Confirmed speakers:

Katarína Blicklingová, Bioeconomy Cluster (Slovakia)


Mrs. Katarína Blicklingová has a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. Since 2013 she has been working for the Union of Slovak Clusters as a project manager, dealing with implementation of international projects, development of strategies, studies and analyses related to clusters and cluster policies. She was involved in the establishment of Technology Transfer Centre AgroBioTech of the Slovak University of Agriculture and has experience with evaluation of the Slovak Rural Development Programme. Since 2015, Mrs. Blicklingová is a director of Bioeconomy Cluster (BEC). The main mission of BEC is networking of key players (SMEs, R&D, academia, etc.) in all bioeconomy sectors and promoting innovation and partnerships at national as well as international level.

Topic of presentation: Bioeconomy Cluster – Slovak approach to bioeconomy

Patrizia Circelli, Ciaotech (PNO Innovation BV)


Patrizia Circelli (PhD) is a Innovation management Consultant, contact person in Italy in the field of chemistry and biotech. Master and bachelor’s degree in genomic biotechnology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. PhD in plant biotechnology at the University of Viterbo “La Tuscia”.  More than 10 years’ experience in Research and Innovation EU Projects, including experience on LIFE+ programme, FP7 and others H2020 programmes. Since 2011, she has been involved in supporting International Organisations, Research Centres and companies in writing and developing high-quality FP7, LIFE, H2020, proposals and in fully exploiting their R&D potential.

Apart the support in proposal writing and development, she also took part in several projects, to lead dissemination and exploitation activities, ensuring the project impact among relevant stakeholders, assuring alignment and smooth flows of information and providing close integration with Europe’s research and innovation programmes, platforms and organisations, the projects are reported in the following:  BIOPEN, project funded under the call BBI-2016-S03, Coordinator (May 2017 – November 2019). Accelerating and supporting business development of bio-based industries and downstream sectors. KaRMA2020: (January 2017 – December 2019) (Coordinator: FUNDACION CIDETEC). DEMETER project:  contact person for Ciaotech activities – (August 2016 –  July 2019)  (Coordinator: GENENCOR INTERNATIONAL BV). Indus3Es (October 2015- July 2019) (Coordinator Tecnalia).  REE4EU (October 2015- October 2019) (Coordinator: Sintef). BIO-TIC (August 2012-July 2015) (Coordinator: EuropaBio). BIOMIMETIC (July 2012-June 2015) (Coordinator Procter& Gamble). BIOCHEM – (February 2010- April 2013) (Coordinator Chemistry Innovation – Knowledge Transfer Network).

Round table: Value Chains

James Cogan, Pure Fiber Ltd (Ireland)


James Cogan is a bioenergy and bioeconomy industry and policy analyst.  He develops and manages innovative bioeconomy projects, advises private and public organisations, and engages at national and EU level for the promotion of progressive bioeconomy policy.  James currently works in Dublin, Brussels and Budapest with ClonBio Group Ltd, Europe’s most active bioeconomy investor.  He is an electronics engineer by training and earned an MBA at Trinity College Dublin.

Topic of presentation:  Conventional biofuels still biggest contributor to EU transport decarbonisation


William Cracroft-Eley, Terravesta (UK)


William Cracroft-Eley founded Terravesta in 2011, to deliver rapidly upscalable biomass supply chains from Miscanthus, successfully bridging the different needs of the end-user and the grower. In conjunction with Aberystwyth University, Terravesta’s ongoing plant breeding programme is developing new seed-based Miscanthus hybrids that will maximise our ability to deliver the solutions demanded today for the sustainable achievements of the worlds 2050 goals. Since planting Miscanthus at home in 2006 and realising its excellent potential as a stable farm enterprise on difficult land, William has made it his mission to bring order and transparency to Miscanthus supply. William established Terravesta Ltd to deliver a secure and reliable national contract-based supply chain and develop the market for Miscanthus as the UK’s no.1 energy crop.

