International Advisory Council

  • Mohammed Ait Kadi, General Council of Agricultural Development Morocco
  • Mohd Aslam, Ministry of Science and Technology India
  • Sascha Bollerman, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands
  • Hugo Chavarría, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
  • Paul Colonna, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
  • Achim Doberman, Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom
  • Olivier Dubois, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO)
  • Ben Durham, National Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
  • Ruben Echeverria, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • Julius Ecuru*, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)
  • Ahmed Fahmi, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Fabio Fava, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Yoshijuki Fujishima*, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan
  • Josef Glössl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austria
  • Waldemar Kütt, European Commission
  • Christine Lang*, German Bioeconomy Council
  • Yin Li*, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Mauricio Lopes, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Mogens Lund, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
  • Elspeth MacRae*, Scion, New Zealand
  • Jussi Manninen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland  
  • Mary Maxon*, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Murray McLaughlin*, Government’s Industrial Bioproducts Value Chain Roundtable, Canada
  • Paulus Mungeyi, National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, Namibia
  • Ian O’Hara, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Torfi Jóhannesson, Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Christian Patermann, International Bioeconomy Advisor
  • James Philp, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Vladimir Popov, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Frank Rijsberman, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)  
  • Adrián Rodriguez, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) 
  • Morakot Tanticharoen*, National Science and Technology Development Agency Thailand (NSTDA)
  • Omid Tavakoli, Bioeconomy Society of Iran
  • Flora Ismail Tibazarwa, Southern African Innovation Support Program (SAIS)
  • Eduardo Trigo, Bioeconomia Argentina & Marcelo Regunaga*, Group of Producing Countries from the Southern Cone
  • Ivar Virgin, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden
  • Joachim von Braun*, German Bioeconomy Council
  • Seung Jun Yoo, Korea Society for Bio-Economy, South Korea  


* member of the Steering Group

Mohamed Ait Kadi is presently President of the General Council of Agricultural Development. This Council is a high-level policy Think Tank of the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Forestry. Mr. Ait Kadi is further a resident member of King Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Techniques. He has been a member of several boards including the Board of the Central Bank of Morocco, the CGIAR Consortium Board, IFPRI’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Advisors of the World Agricultural Forum.

Achim Dobermann is the Director & Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research providing leadership for a wide range of research programs that aim to develop solutions for sustainable management of agricultural systems. He brings over 30 years expertise on science and technology for sustainable agricultural in all world regions. He is an Editor of the international journal Global Food Security and a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Societies of the Philippines. Achim is also a member of the Leadership Council and co-chair of the Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

Ben Durham is Chief Director: Bio-innovation at the National Department of Science and Technology in South Africa. His responsibilities included the implementation 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 develop and improve the efficiencies of the National System of Innovation, ensuring socio-economic benefits to the broader society.

Ruben G. Echeverría is Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Previously, he was Executive Director of the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He further worked in agricultural, environmental and rural development issues at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. In the late 1980s he worked on agricultural research policy issues and strengthening national research capacities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, based at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR-CGIAR) in The Hague. 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.)

Fabio Fava is Full Professor of “Industrial & Environmental Biotechnology” at the University of Bologna, Italy since 2005. He has about 170 papers on peer-reviewed international journals in the fields of Biowaste Biorefinery and Blue Biotechnology where he coordinated the FP7 projects NAMASTE and BIOCLEAN. He is the Italian Representative in the Working Party on “Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies" at OECD and at the European Commission in the: a) Horizon2020 Programming Committee “Food security, sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine and Maritime and inland water research, and Bioeconomy”, b) “States Representatives Group” of the “Public Private Partnership BioBased Industry” (BBI JU), c) EuroMed GSOs BLUEMED WG.

