Speakers

See below a few of the already confirmed speakers. More names will soon be added!

NatureWorks’ board of directors named Richard Altice as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer in April of 2018. Altice comes to NatureWorks from PolyOne Corporation where he was Senior Vice President and President – Designed Structures and Solutions. At PolyOne, he had global responsibility for the sheet, roll stock, and formed packaging business. Prior to PolyOne, Altice also served as Vice President of Hexion’s global specialty epoxy business focused on coatings and composites. Altice holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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Steve is the global leader of his business reporting directly to Fujifilm HQ in Tokyo with sites in Teesside UK, North Carolina and Texas, USA.  The company has over 1300 staff at the three locations engaged in contract process development and manufacture for the biopharmaceutical industry. During his time in post the company has grown significantly and is now recognised as one of the world’s leading Biologics Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisations with globally leading technologies, assets and capabilities across the wide range of biopharmaceuticals – therapeutics, vaccines and advanced therapies. Since 2013 Steve has been Chair of the UK Industrial Biotechnologies Leadership Forum – co-chairing the meeting with a number of UK Government Ministers.  He is also Co-Chair of the UK Bioeconomy Governance Group which is overseeing the implementation of the strategy that was launched in December 2018.

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Christine is Director Business Innovation for the business unit Recycling & Recovery Benelux and Germany at SUEZ.  In her function, Christine leads a team of engineers and marketeers who facilitate the creation of new circular business ventures.  The last years have seen her focussing on projects related to the production of recycled polymers as PET, PP and PE. Christine holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the U-Mons Polytechnical faculty in Belgium.  From the revamping of nuclear power plants to the development of biogas stations, Christine spent half of her career taking care of the energy resources, before making the move towards the material resources and associated waste recycling business. Christine lives in Belgium with her husband and two children.

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Dr. María Mendiluce has over 20 years’ experience in sustainable development, energy and climate action. She sits in the Senior Management Team of WBCSD, guiding over 200 member companies on transformative climate policy, energy transition, plastic waste and urban mobility. Prior to working at WBCSD, María held roles at the Economic Bureau of the Spanish Prime Minister, the CEO office of Iberdrola and the International Energy Agency (Paris). María has a PhD in energy economics and regularly teaches at different universities and publishes in academic journals and media.

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Dr. Bo Yu obtained his academic training at Shandong University, China. After completion of his PhD thesis in 2006, he moved to Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS). In 2008, he started his Post-doc research for two years at German Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Hamburg University of Technology, both funded by German Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. From Oct. 2010, Dr. Bo Yu returned to IMCAS and leaded the research group. His research interests are in industrial biotechnology, especially in the aspect of systems metabolic engineering of strains for production of bio-based products. In 2016, he was promoted to be the full professor in IMCAS. From 2014, Dr. Bo Yu served as the Deputy Director and later as Executive Director of CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology (CoEBio), which the center is focusing on strategic intelligence and international collaboration on bioeconomy as well as industrial biotechnology, both for developing and developed countries.

Nadia Auclair is CEO of an innovative company, CARBIOLICE, developing and producing new generations of masterbatch based on enzymes that make fully compostable all PLA-based plastics. She has previously been Research and Development Manager of bioplastic activities at Limagrain, an international seeds manufacturer. She was in charge of the conception of biobased and biodegradable products such as mulch films for agricultural applications. Prior to act for plastics sustainability, she spent eight years in the automotive industry at VALEO, the French leader of automotive supplier, to develop high performance polymers for engine systems. Nadia has strong knowledge and experience in polymers and industrial operations. She has a scientific background with a doctorate degree in the domain of polymers done with Alstom company in 2005.

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Goutami Banerjee is the Co-founder and Director of Fornia BioSolutions Inc, a California based startup biotech company. The company focusses on discovering and improving bio-based products for improving everyday life, using their proprietary AI, library design, and HTP screening platforms. Goutami got her Ph.D. in Genetics and completed her postdoctoral studies from Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center under Michigan State University. In 2015 together with a small group of very talented scientists she started her journey with Fornia. At Fornia, she is heavily focused on developing some of its core technologies and production platforms. Goutami has over 20 years of experience working on strain development and protein chemistry and has more than 10 years’ experience in the area of second gen biofuel and high value product generated from lignocellulosic biomass. Her accolade includes more than 25 peer reviewed articles, filed and granted patents. She is also an active reviewer for many scientific journals.

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A global senior commercial leader with over 20 years’ experience working in the life science market with many cutting edge technologies in early stage start-up and mature market leading companies, including GE, Affymetrix, Applied Biosystems, Illumina, Cambridge Epigenetix and  Oxford Nanopore Technologies. She is now heading up product development and management for synthetic biology start-up Evonetix who are set to revolutionise de novo gene synthesis by developing a patented bench-top platform.

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Beyhan is working as an analyst in the animal protein team of Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research department in Utrecht, Netherlands. Within the team, she is focusing on the global seafood sector, and alternative proteins as aquafeed ingredient and for human consumption. Prior to joining Rabobank in 2017, Beyhan got her PhD degree in Agricultural Economics with a focus on international trade policy analysis from the University of Hohenheim in Germany.

