2017 Speakers

The exciting speakers we have confirmed to share their insights and experience include:

  • Jyrki Katainen

    Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness European Commission

    From 2014-present Jyrki Katainen has served as Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. 2011-14: Prime Minister of Finland. 2007-11: Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Finland. 2006-12: Vice-President of the European People's Party. 2004-14: President of the Finnish National Coalition Party. 2001-04: Vice-President of the Finnish National Coalition Party. 2001-04: First Vice-President of the Regional Council of Northern Savonia, Finland. 1999-14: Member of the Finnish Parliament. 1998-2000: Vice-President of the Youth of the European People's Party. 1998: Master's degree in Social Sciences

    He is Finnish and married with two children. 

  • Daniel Calleja Crespo

    Director-General DG Environment (ENV) European Commission

    September 2015 to date: Director-General DG Environment. February 2012 to 31 August: Director-General DG Enterprise and Industry (ENTR) and SME Envoy. February 2011 to January 2012: Deputy Director-General DG Enterprise and Industry (ENTR) and SME Envoy. November 2004 to January 2011: Director for Air Transport at the European Commission (TREN/MOVE). October 2000 to November 2004: Head of Cabinet of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mrs. Loyola de Palacio in charge of Transport and Energy. November 1995 to September 1999: Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Mr Marcelino Oreja, in charge of Institutional Affairs, Audiovisual Policy and Relations with the E.P. January 1995 to October 1995: Member of Cabinet of the President to the Commission, Mr Jacques SANTER. 1993 to 1994: Member of Cabinet of the Commissioner of Transport and Energy, Mr Abel Matutes and Mr Marcelino Oreja. 1986 to 1992: Member of the Legal Service of the Commission of the European Communities.

  • Brad Rodgers

    R&D Director for Discovery & Sustainability, Global Foods Packaging PepsiCo

    Having earned his degree in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Brad Rodgers is a veteran of the plastics and packaging industry, who has dedicated 30 years to its innovation and improvement.

    Brad spent the first half of his career working for major polyolefin manufacturers in Texas and Delaware, where he developed polymers for use in numerous packaging applications. He is currently the Research & Development Director of Foods Packaging Discovery and Sustainability for PepsiCo where his responsibilities include the development for the next generation of packaging materials with a better overall impact on the environment.

    Brad currently holds 14 patents for various packaging applications and has written and co-authored several papers and published articles about food packaging, and is currently working to develop advanced barrier technologies for bio-based packaging.

  • Philippe Esnault

    Global Director Strategic Alliances, Materials Product Line Michelin Group

    Philippe Esnault holds a PhD in Material Science and joined the Michelin Group in 1990. From 1990 to 2011, he has held different positions in R&D in Europe and USA, in the area of tire reinforcement materials (physical-chemistry design and processing of textile, steel cords and composites) as well as rubber compounding. From 2011 to 2016 he was pre-development global director for design and processing of the reinforcement materials for all the tire lines. Since 2016 Philippe has been global director for strategic alliances for the Michelin Material Product Line. 

  • Jean-Marie Julien

    Material Strategy Manager L'OREAL

    Jean-Marie Julien is currently  Material Strategy Manager at  L’OREAL.

  • Nelleke van der Puil

    VP of Materials LEGO

    As VP Materials at LEGO Group Nelleke is responsible for delivering on the strategy with respect to development of future materials for LEGO products. The LEGO Group has a long-term ambition to use only sustainable materials and investigates reducing their use of oil derived materials in relation to their products. 

  • Johan Bruck

    Deputy Materials Innovation Development Leader IKEA of Sweden

    Johan is currently Deputy Materials Innovation Development Leader at IKEA in Sweden. 

  • Joanna Dupont Inglis

    Director of Industrial Biotechnology EuropaBio

    Joanna Dupont Inglis has been Director of Industrial Biotechnology at EuropaBio since April 2011, prior to which she was repsonsible for communications EuropaBio.

    Before joining EuropaBio in 2009, Joanna had over a decade of Brussels-based experience in Public Affairs and Strategic Communications and has an academic background in Environmental Science.  She spent the majority of her career in consultancy in the energy, environment, health and development sectors advising a broad range of Fortune 500 companies, industry associations and NGOs and has also worked for the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment. 

  • Mika Aalto

    Deputy Director General, Enterprise and Innovation Department Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

    Dr Mika Aalto is Deputy Director General at the Enterprise and Innovation Department  in the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. He is heading the division, Enterprises and Growth Ecosystems, which is responsible for the Finnish enterprise policy and natural resource economy. The goal of the activities is to accelerate the growth and internationalization of Finnish enterprises and, on the other hand, to develop police measures in areas where Finland can create sustainable economical growth based on its natural resources. Dr. Aalto was in the core team developing the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy, and until recently, chaired the interministrial working group leading the implementation of the strategy as well as the government’s spearhead programmes in the theme Bioeconomy and Clean Solutions.

    Before joining the Ministry, Dr. Aalto worked for more than 15 years at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. He worked in various positions, e.g. as a Senior Technology Advisor, Program Manager, Director of Material and Process Techologies, as well as Director of Forest and Chemical Industries. He worked at Tekes Silicon Valley office in California in 2002-2004 and as a visiting researcher at University of California at Berkeley in 1995-1996. He holds a Doctor of Technology degree in Chemical Technology from Helsinki University of Technology (currently, the Aalto University) .

  • Dr Ir. Hans Aerts

    R&D Innovation Director Derbigum

    Dr. Ir. Hans Aerts is the R&D Innovation Director of Derbigum. Derbigum is a producer of sustainable roofing products and has developed technologies that enable the company to recycle old roofs (Derbigum NT) and use bio-based raw materials (Derbipure technology) to produce new ones.

    Hans has worked for the company since 2006 and became part of the executive team in 2013 determining the innovation strategy. He has developed strong expertise in the use of bio-based materials in construction.

    He graduated at the faculty of bioscience Engineering at the Katholic University of Leuven, Belgium, specialising in catalytical chemistry. He holds a PhD from the same faculty, where he worked on the use of biomaterials as substrates for chemical reactions.

  • Stefano Babbini

    CEO and Co-founder Mogu S.r.l.

    Environmental Engineer active in the Clean Tech and Bio-Economy sectors since 2005. He contributed to the start-up of several initiatives worldwide (EU Countries, South America, West & East Africa, and Indonesia), with a special focus on the agro-industry, renewable energies, and sustainable feedstock production. Stefano has been co-founder and CEO of Agroils Srl (Italy), Treedom Srl (Italy), Smart Oil Ltd (Ghana), getting involved in different sustainable business cases. He has been Biomass Power Plant Manager in Futuris Spa, taking care of the sustainability aspects of the feedstock value chain. Finally, with the aim of developing innovative products from a natural technology following the principle of the Circular Economy, in 2015 he co-founded Mogu S.r.l (Italy). Employing the mycelium (fungi roots) as natural glue, the Company is developing and producing bio-composites, valorising agro-industrial wastes and co-products. 

