EFIB 2021 | Speaker line-up

Philipp has gained extensive experience as LifeScience Investor at the High-Tech Gruenderfonds and has a background in industrial biotechnology. Philipp holds a Doctorate degree in Biotechnology from the University of Hohenheim, an MBA in Engineering Management from the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim and a Master in technical Biology from the University of Stuttgart.

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Natnael received his PhD in Chemical Engineer at Rice University in 2012. His work encompassed carbon-based high-performance materials, their complex fluids and nano-scale materials behavior. Since 2012, he works at DuPont working in a diverse set of technology areas, from colloidal science applied in food and cosmetics to textile fibers and biodegradable packaging. He is currently a global technology leader at IFF Health and Bioscience division leading new biomolecules development effort in the enzymatic polymerized polysaccharides space. His current work focuses on the pressing sustainability needs and their societal impact – a generation-defining challenge – with a holistic approach, that goes beyond the mere technology solutions.

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Julian is Chief Operating Officer at the International Sustainable Finance Centre (ISFC), a Prague-based think-tank with an aim to build knowledge and capacities on sustainable finance in the Central and Eastern European region. In his role, he leads a variety of projects and research activities on topics of sustainable investing and ESG, and advises both private and public sector organisations on how to approach and benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy. Before ISFC, Julian spent six years working at BlackRock in the United Kingdom, where he was a relationship manager focusing on renewable energy, infrastructure and private equity funds, working closely with a number of large institutional clients, government authorities and intergovernmental organisations. He holds a BSc in Business Management from Canterbury Christ Church University and has an MSc in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh.

Since march 2019, Plant manager Agrana Stärke GmbH Pischelsdorf, Austria

Responsible for technology, operations and representation of the plant. Direct Responsibility for approx. 140 employees. Duties: Managing the operation and optimization process. Coordination between sales, quality, supply chain and raw material departments.

March 2014 – March 2019, Head of production Agrana Stärke Plant Pischelsdorf, Austria

Responsible for bioethanol-, wheat starch production and waste water treatment. Responsibility for approx. 70 employees. Duties: process management and organization of the production, continuous improvement process, project management of investment projects.

June 2012 – March 2014, Head of bioethanol production Agrana Bioethanol GmbH / Pischelsdorf, Austria

Responsible for 26 employees. Major implication in the startup of the wheat starch plant one.

August 2010 – Mai 2012, Technical assistant to the board, Agrana Stärke GmbH/ Gmünd, Austria

Duties: Technical reporting, investment reporting, preparation of profitability assessments and production controlling. Responsible for the wheat mill within the wheat starch plant one project team.

Joachim Merziger joined AFYREN in 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer in charge of marketing and business development activities. Before having joined AFYREN Joachim held various management positions at Arkema as Business Director Coating Resins, as General Manger Oilfield Chemicals as well as Head of Market Development for biobased high-performance polyamides. Prior he occupied marketing and product management roles with global exposure in the refrigeration and the automotive sectors at Atofina. Joachim started his career in R&D at Elf Atochem and Alphacan and holds an engineering degree from RWTH Aachen University.

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Erik van Herwijnen, Ph.D, deputy area manager of the division ”Wood Material Technologies” at Wood K plus and head of the team ”Advanced Bonding”. This team works on novel adhesives, studies the concepts of wood bonding, and optimises binder systems for novel applications. During his career, Erik van Herwijnen has been involved in the development of several bio-based resins and is named as inventor on more than 30 patents and patent applications within 6 patent families on this topic.

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Christiane Luley studied technical chemistry and graduated in biotechnology and biochemical engineering with a PhD from the Graz University of Technology, Austria. During her postdoctoral training she focused on the study of structure-functional relationship of carbohydrate-active enzymes.

Christiane started her scientific career as project manager with acib GmbH in 2010. acib is an international competence centre, developing economically and technically advanced processes for the biotechnological industry.

The CARBAFIN project is coordinated by acib (represented by Bernd Nidetzky and Christiane Luley). CARBAFIN deals with the sustainable production of carbohydrate-based chemicals, more specifically of functional glucosides. Next to project management, dissemination and exploitation of results, the acib team is responsible for integration of platform unit operations during development of a phosphorylase-based glycosylation platform technology.

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Wolfgang Ranfft is Vice President Bio Based Products at De Smet Engineers & Contractors, an engineering firm and general contractor, dedicated to the agro industry.