Topic of presentation: Think 2050!  Making Miscanthus Meet the Demands of a Fast-Growing Bio-Economy 

Edoardo Croci, Bocconi University (Italy)


Graduated in Economics and Social Sciences at Bocconi University with a specialization at New York University, Edoardo Croci is coordinator of GEO – “Green Economy Observatory” at GREEN – Centre for Research in Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks of Bocconi University, where he also teaches “Carbon Markets and Carbon Management”. He coordinates research activities in several national and European projects on green and circular economy, energy efficiency, smart cities, urban green infrastructures and multi-level governance for energy and climate. He is member of the Thematic Network on Sustainable Cities of UN – SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network). He served as Milan City Deputy Mayor for Mobility, Transport and Environment, President of the Agency for the protection of the Environment of Lombardy Region, Vicepresident of FEDARENE (European Federation of Regional Energy and Environment Agency), and Vicepresident of Italian Agenda 21 Coordination association.

Round table: Biocities and Bioregions

Maria Diaz Navarro, Cluster Food+i (Spain)

Foto Maria

Since joining Cluster FOOD+i in 2016, María Díaz Navarro has been in charge of the organization’s European Projects Unit. She has been especially focused on the development of an appropriate environment for the takeoff of the bio-based sector of the region. With a strong business background, and an MBA from IE Business School and thanks to her focused professional career, working for different organizations and business associations, Ms. Díaz has over 10 years of experience representing the interests of the agri-food industry.

Topic: Agri-food

Ludo Diels, VITO (Belgium)


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 Bio-aromatics (BIORIZON) between the Netherlands and Flanders. He is also founder and Flanders coordinator of the BIG-Cluster 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 . He is case leader for bio-aromatics in the Vanguard Initiative, pilot Bio-economy, leading to smart specialisation of interregional collaboration. 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.

Round table: Value Chains

Julius Ecuru, BioInnovate Africa Programme (Kenya)


Julius Ecuru is Head of the BioInnovate Africa Programme. He holds a PhD in Technology (Innovation and Development) from Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden and Makerere University, Kampala. He has a broad interdisciplinary expertise in chemical sciences and bioengineering, and extensive experience in regulatory science, research management, technology development and innovation policy in Africa. Dr. Ecuru has published in refereed journals and co-authored book chapters, manuals, conference papers and other articles.

Topic of presentation: A sustainable bioeconomy for Africa

Stijn Effting, Port of Rotterdam (Netherlands)


Topic of presentation: Changing roles for an entrepreneurial Port Authority in the Bioeconomy

Giulia Gregori, Novamont (Italy)


Giulia Gregori works in Novamont. Novamont is a global market leader in biodegradable materials. Starting as a research centre in the 90s it became a profitable company, awarded and recognized at international level. Novamont is currently involved in several projects which entails conversion of petrolchemical sites in biorefineries in Italy with the aim to restore growth through bioeconomy.
Giulia Gregori entered in Novamont in September 2000, after graduating in Pure Chemistry  with a specialization in Bioinorganic from the University of Milan. Within Novamont she is responsible for the coordination of the development of R&D and Researcher Training Projects and Corporate Communication, and undertaking also external relationships with Public and Private Funding Institutions. She has been a member of several Associations and she is member of Biobased Industries Board. Giulia Gregori is Secretary General of SPRING, the Italian Cluster of Green Chemistry, and Director of Strategic Planning in Novamont.

Topic of presentation:

Maeve Henchion, TEAGASC (Ireland)


Maeve Henchion (MAgrSc, PhD) is Principal Research Officer and Head of Department at Teagasc, the Irish agriculture and food development authority.  She is also Adjunct Professor at the School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin.  She led the BioÉire project which collaborated with the Prime Minister’s Office and the government’s bioeconomy inter-departmental working group to develop the national bioeconomy policy statement in Ireland, and continues this work through membership of the high-level Bioeconomy Implementation Group (BIG).  She is currently Platform co-lead and funded investigator in the €22 million BEACON bioeconomy research centre, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry, where her research focuses on examining citizen, consumer, industry and producer perspectives in relation to the bioeconomy and developing a knowledge hub to underpin the development of the bioeconomy in Ireland. She is also chair of the centre’s research programme sub-committee and a member of the centre’s management committee.  Other research activities include exploring new value chains for the Irish agri-food sector based on existing biomass (e.g. grass) and industry co-processing streams (e.g. offal), improving the sustainability of mainstream agricultural activity and examining issues affecting food supply chain sustainability.  She is also currently chairing the Teagasc Bioeconomy Working Group which is developing a strategy to implement the circular bioeconomy amongst farmers and foresters in Ireland.  At EU level she is/was a partner on the SCAR-led project CASA which seeks to identify a research agenda for the bioeconomy and CommBeBiz which sought to bridge research and industry activities in relation to bioeconomy, and contributes to the European Network on Rural Development’s working group “Mainstreaming the Bioeconomy”.

