Meet Diana Espinosa, project leader at Flanders Make since 2019. 

Diana Espinosa, Project leader


... is a team connector

Colleagues tell me that I am more of a team connector than a ‘team leader’. I connect people who are working on both technical and non-technical aspects.

... Communicates with everyone

I love my role. I make sure everyone knows what needs to be done, who needs to do what and by when. Afterwards, I communicate to the companies involved what we have done so that they can better understand how they can apply the technology in their own businesses.

... Plays with ideas

The innovation aspect is something that really interests me! We work with technology that is not yet on the market, we think ahead, and, as a team leader, you get the opportunity to set up experiments. We perform research. This gives you the time as well as the opportunity to let your project team play with their ideas. Together, you can find out what does and doesn't work.

... Does different things at the same time

I used to work as a technical expert, and then you go deeper and deeper into the content. Now, as a project manager, I am always busy with several things at once. That variation is refreshing, I really like it.

In projects, I am simultaneously dealing with both technical content and commercial aspects. After all, the topic is never quite the same. You learn something about everything and become a generalist.

I truly enjoy the interaction with researchers. Whenever I can, I go join them in the labs, to understand what colleagues are doing, to follow what they are doing, and to motivate them. I also follow colleagues from other sites, but more often through teams.

... Does what no one has ever done before

Here, at the growing site in Kortrijk, I have the opportunity to build infrastructure that does not yet exist anywhere else, from scratch. That is a great challenge that will have a huge impact. Flanders Make is growing and this new infrastructure will make a major contribution to the position that Flanders Make will be able to assume as an innovation player. Companies in Flanders and Europe will have the opportunity to test our technology with zero risk, even before they have to invest one single euro. Finally, I also feel an impact on myself, being able to experience things like that really is very instructive.

... Can choose her own style within Flanders Make and is able to grow as a person

At Flanders Make, you grow as a person because you get the freedom to choose and develop your own style. I did not know beforehand that I had commercial skills! You work hard with your team on your project while constantly demonstrating the added value of what you are doing to both companies and other parties.

... Challenges herself to achieve one great result with all those partners

Here, you get to know and appreciate various ways of working. You work with universities, companies, other research centres and public authorities, and each partner has a different approach. Achieving one great result with all those partners, that is a challenge.

In short, my day is full of variety: events, visitors, preparing new projects and initiating actions for these projects, interactions on both a Flemish and European level. And I like it that way.