  • Jean-Baptiste Barbaroux

    Corporate Development Director Global Bioenergies

    Following a Ph.D. in biology at Imperial College London, Jean-Baptiste Barbaroux begun an academic career at King’s College London. His R&D activities first targeted the development of high throughput diagnostic tests before turning towards enzyme engineering. He joined Global Bioenergies in 2011 to lead enzyme evolution activities before assuming the responsibility of Corporate Development in 2012.

  • Stephanie Batchelor

    Director of State & International Policy BIO

    Stephanie Batchelor is the Director of State & International Policy at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Stephanie specializes in sustainability, renewable energy and biobased products policy, providing guidance to companies who are leaders in the production of biofuels, biobased products, and biomanufacturing processes. She manages the BIO I&E state government relations committee, climate change & sustainability working group, and Latin America working group. She is also a member of the California Air Resource Board’s low carbon fuel standard advisory panel. Prior to joining BIO, Stephanie worked at the European Economic and Social Committee, where she focused on transportation and energy policy for the European Union. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History from the University at Albany, and a Master of Arts in International Relations/Politics from New York University. 

  • Elena Benedetti

    Director of Product Application AEP Polymers

    Elena graduated in 1999 from the University of Trieste and worked for 6 years in the molecular pathology field at the  International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Trieste.  She then moved to the materials science sector starting with a researcher position in a polymer formulation laboratory in Trieste in 2004. Elena focused on polymer formulations for coatings and composite materials, managing specific product lines, publicly funded R&D projects and consultancy activities for private companies. Elena was appointed Technical Director and Business Unit Manager for the biobased materials business in companies in Europe and US, coordinating production, marketing, licensing and sales activities. Since September 2013, Elena is Director of Product Application at AEP Polymers.

  • Dr Rolf Blaauw

    Senior Scientist Wageningen Food & Biobased Research

    Rolf Blaauw is a senior researcher at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, a contract research institute within Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. He focuses on chemical conversion of sugars and oils to building blocks for plastics, paints, adhesives and thermoset resins. He is the coordinator of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project ‘COSMOS’ (2015–2019), which aims to produce medium-chain (C10-C14) oleochemicals from camelina and crambe oil.

  • Jeremie Blache


    Jeremie is CEO and cofounder of PILI since 2015. Graduated from Toulouse Business School in Corporate Finance, he previously worked in Investment Banking on IPO & Right Issue deals. In 2,5 years, PILI received numerous prizes and grants to support its development in bioproduction of biotech dyes designed for industrial processes, in particular for textile applications.

  • Cindy Bryant

    SVP of Collaborations and Corporate Development Amyris, Inc.

    Cindy Bryant leads Amyris’s corporate development and collaborations efforts. She joined the company in June 2015 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Collaborations and, prior to joining Amyris, she served as Senior Director Marketing and Business Development for Novozymes (Denmark) where she developed and managed the company's global Household Care business. Cindy had P&L responsibility for this global business unit that represents approximately a third of Novozymes’ overall business. Previously, her roles at Novozymes (USA) included Senior Director Global Biomass Business Development, where she was responsible for growing the company's global cellulosic ethanol business and as Global Marketing Manager – Biofuels, where she was responsible for strategy development, execution, and public relations. Before joining Novozymes, Cindy worked as Marketing Manager for Chevron Corporation's retail downstream business. She has also held product management and operational and engineering roles with other companies such as Assyst GmbH (Germany/USA) and Burlington Industries Inc. Cindy holds a Master’s in Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in textile engineering from North Carolina State University.

  • Wayne Byrne

    Managing Director & Co-Founder Oxymem

    Wayne  is the commercial visionary and holds an International Executive MBA from Smurfit College of Business, and a Diploma in Advanced Management from University College Dublin (UCD). In the last 8 years Wayne Byrne acquired, restructured, and sold a major Waste equipment supply company, Manvik Group. Manvik had over 80 staff, a turnover in excess of €40M, and had operations in UK and Ireland. Wayne seeking more challenges in the clean technology space went on to set up Biocore Environmental Limited and has established a significant presence in wastewater sludge management and renewable energy production. Wayne successfully sold Biocore to the management team in early 2016. 

    Wayne is a resourceful, experienced senior manager and managing director, with experience in both private and public sectors. He has brought multiple start-up and established companies including MNC’s (Computer Associate, SAP) through multiple phases of international growth. He is experienced in business acquisition, disposal and business transformation. Wayne is an enthusiastic leader and team builder who is highly analytical and financially aware. He has an impressive track record of developing and implementing operational and business strategies. In the last 6 years Wayne has secured over €35M in debt and equity.

  • Ena Chan Cratsenburg

    Chief Business Officer Gingko Bioworks

    Over the past decade, Ena Cratsenburg has successfully built and led commercialization strategies and established key partnerships for synthetic biology companies across various sectors, such as cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, food and beverage, nutritional health markets, and biofuels. Ena has a keen understanding of the intersection of synthetic biology and market opportunities, and she has leveraged this expertise to create some of the most significant partnerships for the sector.

    Currently, Ena is the Chief Business Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks where she is responsible for the building a scalable business that advances Ginkgo’s mission to make biology easier to engineer.  Prior to Ginkgo, Ena has held senior management positions at a number of synthetic biology companies, including Senior Vice President of Consumer Sector at Intrexon, Senior Vice President of Business Development with Evolva, and Vice President of Business Development for Amyris. 

    Prior her career in synthetic biology, Ena held various business development and management roles at Pixar Animation Studios and BP p.l.c.  Ena has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois.  Ena is on the Board of the San Francisco Opera Guild since 2008 and chaired its Endowment Fund from 2011 – 2015.

  • Myrsini Christou

    Head of Biomass Department CRES – Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving

    Agriculture engineer, with MSc on environmental planning. Working at CRES as leader of the Biomass department.

    Over 25 years of experience as coordinator and scientific responsible in a range of RTD projects related to assessment of biomass availability and energy potential as well as on research on sustainable biomass production for a wide range of energy crops, and technical evaluation of integrated biomass value chains for energy and biorefinery concepts.

    Member of the Governmental Committee for drafting the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) of Greece, the European Technology Platforms on Biofuels and Renewable Heating and Cooling, and in the European Committee for the sustainability in biofuels and bio-liquids.

  • Henri Colens

    Public Affairs Manager Braskem Europe

    Henri Colens has been Public Affairs Manager for Braskem Europe since September 2014. He runs Braskem’s engagement with the European Institutions and coordinates public policy across the Member States. His primary focus is to ensure policy responds to the company’s growing interest in renewable plastics and base chemicals. Previously he had worked for the EPP and ECR Groups in the European Parliament.  

    “I am based in Brussels and committed to working closely with policy-makers to drive the bio-based agenda in order to achieve a strong, innovative and circular bio-economy in Europe.”  

  • Sebastien Corbeil

    President and CEO CelluForce

    Sebastien Corbeil is President and CEO of CelluForce.  He joined the company in 2015 to speed up the commercialisation of Cellulose NanoCrystals, an advanced biomaterial extracted from wood fibers.  Mr. Corbeil has more than 20 years of international management experience. Prior to joining CelluForce, Mr Corbeil held several leadership positions in water treatment and bioenergy with the SUEZ Group in Europe where he developed new products, launched new business units and helped reposition group companies.  He returned to Canada in 2013 and served as Vice-President for EnGlobe Corp, in charge of a major acquisition project to double the size of the company.  Mr Corbeil started his career as a research engineer in pulp and paper with industrial gas giant Air Liquide in Chicago.  Mr. Corbeil holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in chemical engineering from McGill University, as well as a MBA from DePaul University. He is a Board Member of PRIMA Quebec, an advanced materials research and innovation hub based in Montreal.

