EFIB 2021 | Speaker line-up

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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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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