As team leader for the European Commission’s Office of Economic and Financial Affairs, economist Agnieszka Skonieczna is looking at how to unlock finance for innovative projects and entrepreneurs, and how to pool smaller infrastructure needs to make them attractive to investors. Her division is responsible for the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, which has triggered more than $390 billion in investment, expected to benefit 700,000 small and medium enterprises. Since joining the European Commission in 2008, her work has been at the intersection of finance and innovation, from managing complex research projects to advising European countries on reforming their tax policies. She writes on innovation and published in peer reviewed journals on how tax policy can support R&D. On fellowship she wants to explore ways to shrink the productivity gap between cutting-edge firms and the ones that are not able to keep up. As a secondary objective she would like to explore ways to increase female entrepreneurship. Her goal is to help improve financing instruments to enlarge the pool of innovating firms for a more inclusive and sustainable future. Skonieczna wants to meet with U.S. innovation leaders, experts on innovation financing and management thinkers.