EFIB 2021 | Speaker line-up

Jo-Ann has studied Chemistry at the University of Graz where she received her master’s degree in 2000. Thereafter, she did a PhD finishing in 2004 with her thesis titled “Interactions in Colloid Systems Investigated by Scattering Methods”. 

She joined Lenzing AG in 2005 and spent 10 years holding various positions within R&D until 2015 where she stepped into the role as Head of Monitoring and Funding. In 2018 she additionally became Head of PMO and has over the last couple of years become increasingly active in the fields of bio-and circular-economy where she has been a member of the Renewable Carbon Initiative Core Advisory Board

Sarah is Program Manager Alternative Proteins at the Hochland Group and coordinates group wide activities in Hochlands efforts to find new sustainable raw materials for future food developments. Sarah holds a PhD in biotechnology from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. Before joining Hochland, Sarah worked as an international key account manager for a biotech company with customers from the food industry, headed a biosafety and biosecurity project for the German armed forces in Georgia and was a lobbyist for the German chemical industry association raising awareness for biotechnological topics with government representatives.

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Robin Simsa is the founder and CEO of the company “Revo Foods”, which produces plant-based seafood with 3D food printing technology. He has a PhD in tissue engineering and focused on meat replacements during his doctorate.

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Dr. Michael Krohn studied biology and graduated in molecular biology with a PhD from the Heinrich-Heine University (HHU) Düsseldorf and did his postdoctoral training at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunology in Freiburg with focus on molecular and cell biology. Dr. Michael Krohn started his industrial career at BRAIN Biotech AG as a project manager in 1997. Since 2001 he is working in the upper management at BRAIN Biotech AG as the Head of the Unit: ‘BioActives & Performance Biologicals’. In this position he is responsible for the research & development of bioactive ingredients mainly for the food & cosmetic industries for industrial applications and products. His main accountability is best described by national and international contract research, in house developments as well as national and international business development of functional ingredients for business-to-business markets. Since 2013 he is part of the coordination team of an Innovation-Alliance called ‘NatLifE2020′, which is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research covering more than 20 enterprises with a potential running time of up to nine years. In 2013 Dr. Michael Krohn became member of the executive committee at BRAIN and has meanwhile 20 years’ professional experience in Industrial Biotechnology. In 2018 he became the Head of R&D at BRAIN Biotech AG.

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Juergen co-founded enGenes Biotech after working as a Research Associate at the intersection of genetic and bioprocess engineering at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria. Prior to this, he held a PostDoc position at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB GmbH.), working in the research field “Microbial Cell Design” where he was involved in the sequencing and engineering of different host strains for the production of recombinant proteins. He has authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters and received training from the University of Iceland and the University of Bielefeld.

Juergen holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

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Christian Schimper studied Food- and Biotechnology, followed by a PhD Thesis in the field of Cellulose Chemistry at the Chair of Wood, Pulp and Fiber Chemistry at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

Before and during his masters program he worked at the Research Institute of Textile Chemistry with Prof. Bechtold, where they developed a method to increase and direct the hydrolysis rate of cellulases on cellulosic substrates. With an idea how to use and commercialize the invention in the denim industry, Christian Schimper co-founded the company Acticell in 2014 where he acts as managing director. In 2017 Acticell was awarded with the 1st price of the GEWINN young entrepreneur award in the category “Environment” and 2019 with the Plan B Founder’s Contest for Bio-based Business Ideas.

Acticell acts as research company with a strong focus on sales that develops innovative chemical formulations for the new trends in the textile industry. Acticell’s know-how replaces the environmentally harmful potassium permanganate bleaching of jeans and offers solutions for new technologies like laser and ozone. A bleach replacement and a laser enhancer is sold through a global chemical wholesaler. Beginning of the year 2021 the new ATMOSPHERIC process was launched by Jeanologia, which uses an Acticell product to replace stonewash and chlorine bleach by ozone. Worldwide leading jeans labels already rely on production processes with Acticell technology.