Waldemar Kütt is Head of Unit "Bioeconomy and Food Systems" in the Bioeconomy Directorate of DG Research and Innovation in the European Commission. From 2012-2014 he was Head of Unit of "Bio-based Products and Processing" in the same directorate. From 2008-2014 he held various positions as senior expert, Deputy and Head of Cabinet in the Cabinet of Research Commissioners Potočnik and Geoghegan-Quinn. He joined the DG R&I of the European Commission in 1997 and has since coordinated activities and polices related to innovation, SME, IPR, finance, technology transfer and bioregions. Mr. Kütt holds a doctor's degree in physics from the Technical University Aachen, Germany.

Christine Lang is an entrepreneur in biotechnology and a consultant on bioeconomy to the German government. She served as Co-Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council and is an initiator of the Global Bioeconomy Summits. She is also Associate Professor for Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Technical University Berlin and president of the German Association of General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM). In 2001, Lang founded Organobalance GmbH, which became part of Novozymes S.A. in 2016 and where she served as the CEO until June 2018. Christine Lang is also co-founder and head of scientific board of BELANO medical AG that focuses on the production and sales of microbiotic products for human health.

Mauricio Lopes is a member of the scientific team of Embrapa - the Brazilian Agricultural Research Organization since 1986, working as maize breeder (1986-2000), R&D manager (1995-2003), Executive Director of R&D (2011- 2012) and President, for two successive terms (2012-2018). His major scientific contributions include the development and release of improved maize varieties and germplasm, capacity building activities and many research papers and book chapters. His expertise in organizational management range from planning and improving operational strategies to strategic intelligence to improve research, development and innovation agendas. Mr. Lopes is currently an Embrapa Visiting Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxemburg, Austria.

Mogens Lund is an agricultural and food economist, who received his Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics from KVL in Copenhagen in 1987. Since July 2015, Mogens Lund has been director for the Division of Food Production and Society at the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research. He has previously been Research Director at NILF in Oslo and Head of Research at the Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen. In 2003 – 2012, he was the chief editor of the scientific journal “Food Economics”. His research interests include risk and efficiency analysis, strategic management, value chain analyses, cost-benefit evaluations, and the development of the bioeconomy.

Jussi Manninen is Executive Vice President at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He is responsible for the business area of Solutions for Natural Resources and Environment, which consists of three research areas: Industrial biotechnology and food solutions, Biomass processing and products, and Sustainable energy and chemical technologies. He previously worked for the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, where he was responsible for implementing the Finnish Government’s key projects on the Bioeconomy and Cleantech and the Finnish bioeconomy strategy. Mr. Manninen holds a PhD in Process Integration from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

Mary Maxon earned her Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has spanned the realms of the private sector in biotech and pharmaceutical industries to the public sector, notably as the Assistant Director for Biological Research at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences, Mary Maxon leads a part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with enormous talent, capabilities, and potential. The Biosciences Area aims to address bioeconomy-related challenges in a comprehensive manner, by leveraging advanced facilities and equipment, a culture of interdisciplinary team science, and a historic and deep level of biological and technical expertise.

Murray McLaughlin is President of McLaughlin Consultants and Advisor to Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) and to Forest Products Innovation(FPI). He co-chairs the Industrial Bioproducts Value Chain Roundtable which is a partnership between Industry and AAFC for the bioeconomy. From 2010 to 2016 he was the Executive Director of BIC and the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance in Sarnia, Ontario. McLaughlin has held various positions in the private, government and non-profit sectors such as Director of Business Development for the Canadian Light Source, President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, and President of Ag-West Biotech Inc. McLaughlin is a graduate of NS Agricultural College, McGill (BSc) and Cornell (MSC/PhD).

Paulus Mungeyi is Manager at the Biotechnology Division of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) in Namibia and a national contact person for emergency measures (as per Article 17 requirement of the Cartagena Protocol). He formed part in the development of the Namibian Biosafety Framework and continues implementing the Biosafety Act, 2006 (Act No. 7 of 2006). Mr. Mungeyi holds a Master in Environmental Management, a Master in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Conservation. He is currently a PhD student. His work on bioeconomy involves setting a national bioeconomy agenda through the coordination of various stakeholders.