  • Stephen E. Croskrey

    CEO and Member, Board of Directors Danimer Scientific

    Stephen E. Croskrey, Danimer Scientific‘s Chief Executive Officer, oversees the strategic direction and operations of the company. Croskrey brings more than 20 years of experience providing leadership to companies that manufacture and sell products such as industrial fibers, medical devices, and law enforcement gear. He previously served as the President and CEO of Armor Holdings Products LLC, a major manufacturer of armor systems. During his 6-year tenure at Armor Holdings Products LLC, the annual revenue increased from $45 million to over $300 million due to Croskey’s completion of 13 acquisition transactions and associated organic growth. Croskrey has also held Senior Executive positions at Allied Signal and Mobil Oil. He serves on the on the Boards of Directors of Surgical Momentum LLC, a healthcare data analytics firm, and Precysmedtx LLC, a medical device company. Croskrey received his Master’s of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Shortly after, Croskrey was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. Croskrey served as a Company Commander and attained the rank of Captain during his six years of active duty.

  • Guillaume Daoulas

    Business Unit Manager YNSECT

    Guillaume Daoulas, MSc. (Innovations and Policies for Sustainable Food) is an agronomist from the AgroParisTech School (Paris, France 2013) with a specialization in sustainable food/feed. Cofounder and president of the association “Fishermen around the world”, he has been studying fishing and aquaculture in 12 countries around the world and published a book on this study in 2015 at De La Martiniere publishing.

    He is now the Business Unit Manager of the Ynsect Company, based in Paris, France. With a fully automated process, Ynsect uses insects to bioconvert organic substrates, such as cereal byproducts, and transform those insects into:

    Sustainable nutrient resource for agro-industries
    Bioactive compounds for green chemistry like packaging, cosmetic, pharmaceutic,
    High valued fertilizer and biostimulant for crops and gardening

  • Francois De Bie

    Chairman European Bioplastics

    François de Bie is Senior Marketing Director Bioplastics at Total Corbion PLA and he supports partners and brand owners that want to capitalize on the benefits of bioplastics. François holds a Master of Science degree in polymer technology from Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. Before joining Corbion Purac, François worked at EconCore, Sabic and GE Plastics where he was responsible for business leadership, marketing and sales. Successful introductions of new business concepts, new technologies and new plastics within a range of industries including Consumer Electronics, Packaging, Automotive and Aerospace, are his key areas of expertise. With EconCore, François won the European Bioplastics Award in 2010. In 2013, François was elected Chairman of the Board of European Bioplastics. With over 70 members from across the entire value chain, it is the largest European association representing the bioplastics industry.

    • Germany
  • Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO, Corbion N.V.

    Tjerk de Ruiter

    CEO Corbion N.V.

    Tjerk de Ruiter is Chief Executive Officer of Corbion.  Before joining Corbion Tjerk was Chief Executive Officer and President of LS9, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company based in San Francisco USA. Tjerk successfully finalized the sale of LS9 to US biodiesel company, Renewable Energy Group (REG). Tjerk spent twelve years at Danisco where he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Genencor division, a leading industrial biotechnology company, and a member of the Danisco Executive Committee. Prior to becoming CEO of the Genencor division, Tjerk was Chief Operating Officer Cultures, Specialities and Flavours at Danisco responsible for three of the high growth product areas of Danisco. Previously, Tjerk spent eleven years with Quest International. For most of his career Tjerk has been based in North America.

    He received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University Nijenrode in Breukelen, Netherlands and his Masters of International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management, Thunderbird. 

  • Dr Rocio Diaz-Chavez

    Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Environmental Policy Imperial College London

    Dr. Rocio A Diaz-Chavez is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Environmental Policy of Imperial College London. She has extensive work and academic experience in sustainability assessment and environmental management tools and methodologies. She has participated and coordinated different EU funded projects and worked in different consultancy work for the EC and in other regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She forms part of the FAO and UK experts group for indicators development for the Global Bioenergy Partnership and is co-chair of the UK for Task 40. She received the SCOPE 2010 Scientist Award in Environmental Management for her work on indicators and standards.

  • Dr Jeff Eaves

    General Manager Circa Group

    Australian biotechnology company Circa Group has appointed Dr Jeff Eaves as General Manager of its subsidiary company, CircaSustainable Chemicals UK, in June 2017.

    Before joining the Circa Group, Jeff was Industrial Liaison Manager at the University of York, leading a £2.5 million European-funded contract to deliver 60 science-based projects to SMEs.  

    Previously CEO of technology start-up Chamelic Ltd., Jeff has worked in a variety of commercial, technical and academic roles, including for IP Group PLC, KPMG and ICI Performance Chemicals. He is also an Associate Lecturer in Business Studies at the OpenUniversity.

  • Dr Jürgen Eck


    Dr Jürgen Eck studied biology at Darmstadt Technical University, with an emphasis on microbiology and molecular biology. After being awarded a doctorate (Dr. rer. nat) in biochemistry and molecular genetics, he joined the founding team of BRAIN AG in 1994.

    In 2000 Dr Eck was appointed to the Management Board of BRAIN AG as Head of Research and Development, CTO. Since the foundation of BRAIN AG Dr Eck has been responsible for the technological basis of the company. Dr Eck is also responsible for the academic collaboration network of BRAIN, involving many national and international research institutes and universities within Europe, Asia, and the USA.

    Dr Eck is a member of many commissions and advisory committees, such as the “Association for General and Applied Microbiology” (VAAM), the DECHEMA Committee for Applied Biotransformation and the SusChem Biotechnology Core Group. He is a member of the board of the German Catalysis Society (GeCatS) and co-founder of the “Center of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity e.V.” in Darmstadt.

    On January 1, 2010 Dr Eck was appointed to the Senate Commission of the German Research Foundation (DFG). On July 1, 2015 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BRAIN AG.

  • Mathieu Flamini

    Co-Founder GFBiochemicals

    Mathieu is a partnerand co-founder of GFBiochemicals, the leading global producer of levulinic acid and derivatives. He co-founded the business nine years ago with the ambition of finding sustainable alternatives to oil-based products.In 2016, GFBiochemicals acquired Segetis, the leading producer of levulinic acid derivatives.

    Mathieu has always been interested in new technology and has played an active role in developing his businesses alongside his playing career at AC Milan, Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

    At the World Bio Markets Awards in 2016, he was nominated as Bio-based Business Person of the Year. He is also a member of the Paris 2024 Olympic Environmental Excellence Committee.

    Mathieu was part of the team that created BIOCIRCE, Europe’s first Masters’ degree dedicated to the bioeconomy, through GFBiochemical’s collaboration with several leading Italian universities.

    In addition, Mathieu co-founded the BioJournal, the world’s first e-magazine devoted entirely to the bio world and eco-sustainability. The BioJournal publishes high quality content covering politics, the economy, tech and lifestyle.