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Stefaan De Wildeman graduated as a Chemical Engineer in Applied Biological Sciences (KULeuven, 1998), and finished his Ph.D. after discovering a new bacterial species dehalorespiring chlorinated organic pollutants in groundwater (Ghent University / Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, 2002). Since 2002, he joined DSM as an Associate Scientist in the field of Biocatalysis, one of DSM’s world-leading competences. As a Senior Scientist, he has increaslingly explored new options to link renewable raw materials to new biobased building blocks for novel materials with added functionality. Since 2013, Stefaan started up research activities, education programs and strategic projects on new biobased building blocks at Maastricht University, Ghent University and KULeuven. His hunger for social impact guided him to B4Plastics – a young technology company that has the mission to “make ecological plastic consumption easier”. By designing novel plastic products for their eco-balanced application from scratch, the company offers customized oligomeric and polymeric material products with outcompeting eco-profile at acceptable cost. As from 2017, under his guidance, B4Plastics entered into several Belgian and European subsidy programs with leading value chain players in the field of ecological materials sourcing and use. Since 2018, he took the dedicated role of managing director at B4Plastics to further expand the specialty bioplastic product portfolio in both B2C and B2B products and services. Typically, B4plastics engages in design of unprecedented materials, prototyping them into first kilograms within several months, and guiding the manufacturing to full scale implementation.

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Paul Henderson is Head of Bioeconomy and Plastics at the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). His key responsibilities include delivering an ambitious new government / industry strategy that aims to double the size of the UK bioeconomy by 2030, as well as contributing to key UK objectives around resource productivity, carbon reduction and clean growth. Paul has been working in the area of sustainability for 20 years, across the public and private sector. After working on a three-year behaviour change project in Queensland, Australia, he joined what was then the Department for Energy and Climate Change in 2013. He has since worked on key projects such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Industrial Decarbonisation 2050 Roadmaps. In January 2017 he joined the Bioeconomy, Chemicals and Plastics team in BEIS as lead for the bioeconomy, to help ensure the UK can become a global leader in developing, manufacturing, using and exporting bio-based solutions.

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Dr Hjort obtained a PhD in molecular biology from the Technical University of Denmark in 1990. He joined Novozymes in 1990 as a strain development scientist and has been involved in strain development using gene technology from the very beginning of this technology area. He worked at Novozymes sites in Denmark and in the USA and currently heads up all strain development activities at Novozymes at the Denmark, USA and Japan sites. Dr Hjort has been involved in Novozymes regulatory strategy as well as in the regulatory strategy and compliance of many international and cross company groups.

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Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is CEO of revolutionary carbon recycling company, LanzaTech. Prior to LanzaTech, Jennifer was VP and General Manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. Under her management, UOP technology became instrumental in producing nearly all of the initial fuels used by commercial airlines and the military for testing and certification of alternative aviation fuel. Today, under Jennifer’s guidance, LanzaTech is working towards deploying carbon capture and reuse facilities globally to make fuels and chemicals from waste carbon.  In 2015, Jennifer and her team at LanzaTech were awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Award, the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and the Outstanding Leader Award in Corporate Social Innovation from the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.  She was named most influential leader in the Bioeconomy by Biofuels Digest in 2017 and received a Global Bioenergy Leadership Award in 2018. A dog lover and committed greyhound rescuer, Jennifer holds a B.Sc. degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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Jorge Martinez Gacio is a Technologist in the Clean Fuels and Biotechnology business line in Axens which is based in Rueil Malmaison, France. He started his professional career in Technip working as Process Engineer in Detail Engineering packages. He joined Axens in 2006 where he first worked as Senior Process Engineer in worldwide projects for the refining and petrochemicals field. Currently working as Technologist since 2012, he is involved in the commercialization of processes for clean and renewable fuels and particularly the FuturolTM technology for second generation cellulosic ethanol. Jorge holds an MSc in Advanced Technology in Petrochemicals, Polymers & Plastics from IFP School, France and a Chemical Engineering Degree from University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He also holds a Chemistry Degree from University of Vigo, Spain.

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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. 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 sciences industries.

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Prof. Dr. Stefan Pelzer, studied biology at the University of Bielefeld and received his PhD (1997) at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. Until 2001 he supervised his own research group on glycopeptide antibiotics at the University of Tuebingen, where he was appointed as affiliated professor in 2016. In 2001 he joined the biotech start up Combinature Biopharm AG in Berlin as a VP of Microbiology and later VP of Science being responsible for the overall research strategy of all natural product related lead/drug optimization projects. In 2008 he moved to the White Biotechnology company B.R.A.I.N AG in Zwingenberg, Germany and took over the position of Corporate Development Microbiology. Since 2012 he received different positions within Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH at the R&D site in Halle/Westfalia, Germany. Currently he is the director of Innovation & Industrialization leading the innovation area „Precision Livestock Farming“. Research topics comprise the development of functional feed additives like probiotics with a special focus on mode of action studies applying novel gut simulation models.

