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Stefano Foresti is Director of Innovation, at the University of California Merced. He cultivates industry partnerships to collaborate on projects and research involving students and faculty, and coordinates events fostering engineering creativity and innovation, such as Innovate to Grow (https://innovatetogrow.ucmerced.edu). Stefano has organized events and served in the executive team of VLAB (vlab.org), a premier forum in Silicon Valley for 25 years, connecting entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors and technologists to grow high-tech ventures. Stefano holds a Doctorate in Mathematics, and was Senior Scientist at the University of Utah, Center for High Performance Computing for over a decade. He was the Director of CROMDI, a Utah State Center of Excellence in information design, and led the development and commercialization of data intensive user interfaces for health care, cyber-security, and financial trading. Stefano was co-Founder of several startup companies, including Intellivis, Kataweb.com, the Italian portal of Gruppo Espresso, and Xoopit, a company that provided enhanced email search, and later acquired by Yahoo.