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Meet experts talk­ing about Sus­tain­able Mobil­ity, Power to X, Nov­el Value Chains in the Chem­ic­al Industry, Key Enabling Factors for Mar­ket Suc­cess, Upscal­ing of Pro­cesses, CO₂ Fix­a­tion and Recyc­ling, Val­or­iz­a­tion of Indus­tri­al Waste”, Prac­tic­al Con­sid­er­a­tions for R&D Con­tracts, Syn­thet­ic Bio­logy Approaches and much more!

Dr. Hans Bohnen, MBA

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer


As of Octo­ber 12, 2018, Hans Bohnen was appoin­ted Mem­ber of the Exec­ut­ive Com­mit­tee of Clari­ant. His respons­ib­il­ity includes the Busi­ness Line Bio­fuels & Deriv­at­ives, Busi­ness Units Cata­lysts and Indus­tri­al & Con­sumer Spe­cial­ties, Group Oper­a­tion­al Excel­lence, Group Pro­cure­ment Ser­vices, and the regions Lat­in Amer­ica and North America.

Hans Bohnen began his career in 1995 as a Research Chem­ist. Between 1995 and 2006 he held sev­er­al seni­or pos­i­tions in Research & Devel­op­ment, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment, and Oper­a­tions across Europe and North Amer­ica for Hoechst AG, Celanese AG, and SGL Group. From 2007 to 2009 he worked in stra­tegic man­age­ment con­sultancy with Booz Allen Hamilton. In 2010, he became Seni­or Vice Pres­id­ent and Head of Clariant’s Busi­ness Unit Mas­ter­batches. In 2015 he was appoin­ted Head of Clari­ant Glob­al Busi­ness Ser­vices to build up Clariant’s intern­al shared ser­vice organization.

Hans Bohnen was born in 1966 in Moers and is a Ger­man cit­izen. He stud­ied Chem­istry at the Uni­ver­sity of Duis­berg-Essen, Ger­many, obtained a PhD in Chem­istry from the Uni­ver­sity of Tübin­gen, Ger­many, and holds an MBA of the Aston Busi­ness School Birmingham.

Michael Brandkamp

Founder & General Partner
European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF)


Michael Brandkamp is one of the three founders and Gen­er­al Part­ners of the European Cir­cu­lar Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF). Michael and his team’s goal is to speed up the trans­form­a­tion from a fossil-based to a bio-based cir­cu­lar eco­nomy in Europe. The Ger­man entre­pren­eur wrote and executed the busi­ness plan of High-Tech Gründer­fonds (HTGF), the most act­ive early-stage fund in Europe, invest­ing in innov­at­ive tech­no­lo­gies and busi­ness mod­els since 2005. As the first man­aging dir­ect­or, he led HTGF until 2019. Michael has 25 years of exper­i­ence in invest­ment and man­age­ment in the ven­ture cap­it­al industry.

Michael Carus

Managing Director & Founder


Michael Carus stud­ied phys­ics at the Uni­ver­sity of Cologne. He worked as a sci­entif­ic staff mem­ber for nuc­le­ar energy and envir­on­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Tuebin­gen, as a sci­entif­ic journ­al­ist for dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sion­al magazines, at the KATA­LYSE-Umwelt­insti­tut in Cologne (head of the depart­ment envir­on­ment and resources), for the US com­pany Tek­tronix GmbH in Cologne (IT) as well as for the com­pany Flachglas Sol­ar­tech­nik GmbH in Cologne (sol­ar power) until found­ing the nova-Insti­tute for Polit­ic­al and Eco­lo­gic­al Innov­a­tion togeth­er with oth­er sci­ent­ists in 1994.

The nova-Insti­tut is a private and inde­pend­ent research insti­tute provid­ing research and con­sultancy with a focus on renew­able car­bon in the chem­ic­al, plastics and fibre indus­tries: bio- and CO2-based and recycled mater­i­als. This involves raw mater­i­als, tech­no­logy scout­ing, mar­kets, sus­tain­ab­il­ity and life cycle assess­ment, policy as well as dis­sem­in­a­tion and B2B/B2C com­mu­nic­a­tion. The insti­tute has more than 40 sci­entif­ic staff.