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Alexander Stephan was born as a son of a butcher and was involved with the manufacturing processes of the meat products industry from an early age. After graduating from high school, he completed an apprenticeship as a butcher and obtained his master’s degree in the butcher’s trade in 2004. From 2004 to 2009, he studied food chemistry and toxicology at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. He studied aroma chemistry with Professor Fischer in Neustadt an der Weinstraße. After graduating, he started working in the spice industry as a product developer and raw material manager. He spent his first years at WIBERG in Salzburg, which is now part of IFF (International flavour and fragrances). Since 2011, Dr Stephan has been with the company VAN HEES, where he completed his part-time doctorate at the chair of Professor Zorn in Gießen from 2014-2018. He has held various positions at VAN HEES and has been head of the scientific research department of the VAN HEES group (Department of Science) of companies since 2018. He is particularly concerned with alternative protein sources from plants, fungi, but also insects.

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Bernd Nidetzky is the scientific director of ACIB (CSO) and coordinates all research areas there. He is a technical chemist by training and is Professor of Biotechnology at Graz University of Technology since 2002. In 2004, he became Head of the Institute of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering and in 2012, Head of the Field of Expertise “Human and Biotechnology” at Graz University of Technology. He also is Austrian representative in ESAB (European Society of Applied Biocatalysis) and Co-chair of the Biocatalysis Section in ESBES (European Society of Biochemical Engineering Sciences). Bernd Nidetzky is an expert in carbohydrate-active enzymes and biocatalytic process development with these enzymes.

General Partner at The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF). PhD in Business Innovation with 20+ years of investment experience as Managing Director of High-Tech Gruenderfonds Management GmbH, Tech Investments in KfW, and tbg. Mr. Bradkamp has great expertise in all types of financial instruments and leading transactions in High-Tech and bioeconomy start-ups. He has performed as a member of several advisory boards, assured investments in around 550 start-ups, closed more than a hundred exits, executed 30+ IPOs, and raised almost EUR 1bn in various fundraising initiatives

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Nate is an investor at Blue Horizon, the leading multi-stage investment firm focused on alternative proteins.  He previously worked as the Startup Growth Specialist at the Good Food Institute where he drafted the three flagship state of the industry reports on plant-based, cell-based, and fermentation-enabled meat, eggs, and dairy. He is also the author of the eco-biotechnology newsletter, Fifth Industrial, and previously worked at a university-affiliated biotechnology incubator.

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Blake leads GFI’s efforts to map out white space in the alternative protein industry and advise the high-potential entrepreneurs, business professionals, and scientists who will fill those gaps. A former strategy consultant, advisor to an institute for regenerative medicine, and health policy enthusiast, Blake is keen to harvest the next crop of companies that are unambiguously good for our planet and palate. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Entrepreneurship.

I have worked for 14 years at DSM in several managerial functions at R&D and innovation in the field of biotech food ingredients. My current position is to transform the industrial site of DSM in Delft to an open innovation campus welcoming startups, scaleups and grownups in industrial biotech. We recently founded a non-profit organization with 5 partners along the triple helix called Planet B.io. At Planet B.io, we aim to create a world class innovation ecosystem where you can rent labs and offices, perform pilot productions, access excellent employees from the Technical University in Delft, and get a wide range of support (technical, financial, equipment, business mentoring etc). At Planet B.io, our purpose is to make your business grow and innovate successfully so that we can jointly enable the transition into a biobased economy.

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Philippe Mengal is the Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) since 1st of October 2015. His mission is to further consolidate the role and responsibilities of the BBI JU.
The Executive Director is the legal representative of the BBI JU. He is the chief executive responsible for the day-to-day management of the BBI JU in accordance with the decisions of the Governing Board.
Mr. Mengal trained as an engineer in Chemistry and Bio-industry at the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech University and later on in Strategic Innovation Management at INSEAD – Fontainebleau in France.
He started his career in 1990 in France as R&D engineer in the field of biomass fractionation and purification. In 1995 he became Technical Director of a research centre dedicated to biomass valorisation and between 1990 and 1997 he taught in a Master programme on chemical engineering in Rennes, France. He has published a number of scientific papers and awarded 5 patented license agreements.
In his 25 years of professional experience before joining BBI JU, Mr. Mengal held strategic managerial positions in France and Belgium such as CEO of three companies, Global R&D Director of a multinational and Senior Consultant in food ingredient, engineering and life science industries.

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