entrepreneurial and product development skills.
I began working as a project officer with the organization AWFA, collaborating with USAID to support local and small food producers in Lebanon. Our objective was to help them develop their products.
My firm belief in the importance of sustainable food production and the need to define it in the agri-food sector led me to enroll in a Master’s program in Agri-food Innovation Management at the University of Trento in Italy.
I am enthusiastic about commencing this collaboration with Ciheam and my colleagues from diverse countries and backgrounds. I firmly believe that, together, we can make a significant impact. MIAs represents one of the first partnership communities for innovation managers worldwide, and I am committed to contributing all my education and experience to this initiative.



A highly motivated Palestinian with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I’ve risen to the position of Maintenance Manager in a prominent Middle Eastern food industry company.
Fueling my passion for innovation, I pursued a first-level master’s in Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship at CIHEAM Bari, in collaboration with the University of Bari Aldo Moro.
My passion lies in Innovation, continuously seeking new methods and ideas to optimize operations, reducing both effort and cost. I thrive on networking and take immense pleasure in connecting with individuals. My interest is ignited by encountering human-centered innovations in national and international companies, primarily through Open Innovation projects and co-design initiatives.
Presently, I serve as an Innovation Researcher and International Innovation Tutor at CIHEAM Bari and Politecnico di Bari, where I dedicate myself to cultivating the next generation of innovators.



After 6 years of experience in operational projects as a project manager: water and sanitation, environmental and social assessment in NGOs and consultancy industry, I decided to continue my education for PhD in the field of drought management at the University of Ibn Zohr Agadir while continuing my career as consultant in water resource and ecosystem management. Passionate about earth sciences and water resource management, I want to explore through research and development new perspectives and innovative approaches of water and ecosystem management under anthropogenic and climate change pressures.



An Agriculture Engineer specializing in Environment and Natural Resources. In addition to my master’s degree in Engineering, I have pursued two additional master’s degrees from CIHEAM Bari: a short master’s program in Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship and a master’s program in Sustainable Agroecosystem and Resilience. During my studies, I had the opportunity to participate in the WaterMedyin project as part of the MIP (Master International Projects) initiative. This project was implemented in three regions: Lebanon, Palestine, and Tunisia. Through my involvement, I gained valuable experiences and established connections with ISOs in Lebanon and the other two regions. Furthermore, my master’s degree in Open Innovation provided me with practical fieldwork experiences. I also engaged in coaching and mentoring aspiring young entrepreneurs who had initiated their own startups. Through this role, I facilitated their connections with organizations that could offer them guidance and support in developing their ventures.
My educational background and professional experiences have equipped me with a diverse skill set in the field of agriculture engineering, particularly in the areas of environment, natural resources, open innovation, and sustainable agroecosystems.



With a background in Agri-food engineering from the Lebanese University, I have a strong passion for innovation, research and development in the food sector. Throughout my studies, I actively pursued opportunities to broaden my knowledge. I gained practical experience through internships in diverse sectors such as wine, breakfast cereal, dairy products, sauces, and dried fruits.
Additionally, as a youth entrepreneur, I successfully collaborated with a team to develop two prototypes: hummus crackers and vegan mayo. This experience confirmed my willingness and potential in the management process of innovation.
I firmly believe in the power of the youth to shape the future. This belief drove my application for the MIA position within the MIP Network, as it provides an ideal platform to contribute to the agri-food innovation sector in Lebanon. Working with like-minded individuals, I am excited about applying my knowledge to contribute to developing and implementing creative solutions, which will promote the growth and development of my country’s agrifood industry.



Post graduated in Open Innovation & Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Agrifood Sector and International Relations. Experienced in project cycle development, grant schemes, monitoring & evaluation, civil society, regional development and recently in personal development; For 15 years I have performed as a facilitator, coordinator, manager, teacher, and trainer which has taught me that networking and human connections are the most important assets that I can invest to and equip me with resources to create. Actually, holding the position of Operational Manager at non for profit organization Dorcas Aid International, Albania. My deep interest and curiosity of human potential and its interweaving with my entrepreneurial, coaching and networking skills drives my contribution to the MIP network. My love for nature, human evolution, progress, and internal /external growth mindset and being aware of multidimensional connections that we have with the environment leads to my inspiration for exploring innovative ideas in the field of permaculture. Innovation is creation and I believe that creation is at its core personal inspiration but always co-creation with our nature and environment. This insight can become a catalyst for the growth of youth entrepreneurship culture in my country and youth abroad, and at the same time for co-designing and implementing initiatives/practices in the framework of MIP network. My purpose as MIA is to be a catalyst and a connector.



I’m an experienced agronomist with over 4 years working in agricultural operations and farm management. As an Agricultural Engineer at Al-Wadi Farms, I’ve gained extensive experience in the field. I recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship focused on the Mediterranean agri-food sector from my work with various organizations such as Luxembourg Aid, Andriani and Timac Agro Italia. I’m passionate about sustainability and entrepreneurship, as shown through My participation in the Cassini Hackathon where My team’s project on illegal fishing was rewarded. I seek to apply my expertise to launch startups like my own, OsFarm, focused on urban agriculture. I joined the MIA partnership to learn from the best in the field that I consider role models, such as those from my past collaborations, and continue their legacy of innovation in agriculture.