After his studies of food technology in Weihenstephan / Munich he joined an Austrian technology provider for yeast, ethanol (1G and 2G), organic and amino acids and later on became managing director of this company. During this time he was involved in various process developments and among other things filed for patents in the field of grain milling, 2G ethanol and biogas.

Since late 2011 he follows on behalf of De Smet Engineers & Contractors projects mainly linked to ethanol, wet milling and in particular bio-based chemicals.

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Werner Merzeder is Trade Commissioner for Austria at Business Finland, which is the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion. Business Finland employs 600 experts in 40 offices globally and in 16 regional offices around Finland.

Werner is a member in Business Finland’s Bio & Circular Economy industry leadership team to develop and promote the Finnish Bio & Circular Economy ecosystem. He also supports international companies to establish operations in Finland. Prior to Business Finland Werner worked as consultant in several international consulting companies.

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Tamara graduated with a master’s degree in technical mathematics, specialized in applied mathematics, with distinction form the University of Technology, Vienna.

During her studies she was working at the Institute for Analysis and Scientific Computing in the study group modeling and simulation. She is excited about problem solving processes and finding a mathematical formulation for all kind of procedures. Her motivation and interest in the development of sustainable and efficient nature-based solutions brought her to alchemia-nova. Currently she is managing the HOUSEFUL Project (houseful.eu) which focuses on innovative circular services and technologies in the housing sector, where she coordinates the implementation of circular solutions at the Austrian Demo site Cambium (community project in Styria).

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Simo Ellilä is the CEO and Co-founder of eniferBio, a Finnish start-up developing the mycoprotein PEKILO primarily for sustainable aquaculture. Prior to founding the company in 2020, Simo spent a decade in various R&D roles in Industrial Biotechnology at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. His work has always focused on biorefining applications, converting renewable resources into value added fuels, chemicals or food/feed. He has been involved in the development of several biotech processes in Europe and South America

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Simão Soares is CEO and co-founder of SilicoLife, a company combining AI and biology for the design of cell factories and novel pathways for the sustainable production of chemicals. MSc Bioinformatics (UMinho), postgraduate in management from NOVA School of Business and Economics and trained in Blue Ocean Strategy at INSEAD. He is also President of P-BIO, Portuguese Bioindustry Association, a Global Shaper Alumni, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, and a Climate Reality Leader. Simão was elected at the end of 2020 The Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO by the readers of Il Bioeconomista

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Sara is Head of Group ESG at pan-European market infrastructure provider Euronext. She has been an active member of the Consultative Group of the UN-backed Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative since 2014, and in 2018 joined the Steering Committee of FC4S, the UNEP-supported network of Financial Centers for Sustainability. In June 2018 she was appointed to the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and in 2020 to the EFRAG Task Force tasked with advising the European Commission on the development of an EU non-financial reporting standard. She has a Masters in Economics from Bocconi University and has authored a number of publications on sustainable finance. She also has a post-graduate certificate in Applied Anthropology from the University of Milan-Bicocca.

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Education: MS Chemical Engineering, Business Strategy and International Marketing, Helsinki University of Technology, 1995

Over 25 years’ experience in chemical and paper technology.

Leader in business, sustainability and communications with technical background.

Coach in business and sports.

Empowered by innovative solutions promoting sustainability.

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Paul is a molecular biologist and biochemical engineer with experience working within large corporates, SMEs and in public funded organisations. His early career was spent in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on development and safety testing of biologics before moving to Scotland and into a role heading up the commercial activities of the newly formed Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) in 2014. He joined 3F BIO Ltd as Technical Director in 2017 after assisting their spin out of the University of Strathclyde the year before. In 2020 3F rebranded to ENOUGH but their mission to commercialise a novel, zero waste process for the production of mycoprotein has not changed. For the last 4 years he has led the development, scale up and piloting activities and has celebrated the ground-breaking of their first commercial plant very recently. When he’s not working Paul lives in Renfrewshire with his wife, two excitable young sons and an aging labradoodle named Jackson!

Olivier Rolland is Managing Director of TWB, a public / private industrial biotechnology organization, based in France, that transitions early stage R&D from academic labs into preindustrial development projects and start-ups. Olivier has 10+ years experience in strategy, business and product development in the bio-economy. Prior to TWB, Olivier was Director, Sustainable Fuel Strategy at Boeing where he was leading the global strategy to enable innovative regional biofuel value chains. He also spent 8 years at Total, 5 of which in California where he managed the alliance with Amyris, a longstanding synthetic biology actor. In particular, he led the development of the first commercial sugar-based aviation fuel in relation to which he received the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from US Environmental Protection Agency in 2014. Olivier also started Michelin biotechnology activities focusing on bio-sourcing monomers. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry, which he achieved while working at Rhodia (now Solvay).