Since its found­ing, Michael Carus has served as a board mem­ber and man­aging dir­ect­or. Mr Carus is a mem­ber of vari­ous asso­ci­ations, soci­et­ies and inter­na­tion­al organ­isa­tions. Carus is a sci­ence-based advisor on cor­por­ate strategy, policy and sus­tain­ab­il­ity in the chem­ic­al, plastics and fibre indus­tries around the world.

In 2020, Carus ini­ti­ated the Renew­able Car­bon Ini­ti­at­ive (RCI). The RCI aims to sup­port and accel­er­ate the trans­ition from fossil car­bon to renew­able car­bon for all organ­ic chem­ic­als and mater­i­als. In this con­text, Carus was invited as an expert to the dia­logue for­um A Value Mod­el for Car­bon” of the World Eco­nom­ic For­um (WEF) and Real­ising Net Car­bon Neut­ral­ity: The Role of Car­bon Man­age­ment Tech­no­lo­gies” of the OECD in 2021.

Dr. Martin Demler

Technical Project Manager, Defossilation
Evonik Operations GmbH


Dr. Michael Duetsch

Vice President Biochemicals Business
UPM Biochemicals


Michael Duetsch, Vice Pres­id­ent, UPM Bio­chem­ic­als Busi­ness Oper­a­tions, joined UPM in 2011. He stud­ied Chem­istry at the uni­ver­sit­ies of Ham­burg, Göt­tin­gen and Par­is-Sud. In 1994, he star­ted his indus­tri­al career at Gold­schmidt (today: Evonik) in research and devel­op­ment (R&D) fol­lowed by man­age­ment pos­i­tions in cor­por­ate strategy and con­trolling. He headed R&D as well as new busi­ness devel­op­ment depart­ments with­in Evonik and BASF. Dur­ing the last dec­ade, his main respons­ib­il­ity was to lead a team cre­at­ing a new busi­ness oppor­tun­ity for bio­chem­ic­als at UPM. As a res­ult, UPM invests in a new indus­tri­al scale biore­finery in Leuna, Ger­many. In his cur­rent role, Michael Duetsch is respons­ible for a smooth busi­ness ramp-up cov­er­ing pro­duc­tion, sup­ply chain man­age­ment as well as sales & mar­ket­ing for all products, i.e., mainly bio-mono­ethyl­ene glycol and renew­able func­tion­al fillers. He is also mem­ber of vari­ous pan­els ded­ic­ated to foster a sus­tain­able bioeconomy (e.g., the Expert Advis­ory Board Bav­ari­an Bioeconomy).

Prof. Dr. Tobias Erb

Director of Department Biochemistry & Synthetic Metabolism
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology


Tobi­as J. Erb is a syn­thet­ic bio­lo­gist and Dir­ect­or at the Max Planck Insti­tute for ter­restri­al Micro­bi­o­logy in Mar­burg, Ger­many. Erb stud­ied Chem­istry and Bio­logy and did his PhD at the Uni­ver­sity of Freiburg (D) and the Ohio State Uni­ver­sity (US). After a postdoc­tor­al stay at the Uni­ver­sity of Illinois (US), Tobi headed a juni­or research group at ETH Zürich (CH), before he relo­cated to the Max Planck Insti­tute in Mar­burg, where he was pro­moted to Dir­ect­or in 2017.

Erb received numer­ous awards, among them the Research Awards of the Swiss and the Ger­man Soci­et­ies for Micro­bi­o­logy (SGM and VAAM), the Heinz Maier-Leib­n­itz Prize of the DFG (2016), the Otto Bay­er Award (2018) and the Prix Forch­eur (2021). He was named one of 12 up- and com­ing sci­ent­ists by Amer­ic­an Chem­ic­al Society’s C&EN in 2015 and elec­ted to the European Academy of Micro­bi­o­logy in 2019 and EMBO in 2021

Tobi­as Erb is a sci­entif­ic advisor to dif­fer­ent aca­dem­ic insti­tu­tions and biotech com­pan­ies. Erb also serves as expert mem­ber on the work­ing groups Life Sci­ences” and Arti­fi­cial Pho­to­syn­thes­is” at the Ger­man Nation­al Academy of Sci­ences and chairs the per­spect­ive com­mit­tee of the Bio­logy and Medi­cine Sec­tion of the Max Planck Society.

