Workshop CHAIRS

Chief of the Agricultural Development Unit of the UN Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC), one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations, Headquartered in Santiago, Chile.  Mr. Rodriguez studied Economics (Lic.) at the University of Costa Rica and Agricultural Economics and Environmental Economics (MSc. and Ph.D) at the Pennsylvania State University. He has served as Rural Development Specialist at the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), Senior Advisor to the Costa Rican Minister of National Planning, Professor in the School of Economics, University of Costa Rica, and as consultant in several Latin American countries.

Ahmed Fahmi is the program specialist in the life and chemical sciences at UNESCO. Before joining UNESCO, he was a university lecturer in biochemistry at the University of London. He worked in South Asia and the Asia Pacific region on managing and coordinating the execution of the Basic Sciences, Engineering and Science Policy program of UNESCO and was a visiting professor at the United Nations University in Tokyo. He is currently involved in the establishment of UNESCO centers of excellence and in establishing public private partnership in scientific research for Africa. He has a PhD in biophysics from the University of Cambridge.     

Josef Glössl is Professor of Applied Genetics at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) and served as Vice Rector for Research and International Research Collaboration of BOKU 2010 - 2018. He is Chair of the Bioeconomy Committee of ICA (Association for European Life Sciences Universities). 2000 - 2008 he was a member of the Board of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Since 2015 he is Chair of the Assembly of Delegates of the FWF. He was founding board member and President of the Austrian Association of Molecular Life Sciences and Biotechnology (ÖGMBT), where he is currently the Vice President. 

Bjørn Tore Erdal is senior adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat (NCMS) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Nordic Council of Ministers is the formal cooperation of the governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as Aland, Faroe Islands and Greenland. Bjørn holds an M.A. in International Relations from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He has previously worked for the Norwegian Ministry for Trade, Industry and Fisheries. Before taking up his position at NCMS, he worked as a counsellor at the Norwegian Mission to the EU in Brussels, Belgium.

Professor Achim Dobermann is the Director & Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research in the UK, where he provides leadership for a wide range of research programs that aim to develop solutions for the sustainable intensification of agricultural systems. He has over 30 years of research experience from all world regions. Before joining Rothamsted Research in 2014, he served as Deputy Director General at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). As a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Professor Dobermann contributes to implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals. He is an Editor of the international journal Global Food Security.

Stefan Bringezu is Professor for Sustainable Resource Management and director at the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) at University of Kassel. There he heads the Sustainable Resource Futures (SURF) group. He is member of the International Resource Panel. His main subject is the multi-scale analysis of the socio-industrial metabolism and related land use, the indicators of sustainability and the implementation of the SDGs, modelling the bioeconomy, assessing innovative technologies such as CCU, and life-cycle-based assessments of infrastructures.

PhD in Chemical Sciences, National University of Buenos Aires, 1981
B.A.  in Biochemestry , National University of Buenos Aires, 1974
Current Position: Executive Coordinator of Sciences and Technology at MINCyT, Principal Researcher, National Council for Scientific and Technical Research.
Consulting Professor, National University of Buenos Aires
Fields: Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Plant Virology

Anne-Hélène Mathey is the Acting Director of the Economic Analysis Division of the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada. She currently leads a team of economists, engineers, and policy analysts who conduct economic, techno-economic and policy analysis (from fibre to market) with the goal to establish a solid foundation for Canadian forest sector policy decisions, including bioenergy and biorefining pathways. Anne-Hélène has a Masters in Forest Science and a PhD in Management and Planning.  She started her career at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry working on the design of decision support systems for the forest sector.

Fabio Fava (1963) is Full Professor of “Industrial & Environmental Biotechnology” at the University of Bologna (Italy) since 2005. He has more than 130 papers on peer-reviewed international journals in the fields of the Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology. He is the Italian Representative in the OECD Working Party on “Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies" and at the European Commission in various projects (e.g. Horizon2020 Programming Committee “Bioeconomy”). Finally, he is the scientific coordinator of the Italian Bioeconomy Strategy and of the International Exhibition on Green and Circular Economy ECOMONDO (Rimini, Italy).      