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Mr. Olivier Rigaud was appointed as CEO of Corbion in August 2019. He is also Chairman Board of Management and a member of the Executive Committee.
Olivier Rigaud was CEO of Naturex, a global natural specialty ingredients company for the Food & Beverage, Nutrition & Health and Personal Care industries. Before joining Corbion, Mr. Rigaud successfully finalized the sale of Naturex to Givaudan. Prior to that, Mr. Rigaud worked for specialty ingredients company Tate & Lyle for 14 years, in Belgium, France and London.
Mr. Rigaud started his career at Amylum, a starch and sweetener company, where he held sales and marketing roles in France and Belgium.
Mr. Rigaud holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Marseille. Mr. Rigaud holds the French nationality.

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Mikael Westerlund, Chief Business Activist, MBA & BSc Eng, +20years of international business leadership and development. With a broad background in various executive leadership positions Mikael has through his career been building new businesses and business strategies. Mikael has the Baltic Sea close to heart and an ambition to create a new sustainable yet global business.

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Geological engineer, lecturer, consultant and specialist in sustainable development and circular economy. She is dedicated to promoting circularity in companies and fostering partnerships for a more effective transition, as well as giving visibility to good practices.

She has spent time at the Institute of Environmental Engineering of the University of Kaunas in Lithuania and the Loughborough School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering in the UK, carrying out projects on the application and implementation of the circular economy, has worked with technology institutes and collaborated on sectoral circular economy guides and projects.

Currently, she is working in Technological Institute of footwear carrying out a BYPROTVAL LIFE project name BYPROTVAL related with circular bioproducts and processes.

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Matti has a Biotech Engineering degree and an MBA with 17 years of experience in bio-based industries, starting with Genencor/DuPont where he was leading a global engineering team responsible for the development of the Industrial Bioscience Division’s process technologies and competencies.

During his career, he has had various international leadership roles and organizational development responsibilities. During his 8 years at MetGen, he has been responsible for manufacturing, the development of technologies and new business as well as, marketing, and financing. In 2018 he was awarded the CTO of the Year title in Finland. In his subsequent role as a COO he has driven innovation and growth of the company as a part of the external ecosystem: He aims to strengthen the organization and internal competencies and build external value-chains and partnerships to drive innovation.

As an international networker, Matti has always been driven to innovation, radical rather than incremental. Matti strongly believes in the power of open innovation to drive change in the bio-based and chemical industries. With this mindset, he has successfully created, developed, scaled up, and commercialized several new bio-industry technologies. He can create a comprehensive vision and communicate the executable strategy to the stakeholders throughout the value chain.

Matti has successfully lead MetGen and consortiums of companies to be a part of numerous commercial joint ventures, R&D projects, capital investment projects, and 12 European Horizon2020 projects. This collaborative action has provided the participating companies with private and public funding to drive the new technologies quickly through technology readiness levels to industrial and commercial maturity.

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Math Lambalk is Business Development Manager, Renewable Chemistries at Avantium and has been with Avantium for >3.5 years. Math is tasked with commercializing Avantium’s portfolio of groundbreaking chemical technologies to enable a circular economy based on renewable carbon sources. More specifically, Math drives the collaborative exploration of potential regional Ray Technology™ deployment opportunities with like-minded value chain partners. Prior to joining Avantium, Math acquired a MSc in Biotechnology from Wageningen University & Research Center.  

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Massimo Bregola- Global Technology Lead Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants & Elastomers – Cargill
Scientific Coordinator of SUSBIND

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, Cargill helps people thrive by applying its insights and 150 years of experience. Cargill has 145,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities. Customers turn to Cargill for scientific expertise when the challenge is enhancing an existing product, improving process efficiencies, or uncovering a solution that helps them launch a first-to-market innovation. In this sense, Cargill provides the people, capabilities and facilities to solve virtually any technical challenge across a range of industry segments, including: animal and fish feed; bio-industrial products and biofuels; as well as food ingredients.