Research in the lab of Tobi­as Erb centres on the dis­cov­ery, func­tion and engin­eer­ing of nov­el CO2 con­vert­ing enzymes and their use in engin­eered and arti­fi­cial pho­to­syn­thes­is, as well as the bot­tom-up design of syn­thet­ic chloro­plasts and cells. 

Shashank Goyal

Networking and Project Manager


Shashank Goy­al works as a Net­work­ing and Pro­ject Man­ager at EurA AG, Ger­many. As an envir­on­ment pro­fes­sion­al, he has an exper­i­ence of more than 3 years in Envir­on­ment­al Impact Assess­ment, Life Cycle Ana­lys­is, water and car­bon foot print­ing. Before join­ing EurA, he was work­ing as a research asso­ci­ate at Ger­man Insti­tute of Food Tech­no­lo­gies. Shashank Goy­al acquired his Mas­ter of Sci­ence from Branden­burg Uni­ver­sity of Tech­no­logy, Ger­many in Envir­on­ment­al and Resource Man­age­ment, spent a semester in Uni­ver­sity of Texas, Arling­ton, USA (schol­ar­ship by Ger­man Aca­dem­ic Exchange Ser­vice or DAAD) and Bach­el­or of Tech­no­logy in Envir­on­ment­al Engin­eer­ing from India. In his master’s study, he focused on the use of insects as a waste treat­ment meth­od and its sus­tain­ab­il­ity com­par­is­on with oth­er treat­ment meth­ods. Cur­rently, he is work­ing on eco­lo­gic­al assess­ment of altern­at­ive plant and fungi-based pro­tein products under the Smart Pro­tein pro­ject. This pro­ject has received fund­ing from the European Union’s Hori­zon 2020 research and innov­a­tion programme. 

Martin Ledwon

Vice President Marketing, Communications and Sustainability
UPM Biochemicals


Mar­tin Led­won is Vice Pres­id­ent Stake­hold­er Rela­tions at UPM Bio­chem­ic­als. He has been respons­ible for Sus­tain­ab­il­ity, Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­nic­a­tions for the Bio­chem­ic­als and Bio­fuels busi­nesses as well as the Graph­ic Paper busi­ness at UPM Kym­mene, the Fin­land based pulp, paper, and forest based renew­able mater­i­als mar­ket lead­er since 2017. He star­ted his career in 2003 as a con­sult­ant, sup­port­ing mul­tina­tion­als in for­mu­lat­ing effect­ive gov­ern­ment affairs approaches focus­ing on energy, trade and fin­an­cial policies. He then moved on to Siemens join­ing the company’s Gov­ern­ment Affairs func­tion where he focused on energy and mobil­ity top­ics, amongst oth­ers as a del­eg­ate mem­ber to the Ger­man Gov­ern­ment Plat­form on Elec­tro Mobil­ity where he con­trib­uted to for­mu­lat­ing the long-term e‑vehicle strategy for the coun­try. After being respons­ible for lead­ing Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­nic­a­tion activ­it­ies for Siemens’ Smart Grid busi­ness between 2012 and 2014, Mar­tin Led­won joined Tetra Pak, lead­ing the company’s com­mu­nic­a­tion, sus­tain­ab­il­ity and mar­ket­ing activ­it­ies in Europe and Cent­ral Asia. 

Dipl.-Ing. Birgit Lewandowski

Director Development


Mrs. Lewandowksi’s pro­fes­sion­al career is char­ac­ter­ized by the inter­dis­cip­lin­ar­ity of engin­eer­ing, applied Life Sci­ences and sus­tain­ab­il­ity. She stud­ied land­scape eco­logy and land­scape archi­tec­ture with a focus on hydro­elec­tric and power plant con­struc­tion linked with stream eco­logy at the Uni­ver­sity of Nat­ur­al Resources and Life Sci­ences in Vienna. Fol­low­ing her gradu­ation, she was respons­ible for the scale-up of micro­bi­al cul­ture pro­duc­tion from lab-scale to indus­tri­al pro­cesses and has led inter­na­tion­al large-scale envir­on­ment­al assess­ment pro­jects for the elec­tri­city industry as well as for the pulp and paper industry. In addi­tion, she joined inter­na­tion­al aca­dem­ic exchange pro­grams between Europe and Africa by stud­ies and teaching.

