Thomas Herget

MilliporeSigma - A business of Merck KGaA, United States
Thomas Herget studied Biology in Germany, USA and UK. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Cologne, Inst. of Genetics, became Assistant Professor at the University of Mainz, Inst. for Physiological Chemistry, and started his industrial career as R&D Director with biotech start-up Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG (Munich, Ger) working on drug development in infectious diseases. Thomas joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2004 and lead large global R&D teams focusing on evaluating new business opportunities in the Life Science arena. In 2017 he accepted the offer to become corporate “Head of Silicon Valley Innovation Hub” to tap into the North American eco system and explore new technology- and business opportunities. Since 2021 is also overseeing the “China Innovation Hub” based in Shanghai and Guangdong. In 2018, he established the Innovation Field Cultured Meat with his team. Thomas is member of several boards of Merck KGaA incl the Merck Lab Advisory Panel, Innovation Steering Committee, China Country Council, Merck Bioethics Advisory Panel and is chairing the Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee. Recently, he was appointed Board of Directors of the Technology Development Council (UCLA) and Board of Electronic Wearables (UCSD). He is professor teaching novel technologies in pharma research at the TU Darmstadt; he received several awards (e.g. Boehringer Ingelheim Research Award, MERCK Innovation Award; EMBL, ICRF and BIF Fellowships) and published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and 25 patents. Focus of his expertise is signal transduction, novel modalities, bioelectronics and cultured meat.e likes long distance sport like triathlon.

Friedrich Barth

Global Entrepreneurship Center (GEC) powered by Flow gGmbH, Germany
Friedrich studied physics, geoecology and hydrology at the universities of Heidelberg, Bayreuth, Freiburg and Galway. He has 25 years of management experience in the fields of sustainability, environment, climate and chemistry in both the public and private sectors at global, regional and national level. He has held management positions at the United Nations, the EU Commission, the Ministry of Environment and most recently, as Managing Director, has been very successful in establishing the International Competence Centre for Sustainable Chemistry on behalf of the German Federal Government. Friedrich also spent many years on the management board of a medium-sized consultancy firm (IFOK GmbH) and has advised industry, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations as a consultant. Friedrich has established and managed several companies and organisations.

Clément Tischer

METRO AG / NX-FOOD GmbH, Germany
NX-FOOD GmbH is a METRO AG company that focuses on innovative solutions and technologies in the food industry. With strategic cooperations and a network of founders, restaurateurs, investors, industrial and scientific partners, we scout, develop, validate and implement new food solutions and concepts. I have more than 7 years experience in the startup ecosystem from startup perspective as a co-founder and corporate perspective as co-initiator of NX-Food. I focus on the implementation of innovation processes, sustainable new food concepts and product innovations as well as initializing and executing corporate venturing activities. Before joining METRO, I was a partner at YOMARO GmbH, a system gastronomy startup, overseeing expansion and finance.

Rob van der Meij

Capricorn Venture Partners NV, Belgium
Rob is a chemical engineer from Delft University in the Netherlands and has worked both in the corporate and start-up world in chemicals and technology. Rob has held business management positions with Akzo Nobel and Shell Chemicals, was a founder and CEO of KiOR in the US and worked as CEO for several other start-ups in chemicals and water technology. Rob joined Capricorn in 2015 with the set up of the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, a 86,5M Euro fund for investment in early to late stage chemical conversion based companies. Rob holds several board roles in the CSCF portfolio companies. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking, golf, walking and reading.

Dr. Holger Bengs

BCNP Consultants GmbH, Germany
Initiator and organizer of the 1st European Chemistry Partnering in Frankfurt am Main, Germany; to promote the innovation engine chemistry and its and their creative entrepreneurs, especially from start-ups and and start-ups with the established major companies of the chemical companies of the chemical industry and their user industries, e.g. pharmaceuticals e.g. pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, plastics, energy, mobility, nutrition, leisure, construction and housing, and health.

Dr. Frank Kensy

b.fab GmbH, Germany
Frank Kensy studied bioprocess engineering at RWTH Aachen University. There, during his doctoral studies with Prof. Jochen Büchs, he developed the BioLector technology, which is now used worldwide for early bioprocess development. Frank gained his first professional experience at Rhein Biotech GmbH in Düsseldorf in the field of fermentation development for recombinant proteins. From RWTH Aachen University, he and colleagues founded m2p-labs GmbH, which he grew to a leading manufacturer of microbioreactors and led as managing director for almost 10 years. Afterwards, he advised start-ups and biotechnology companies in the field of innovation management and bioprocess development. Since 2018, he is founder and managing director of b.fab GmbH, which specializes in the utilization of CO2 using electrochemistry and biotechnology. Frank has 20+ years of experience in the Biotech industry leading several industry and funded R&D projects at national and European level.

Rodrigo Hortega de Velasco

DOEHLER GmbH, Germany
Before Rodrigo joined Doehler Ventures, he held various management positions at international construction and engineering companies, such as the AKF Group based in New York. Rodrigo holds a Master Degree in Technology Management from NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management/Hamburg and a Master Degree in Environmental engineering from Technische Universität Hamburg. Doehler Ventures is a long-term oriented and entrepreneurial investor empowering early-stage startups in the Nutrition & Technology ecosystem and is a daughter company from Doehler Group, a global producer, marketer and provider of technology-driven natural ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions for the food and beverage industry, headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, Doehler Group is active in over 130 countries and has more than 40 production sites, as well as sales offices and application centers on every continent. More than 7,000 dedicated employees providing customers with fully integrated food & beverage solutions from concept to realization.

Prof. Dr. Günther Bachmann

Netzwerker der Deutschen Nachhaltigkeitspolitik, Publizist, Redner, Germany
Günther Bachmann studied landscape planning and was awarded his PhD from the Technische Universität Berlin in 1985 for his thesis on soil functions. He has held leading positions on soil and land regulation at the Federal Environmental Agency. Prof. Bachmann was a Jean Monnet fellow at the European University Institute and received a research grant from the German Marshall Fund of the United States. In 2001, the Federal Chancellery appointed him Director of the German Council for Sustainable Development, a multi-stakeholder body that advises the Federal Government. He has been Secretary-General of the Council since 2007. Prof. Bachmann is responsible for the Council’s agenda as well as for drafting and negotiating statements. He also interacts with the private sector and academia as well as stakeholders from all cross-sections of society. With the assistance of funding provided by the Federal Parliament, he has been engaging stakeholders in four regional network hubs since 2016. In February 2014, the University of Lüneburg made Dr. Bachmann an honorary professor. He publishes papers on sustainable development issues as well as environmental and energy policies. He is a member of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC). Prof. Bachmann has recently addressed the global perspective of sustainability on several occasions. He has headed the jury of the German Sustainability Award since 2008 and serves as a trustee on the board of the Allianz Environmental Foundation. In 2016, he also chaired a board of experts advising on federal research projects related to sustainable business.
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Total of participants: 171

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