    Having co-founded GFBiochemicals, Mathieu’s pivotal role in the creation of both BIOCIRCE and the BioJournal further underlines his commitment to the long-term development of the bioeconomy.

  • Dr Philippe Gabant

    Co-founder and CSO Syngulon

    Dr Philippe Gabant, is one of the founders and the CSO of Syngulon SA.  Syngulon is a startup in synthetic biology founded in 2013.

    .Philippe holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and a Master in Management de l’Innovation from HEC Saint Louis (Brussels, Belgium).

    During his academic research career he was involved has an inventor in the development of a portfolio of genetic selection patented technologies.  One of these technologies belonging to ULB was licensed to Life technologies and is on the market since 1995 it is today a standard in DNA assembly method: Gateway technology, TOPO cloning,…

    Philippe Gabant is one of the founders of Delphi Genetics and the former CEO of the company (2001-2010) he has been in charge of the business development of the company from 2010 and June 2012. Philippe was involved in IP based business agreements including license negotiations and business alliances with major pharmaceutical companies including Sanofi-Pasteur, GSK and Merck.

  • Hans Genee

    Co-founder and CSO Biosyntia

    Biosynthetic selections in combination with deep sequencing offer unprecedented opportunities for addressing complex biological questions in a comprehensive and systematic manner. Millions of unique genetic variants can be rapidly segmented with regards to their phenotypic behaviour using biosynthetic selections. Deep sequencing of the respective pools enable direct association of genotype to phenotype generating orders of magnitude more data illuminating specific biological processes. In this way biosynthetic selections pave the way for big data biology to address biological problems relevant for both industrial and medical biotechnology.  

  • Mari Granström

    Business Development Manager AVALON Industries

    Mari Granström, PhD is currently Business Development Manager for AVALON  Industries. 

  • Tom Heap

    Broadcaster Rural Affairs

    Tom spent 13 years at BBC News in a number of roles including Science and Environment Correspondent and Rural Affairs Correspondent. He went freelance a while back to specialise in farming and environment documentaries. Tom now presents the investigations on Countryfile -  Britain's most popular factual series - alongside Panorama on television and Costing the Earth on Radio Four.

  • Paul Henderson

    Head of Bioeconomy Strategy UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

    Paul Henderson is Head of Bioeconomy Strategy at the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). His key responsibilities include developing a new national bioeconomy strategy, to be agreed by government and industry, which is well evidenced and sets out a clear pathway for sustainable growth.

    Paul has been working in the area of sustainability for over 15 years, across the public and private sector. In previous roles he was responsible for establishing the London European Partnership for Transport, which helps increase involvement of London municipalities in EU sustainable transport projects, and represented the UK on the European Platform for Mobility Management.

    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 of this year he joined the Agri-tech, Bioeconomy and Chemicals team in BEIS as lead for the bioeconomy, to help ensure the UK can experience long term sustainable growth in this key sector.

  • Dr Sarah Hickingbottom

    Oleo & Bio Based Chemicals LMC International

    Sarah has been at the forefront of the global commercialisation of bio-based chemicals & biofuels for over a decade as well as the mature oleochemical and glycerine marketplace. She advises dozens of organisations & companies along the bio-based value chain as to how they might optimise their position to meet - and exceed - their business objectives. Topics include agricultural feedstocks, technology, end-user applications, sustainability, market research, opportunity identification, due diligence, economic modelling, costs and price forecasting. Sarah has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a bachelor’s degree from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine which included spending a year studying at the Institut für Organische Chemie in Hannover, Germany

  • Christian Kemp-Griffin

    CEO CelluComp

    Christian was one of the early investors in CelluComp. In 2011, he became Chief Executive Officer and executive director. Christian came to CelluComp with extensive operational business experience in the clothing/textile industry and a strong knowledge in brand-building, sustainability and social enterprise. Prior to CelluComp, Christian was Chief Executive Officer for EDUN, a company owned by Bono (of U2). 49% of the company was eventually sold to LVMH. Prior to EDUN, Christian was Managing Director at Devanlay/Lacoste for product development and communication worldwide, a position he held for 5 years. Previously, Christian was European Licensing Director for Disney Consumer Products and Director of European purchasing for Polo Ralph Lauren. In addition to his work-related activities, Christian sits on the board of 2 charities.  He is also the originator of the White Gold for Life program to help Senegal develop its cotton and textile industry. Christian is a graduate of Princeton University in USA and resides in France with his wife and 5 children.

  • Roger Kilburn

    CEO IBioIC

    Roger is CEO of IBioIC. The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) is an industrial, academic partnership aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of Industrial Biotechnology in Scotland. Based on a membership system IBioIC supports and funds research and education programmes aimed at creating a £1 billion industry in biotechnology by 2025.

    Roger has over twenty five years experience working for in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries in roles covering global business leadership, general management, consultancy, marketing, sales, trading, manufacturing, projects and engineering. He also enjoys being a guest lecturer at Heriot Watt University and providing business leadership to the directors of a local charity.

  • Michael Krel

    Principal Sofinnova Partners

    Michael joined the Sofinnova’s  Industrial Biotech and renewable chemistry team in 2013and focuses on investments that offer to the chemical industry renewable alternatives to fossil carbon.

    Prior to Sofinnova, Michael spent two years as VP Business Development at Deinove, a biotech company developing second generation biofuels and biochemicals. Before that Michael was a Business Development Manager at Metabolic Explorer, a biotech company focused on the development of processes and products in the green chemistry area, where he contributed to the development of projects, particularly in Asia. Previously, Michael helped to develop a consulting company focused on strategic and organizational issues in scientific and technical environments, where he worked with major French energy and materials industrial groups.

    Michael graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the ICSN (Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles) in France.

  • Frédérique Lafosse

    Head of Strategic Projects Givaudan

    Frédérique Lafosse is currently Head of Strategic Projects at Givaudan.

  • Jim Laird

    CEO 3f bio Ltd

    3f bio’s vision is to “make protein sustainable” and our aim by 2030 is to produce >1M tonnes of mycoprotein, which will reduce CO2 emissions >5m tonnes cumulatively. 3f bio’s patented technology covers the large-scale production of sustainable protein (Food) using a large-scale natural fermentation process as an integrated zero-waste process alongside the biorefinery production of Fuel and Feed.  By converting carbohydrate (e.g. wheat or grain) to protein with 20 times greater feed efficiency than the cow, this has transformative economic and sustainability advantages.

    As CEO, Jim Laird has 25 years’ experience in the food industry in roles spanning operations, commercial general management and corporate development, including running the Quorn™ brand internationally.  This combines a record of delivering profitable growth in large corporates including Unilever, PepsiCo and Premier Foods, with more recent experience in creating value and increased shareholder returns in small cap listed companies including OptiBiotix Health plc.  From his experience with Quorn, Jim has detailed knowledge of the global meatfree market, the economics of supply and the competitor technologies and is passionate about the transformative opportunity to “make protein sustainable”.