Topic of presentation: Bringing the bioeconomy to life within the Irish innovation system

Daniel MacEachran, Braskem (Brazil)

daniel braskem

Dan currently serves as the Head of Open Innovation for Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals and Materials group. In this role, he and his team are responsible for accelerating the flow of new technologies into and through Braskem’s Renewables R&D pipeline via the identification and participation in mutually beneficial collaborations. Prior to joining Braskem, Dan served as the Director of Research and Development at Greenlight Biosciences where he led efforts to identify new applications for Greenlight’s RNA production process as well as their cell free production platform more broadly. Dan also worked as a senior metabolic engineer at Logos Technologies, developing new renewable fuels and chemicals technologies. Dan earned his PhD from Dartmouth Medical School in the field of Microbiology and Immunology and received further training as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working with Tony Sinskey.

Topic of presentation:

Mario Malinconico, CNR (Italy)

mario malinconico

Mario Malinconico is Research Director at the Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IPCB-CNR). Coordinator of various European projects on issues related to environment, agriculture, recycling and sustainable development, he was also Technical and Scientific Consultant for CRAFT Projects of the European Community, DGXII for 3 years.
He received various international awards including the Distinguished Chemistry Award for Novel Materials and Their Synthesis of IUPAC and was a finalist in 2004 of the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment and winner of one of the awards.

Topic of presentation: Bioinspired polymers in packaging and agriculture: the role of research

Jussi Manninen, VTT (Finland)


Jussi Manninen is Executive Vice President at VTT responsible for the business area of Solutions for Natural Resources and Environment. The business area consists of 450 research professionals working in three research areas: Industrial Biotechnology and food solutions, Biomass processing and products, and Sustainable energy and chemical technologies. Jussi moved to VTT from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland, where he was responsible for the implementation of the Finnish Government’s key projects on the Bioeconomy and Cleantech and the Finnish bioeconomy strategy. Jussi holds a PhD in Process Integration from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). Previously Jussi worked at VTT for 15 years in research, development and innovation management in the fields of energy, the forest sector and the bioeconomy.

Topic of presentation: Innovation ecosystem for novel cellulose-based biomaterials

Sveinn Margeirsson, (Iceland)


Marc Palahí, EFI (Finland)

EFI/ Director Marc Palahí Photo: Johanna Kokkola

Marc Palahí is the Director of the European Forest Institute , which is an acknowledged pan-European science-policy platform working on forests and their contribution to a sustainable bioeconomy and a resilient society to climate change. Marc has written influential articles about the transformational role of forests in fighting climate change and developing a European bioeconomy. In 2018 Marc was nominated as Honorary Member of the Italian Academy of Forest Sciences as well as Honorary member of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA). He also received the Medal of Honor from the Spanish foresters association “Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros de Montes”.

Topic of presentation: Forests for a sustainable bioeconomy in the Urbanocene

Electra Papadopoulou, CHIMAR HELLAS SA (Greece)


Dr. Electra Papadopoulou is a Chemist who works as a senior researcher in CHIMAR HELLAS SA in Greece. Her research activities are focused on the development of green polymers, products and processes. She has acted as BioEconomy Expert in the EU BioEconomy Panel (DG R&D) until 2015 while currently she is one of the founding and managerial members of the Greek BioEconomy forum. She is a co-inventor of patents, author & co-author of dozens of articles in scientific journals and books. She has participated in many scientific networks and has acted as technical manager and leader of research teams in over than 20 research projects funded by both Greece and the European Union.