After advanced train­ing she joined Fritzmei­er Umwelt­tech­nik GmbH & Co. KG in the field of pro­tein bioechem­istry, molecu­lar bio­logy and cell cul­ture and gained extens­ive man­age­ment exper­i­ence in her pos­i­tion as Head of the Divi­sion of Bio­tech­no­logy. Since the begin­ning of 2020, Dipl.-Ing. Birgit Lewan­dowk­si is Devel­op­ment Dir­ect­or at Elec­tro­chaea GmbH. With her strong inter­dis­cip­lin­ary back­ground, she leads a diverse team of bio­lo­gists, bio­tech­no­lo­gists, and pro­cess engin­eers at Elec­tro­chaea. As Devel­op­ment Dir­ect­or, she serves as stra­tegic and sci­entif­ic rep­res­ent­at­ive of the devel­op­ment team for build­ing part­ner­ships and devel­op­ing com­mer­cial pro­jects. She sup­ports the plan­ning and exe­cu­tion of fun­ded and com­mer­cial pro­jects with aca­dem­ics, tech­no­logy part­ners and cli­ents and sup­ports the exten­sion of Electrochaea´s IP portfolio.

Since 2019, she is board mem­ber of the asso­ci­ation Indus­tri­elle Bio­tech­no­lo­gie Bay­ern e.V. and espe­cially rep­res­ents the interests of SMEs.

Dr. Christian Librera

Vice President and Head of Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives


Chris­ti­an Lib­rera was appoin­ted Vice Pres­id­ent and Head of Clariant’s Busi­ness Line Bio­fuels & Deriv­ates in June 2020. Before his cur­rent role, Chris­ti­an was Vice Pres­id­ent of Busi­ness Seg­ment Syn­gas in Clariant’s Busi­ness Unit Cata­lyst (20162020). Pri­or to this, he was Region­al Head of Pro­duc­tion EMEA of Clariant’s Busi­ness Unit Cata­lysts and Site Man­ager for the Cata­lyst Unit of Süd-Chemie AG’s Heufeld facil­ity in Ger­many, where he had been Pro­duc­tion Man­ager Cata­lysts since 2008. Before join­ing Süd-Chemie, Chris­ti­an held vari­ous pos­i­tions at Celanese Chem­ic­als which he joined as Six Sigma Black Belt in 2003. Born in Schwäbisch Hall, Ger­many in 1975, Chris­ti­an holds a PhD in organ­ic chem­istry from the Uni­ver­sity of Würzburg, Ger­many and a Mas­ter of Sci­ence degree from the Uni­ver­sity of Cin­cin­nati, USA.

Dietmar Huber, MBA

Vice President Innovation Business Platform Power to X


Diet­mar Huber was appoin­ted as Vice Pres­id­ent, Innov­a­tion Busi­ness Plat­form Power-to‑X (PtX) at Neste (Fin­land), as of Janu­ary 1st, 2022. Diet­mar is lead­ing the devel­op­ment of the Innov­a­tion Busi­ness Plat­form PtX and drives the ini­ti­at­ives towards com­mer­cial­isa­tion. He works from Neste’s Düs­sel­dorf and Espoo offices.

Before his cur­rent role, Diet­mar joined Neste from ORYX GTL (JV between Qatar Energy and Sasol), a syn­thet­ic fuel pro­du­cer in Qatar, where he has worked as a Chief Strategy Officer and Mem­ber of the Exec­ut­ive Team (20172021). Diet­mar has led vari­ous teams, tech­no­lo­gies and innov­at­ive products to the next level of growth, mak­ing mobil­ity and trans­port­a­tion more cli­mate friendly with syn­thet­ic fuels. Pri­or to ORYX GTL, Diet­mar has exper­i­ence from vari­ous glob­ally oper­at­ing com­pan­ies, e.g., SAB­IC (Saudi Basic Indus­tries Cor­por­a­tion) and Daimler.

Born in Offen­burg, Ger­many in 1966, Diet­mar holds an MBA in inter­na­tion­al busi­ness from Schiller Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­sity in Stras­bourg (France) and a Bach­el­or of Indus­tri­al Engin­eer­ing (Wirtschaftsin­genieur) from Uni­ver­sity of Applied Sci­ences in Offen­burg (Ger­many).