Maritta Koch-Weser has a distinguished career spanning four decades in international development, as anthropologist, environmentalist, and social entrepreneur. She has field experience in Latin America, South & East Asia, and in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Koch-Weser worked as social scientist and in managerial positions at the World Bank and subsequently as Director General of IUCN -The World Conservation Union. Maritta Koch-Weser is Founder and President of Earth3000, a non-profit organization supporting strategic innovations in governance for environment and development. She leads a program on contemporary Amazonia in Brazil, and member of Supervisory and Advisory Boards of several international NGOs.

Yoshiyuki Fujishima, D.Phil., is a Director in Japan Bioindustry Association. His role includes policy proposal to Japanese government in biotechnology industrial promotion, participate in negotiation at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in the area of synthetic biology. He had worked for Ajinomoto Co. Inc., for over 20 years in the area of R&D especially in amino acid physiology, functional food clinical development, food taste and texture improvement as well as managerial position in research labs for budget management and external research collaboration. His academic background includes polymeric material application for artificial organs in Japan, antibiotics biosynthesis, structural analysis of proteins at University of Oxford, UK.

Pedro Luiz Oliveira de Almeida Machado is the Coordinator of the Embrapa Labex Europe Program based in Montpellier, France.  The Labex Program is present in the US, Europe and Asia and aims at an optimised scientific partnership for knowledge sharing and research network built-up. PhD in Soil Science combined with many years of experience in the Brazilian low-carbon agriculture, Pedro Machado now fits into vacant spaces between research, extension and policy.  He has large experience in carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems, conservation agriculture, precision farming, nutrient cycling, and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.  Recent work has included sustainable metrics, energy balance and carbon footprint.

Julius Ecuru, PhD, is an interdisciplinary scientist and researcher. He works on issues related to technological innovation and industrial competitiveness in Africa. His focus is on the theory and practice of sectoral and regional innovation systems, innovative clusters and innovation policies (especially in health, agriculture and environment) that foster sustainable development. Julius also contributes scholarly works in the chemical and bioengineering sciences, and supports regulatory science and research ethics capacity development. His current research interests include interactive learning models, which make universities and related institutions more productive and catalytic mechanisms for innovation, growth and social development.  

Jan Börner is an agricultural and environmental economist with applied research experience in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. He is Professor for Economics of Sustainable Land Use and Bioeconomy at the University of Bonn and Steering Committee member of the German United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (G - SDSN). His current research agenda expands from environmental policy analysis towards the role of global trade and consumption patterns in affecting ecosystem services provision from ecologically sensitive landscapes.  

Harry Baumes was appointed by the Chief Economist Director in December 2010. For the four years prior, he served as the Associate Director. Dr. Baumes served a partial detail to the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office serving as a Senior Executive Advisor to the director (August 2015 - April 2016). In addition to administrative and management responsibilities, he focuses on renewable energy and bioeconomy policy and evaluation. Dr. Baumes chairs the Bioeconomy Council Coordinating Committee at the USDA which coordinates renewable energy, heat and power, and biobased product-related activities among USDA agencies and performs duties as assigned.    

Ruben G. Echeverría
Currently Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT-CGIAR). CIAT has a global research for development mandate related to sustainable food systems, including crop biodiversity and productivity, management of natural resources, climate change, ecosystem services and policy analysis. Ruben studied Agronomy at the University of Uruguay (B.Sc.) and Agriculture and Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota (M.Sc. and Ph.D.). He worked on agricultural research policy issues and capacity building in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, based at ISNAR (CGIAR) in The Hague. He worked for 15 years at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, and for 5 years as Executive Director of the Science Council of CGIAR in Rome.