Topic of presentation: Mapping the Bioeconomy in Greece today and case studies of bio-based products

Christian Patermann, (Germany)

patermann_009 minimiert

Following his High School years, he studied Law, Economics and Languages in Germany (Freiburg, Munich, Bonn), Switzerland (Lausanne, Geneva) and Spain (Santander) and completed his Doctoral Thesis in Law at the University of Bonn in 1969. He entered the German public service in 1971 by joining the Federal Ministry of Science and Education, Bonn. From 1974-1978 he became Science Counsellor at the German Embassy in Washington D.C., USA. He then returned to the Ministry of Research and Technology where he held many positions in Germany and International Organisations, like ESA, ESO, EMBL. In 1988 he became Director of Cabinet of the German Federal Minister of Research and Technology, Dr. H. Riesenhuber. This comprised also the position of the spokesperson of the Ministry. In 1993 he was appointed Deputy Director General of the Ministry. In 1996 he went to Brussels to become the Programme Director for “Environment” Research at the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission at Brussels. Since January 2004 he was Programme Director for “Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food” Research at the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission, which from 2007 also comprised Aquaculture and Fisheries as well as Forestry. During these years he was responsible for the elaboration of the new concept of the Knowledge Based Bioeconomy ( KBBE ), which today is known as biobased Economy or more simply  Bioeconomy in Europe.

Chairman Round table on Biocities and Bioregions

Piero Pelizzaro, City of Milan (Italy)


Piero has 10 years of experience in climate change policies and urban resilience planning. Currently he is the Milan Chief Resilience Officer and the City Lead for the H2020 Lighthouse project Sharing Cities at the Municipality of Milan.  He is an advisor of the Italian Ministry of Environment Land and Sea on Urban Adaptation Policy to Climate Change. In recent years was the Co-Founder of Climalia, specialised consulting company providing climate services in Italy, where he operates as Resilience Specialist. Piero was an Acclimatise Associate. Piero is a member of the European Commission Mayors Adapt Practitioners Work Group and Member of FiRe 2016 Implementation Working Group at Climate Policy Initiative. He is member of the Advisory Board of the EU FP7 Ramses Project that aims to structure a cost\benefit analysis methodology for Urban Adaptation Plans.

Session: Biocities and Bioregions

Jim Philp, OECD (France)


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 an Associate Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 2016.

Topic of presentation: Industrial and innovation ecosystems in selected OECD countries

Janna Puumalainen, City of Joensuu (Finland)

kuva janna_Puumalainen--3

Janna Puumalainen received her MSc degree in forest science (1994) from the University of Joensuu, Finland, and doctorate degree (1998) from the University of Göttingen, Germany. After her graduation she worked in international tasks for instance for Stora Enso Ltd, European Commission JRC and CSIR South Africa for a period of ten years. Since fall 2004, Puumalainen has worked in various posts at the city administration of Joensuu. She has work and study experience from Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and South-Africa – besides Finland. Currently Puumalainen is responsible for strategy, growth and development of the city of Joensuu. She is also the 2nd replacement for the mayor. Puumalainen is finalizing her eMBA-studies at the University of Eastern Finland.

Session: Biocities and Bioregions

Luca Raffellini, Frost & Sullivan (UK)

luca frost

Luca is based in London, heads the M&A advisory practice of Frost & Sullivan and is the Vice President Chemicals & Materials for Europe. 20+ years’ experience  in Energy and Chemicals primarily in three functional areas: technology and Innovation management (R&D effectiveness, licensing , technology strategy); corporate and business unit strategy development; commercial  excellence (pricing, Sales & Marketing performance improvement). His subject matter expertise covers, among others:

  • Specialties: latex, adhesives, coatings, additives, bio-based materials
  • Downstream energy, refinery products, baseoil, lubricants, fuels, lube & fuel additives
  • Plastics & Rubber: polyolefins/C2-C3, PVC, engineering plastics, elastomers/C4-strem

Before Frost & Sullivan, Luca held international positions with Booz & Co (now PwC), Arthur D Little, and ENI. He was the Global Marketing Director of Infineum, a JV of Shell and ExxonMobil. He serves on the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, on the Business Plan Judging Panel of Oxford University, and lectured at the Dartmouth College School of Management.  Frequently interviewed on CNBC, Bloomberg, the Financial Time, et al. Luca has an MBA from Cranfield, and is a Doctor of Industrial Chemistry from Bologna University.