Gunnar Holen, MBA

Chief Executive Officer
Nordic Electrofuel AS


31 years of exper­i­ence with invest­ment bank­ing and cor­por­ate fin­ance, includ­ing fun­drais­ing and M&A activ­ity. Has con­trib­uted to and par­ti­cip­ated in a num­ber of nation­al and inter­na­tion­al IPOs. Foun­ded CAR ASA, which grew from two to 55 people from 2003 to 2007 and had a turnover of NOK 80 mil­lion NOK in the same peri­od.
Has been a top-rated invest­ment ana­lyst both inter­na­tion­ally and domest­ic­ally. MA in busi­ness and economics.

Dipl. Economist Andreas Loeffert

Managing Director
Hafen Straubing-Sand GmbH


Andreas Löf­fert is man­aging dir­ect­or of Hafen Straub­ing-Sand GmbH and its sub­si­di­ary BioCam­pus Straub­ing GmbH. He stud­ied Eco­nom­ics and Social Sci­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Augus­burg. Fol­low­ing his aca­dem­ic edu­ca­tion, he gained exper­i­ence in the field of pub­lic plan­ning as a sci­entif­ic employ­ee at the City of Aachen. Before join­ing Hafen Straub­ing-Sand GmbH in 2005, he was Pro­ject Dir­ect­or and also Head of the Depart­ment of the Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Author­ity at the City of Regens­burg for 11 years. In addi­tion, Mr. Löf­fert was lec­turer at the Insti­tute for Com­muni­al Admin­is­tra­tion in Aachen and at the Bav­ari­an School for Admin­is­tra­tion. He is mem­ber of the Com­mit­tee of Trans­port and Trafic at the Cham­ber of Industry and Com­merce Lower Bav­aria, stand­ing mem­ber in the Board Aca­dem­ic Soci­ety Straub­ing, and chair­man of the ARGE pub­lics port on Main-Danube water­ways. Moreover, Mr. Löf­fert is mem­ber of the advis­ory boards of RMD Wasser­straßen GmbH and the Cluster Indus­tri­al Bio­tech­no­logy Bavaria. 

Holger Loesch

Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Federal Association of German Industry e.V. (BDI e.V.)


Hol­ger Lösch is Deputy Chief Exec­ut­ive Officer of BDI since April 2017. Mr. Lösch stud­ied polit­ic­al sci­ence, his­tory and Ger­man lan­guage and lit­er­at­ure at the Lud­wig-Max­imili­ans-Uni­versität in Munich. Already dur­ing his aca­dem­ic edu­ca­tion, he joined the Bay­erischer Rund­funk (Bav­ari­an Broad­cast­ing) as a journ­al­ist and edit­or in the field of tele­vi­sion. From 1995 to 1998, he was head of the tele­vi­sion depart­ment of the Bay­erischer Rund­funk until he took over the man­age­ment of the Cent­ral Pro­gram Coordin­a­tion in 1998. In 2001, Hol­ger Lösch joined Schörghuber Group of Com­pan­ies in Munich as Head of Cent­ral Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Mar­ket­ing, and was a mem­ber of the com­pany’s Board of Man­age­ment from 2006 to 2007. In 2007, he was was respons­ible for the man­age­ment of Cor­por­ate Devel­op­ment, Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Cus­tom­er Rela­tion Man­age­ment at Ara­bella Hotel-Hold­ing, Munich. In 2008, he was appoin­ted Head of Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Mar­ket­ing at BDI, and as of 2009, he became a mem­ber of BDI’s Board of Man­age­ment. Hol­ger Lösch has been a mem­ber of BDI’s Exec­ut­ive Board since July 2011

Dipl.-Phys. Rolf Luther

Head of Advanced Development
FUCHS Lubricants


Rolf Luth­er stud­ied phys­ics (Dipl.-Phys.) at TU Clausthal/​Germany. In 1991, he joined FUCHS SCHMI­ER­STOFFE GmbH and has been Head of the company’s depart­ment Advanced Devel­op­ment since 2004. Mr. Luth­er is an expert in the field of bio-lub­ric­ants and tri­bology and is com­mit­ted to these spe­cial top­ics. Rolf Luth­er is con­ven­or of the CEN Work­ing Group Bio-Lub­ric­ants” (CEN TC19/WG33), Deputy Chair­man of the Man­aging Board of the Ger­man Tri­bolo­gic­al Soci­ety Gesell­schaft für Tri­bolo­gie” (GfT) and Mem­ber of the Advis­ory Board of the Ger­man Drive Tech­no­logy Research Asso­ci­ation Forschungsver­ein­i­gung Antrieb­s­tech­nik” (FVA).