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Rémi Peyraud, CEO, iMEAN. Rémi obtained his Ph.D in 2011 at ETH Zürich in Switzerland on microbiology. Then, he got an EMBO Fellowship to developed his own pioneer research at INRA Toulouse on modelling plant associated microbes. Remi developed an expert skill on life modelling with a wide range of organisms, industrial microbes as well as environmental microbes. In September 2018, he co-founded iMEAN, a bioinformatic startup which provides innovative services for industrial microbes design and optimisation of R&D processes using systems biology.

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Jim has been a policy analyst at the OECD since 2011. He has previously been an academic and industrial biotechnologist with specialist expertise in the oil industry. His work at the OECD involves policy for industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, biomass sustainability and marine biotechnology. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and an Associate Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He has authored some 300 articles.

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Marcus Remmers is a scientist, business leader – and global citizen – striving to harness the knowledge, insight, skills and experience within and outside Royal DSM, an ambitious global science-based company active in health, nutrition and sustainable living. ‘’As an advocate for the power of science to transform society, my role at DSM is to secure our position on technology – both today and tomorrow’’, says Marcus. ‘’This includes working closely across our business to ensure that we have the right competencies; and it also means forging bonds with a diverse cast of external partners to bring our short-, mid- and long term innovation opportunities to fruition.’’ ‘’Science cannot exist in a vacuum, which is why another key aspect of my job is strengthening the connective tissue between our scientific capability and the commercial side of the business – ensuring that we focus on solving the right problems, adding measurable value where it’s needed most.’’ Marcus Remmers, a German national, graduated in Chemistry at the Universities of Münster and Freiburg and finalized his Doctorate Thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Chemistry in Mainz and did research at Stanford, Caltech and Cambridge. Marcus has strong knowledge and experience in polymer and life sciences R&D, business operations, business development, strategy and change management. He is recognized as an effective transformational leader and team builder with broad international background. He started his career with Hoechst/Intervet in several managerial roles. As of 2001 he joined Merial ltd. where he had roles in Business Development, Country Management, Project and Portfolio Management and R&D in Pharma and Biologics. Marcus became Chief Technology Officer of Royal DSM in April 2017.

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Christophe is CEO and co-founder of Genomatica, which aims to lead a transition to more sustainable materials. He has led Genomatica to widespread recognition as a leader in industrial biotech; commercialized processes for the bio-based production of the chemicals butanediol (compostable bio-plastics, apparel) and butylene glycol (cosmetics, personal care); and is working on bio-nylon. Genomatica has established partnerships with leaders around the world, including in Italy, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil and the U.S.

The company has earned awards for industry impact (ICIS Top40 Power Players six years in a row, and highest rating for sustainability technology in 2017 ICIS survey), engineering (Kirkpatrick Award), science (ICIS Innovation, Award, EPA Presidential Green Chemistry), industry leadership (voted #1 Hottest four years in a row by Biofuels Digest), and company culture (The Scientist as a Best Place to Work).

Christophe is Chairman of Biocom, the largest advocate organization for California’s life sciences sector; serves on BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section Governing Board; and has served on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biotechnology. He is also a member of YPO, an international leadership organization for chief executives.

Christophe holds a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego. He received a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Duke University and was honored as a Distinguished Young Alumnus in 2010.

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Sean Sutcliffe has served as Chief Executive of Green Biologics since April 2008, contributing to the company extensive commercial and operational experience across the energy and renewables sector. Prior to joining Green Biologics he was from 2005 Chief Executive of Biofuels Corporation, a UK based biodiesel producer, and from 2007 Chairman of Tidal Generation Limited, a developer of tidal stream devices. Previously Sean worked for BG Group Plc. for 14 years in a variety of roles spanning operations, business development and strategy, most recently as Executive Vice President with responsibility for Corporate Development and New Businesses. Sean is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with an Engineering degree from Cambridge University. He is a Non-Executive Director of Keit Spectrometers, a company focused on developing FTIR technology for process monitoring and control applications in manufacturing industries and an advisory board member of UKI2S, a UK government funded early stage venture capital fund.

Joseph Zhou is Investment Partner at Bits x Bites, China’s pioneer food tech venture capital investing in startups tackling global food system challenges. With a mission to shape the future of good food, Bits x Bites is a big step forward to inspire and support the entrepreneurial community to bring new ideas to solve global issues. To date, it has invested in companies that are advancing nanoscale contaminant detection, gene editing for high-performing crops, as well as a company advancing cost-efficient, non-GMO meat production directly from animal cells without an actual animal. Joseph brings 12 years of experience across corporate banking, investment banking, and private equity, having raised more than US$120 million for his portfolio companies in the primary market. His decision to enter the food sector was driven by one clear motivation: To fight for the future of good food so that his young son grows up with plenty of safe and nutritious food options. Prior to Bits x Bites, Joseph and two other partners ran Fusi Capital where they self-raised US$50 million to invest in China’s international education sector. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Business School. Joseph is an emerging voice on entrepreneurship and food tech investment. He has been a guest speaker at events including Future Food-Tech London, World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, Startup Grind Tel Aviv, Food’s Future Summit in Hong Kong, and Food & Beverage Innovation Forum in Shanghai.

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