Topic of presentation: Ethical and Green Investment Trends Driving Bio-Industries 

Massimiliano Schietroma, Fater (Italy)

M. Schietroma

Massimiliano Schietroma is a Chemical Engineer, Manager at Procter and Gamble with more than 16 years of experience in several areas of Product Supply. Since 2017 he is the FaterSMART Bio-refinery Development Leader and Chief Technical-Scientific Officer of Embraced Consortium. The innovative Embraced  bio-refinery model involves the main players of the whole Absorbent Hygiene Product (AHP) value chain, including consumers, citizens, waste management and logistic companies, industries such as baby, feminine and adult incontinence diapers producers, bio-process developers, as well as final products developers. In a Circular Economy environment, all the fractions obtained from the processed AHP waste (cellulose, plastic and super absorbent polymer) will be further enhanced into higher added value products. In particular the high-quality cellulose fraction, coming from used AHP products transformation, will be converted into two parallel value chains, leading to the production of bio-based building blocks for polymers and fertilizers.

Topic of presentation: An Innovative Bio-refinery for  absorbent hygiene  products

Monika Sormann, Department Economy, Science & Innovation of Flanders (Belgium)


Monika Sormann graduated in Technical Chemistry at the Technical University of Graz (Austria), and specialized in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, degree: engineer (1979). Postgraduate studies at Ghent University (Belgium), degree: doctorate in sciences (1986), molecular plant biology. Her career in brief:

  • Research in molecular biology, genetic engineering of plants, Faculty of Sciences and Applied agricultural sciences, Ghent (till 1996)
  • Policy advisor at the Flemish administration for Science and Innovation, policy preparation and evaluation for biotechnology, from regional to international, from red to blue, particular focus on industrial biotechnology (1997 -2006). PC member INCO, Health, Agriculture &Food
  • Seconded as National expert to DG Research, directorate Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food, policy work and implementation FP7 (September 2006 – March 2009)
  • Policy adviser at the Flemish administration for Economy, Science and Innovation, coordination of events (domain research) during the Belgian Presidency (2010)
  • 2011 until now: Policy adviser at the same administration, Strategy and Coordination unit, focus on policy for the biobased economy (Flemish strategy preparation, collaboration with other regional/national governments).
  • Member (and founder 2012) of interministerial policy group in Flanders
  • Member of first EU bioeconomy stakeholder panel
  • Belgian representative in BBI JU States Representatives Group

Session: Biocities and Bioregions

Luciano Tadiello, Pirelli (Italy)

tadiello pic

Luciano, after graduating in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Milano, got his PhD in Materials Science from University of Milano-Bicocca in the frame of the CO.RI.M.AV. Bicocca-Pirelli Joint doctoral program.  This research led to 3 scientific papers published on peer-reviewed international journals and to one patent application. Luciano is currently working in Pirelli as Advanced Materials Researcher, bringing together Academic partners and selected industrial partners with the aim of industrializing and upscaling ‘concept materials’ which are not currently present in the market.

Topic of presentation: The Challenges of Sustainable Development in Tyre Materials

Luisa Trindade, Wageningen UR (Netherlands)


Luisa M. Trindade is a Professor of Plant Breeding and Group leader Biobased Economy at Wageningen University and Research in The Netherlands. In the last 12 years the focus of her research was on the development of tool for the breeding of industrial crops, including the fibre crops miscanthus, hemp and maize, protein crops, and starch potato. In the past few years she has been involved in the development of whole-use crops, that are the basis of a Circular and Sustainable Bioeconomy.

Topic of presentation: Plant Breeding for a Circular and Biobased Economy

Hugo Vuurens, Total Corbion PLA (Netherlands)


Hugo is the business director responsible for business development and sales in EMEA for Total Corbion PLA. Total Corbion has recently started up a 75.000 ton PLA plant in Rayong Thailand and is actively working on finding new applications for biobased and compostable applications.

Topic of presentation: PLA – a 100% biobased alternative for many conventional plastic applications