Dr. Christiane Maxien

Wallinger Ricker Schlotter Tostmann Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB


Dr. Chris­ti­ane Maxi­en is a part­ner in the law firm Wallinger Rick­er Schlot­ter Tost­mann. Hold­ing a doc­tor­ate in chem­istry, she is spe­cial­ized in the tech­nic­al fields of chem­istry, green tech­no­lo­gies, mater­i­als sci­ences and bio­chem­istry. In her work as a pat­ent attor­ney, Dr. Maxi­en has par­tic­u­lar expert­ise in advising, grant­ing and enforce­ment of IP port­fo­li­os with an inter­na­tion­al focus. Her fields of activ­ity include the exe­cu­tion of pat­ent applic­a­tion pro­ced­ures in Ger­many and Europe, the
the coordin­a­tion of pat­ent applic­a­tion pro­ced­ures in coun­tries out­side Europe, the enforce­ment and defense of intel­lec­tu­al prop­erty rights, in par­tic­u­lar
in oppos­i­tion and appeal pro­ceed­ings before the European Pat­ent Office, as well as the pre­par­a­tion of free­dom-to-oper­ate opin­ions. In addi­tion, Dr. Maxi­en is vol­un­tar­ily involved in Science4life and in the IBB net­work for indus­tri­al bio­tech­no­logy in Bav­aria for start-ups and SMEs in pat­ent law issues and in the eval­u­ation of busi­ness plans.

Dr. Nikolaus Raupp

Investment Manager
High-Tech Gründerfonds


Norbert Ringer

Global Methanol Industry Director & Global Syngas Industry Expert


Norbert Ringer gradu­ated as Chem­ic­al Engin­eer from the Friedrich-Alex­an­der-Uni­ver­sity of Erlangen/​Nuremberg, Ger­many, and star­ted his career in the cata­lyst busi­ness with Süd-Chemie AG in 1990. He has more than 30 years of exper­i­ence in the field of syn­gas cata­lysts for hydro­gen, ammo­nia, and meth­an­ol pro­duc­tion hav­ing held vari­ous roles in R&D, tech­nic­al ser­vice, sales and product man­age­ment. From 20122018 he had the pos­i­tion of head of sales Syn­gas in EMEA. Since 2018, he acts as glob­al meth­an­ol industry dir­ect­or and has the role of glob­al Syn­gas industry expert.

Thomas Schachl

Wallinger Ricker Schlotter Tostmann, Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB


Thomas Schachl is a part­ner in the law firm Wallinger Rick­er Schlot­ter Tost­mann. He advises on pat­ent law in all tech­nic­al fields as well as in util­ity mod­el law, employ­ee inven­tion law, design law and in tech­no­logy-related com­pet­i­tion, copy­right and anti­trust law with a focus on pat­ent infringe­ment pro­ceed­ings. Thomas Schachl stud­ied law at the Uni­ver­sity of Frank­furt am Main and com­pleted a mas­ter­’s degree in Inter­na­tion­al Intel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Law at the Uni­ver­sity of Exeter/​UK and Dresden with a focus on inter­na­tion­al and nation­al pat­ent and trade­mark law. Before join­ing WR in 2012, he was a law­yer at a Munich-based inter­na­tion­al pat­ent and law firm spe­cial­ized on pat­ent infringe­ment and pat­ent nullity proceedings. 

Prof. Dr. Volker Sieber

Rector of the TUM Campus Straubing & Chairholder Chemistry of Biogenic Resources
Technical University of Munich