I am Dr. Zidane Lamdaghri, and I’m passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and cooperation. I currently work as a Cooperation Officer at the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco. My role consists of working on national and international partnerships, supervising international mobility, managing patents and intellectual property, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Also, I have been participating in the coordination of the MBA program with the Business School ESCA, which is a program targeting senior managers in the Moroccan agricultural sector. I am part of several international projects in the fields of entrepreneurship. Together with African and European partners, I belong to the Agriengage Erasmus+ project team, where we’ve launched the Agrifood Tech incubator with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. My role includes mentoring startups and participating in the realization of the project activities.
I also worked in the automotive sector as a Planning and Procurement Engineer at PSA (now Stellantis) and also in the Organization and Quality Direction of BMCE Capital bank headquarters.
My educational journey includes a Master degree in Management Sciences from IAE Toulon in France and a Master degree within the Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Agrifood Sector program from CIHEAM Bari and the University of Bari in Italy, alongside a Doctorate in Management and Economics from the University Ibn Tofail in Morocco.
Together with my MIAs colleagues, I will contribute using my experience and network to foster the MIP initiatives and foster its partnerships in innovation and entrepreneurship. I am dedicated to advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in Morocco, the Mediterranean region and beyond.



Osama Elbagoury, an Agricultural Researcher and Entrepreneur, specializes in innovative solutions for agriculture. He’s been an Export Sales Executive at GENTA, co-founded the global Climate Launchpad award-winning iFarm Agri-tech, and holds advanced degrees, including a short Master’s in ‘Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Agrifood Sector’ and a Master’s in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) from CIHEAM Bari.



An engineer and a Master’s holder in Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship from CIHEAM Bari and Università Aldo Moro di Bari, Italy, boasts extensive experience consulting for and collaborating with Fortune 500 companies across Europe and MENA. As a management consultant, his expertise spans Energy, Retail, and Food, excelling particularly in innovation management and commercial development. Beyond corporate realms, Diaa has made significant contributions to the social and environmental development sector. His involvement in supporting startups throughout the Mediterranean region and executing impactful programs in collaboration with international organizations shows his commitment to creating positive change. As an active member of the MIP, Diaa is poised to strategically contribute and create impactful opportunities in alignment with his dedication to regional development.



A solution scientist at Technische Universität Graz majoring in environmental and industrial biotechnology. With a blend of sensitivity, management, and innovation perspectives, my goal is to conduct fruitful research with commercial applications.



I graduated from the Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University in 2009. I am a certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Financial Analyst Candidate based in the USA . I also finished my Open Innovation Master at CIHEAM Bari. I have more than 12 years of experience in Accounting and Finance working in various businesses in the Private sector and Non-profit Organizations including the Embassy of India in Cairo. I am working now as a Finance and Budget Associate at World Health Organization (WHO) Managing three different semi-emergency countries Libya, Iran, and Oman supporting WHO and UN in achieving a sustainable level of Health care and disease prevention.



Edward Opeyemi Oladipupo is a professional with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and a Master’s degree in Open Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Global Economy and Business. Edward has experience in agribusiness management and has undertaken social impact projects. He is passionate about projects that intersect with economics, innovation, strategic management, and business at the global level.



Malek is a Business Development Specialist passionate about driving change and delivering impact through innovation and entrepreneurship.
He’s driven by his intellectual curiosity and insatiable desire to learn, so he’s at his best when given tough challenges to solve and empowered to find solutions that will have a big, positive impact.
His passion for his country and duty of giving back to the community, especially in times of crisis, drove him to come back from Italy to rejoin the developmental and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon, this time being part of Berytech, in partnership with GIZ since summer 2022.
During Malek’s diverse career path, his experience includes more than 3 years as a business development expert for NGOs supporting SMEs and Start-ups, especially in rural areas, with Rural Entrepreneurs and Shouf Biosphere Reserve.
He has worked for more than 3 years in the microfinance sector, and led a team of customer relationship officers, handling a large credit portfolio of SMEs in Mt. Lebanon in various sectors, and 2 years of sales and marketing experience in the services sector, in addition to constantly volunteering within his community.
Moreover, Malek’s expertise also lies in strategy and innovation design, working with CIHEAM – Bari, Italy on sustainable development challenges in the Puglia region, whilst finishing his master’s from CIHEAM and the University of Bari, in “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. He also holds a recent master’s degree in “NGO Management” from Sagesse University, Beirut, and is a Political Science graduate from Haigazian University in 2015.
Malek is a certified ICAO Private Pilot and has been flying since 2012. He has a passion for sports and a taste for adventure and the outdoors. He finds pleasure in anything that includes an adrenaline rush.



Matthew is a Data Analyst with a background in Agriculture and a Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.