Cargill leads the Scientific Coordination of SUSBIND. The goal is to leverage Cargill research and development capabilities to generate distinctive value through new, improved products and innovative ways to reduce costs. Additionally, Cargill is in charge of delivering the most suitable feedstock and of contributing with R&D expertise in both carbohydrates and lipids chemistry.

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Marty Muenzmaier leads sustainability and external affairs for Cargill’s Bioindustrial Group.  In this role, Marty leads sustainability strategy and programming as well as government relations and thought leadership.

Previously, Marty led the global sustainability team in Cargill’s Corporate Affairs function and its Starches & Sweeteners North America business.  Marty joined Cargill in 2001 and has held government advocacy positions in its headquarters and Washington DC offices.  Previously, Marty worked for Kimberly-Clark and the law firm of Messerli Kramer.

Marty received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a law degree from the Mitchell Hamline College of Law in St. Paul, MN.

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Marcel Wubbolts holds a PhD from the department of Biochemistry, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and was Post- Doctoral research associate and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biotechnology at the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland, leading a research group on biocatalyst development and remained there until late 1997.

Following his positions in academia, he joined the Life Sciences and Material Sciences company DSM, Heerlen, The Netherlands, where he held several positions including that of Chief Technology Officer from 2011 to 2016.

Since November 2016 he holds the position of Chief Technology Officer and is member of the Executive Committee at Corbion. As Chief Technology Officer, Marcel is responsible for Corbion’s global Science and Innovation portfolio and for Sustainability. He is passionate about developing sustainable solutions, in conjunction with partners from academia and industry. Marcel Wubbolts has the Dutch nationality.

Jovita Neliupsiene was appointed as Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania in December 2020. Prior this position, J. Neliupsiene was the Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2015 – 2020 she served as Ambassador at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Lithuania to the EU. In 2009 she was appointed adviser to the President of Lithuania and, later, chief adviser on foreign policy issues. J. Neliupsiene has also served at the Embassy in Minsk and worked at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. She holds a doctoral degree in Political Sciences from IIRPS of Vilnius University.

Gerard Nijhoving is an entrepreneur and since January 2017 the co-owner and Managing Director of Senbis. The company is a continuation of the former research department of AKZO Nobel and now offers R&D services to the plastic sector and develops bioplastics and products thereof. At Senbis Gerard is mainly focusing on business development and strategy. He holds a BSc in mechanical and plastic engineering and a MSc in management of technology

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Rob is a partner at Capricorn Partners, working in the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund (CSCF). CSCF invests in early and growth companies bringing sustainable technologies to market, albeit through feedstock, technology platform or products. CSCF has made 7 investments to date, Prolupin, Virovet, DMC-BIO,cLecta, Void Polymers, Zeopore and Blackbearcarbon, and is looking to add several more to the portfolio. Rob is a chemical engineer from Delft University in the Netherlands and has worked both in the corporate, strategy consulting and start-up world in chemicals, process and water technology. Rob has held business management positions with Akzo Nobel and Shell Chemicals, was a founder and CEO of KiOR in the US and worked as CEO for several other start-ups in chemicals and water technology. He is also an investor in CoolSeparations, HyVent and Reactor Resources EU and has board roles in several start-ups. Rob has followed the New Board Programme from Neyenrode Business University.

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Kristin Schreiber leads the Directorate Ecosystems I: Chemicals, Food, Retail, Health in DG GROW, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Prior to her current Director position, she served as Director for Governance of the Single Market and International Affairs in DG MARKT (until 2015) and Director for SME policy in DG GROW (until March 2021).

Kristin Schreiber was Head of Cabinet of Employment Commissioner Vladimir Špidla, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and member of the Cabinets of Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen and Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert. She also served as Head of Unit for International Affairs in DG Employment and Social Affairs and was a member of the Merger Task Force of DG Competition.

After graduating with honours from L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and gaining a Master’s degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury and the Diplôme des Etudes Approfondies of the College of Europe in Bruges in International Relations, Economics and European Law, she worked as a researcher on the Single Market at the Institut für Europäische Politik in Bonn, before joining the European Commission as policy officer on biotechnology in 1990 where she held a large variety of positions since.