    The management team and Board combine experience in food, fermentation, large scale projects, and technology development.  As co-founders Craig Johnston and David Ritchie bring wide experience in collaborative and large scale projects with a background in ICI, Zeneca, BASF, Syngenta and CMAC (University of Strathclyde).  As Chairman David Robertson has proven experience in technology development primarily with BP, and following a funding round in June 2017 we have strengthened the Board with the addition of Kevin Grainger, the Investor Director for the EOS Investment Syndicate, and Nick Elmslie, the former CEO of BP’s Global Petrochemicals business.

    The business is registered in Scotland, based in the IBioIC facilities at the University of Strathclyde, and is progressing its development activities working collaboratively with market leading partners with global reach.

  • Lene Lange

    Professor, PhD et Dr. scient, Center for BioProcess Engineering, Dept. of Chemical Engineering Technical University of Denmark

    Lene Lange is a Professor at Center for BioProcess Engineering, Dep. of Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark. She has held research director positions in both industry and academia; has hereby acquired extensive experience from all parts of the knowledge-value-chain: research, technology, innovation, patenting, environmental impact assessment, product development, knowledge management, business models, and commercialization. Selection of current advisory board positions:  The Danish Bioeconomy Panel, The Nordic Bioeconomy Panel, Scientific Committee for the BBI JU, Expert Group for the Review of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and Action plan, and IAB BIOTEC Thailand. Field of Research: Discovery of novel enzymes for improved biomass conversion and biorefinery processes, with specific focus on generating value from agro-industrial side streams and waste products. Development of the new enzyme discovery platform, PPR, a non-alignment based sequence analysis method, predicting function directly from sequence. Using PPR-based technologies (combined with MS of microbial secretomes, enzyme phylogenetic analysis and activity screening) for discovery of improved enzymes for industrial use as well as for increased understanding enzymatic biomass conversion in Nature.

  • Paul Langston

    Licensing Manager – Process Technology TechnipFMC

    Paul has 22 years of experience in the hydrocarbons industry in commercial and technical roles, having a process engineering background. He is the Licensing Manager for TechnipFMC’s Hummingbird technology, and has experience in a number of process engineering technologies including GTL, LNG, FCC, and ethylene plant design. Paul has worked for engineering contractor, specialist vendor, and operating company organizations during his career.  He is a member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sheffield.

  • Eric Liégeois

    Team Leader Fertilisers, Detergents, Pesticides/Biocides, Plastics and Wastes Recycling European Commission

    Eric Liégeois is born in 1967, in Tournai (Belgium). In 1990, he was graduated Chemical Engineer for Agricultural Industries, from the University of Gembloux (Belgium).

    He joined the Belgian Federal Ministry for Agriculture in 1992 where he was successively in charge of plant protection products, GMOs, control of pesticides sprayers, as desk officer, principal engineer and finally staff member of the cabinet Gabriels-Neyts (in the Verhofstadt government).

    He was then seconded as national expert to the European Commission in 2002 at DG Environment where he was in charge of the Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides.

    In 2005 he took the position of Director (Risk Management Unit) at the Belgian Ministry of Public Health and the Environment, where his team of 45 persons was in charge of implementing REACH, CLP and Biocides.

    In June 2007 he decided to join again the European Commission as a permanent administrator official in the Chemicals Unit at DG ENTR (now DG GROW) where he works mainly on Plant Protection Products, Biocides, RoHS (electric and electronic devices) and started to be involved in the Fertilisers group as from early 2010.

    In his current position he is in charge of the preparatory work for the forthcoming revised Fertilisers Regulation and is leading a team in charge of Fertilisers, Detergents, Plant Protection Products, Biocides, Waste recycling and Plastics and is part of DG GROW team for circular economy package. He is currently in charge of elaborating the EU plastics strategy.

    Eric is married and has no children.

  • Christophe Luguel

    Head of International Affairs IAR Cluster

    Christophe Luguel has a Master of Engineering in Agronomy (AgroParisTech, France). After three years spent in a R&D Centre (Hoechst), he occupied various positions in sales, marketing and business development in chemical and biotech companies. He joined the French biocluster IAR (Industries & Agro-Ressources) in 2007, as Head of International Affairs.

    Christophe is also Vice chair of BIC (Biobased Industries Consortium) Board and member of the Governing Board of the Bio-Based Industries (BBI) JU, a € 3.7bn Public Private Partnership on Bio-Based Industries, within Horizon 2020.

    IAR is the French cluster dedicated to the Bioeconomy. It brings together more than 350 stakeholders from farmer cooperatives, research organisations and universities to VCs, start-ups, SMEs and large industries, including end-users, around a common goal: the optimal valorisation of renewable resources. Its activities focus on supporting the development of the bioeconomy in France and more specifically in the regions of Hauts-de-France and Grand Est.

    The commitment of all IAR’s actors in the “cooperation-competition” creates synergies between SMEs, large industries and research laboratories. It allows the development of a very strong R&I dynamism around strategic axis within the Biorefinery concept: bio-based chemicals, bio-based materials, advanced biofuels and biogas, ingredients for food and feed as well as renewable resources. Since 2005, 220+ projects supported by IAR have been initiated with a total R&I budget of more than 1,5 bn€. 

  • Johan Lunnaba

    Director, Sustainability Neste Oyj

    Johan Lunabba is Sustainability Director of Neste Oyj with global scope. Johan joined Neste in 2016 after a long career in management consulting. During his career Johan has worked with corporations, governments and International Organizations on a variety of Sustainability related challenges. For Johan sustainability means taking responsibility, challenging old ways of thinking and being creative, pragmatic and solution oriented. 

  • Rachel Major

    CEO and Co-Founder NuLeaf Tech Inc.

    Rachel first learned about biomimicry after working at the world’s leading biomimetic consultancy. She has cultivated an interdisciplinary skill set, with skills in ecology, biochemistry, management, and engineering, to help bring forward a high-tech society accelerated by nature’s solutions. From her work at NASA Ames to founding NuLeaf, she brings biotech to the next level to tackle the world’s toughest challenges relating to climate change.

  • Murray McLaughlin

    Advisor Bioindustrial Innovation Canada

    Murray McLaughlin, an Advisor to Bioindustrial Innovation Canada(BIC) since 2016, prior he was Executive Director of BIC from 2010 and President SCA 2009-16,in Ontario, focused on Bioeconomy. He managed the AgSci Cluster, 2013-16.  Dr. McLaughlin has held positions in the private, government and non-profit sectors such as Director of BD, Canadian Light Source, Presiident OAFT, DM Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, and President AWB Inc. He managed an agricultural VC Fund, Foragen, 15 years with ELANCO. His career has focused on bioindustrial and agricultural technologies including research, development, product management, marketing, commercialization, economic development and y. cluster building. He served on numerous Boards and Committees. He graduated from NSAC, McGill (B. Sc. Agr.) and Cornell (MSC/PhD). He received Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dalhousie and received several awards from NSAC, CAMI, LSO, BioteCanada and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. Recognized in the top 100 global leaders in Advanced Bioeconomy in Biofuels Digest, 2016.

  • Philippe Mengal

    Executive Director Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking

    Philippe Mengal trained as an engineer in Chemistry and Bio-industry at Gembloux Agro-bio Tech Université and later on in Strategic Innovation Management at INSEAD.