Morakot Tanticharoen completed her post-graduate at the University of Rhode Island in USA. She has served as Dean of the School of Bioresources and Technology, as well as the School of Energy and Materials at KMUTT. She has been active member and working on the executive of several societies and organizations, as well as serving on the editorial board of a number of noted international journals. Morakot was BIOTEC Director from 2000 – 2008. and also served as Chairman of the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Biotechnology (SCB), from 2005- 2008. She is now the senior advisor to NSTDA President, KMUTT President and the Professor Emeritus at the School of Bioresources and Technology.  

Masahiro Uemura is currently in charge of promotion of bio-industry as Director for Bio-industry Division, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan. He began his career with the Government of Japan in 1993 and has over 20 years of policy making experience in various fields such as energy, service industry, environment and recycling, lifestyle industry, small and medium enterprise policy, cybersecurity policy and IT industry.  

Ulrich Schurr was the founding director of the Institute of Plant Sciences at Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany). He held numerous positions in national and international science institutions and coordinated major scientific programs e.g. the European Technology Platform Plants for the Future, the Helmholtz Program Key Technologies for the Bioeconomy. He is the coordinator of the Bioeconomy Science Centre (BioSC) – an institution focussing on integrated bioeconomy solutions based on research in Sustainable plant production and resource stewardship, Microbial and molecular transformation, Microbial and molecular transformation and Economy and social implications. He coordinates national and international programs in plant phenotyping and integrated bioeconomy.

Waldemar Kütt is Head of Unit "Bioeconomy Strategy" in the Bioeconomy Directorate of DG Research and Innovation in the European Commission which coordinates bioeconomy research programmes and policy strategy. From 2012-2014 he was Head of Unit of "Bio-based Products and Processing" in the same directorate. From May 2008 to November 2014 he held various positions as senior expert, Deputy and Head of Cabinet in the Cabinet of Research Commissioners Potočnik and Geoghegan-Quinn. His main responsibilities included the €80billion new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. He holds a doctor's degree in physics from the Technical University Aachen, Germany. 

Ben Durham is Chief Director: Bio-innovation at the National Department of Science and Technology in South Africa. His responsibilities included theimplementation of the South African Bio-economy Strategy, launched in January 2014, and he now is overseeing implementation of the four themes of Agricultural, Health, Industry and Environment, and Indigenous Knowledge, together with system implementation. Ultimately the purpose is to developand improve the efficiencies of the National System of Innovation, ensuring socio-economic benefits to the broader society.

Andy Haines has been a Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine since 2001. He was Dean for nearly 10 years until October 2010. His research interests currently focus on the linkages between health and natural systems and the health (co)benefits of ‘low carbon’ policies, including sustainable healthy cities and food systems. He has been a member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (for the 2nd,3rd and 5th assessment reports) and the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research. He is currently a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Leadership Council, the Scientific Advisory Panel of the UNEP-hosted Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Rockefeller Council on the Economics of Planetary Health.

Jos Lelieveld received a PhD from the University of Utrecht (1990). He was at Stockholm University (1991), the University of California, San Diego (1992), and became professor in air quality at Wageningen University in 1993, and in atmospheric physics at Utrecht University in 1995. Since 2000 he is director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz. He is also professor at the University of Mainz and the Cyprus Institute. He is a member of the German national academy of sciences Leopoldina, of international societies, and received many distinctions. His research addresses atmospheric chemistry, air quality and climate.

Eduardo Trigo is currently Director of Grupo CEO and is Scientific Adviser for International Relations at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Argentina, and as such he represents his country in the biotechnology platform of the MERCOSUR countries, BioTecSur. In the past he has served as Director of Science and Technology at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA, and as Director of Research at the International Service for National Agricultural Research, ISNAR. He was also active as consultant in the area of science and technology policy, with emphasis in biotechnology applications to the agricultural and food sector.

Olivier Dubois is Senior Rural Institutions Officer and Coordinator of the Bioenergy Group within the Climate, Energy and Tenure Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He has worked on land use intensification, forest management, and institutional aspects of rural development in more than 40 countries, through both long-term assignments for instance with the Belgian Cooperation Agency and FAO, and several short-term missions, including the World Bank and the European Commission. Mr. Dubois has a Masters in Agronomy, certificates in Tropical Agriculture, Rural Economics and Sociology from the Faculty of Agronomy of Gembloux, Belgium, and a Masters in Environmental Management from the European Community Environment Programme.