Ian O’Hara is a Principal Research Fellow specialising in bioenergy, biofuels and biorefining at Queensland University of Technology. His research interests include biofuels and bioenergy, biorefining and bioproducts, process engineering, scale-up and techno-economic assessment of new technologies. In 2016, he was appointed by the Queensland Government as the Queensland Biofutures Industry Envoy. As the Envoy, Mr. O’Hara provides strategic advice to government and assists in securing domestic and international investment within the Biofutures sector. He is a Director of Bioenergy Australia.

Jim Philp is a microbiologist who has worked as a policy analyst since 2011 at the OECD, specializing in industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology and biomass sustainability. He spent some 16 years as an academic researching industrial and environmental biotechnologies. He worked for 8.5 years with Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia as an oil biotechnologist. He has authored over 300 articles. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2015, and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 2016.

Marcelo Regunaga is Professor of the Graduate Program on Agribusiness at the University of Buenos Aires. He is further Academic Director of the Formation and Training Department of Bolsa de Cereales de Buenos Aires. Regunaga is a former Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; and a former Secretary of Industry, Commerce and Mining of Argentina. He is member of several organizations and advisory committees, e.g. the Argentine Council for International Relations, the GPS Group (Group of Producing Countries from de Southern Cone), and the Hemispheric Program on Bioeconomy and Productive Development of IICA. In addition, he is a member of the steering group of the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2020.

Frank Rijsberman leads the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in supporting governments transition towards a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. With over 30 years’ experience addressing the challenges of environmental sustainability and poverty reduction with leading international organizations and philanthropic foundations, Mr. Rijsberman was appointed as the Director- General of the Institute, on October 1, 2016. He holds a PhD degree in water resources management and planning from Colorado State University (US) and a MSc and BS in Civil Engineering from Delft University of Technology (Netherlands).

Morakot Tanticharoen is senior advisor to the President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). She is further Professor Emeritus at the School of Bioresources and Technology at the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and serves as a senior advisor to KMUTT’s President. From 2000 to 2008 Mrs. Morakot was director of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC). During her directorship, she also served as Chairman of the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Biotechnology (SCB). Mrs. Morakot is a leading Thai researcher in the field of microbiology and biotechnology. She holds a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Rhode Island, USA.

Flora Ismail Tibazarwa is Program Director for the Southern African Innovation Support Programe (SAIS 2). She has over nine years leadership experience in national research and innovation institutions. She headed a university department for six years and held the position of director for Life Sciences at the national science, technology and innovation think-tank in Tanzania. Ms. Tibazarwa is an active player in innovation support facilitating design and implementation of funding cycles for research and innovation. She is passionate about sustainable transformation using green and blue solutions and promotes entrepreneurship using multi-helix partnerships.

Seung Jun Yoo serves as Chief Business Officer of TP Healthcare since November 2018. His business interests lie in the connected healthcare and sustainable development of plant-based meat. Previously, he served as managing director of Korea Bio-Economy Research Center at KoreaBIO (2016-2018) and director for International Affairs, Biotechnology and Welfare R&D Coordination, and R&D Program Evaluation of the Korean government in KISTEP (Korea Institute of Science & Technology Evaluation and Planning) (2006-2016). He holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering from Korea University and M.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota and Cornell University.

Joachim von Braun is Professor for Economic and Technological Change and a Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at Bonn University, Germany. He served as Co-Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council and is an initiator of the Global Bioeconomy Summits. He is President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican. von Braun is further Board member of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and he is Vice President of Welthungerhilfe. From 2002 to 2009 he was Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He received his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Goettingen, Germany.