Prof. Sieber stud­ied chem­istry at the Uni­ver­sity of Bayreuth and Uni­ver­sity of Delaware. Fol­low­ing his doc­tor­ate at the Uni­ver­sity of Bayreuth, he joined No­bel Lau­re­ate (2018) Prof. Frances H. Arnold at the Cali­for­nia Insti­tute of Tech­no­logy as research fel­low. From 2001 to 2008, he held sev­er­al pos­i­tions in the chem­ic­als industry at Degussa and Süd-Chemie. Since 2008, he is full pro­fess­or of the chair Chem­istry of Bio­gen­ic Resources at Tech­nic­al Uni­ver­sity Munich. In par­al­lel since 2009, he has built up the Fraun­hofer Institute’s branch Bio­Cat. In addi­tion, he is foun­ding rect­or of the TUM Cam­pus Straub­ing for Bio­tech­no­logy and Sus­tain­ab­il­ity, the fourth site of the Tech­nic­al Uni­ver­sity Munich, which opened in 2017. Since 2015 Prof. Sie­ber has been one of the foun­ding mem­bers of the Bi­o­e­co­no­my coun­cil for the go­vern­ment of the Free State of Ba­va­r­ia and ac­ted at its spokes­per­son bet­ween 2018 and 2021.The cam­pus is ded­ic­ated to the bio-based indus­tri­al bio­tech­no­logy, a core tech­no­logy of the 21st cen­tury, as well as of the bioeconomy.

Dr. Keith Simons

Principal Scientist
SHV Energy


An Indus­tri­al Chem­ist by train­ing, and exper­i­enced in innov­a­tion man­age­ment in sus­tain­able energy and car­bon abate­ment tech­no­lo­gies, a key aspect of his role is to advance the sci­entif­ic base for pro­du­cing fuels for SHV Energy’s group of com­pan­ies through the devel­op­ment of a glob­al col­lab­or­at­ive Research and Devel­op­ment pro­grammes, identi­fy­ing and devel­op­ing tech­no­lo­gies to sup­port the ambi­tious cor­por­ate goal to ensure that 100% of SHV Energy’s products will be low car­bon and renew­ably sourced by 2040

Keith is also Chair of the World Bio­gas Asso­ci­ation Policy, Innov­a­tion and Tech­nic­al Committee.

Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra

Chair of Biological Chemistry
Technical University of Munich


Prof. Skerra (b. 1961) does research on pro­tein engin­eer­ing and design. The focus of his work is on the con­struc­tion of arti­fi­cial bind­ing pro­teins and enzymes with nov­el, tailored func­tions, in par­tic­u­lar for applic­a­tions in med­ic­al and indus­tri­al bio­tech­no­logy. Ration­al and com­bin­at­or­i­al research approaches are pur­sued in tan­dem with pro­tein bio­chem­ic­al and spec­tro­scop­ic meth­ods as well as pro­tein crys­tal­lo­graph­ic ana­lys­is. Sev­er­al tech­no­lo­gies from his labor­at­ory have entered com­mer­cial­iz­a­tion: Strep-tag®, Antic­al­in® pro­teins and PASylation®.

Fol­low­ing chem­ic­al stud­ies at TU Darm­stadt, Prof. Skerra obtained a doc­tor­ate at the Gene Centre of Munich’s Lud­wig Max­imili­ans Uni­ver­sity in 1989 and com­pleted his lec­turer qual­i­fic­a­tion in bio­chem­istry at the Uni­ver­sity of Frank­furt am Main in 1995. Before his appoint­ment as full pro­fess­or at TUM, he was pro­fess­or of pro­tein chem­istry at TU Darm­stadt from 1994 to 1998. Prof. Skerra is founder of Pier­is Phar­ma­ceut­ic­als, Inc. (Nas­daq: PIRS) and XL-pro­tein GmbH. In 2008, he was elec­ted to the Nation­al Academy of Sci­ence and Engin­eer­ing (acat­ech). He is act­ive in the Ger­man Aca­dem­ic Schol­ar­ship Found­a­tion, the Ger­man Chem­ic­al Soci­ety, the Soci­ety for Bio­chem­istry and Molecu­lar Bio­logy, and he was ini­ti­at­or and Vice-Chair­­man of the Cluster of Excel­lence​“Cen­ter for Integ­rated Pro­tein Sci­ence Munich” from 2006 – 2012

Since 2020, Prof. Skerra has been Chair­man of the Depart­ment of Molecu­lar Life Sci­ences at the TUM School of Life Sci­ences and Aca­dem­ic Dir­ect­or of the TUM Food and Agro Cen­ter for Innov­a­tion and Tech­no­logy (FACIT) at the Wei­hen­stephan Campus. 

He holds TUM’s Heinz-Maier-Leib­n­itz-medal and is liais­on lec­turer of the Ger­man Nation­al Aca­dem­ic Found­a­tion at TU Munich – of which he was a former fel­low him­self. Prof. Skerra was nom­in­ated for the Ger­man Future Prize in 2004 and awar­ded the Karl Heinz Beck­­ur­ts-Prize in 2005 for devel­op­ing antic­al­ins, a nov­el class of recept­or pro­teins with anti­­body-like properties.