    During his 25 years of professional experience, he has spearheaded major strategic and managerial achievements, being CEO, Managing Director, R&D Director and Senior Consultant in food ingredient, engineering and life sciences industries. Throughout his professional career, he has also been a Consultant in innovation management, IP valorisation, European projects, spin off creation and development, business development and project management.

    As a Board Member of Valbiom, Vice-President of Indeego, CEO & Global Business Development of GreenWatt, Board Member of Wagralim, CEO & Co-owner of Viaka, Group Applied R&D Director of Puratos Group, CEO & founder of Hitex and Marketing & R&D Manager of Separex & Archimex he is an experienced professional in the bio-based field.

    Philip Mengal is currently the Executive Director for the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking which operates under Horizon 2020, and is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation. As Executive Director, he is the chief executive responsible for the day-to-day management of BBI in accordance with the decisions of the Governing Board.

  • Marco Mensink

    Director General European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)

    Marco Mensink is Director General of Cefic, the European chemical industry, since May 2016. With members adding over 550 billion Euro to the EU economy annually, Cefic is the largest industry sector representation of its kind in Brussels. As part of this role, Mr. Mensink shapes the strategy and direction of the European chemical industry, uniting more than 22 national federations, 8 associate federations and 650 members and affiliates from all over Europe.

    Before joining Cefic, Mr Mensink was Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), representing the sector both at European and global level. 

    A Dutch national, he is a seasoned public affairs professional, who has lived and worked in Brussels since 2006, and has an extensive network of contacts within the European Institutions and wider Brussels sphere. He is active in several European Commissions High Level Groups.

    Mr Mensink is a professional speaker in public events, having a strong drive to move the organisation, the issues and the sector forward. Mr Mensink has specific expertise in EU Energy and Environmental legislation, the EU Emission Trading System and Renewable Energy legislation. Innovation policy and technology development were strong drivers of CEPI’s success.

    Marco Mensink holds a Master of Science Degree in Forestry and Business Management from the Agricultural University of Wageningen in the Netherlands.

    Starting his career at Ernst & Young Management Consulting, he worked for six years in Environmental Management,  and due diligence projects. He then worked for six years at the Royal Netherlands’ Paper and Board Association, also representing the Dutch industry in Brussels.

    Mr Mensink, born in 1968, is married and has three children.

  • Thomas Michaelis

    Head of Textile Coatings EM/LA Covestro Deutschland AG

    Mr. Thomas Michaelis is Head of Textile Coatings Europe, Middle East Africa and Latin America at Convestro (origionally Bayer Material Science AG) and has over 30 years of leadership and technical engineering experience with the organization in the area of textile coloring, coating and polyurethane coagulation. These experiences together with his assignments in Leverkusen, Germany and in Milan, Italy have developed a profound knowledge of the technical and market aspects in polyurethane coatings for textiles.

  • Alex Michine

    CEO MetGen

    Alex Michine is the CEO of MetGen, a Finnish SME which  is empowering industries to get most out of biomass through enzymatic solutions. MetGen designs and produces various industrial enzymes tailored to harsh industrial conditions. Before founding MetGen Alex was CEO of Metkinen Chemistry and Metkinen.

    Alex has a broad range of expertise in biotechnology, cleantech and pulp & paper sectors

    • Finland
  • Michael-Jean Nettersheim

    Investment Manager BASF VC

    Michael Nettersheim joined BASF Venture Capital in August 2011. Prior to joining BASF Michael served as a Senior Investment Manager at Europe’s largest seed fund HGTF (Germany). He started his career at MediGene AG, , a publicly listed biotech company in Germany, where he held the position as a Director Corporate Finance and Investor Relations. He is a Director of Renmatix Inc. (USA) and SLIPS Technologies Inc. (USA). Former Board assignments include NanoH2O (USA) and DataLase (UK).

    Michael was awarded a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Bonn. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program and is also a Certified Biotech Analyst for the German Association of Financial Analysis and Asset Management (DVFA).

  • Prof. Kevin O Connor

    Professor and Head of Microbiology University College Dublin

    Professor Kevin O Connor is a member of the school of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the Earth Institute at University College Dublin, Ireland.  He is chairperson of the scientific committee for the public private partnership Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a member of the European Commission biobased products expert group and a previous member of European Commission committee entitled the “lead market initiative for Bio-based products (2008-2011).  His research interests are integrated biorefining, Biobased chemicals, biodegradable polymers, biocatalysis and protein engineering.

    Professor O Connor has published over 85 international peer review articles and made of over 170 contributions (presentations and posters) at national and International conferences. He has filed 8 patents and successfully licensed 3 technologies resulting from his research work.  Professor Kevin O’ Connor is the founder of Bioplastech a university spin out company endeavouring to commercialise the conversion of residues and biobased resources to biodegradable polymers.

  • Hadyn Parry

    Vice President Corporate Development, Europe Intrexon

    Hadyn has more than 25 years of management experience in life sciences and agribusiness industries. Prior to his current role as Vice President Corporate Development Europe, Intrexon Corporation, Hadyn was CEO of Oxitec Limited, taking the company from an early start up, through product development to exit and into the commercialisation phase. Oxitec is the global pioneer in using genetic engineering to combat mosquito vectors of Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika. Hadyn began his career with ICI/Zeneca/Syngenta, in a variety of management roles including being CEO of ICI Portugal, CEO of the SES group of companies, being a founding director of Advanta, one of the largest global seeds companies and then leading Zeneca’s crop biotechnology business.  Outside of his career Hadyn was also Chairman of Help for Heroes that supports wounded British soldiers, from its foundation in 2007 through to 2013.

  • Dr Neil Parry

    Research Programme Director – Biotechnology Science Leader Unilever Research and Development

    Neil obtained his first degree in Biology at Portsmouth University in 1993. In his final year he majored in enzymology and this sparked the interest here and shaped his resulting career. Neil completed his PhD in Industrial Biotechnology in 96 involving every aspect of the protein engineering cycle and this provided the opportunity to work in a number of EU labs and industry groups as part of the consortium.

    In Unilever Neil worked on enzymes and protein technology for the chemical businesses and the antibody company Unipath. He held project leader posts in Biorecognition and Life Sciences divisions and was part of teams making key inventions in exploitation of protein domains in industrial applications. Following sale of Unipath, he had a role in Life Sciences as science leader biotechnology with a focus on intervention technologies for a range of HPC categories and a wider range of bio based materials. Also during this time he jointly established a spin out company with Unilever Ventures for applications of biomolecules in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry.

    In 2005 / 06 Neil moved to the Unilever Port Sunlight R&D lab to lead the Biotechnology expertise and science area with closer business and open innovation partner interactions and support the categories in advancing new technologies. His current teams comprise of both scientists located internally and externally with collaborators.

    In 2012, Neil took on the additional R&D programme director role leading Biotechnology & Biosourcing.  This has the strong bias in the discovery for new biotechnologies and green chemistries for opportunities in Unilever’s portfolio.

     Neil is an inventor on 30+ patents and holds posts on external advisory boards in Industrial Biotechnology (European Union etc).