Since 1st of July 2021 Caroline is CEO of The New Meat Company AG, a young stock-listed and purpose-driven impact investment company based in Berlin with focus on alternative proteins. Caroline is intrigued by the idea of revolutionize the food industry, especially everything animal production related, in an environmental friendly, healthy and sustainable way that will allow us to feed +10 billion people in the future. Prior to joining TNMC Caroline was working for EY as a lawyer and as part of the global EY Agribusiness Team. At the global EY Agribusiness Team she covered legal agri- and foodbusiness aspects and was involved in strategic and innovative agri- and foodbusiness projects. Caroline i.a. gained experience in advising national and international corporate clients, banks and financial investors on corporate aspects of M&A transactions and VC investments, including performance of legal due diligence. She also gained experience in the field of implementing data protection management systems (GDPR) for international corporate clients. Caroline always had a strong interest in the field of agriculture and food worldwide, especially in the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Her track record covers global and regional food- and agribusinesses with focus on digital transformation of the larger agribusiness value, the alternative protein and meat market, food security impact driven by agricultural policy setting and all questions related to sustainability and environmental impact.

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Nikolaus Schwaiger is Chemical Engineer Biorefinery Sappi Europe SA

Sappi Europe SA is the leading European producer of coated fine paper used in premium magazines, catalogues, books and high-end print advertising. As a global diversified wood fibre company focused on providing dissolving wood pulp, specialities and packaging papers, graphic/printing papers, as well as biomaterials and biochemicals to our direct and indirect customer base. Sappi has over 12,800 employees in over 35 countries and manufacturing operations on three continents including ten production facilities in Western Europe. In the SUSFERT, Sappi leads the sustainable Coating in developing a process to provide bio-based controlled release coatings for sustainable fertilisers.

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Eva Maria Binder is Managing Director of DSM Austria GmbH being responsible for R&D process management, translational science, as well as innovation and intellectual property management. After obtaining her PhD in biochemistry and biotechnology at the Vienna University of Technology she joined BIOMIN as R&D project manager for mycotoxin detoxification and analysis. She was appointed director of strategic research in 1996, focusing on the development of innovative feed additives. In her role as Chief Scientific Officer of BIOMIN and ROMER Groups she moved to Singapore, where she established R&D process management tools and quality assurance measures. In 2005 she became Chief Research Officer at ERBER AG. Before the acquisition by DSM she acted as Managing Director of ERBER Future Business (EFB), the incubator entity of ERBER Group, as well as member of the Executive Board of ERBER AG.

Eva holds a master degree in chemistry as well as in knowledge management, is co-inventor of more than 30 patent families and has served as committee member of several Austrian research funding organizations; currently she is deputy chair of the Scientific Board of the Christian Doppler Society. She has been Head of the Scientific Committee of the World Nutrition Forum since 2008 and edited several books on animal nutrition and mycotoxin management.

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Edith Schippers (1964) studied Political Science at Leiden University and Jawaharlal University in New Delhi. She worked for 6 years at the Confederation of Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) in the field of health, labor market and spatial planning. As a Member of Parliament VVD group, she was, a.o. spokesperson on health care and vice-chairman VVD group. Edith was Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport for 7 years in the Rutte I and II cabinets.

After the parliamentary elections in 2017, she became scout and informateur for a new Cabinet. After the municipal elections in 2018, she was the formateur of the city council The Hague College. Currently Edith has been President DSM The Netherlands, chairman of the Board of Pension fund DSM in The Netherlands, member Executive Committee VNO-NCW, member Supervisory Board Planet B.io and Chairman of the Board of Foodvalley NL.

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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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Claire holds a PhD in biochemistry and has worked in the development of scientific networks and associations for over 15 years. She started her career as part of the Cambridge biotech cluster in the UK within the cluster business network and was a founder of the Council of European BioRegions, a network of biotech clusters across Europe. She brought herself and CEBR to Brussels in 2009 where she also took on the role of SG for the European Biotechnology Network, working across sectors, organisations and countries as part of the EBN mission to facilitate partnerships. In January 2017, Claire took up her role as DG of the Nanotechnology Industries Association which she successfully led until November 2020 when she joined EuropaBio.

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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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Before taking up the position of Industrial Biotechnology Director at EuropaBio, Agnes has worked as Manager for more than two years and a half. In this role, she supports the work to improve understanding, awareness and development of a more enabling policy environment for Industrial Biotech and bio-based products in Europe, further the transition towards a circular bioeconomy and other priorities. Her tasks range from policy analysis and drafting to outreach, coalition building and event organisation. The latter includes being part of the core organising team of EFIB – the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy. She also leads EuropaBio’s work in the European Bioeconomy Alliance.

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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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