Vilija Balionyte-Merle

Dr. Vilija Balionyte-Merle is a Science Officer with ESF since October 2017. She is a highly experienced professional with strong research and innovation programmes management skills and with a large experience in preparing and coordinating international research and innovation projects in the fields of smart energy markets and information and communication technologies, with a focus on privacy and security, big data, smart cities and communities and entrepreneurship.

She contributes to the management and implementation of EC-funded projects at ESF, with a major involvement in the MERIL-2 project, mapping the research infrastructures in Europe. Vilija is also engaged in the development of new projects and contributes to peer-review activities.

Previously, she has worked at the European Commission DG CONNECT in Belgium, Smart Innovation Norway (Norway) and Arbasys LTD (UK), managing international research and innovation programmes and projects (CIP, FP7 and H2020). Vilija has frequently assisted the European Commission (REA and DG CONNECT) as a reviewer and evaluator. She also has a knowledge of reviewing research ethics in the scope of the Horizon 2020 programme. 

Vilija holds a PhD in Economics, Social Sciences from Aleksandras Stulginskis University (Kaunas, Lithuania), a Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting from the same university and an Engineering degree in Informatics from the Kaunas University of Technology. Additionally she has received an extensive training in programmes and projects management, for example PMP, negotiations process, consensus meetings chairing, etc. She is fluent in English, Lithuanian and Russian, has a good knowledge of German and a basic understanding of French and Norwegian.