  • Babette Pettersen

    Chief Business Development Officer Capricorn Venture Partners

    Babette is Chief Business Development Officer at Capricorn Venture Partners. Capricorn is an independent European manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative European companies with technology as the competitive advantage. Capricorn is currently raising it’s 6th venture capital fund, the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund (CSCF), a technology-focused venture fund for next generation feedstocks, chemicals and materials, which will focus on innovative companies with novel or bio-chemical technology.

    Before joining Capricorn, Babette was the Chief Commercial Officer for BioAmber Inc., a market leader in bio-based succinic acid and a pioneer in renewable chemicals. Prior to BioAmber, Babette led new business development for Performance Materials at Royal DSM, before which she held Marketing & New Business Development roles in different industry groups for over 20 years at Dow Corning. Babette started her career in the Healthcare Industry with Baxter Travenol.

    Babette has a BSc in Biology from Wellesley College, USA and an MBA from INSEAD, France.  She is an advisor to the Agenda to Mainstream Green Chemistry with the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3), and a member of Club L, Women’s Professional network, Women on Board, and 20-first, dedicated to exploring the economic power and potential of a more gender-balanced business world.

    • Belgium
  • Jim Philp

    Policy Analyst OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)

    Jim Philp (PhD) is a microbiologist who has worked as a policy analyst since 2011 at the OECD, specialising in industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology and biomass sustainability. He was an academic for about sixteen years researching environmental and industrial biotechnology: bioremediation, biosensors, wastewater science and engineering. He became involved with various UK government initiatives in biotechnology, such as Biotechnology Means Business, and BioWise. He was a coordinator of the LINK Bioremediation Programme, at the academic-industrial interface for about six years. In all he spent 8.5 years working for Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia as an oil biotechnologist, investigating field problems related to chemistry and microbiology, and developing biotechnology solutions for improved oil recovery and exploitation. He has authored over 300 articles. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2015, and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 2016.  

  • Dr Stephan Piotrowski

    Agricultural Economist nova-Institute GmbH

    Dr. Stephan Piotrowski has a background in agricultural science and received his doctoral degree from the University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart, Germany) at the Chair for Rural Development Theory and Policy. His dissertation on sustainable land use in China was conducted in a Sino-German research group. He has broad international experience in agriculture and the economics of value chain management in the agri-food sector.

     Since 2008, he is staff scientist at the nova-Institute in Hürth, Germany, where his main areas of work include the techno-economic evaluation of novel industrial processes and market research for fossil and renewable raw materials, food and feed markets and bio-based products. Dr. Piotrowski has been working in numerous projects, e.g. for the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, on the assessment of the European bioeconomy in terms of biomass use and effects on employment and value added. 

  • Janez Potočnik

    Co-Chair UNEP International Resource Panel - IRP

    Dr Janez Potočnik (1958) graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993) . He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by London Imperial College and by Ghent University in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration by Findland Aalto University in 2016. After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994). He was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as "shadow Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. His term ended on November the 1st 2014. In November 2014 he was appointed for a three-year term as a member and Co-Chair of International resource Panel hosted by United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month he was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council.   

  • Dhivya Puri

    Senior Technical Lead, Research and Development Fiberight Ltd

    Dhivya Puri is the Senior Technical Lead in Research and Development for Fiberight Ltd, an innovative waste-to-IB products company. Dhivya has worked with the UK and US based start-up for the past 6 years and her current role involves developing and overseeing a number of R&D activities within the company.

    Dhivya has worked in biotechnology related fields over the last 9 years, this has involved roles in academia, the sugar industry and the waste industry. Dhivya obtained her PhD from the University of Southampton, UK and a Masters in Chemical Engineering and Bachelors in Science (Genetics) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. 

  • Nils Rettenmaier

    Senior Scientist and Project Manager IFEU - Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg

    Nils Rettenmaier is a senior scientist and project manager at IFEU, which he joined in 2006. Having earned his degree in Geoecology at the University of Bayreuth, his main working fields at IFEU are life cycle assessments (LCA) for biofuels/bioenergy, bio-based products and food, biomass resource assessments, and sustainability criteria. Over the past years, Nils was involved in numerous projects on national and EU level and has led work packages on integrated sustainability assessment. He is member of several panels (e.g. VDI guideline committee 6310 and CEN/TC 411/WG 4) and chairs the DIN committee NA 172-00-11 AA 'Bio-based products' since January 2016.

  • Xavier Roussel

    CEO SurfactGreen

    Xavier Roussel is CEO and co-owner of SurfactGreen, a french start-up specialized in 100% biosourced surfactants. Xavier has worked in the chemical, parachemical, and agrofood industries for over 20 years and held various international leadership positions in Sales, Marketing and Operations. His last position was Managing Director for the EMEA and APAC regions for a US based fine chemistry industry. Xavier holds an M.SC. in business development from Rouen NEOMA Business School, and an Executive MBA from INSEAD.

  • Tine Schaerlaekens

    Catalyst Catalisti

    Tine Schaerlaekens is a Bio-engineer from KULeuven with a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences. After working several years as a researcher at the same university and at VIB in the field of Industrial Biotechnology, she joined the Belgian sector federation of the Chemical and Life Sciences industry, essenscia, as an expert in Biobased Economy. Currently, she combines a job as Sr. Advisor Innovation Policy at essenscia with a job as Catalyst at Catalisti. Catalisti is the Flemish innovation cluster of the chemical and plastics industry. 

  • Dr Pierre-Alain Schieb

    President Backcasting SAS

    Dr Pierre-Alain Schieb (a French national) is President of Backcasting SAS (a strategic foresight consultancy firm), Consultant to the OECD and President of the Strategic Orientation Board of INEDEV SAS (the international arm of the INERIS, France).

    From 2013 to 2015, he launched the Industrial Bioeconomy Chair at Reims Management School, now NEOMA Business School, and contributed to the deployment of the CEBB (European Center on Biotechnology and Bioeconomy).

    From 1994 until April 2013, he was Counsellor in  the Directorate of Science, Technology and Industry of the OECD, which manages the International Futures Programme, the OECD’s strategic foresight unit. He was in charge of the International Futures Network, and Head of OECD Futures Projects, such as the projects on Bioeconomy 2030 (OECD, Publishing 2019).

  • Mateus Schreiner G. Lopes

    Head of Innovation in Renewable Technologies Braskem

    Mateus Schreiner Garcez Lopes, PhD, MBA serves as Global Manager of Innovation in Renewable Technologies at Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in Americas and considered as one of the world´s 50 Innovative companies by Fast Company (2014). He is responsible for technology valuation, partnerships, open innovation and R&D projects related with renewable technologies, including the Renewable Chemicals Research Center in Campinas. He had worked at the Natural Energy Institute (USA) and the Institute of Biotechnology from UNAM (Mexico). He has published dozens of international articles, has issued patents on new metabolic pathways and is serving as an industrial board member for Synberc (Synthetic Biology Research Center - USA).

  • Bernardo Silva

    Executive President Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association

    Bernardo Silva was appointed Executive President of the Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association (ABBI) in January 2015. Prior to joining ABBI, Bernardo worked at the World Economic Forum headquarters in Cologny, Switzerland, overseeing corporate and membership affairs in South America. He also served in a variety of government affairs and policy advocacy roles within the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), and with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Brasilia, Brazil.