Johannes Vogel is General Director of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin and Professor of Biodiversity and Public Science at the Humboldt Universität, Berlin. Mr. Vogel received a Ph.D. in the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge and the Department of Botany, Natural History Museum, London, where he went on to become Keeper of Botany. His research has focused on evolutionary biology and citizen science and his interests include developing dynamic, adaptive, entrepreneurial scientific organizations, and creating and sustaining robust knowledge communities and public engagement with science. Mr. Vogel has been vice chairman of the German Bioeconomy Council since 2012.

David Babson is the Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment in the Office of the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. David is on detail and is a Technology Manager in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). Before BETO he was a Senior Fuels Engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. David received a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Matthias Braun is representing „Industrial Affairs Active Ingredients“ at the Board of Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH. In addition to that he has held the position as Vice President Continous Improvement und Lean Management for Chemistry & Bio Chemistry between 2012. Most recently he has taken over the Coordination of an Efficiency Program for all Industrial Affairs in Frankfurt Germany. Matthias Braun started his career after obtaining a PhD in Chemsitry from the University of Mainz at Hoechst AG in 1992. He has held several positions in Process Development in Europe and USA and support functions bevor he was assigned as Head of the production Chemistry in Frankfurt. He has been appointed as Regional head for Chemistry in 2005 (Germany, Italy, India). Also In 2005 he was appointed Board Member in the legal entity of Germany, a position which holds still today In 2012 he became responsible for Lean Management Implementation in Chemistry& Biochemistry. Since 2012 he is also chairing the industry association for Biotech industry in Germany (Deutschen Industrievereinigung Biotechnologie, DIB).

Steve Csonka is the Executive Director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, an industry partnership fostering the development and commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF). CAAFI engages in public-private-partnership activities designed to assist in bringing together the group of participants needed to stand up an entirely new industrial sector. Steve is a commercial aviation professional with 32 years of experience. For the last decade, Steve has been a strong industry advocate who has worked in roles of developing pragmatic solutions to the challenges of aviation growth, and that interest led him to the accepting the current CAAFI role in 2012.

Rafi Wertheim is, since 2009, Professor for Mechanical Engineering at the IWU.Fraunhofer in Chemnitz and served as head of the Machining Technology Department. Since 2015, he is Fraunhofer Senior Advisor in Israel. From 2014, teaching Mechanical Engineering at Braude College, Karmiel, Israel, ISCAR Manager of engineering from 1975 to 2003, including production, legal proprietary, international instruction and R&D. Active in CIRP, the international Academy for Production Engineering, and served as the President in 2001- 2002. Mayor of the town Qiryat Bialik in Israel from 2003 to 2008. Received his Dr -Ing. Production Engineering from the RWTH Aachen (1975), B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion, Israel.

Gerry is a Senior Advisor to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (and Advisor to the President), Munich, Germany. In 2017, he acted as Principal Investigator on a Fraunhofer project entitled “Biologicalisation in Manufacturing”. He holds an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding international contribution as an innovator in engineering. He was awarded the Gold Ring of the German Society of Engineering (VDI) in recognition of his insights into the fundamentals of material removal processes. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Taylor Research Medal of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in recognition of outstanding research contributions. In 2017 he was awarded the Taler Medal for his international contribution to applied R&D and Innovation.

Erika Van Neste is the Deputy Director of Bioeconomy Policy at the Canadian federal Department responsible for Agriculture and Agri-Food (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, or AAFC). She manages a diverse team who work on all aspects of policy related to the Canadian agricultural bioeconomy, with an empahsis on industrial applications of agricultural production in the areas off biofuels, bioenery, biomaterials and bioechmicals. Her career in the Canadian public service has included various roles in the Agriculture and Environment portfolios, working on issues related to emerging technologies and biotechnologies in agriculture, as well as species at risk conservation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences (Genomics) from the University of Ottawa.