Advisory Board

EFIB organisers are working with the following panel of industry experts to shape the 2017 conference agenda to ensure that all the most pressing issues are addressed:

  • Dr Dirk Carrez

    Executive Director Bio-based Industries Consortium

    Dirk Carrez is the Managing Director of Clever Consult, a consulting firm dedicated to all aspects of the biobased economy, and Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), the private partner in the €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership on Bio-based Industries (BBI) with the EU. 

    Dirk is bioengineer and holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. He has worked at SOLVAY S.A. in the research department, at the Belgian Federation for the Life Sciences and Chemical Industry as Director Innovation & Product Policy and as Secretary-general of the Belgian Biotechnology Industry Association, and has been Director Industrial Biotechnology at EuropaBio.

    Dirk Carrez is also a member of the Board of and member of the European Commission’s Expert Group for Biobased Products.

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

    Tjerk de Ruiter

    CEO Corbion N.V.

    Tjerk de Ruiter (55) 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 Marc Delcourt

    CEO Global Bioenergies

    After his scientific training (Ecole Normale Supérieure, PhD in Molecular Biology), Marc Delcourt turned to business creation in the field of industrial biotechnology. Marc Delcourt has co-founded the company Global Bioenergies in 2008, and serves as its CEO since then.

  • Prof. Ludo Diels

    Department of Research and Innovation University of Antwerp

    Prof. Ludo Diels, Dr. in chemistry & biotechnology, works  at the University of Antwerp, and is research manager Sustainable Chemistry for the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Mol, Belgium. 

    During 15 year he managed the Environment and Process Technology Business Unit and is now responsible for the transition toward sustainable chemistry and clean technology.   He is responsible for  the organisation of collaboration with the academic and industrial World and for co-financing projects. He coordinated and is involved in many international research projects. Ludo Diels is strongly involved in the set up of a biobased economy in Flanders. He is also responsible for the collaboration between VITO and India and he is managing the creation of a road map and Strategic Research Agenda for R&D on biomass and biowaste between India and Europe. He is a founding father of the Shared Research Centre on Bioaromatics (BIORIZON) between the Netherlands and Flanders. He is also founder of the BIG-C trilateral alliance between Flanders, the Netherlands and NordRhein Westfalia (Germany), focusing on a border denying collaboration for the chemical industry with focus on waste gases and biomass as renewable resources .

    Process intensification and the partial replacement of fossil based resources by biomass-based and renewable resource form the basis for the Sustainable Chemistry  Development.  The integration of waste (including also waste gases as CO2 and H2) and wastewater management and technologies are key in the development of a sustainable World. In this way he also was on the basis of the ANDICOS™ concept, a combined waste and wastewater treatment system leading to reduced energy consumption in water treatment and production.

    He is the chairman of the working group FEED in the Energy and Resources  PPP-SPIRE  between 8 industrial sectors and the European Commission) and member of the SPIRE-BBI working group.  

  • Tom Domen

    Global Head of Long Term Innovation ecover / method

    Tom Domen graduated in 1996 with a Master in Industrial Design. In 2007, he completed a Masters in Sustainable Development at the University of Brussels. With his MA in Sustainable Technology for Eastern Africa, he received the yearly Award for Innovative Technology from the Chamber of Engineers.

    He started working for Philips in packaging innovation after which he worked for 5 years as a marketing and communication specialist at Panasonic.

    Tom has been working for Ecover/Method for 10 years, where he is responsible for the long term innovation strategy and sustainability for the different categories of Ecover/Method products (laundry, cleaning, dishwashing, home care and personal care). Getting inspiration out of biomimicry and system thinking, he has been laying out an ambitious roadmap for the company to inspire transformative change towards a restorative business model. Tom is also a member of the board of Kringwinkel, a Belgian organisation that gives a second life to what otherwise would be waste.

  • Joanna Dupont Inglis

    Director, Industrial Biotechnology EuropaBio

    Joanna Dupont Inglis has been Director, 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. 

  • Dr Kaya Kaplancali

    COO Bioserie

    Kaya Kaplancali has an MBA degree from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. degree in Business Administration from Marmara University, Istanbul. He has over 20 years of track record in business development and entrepreneurship, 14 years of it primarily in China and Hong Kong. He has extensive international business experience working with multinational companies as well as academic research background in networked business models. Kaya has published conference papers in China, India and Japan in 2006 and 2007, in affiliation with Product Development and Management Association, based in New Jersey, USA. He regularly participates in bioplastics industry conferences as a speaker on durable consumer product applications of bioplastics. 

    In 2009 Kaya founded Bioserie with three close friends, a Hong Kong based company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing branded durable consumer goods made of bioplastics. His experience in managing design, product development and manufacturing processes and implications of these disciplines on branding has led him to study and understand the essence of working with geographically dispersed, multidisciplinary teams. By managing the R&D process, Kaya was able to develop an innovative manufacturing technology for injection molded bioplastic durable consumer products, which earned him and Bioserie worldwide industry recognition and innovation accolades in USA and Europe. Kaya is the bioplastics technologist in Bioserie, and he currently leads R&D, production and supply chain management efforts.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • Christophe Rupp-Dahlem

    Head of Global Public Affairs Roquette

    In 1990 Christophe Rupp-Dahlem joined Roquette at its global headquarter in Lestrem, Northern France. At Roquette he has held a number of positions within the Business activities. He was notably in charge of the BU Chemicals and Fermentation worldwide. In 2006, as Programs Vice President, he managed the innovative programs related to the plant-based chemistry like the open-innovation consortium for bio based building blocks BioHub®.

    His current role is to lead the Public Affairs activities for the Roquette group worldwide.

    He is in parallel member of the sustainable development committee and member of the Leadership Team.

    In 2008, Christophe Rupp-Dahlem was appointed by the European Commission DG Enterprise as an expert in the ad-hoc advisory group created for the implementation of the Lead Market Initiative for Bio-Based Products. He was as well the French representative in the Bio economy Panel during 3 years.

    Between May 2008 and June 2016, Christophe Rupp-Dahlem was President of the Plant Based Chemistry Association. The ACDV regroups 50 industrial actors along the value chain of the Plant Based Chemistry in France ( He is now Honorary President of the ACDV.

    Christophe Rupp-Dahlem is board member of the competitiveness cluster IAR, the French Bioeconomy Cluster ( )

  • Puneet Trehan

    Material & Innovation Development Leader IKEA

    Puneet Trehan has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering majoring in Metallurgy/Material Science with an MBA in Finance & Operations.

    Mr Trehan has been with IKEA for 17 years, mainly working in supply chain management and business strategy. His main focus over the last 10 years has been in building value chains with strategic partners. One of the areas where IKEA made a significant shift in this time was in building value chain partnerships in sustainability-led business and that is exactly what we are focussing on when it comes to the biobased polymers area.

  • Tom van Aken

    Chief Executive Officer 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.