    Bernardo earned his MA degree from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a MBA from Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV), and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Bernardo was also the first Brazilian to ever be accepted as a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum.

  • Maggie Smallwood

    CEO BioVale

    Maggie studied Biochemistry and Microbiology followed by a PhD in Plant Science at the University of Leeds. After a spell with a spin out company in the early nineties she joined the University of York to develop and manage large strategic research collaborations with industry focused on high value compounds from plants.  In 2014 she joined with colleagues in industry, local government and academia to start the BioVale Innovation Cluster. This promotes Yorkshire and the Humber as a thriving centre of successful innovation for the bioeconomy and helps regional enterprise profit from the valuable business opportunities in this high growth sector. Maggie is now CEO of BioVale.

  • Tom Stephenson

    Chief Commercial Officer Zymergen

    At Zymergen, Tom oversees all commercial interactions with clients, including sales and business development. Previously, Tom spent 20 years with McKinsey & Company serving technology, industrial and private equity clients on the full range of commercial topics – from sales force effectiveness to value selling, pricing and more. Tom has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Sean Sutcliffe

    Chief Executive Green Biologics Ltd

    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 You Broadband, an Indian ISP and an advisory board member of The Rainbow Seed Fund, a UK government funded early stage venture capital fund.

    • United Kingdom
  • Nick Thompson

    Managing Director Fiberight

    Nick has led Fiberight's R&D and process development since 2008 and is responsible for its global R&D budget, including process development activities (self-funded and publicly funded). Nick is responsible for the operation of Fiberight's pilot plant in the USA, having overseen the design and scale-up phases. Prior to this Nick held a number of senior technical, operational and commercial positions, providing him with a unique skill set to lead Fiberight's business.

  • Tom van Aken

    CEO Avantium

    Mr. T.B. Van Aken has been Chief Executive Officer of the Company (CEO) since February 2006 (effective as of December 2005). In 2002, he joined the Company as Vice President of Business Development. In March 2004, he became Vice President of Global Marketing & Sales and a member of the Management Board, followed by his appointment as CEO per December 2005. Before joining the Group, Mr. Van Aken held numerous commercial positions at DSM in the Netherlands and in New Jersey, United States. Mr. Van Aken holds a master’s degree in chemistry from Utrecht University. 

  • Will van den Tweel

    Venture Manager Canola/Rapeseed Protein DSM

    Will van den Tweel currently is the Manager of the Canola/Rapeseed Protein Venture within DSM Innovation Center.

    DSM’s, CanolaPROTM is a novel plant-based protein isolate with a high nutritional value, neutral taste and excellent functional properties, including high solubility.

    All this combined in one protein, makes it the plant protein of choice for a variety of applications. CanolaPROTM. No compromise.

    After getting his PhD in 1988 from the Agricultural University in Wageningen (The Netherlands) in the area of Biotechnology, Will joined DSM in the Netherlands. At DSM he held various international management positions in Research, Business Development and Business Management, and contributed to the commercialization of multiple sustainable biobased processes. 

  • Rob van der Meij

    Investment Manager Capricorn Venture Partners

    Rob is Chemical Engineer from the Technical University of Delft, the Netherland and has worked over 20 years in the chemical and refining catalysts industry (Akzo Nobel, Shell Chemicals, Gemini Consulting), in business and technology management roles before becoming a start up entrepreneur in Clean Tech since 2008. He has been involved as founder, CEO, Board member and private investor of  several start-ups in the field of bio-fuels, chemical separation technology and water technology. Rob is an Investment Manager for Capricorn's new Sustainable Chemistry Fund.

  • Adri van der Waals

    Director of Marketing & Sales DSM Coating Resins

    Adri holds a PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Nijmegen (NL), and is with DSM in various business development and commercial roles for more than 20 years. He is currently Director of Marketing & Communications at DSM Coating Resins and as such also involved in commercialization of Decovery® plant-based resins.

  • Robert van Loo

    Senior Scientist Wageningen University and Research

    Robert van Loo is currently Senior Scientist at Wageningen University and Research. 

  • Mariagiovanna Vetere

    Global Public Affairs Manager NatureWorks LLC

    As NatureWorks Global Public Affairs Manager, Mariagiovanna represents the company on public and legislative affairs.  Her responsibilities include product cradle-to-cradle options, feedstock sustainability aspects, and interfacing with relevant industry associations and external stakeholders.     

    Mariagiovanna brings a strong background well suited to this space, having spent the last 10 years at COREPLA, the Italian consortium for Plastics Packaging Collection, Recycling and Recovery.  She brings an extensive network and relationships in the European plastics industry associations, as well as practical experience in how EU directives set at the Brussels level translate into actions at the EU country level.   She has previous experience with consulting company KPMG where her focus was Business Process Reengineering.   

    Mariagiovanna has a master degree in Economics.  

  • Guillaume Wegria

    Managing Director FYTEKO

    Guillaume is the co-founder and managing director of Fyteko, a young innovative company focusing on fighting the impact of climate change on crops using novel bioactives. Previously, Guillaume worked for 8 years in the biotech department of a Belgian Research Center where he led numerous research programs. After completing his bioengineer degree with a Master in Management, Guillaume began his entrepreneurial journey 3 years ago by funding Fyteko with Dr Cabrera (R&D director of fyteko).

  • Monique Wekking

    Sr. Business Development Manager Bio-based TNO - Biorizon Shared Research Center

    Monique Wekking is Sr. business development manager at TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied scientific research. She works for and with businesses on the flexibility in use of raw materials for the chemical industry to produce more sustainably and be less dependent fossil building blocks. Her main focus is on Shared Research Center Biorizon, which is initiated by TNO, VITO and Green Chemistry Campus which she will present during this conference.

    She has 8 years’ experience in a company for cleaning agents, including initiating in a new business line there, subsequently she has been Innovation Consultant for SME’s active in biobased and chemistry and she is now working for TNO since 3 years.

    Monique has a MSc in Organic Chemistry from University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

  • Harmen Willemse

    Consultant Bio-based Economy NEN - Netherlands Standardization Institute

    Harmen Willemse is a consultant at NEN, the Netherlands Standardization Institute. He is the secretary of the CEN Technical Committee 'Bio-based products' (CEN/TC 411). In this position he supports the development of European standards for various aspects of bio-based products, including sustainability and determination of bio-based content.

    His other field of activity is the development and management of certification schemes. These include the Better Biomass (NTA 8080) sustainable biomass certificate and the Biobased Content certificate (EN 16785-1:2015).

    Before NEN, Harmen worked as a management consultant and as a sales professional in several companies in the IT and management consultancy sector. Harmen studied Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he graduated on stakeholder involvement in standardization.

  • Carl Wolf

    VP, Europe Lanzatech

    Carl Wolf is Vice President, Europe for LanzaTech. He joined LanzaTech in 2011 and has worked in various roles within the company, including project management, government relations, and business development and strategy.  Now based in London, Carl leads LanzaTech’s Europe activities, including existing collaborations, new business development, and government relations.  Prior to LanzaTech,Carl was a consultant at BCS, Incorporated, where he worked with environmental and energy sector clients, including the US Department of Energy’s International and Biotechnologies Offices.