Dr. Axel Trefzer

Director Research & Development
Thermo Fisher Scientific Geneart GmbH


After his doc­tor­ate at the Uni­ver­sity of Tübin­gen, Dr. Tre­fzer star­ted his career in indus­tri­al R&D at Diversa Cor­por­a­tion, San Diego, USA. Diverse pos­i­tions of increas­ing respons­ib­il­ity at Invit­ro­gen and DSM in the USA and the Neth­er­lands, respect­ively, fol­lowed. In 2011, he star­ted as Asso­ci­ate Dir­ect­or in the busi­ness unit Syn­thet­ic Bio­logy at Ther­moFish­er Sci­entif­ic. From 2012 — 2021, he was Dir­ect­or R&D for Syn­thet­ic Bio­logy at the company’s loc­a­tion Ther­moFish­er Sci­entif­ic GEN­EART GmbH in Regens­burg. Most recently, he assumed a pos­i­tion as dir­ect­or for product man­age­ment in Syn­thet­ic Biology.Through­out his pro­fes­sion­al career, Dr. Tre­fzer has built an extens­ive sci­entif­ic expert­ise in many fields of indus­tri­al bio­tech­no­logy, syn­thet­ic bio­logy and research tools. In par­tic­u­lar, he is spe­cial­ized in driv­ing busi­ness innov­a­tion based on new tech­no­lo­gies with­in the field of bio­tech­no­logy and beyond.

Dr. Ulrike Wolf

Director General
Bavarian Ministry of Economics


Dr. Ulrike Wolf has been work­ing as 2nd Dir­ect­or Gen­er­al at the Bav­ari­an State Min­istry of Eco­nom­ic Affairs, Region­al Devel­op­ment and Energy since 1 August 2019. Her respons­ib­il­it­ies include the Depart­ments for Legis­la­tion and Leg­al Affairs, Invest­ment and Fin­ance, For­eign Trade and Loc­a­tion Mar­ket­ing, Tour­ism and Region­al Devel­op­ment. Dr. Wolf has pre­vi­ously been Head of the Depart­ment for Energy Policy and Energy Infra­struc­ture since 2014 and for For­eign Trade and Loc­a­tion Mar­ket­ing since 2010. Past pos­i­tions with­in the min­istry were, in reverse order, avi­ation and air nav­ig­a­tion facil­it­ies, admin­is­trat­ive reform (includ­ing redu­cing state tasks), for­eign trade (China), tour­ism, voca­tion­al train­ing as well as fed­er­al legis­la­tion and Com­munity Law. Dr Wolf atten­ded the 17th Bav­ari­an State Chancellery’s course for Admin­is­trat­ive Man­age­ment in 2001/02. From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Wolf worked as an assist­ant at the Insti­tute for Inter­na­tion­al Law and Com­par­at­ive Law at Lud­wig Max­imili­ans Uni­versität in Munich, where she earned her doc­tor­ate with a thes­is on Stat­ute of Torts and Inter­na­tion­al Envir­on­ment­al Law” in 1994. Dr. Wolf also holds an LL.M. from the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Con­fer­ence Moderator

Sonja van Renssen is the edit­or-in-chief of a new digit­al pub­lic­a­tion, Energy Mon­it­or (ener​gy​mon​it​or​.ai), launched in Septem­ber 2020. Our goal is to tell data-driv­en stor­ies about the glob­al energy trans­ition. Based in Brus­sels, Sonja is an exper­i­enced journ­al­ist and con­fer­ence mod­er­at­or who has pre­vi­ously writ­ten for lead­ing energy and cli­mate titles includ­ing S&P Glob­al Platts and Nature Cli­mate Change. Sonja has an MSc in Sci­ence Com­mu­nic­a­tion from Imper­i­al Col­lege Lon­don and a BA in Bio­lo­gic­al Sci­ences from the Uni­ver­sity of Oxford. She won a BBC-sponsored Young Broad­caster of the Year Award in 2005. Sonja grew up in part in Taiwan and Japan, and speaks flu­ent Eng­lish and Dutch, with a good com­mand of Ger­man and French.