Though usually all smiles, Ina is a tough negotiator.
Better make sure you are on good terms with Ina Backbier because before she became ITER Organization's In-Kind Procurement Champion, she was National Karate Champion in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany!
Ina, who joined ITER in December 2006 as Senior Project Coordinator for Project Management, became fascinated by Japanese business, culture and language. At the age of 5 she took her first karate lessons. After high school she took a first degree in Japanology and then graduated in Business Management. Her thesis in Innovation Management in New York, investigating different methods of stimulating organizational productivity and creativity, won a prize that was recognized at national level.
This feel for finding different pathways and alternatives to increase efficiency and effectiveness, this "thinking out of the box", came in handy when she arrived at ITER after a project at BMW and five years at EFDA in Germany.
In ITER she works on the Procurement Arrangements which are defining the roles and responsibilities between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies implementing the in-kind contributions with a total value of about 2700 kIUA (kIUA stands for ITER Units of Account in which the ITER Procurement Packages are measured). This means creating the framework for setting down all technical requirements, quality assurance, warranty, delivery, liability etc. but also developing a working relationship based on collaboration and partnership. "That's the fascinating thing about ITER," says Ina, "being one of the most amazing scientific ventures of this time, where the organization and coordination challenges match the technological ones, it's fantastic to work with so many different people, cultures and languages, and try to find processes and solutions for business challenges that are unique and have never been tackled before." return to Newsline #30