Christian Patermann is an international bioeconomy expert and advisor. Over the years, he has held numerous top positions in the international science and technology policy world. He was, for example, the Director of Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Research and the Director for Environment and Sustainable Development at the European Commission's Research Directorate-General and he was Deputy Director-General at the German Federal Ministry for Research and Education. Earlier, he worked with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

Elspeth MacRae is currently the Chief Innovation and Science Officer at SCION, leading forest growing and bioproduct manufacturing activities to deliver a Circular Bioeconomy for New Zealand. Previously she was responsible for biorefinery, bioenergy, biodiscovery and bioplastics, packaging, 3 and 4D printing, clean technology, wood and fibre and biotech/omics activities from discovery to commercialisation. MacRae leads a Portfolio for the National Science Challenge in Science and Technology for Industry. She is further Deputy Chair of the Biopolymer Network Ltd Board and a member of the New Zealand Packaging Council governance group. She cochairs the International Bioeconomy Forum forest bioeconomy working group with Canada and is a member of the Board of IBISBA.

Hugo Chavarría has worked at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for more than 12 years as a specialist in strategic analysis, policies for agriculture, competitiveness of agricultural chains and, more recently, in bioeconomy. Since the beginning of 2018, he is manager of the Hemispheric Program of Bioeconomy and Productive Development. He has participated in more than 25 technical documents, has dictated a large number of international seminars and workshops, and has been a teacher in universities and training centers. Prior to IICA, he had been an international consultant. Chavarría holds a master’s degree in international Trade and a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Ahmed Fahmi is acting Chief of the Section of Innovation and Capacity Building in the Natural Sciences sector at UNESCO. He is involved in the establishment of UNESCO centers of excellence and in establishing public private partnership in scientific research for Africa. 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 has a PhD in biophysics from the University of Cambridge.

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.

Yoshiyuki Fujishima, D.Phil., is a Senior Analyst in Japan's government funding agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). His role includes international policy information exchange in the area of Bioeconomy and Engineering Biology and general technology and innovation policies. He had worked in industrial association for 3 years and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. for over 20 years in the area of biotechnology R&D. He has knowledge in polymer chemistry, biology and has reasonable understanding in human nutrition and health science.

Eduardo J. Trigo is Adviser for Bioeconomy Development at the Ministry of Agroindustry and Professor at the Center for Agribusiness of the Austral University, in Argentina. He has an extensive experience as consultant on bioeconomy issues and in the area of science and technology policy, organization and management. He has served as Scientific Adviser for different governmental authorities and as member of Academic Councils. He was Director of Science and Technology at the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and Director of Research at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR). Trigo has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

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.

Torfi Jóhannesson is a senior adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers and has many years’ experience of policy development in bioeconomy and rural development. He grow up on a farm in Northern Iceland, graduated from the Agricultural University of Iceland in 1994 and received a PhD degree from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen in 2000. Since then he has worked as an Associate professor at the Agricultural University of Iceland; in rural development projects and in the Ministry of Industries and Innovation in Iceland, before joining the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2015.

Yin Li is presently the Director-General of Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He received his PhD in Fermentation Engineering at Jiangnan University in China in 2000. He then worked in the Netherlands and Ireland as a research scientist. In 2006 he was appointed as Professor by the Institute of Microbiology, CAS. In 2013 he was appointed as Visiting Professor by Cornell University. He served as the Director of CAS Key Laboratory of Microbial Physiological and Metabolic Engineering, Deputy DG of Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology CAS, and Deputy DG of Bureau of International Cooperation CAS, successively.

Sascha Bollerman graduated from the Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) and holds a master’s degree in international economics. He began his career at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and worked in the field of innovation and European affairs. He also served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was working in the political department at the embassy of the Netherlands in Vienna. In 2018, he joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. His work focusses mainly on European agri-innovation policy and bioeconomy.

Omid Tavakoli is currently academic staff of the School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran. He is further head of the National Bioeconomy Committee. He obtained his PhD in 2004 from the Osaka Prefecture University (Japan) and collaborated with the Center of Excellence of the Osaka University as postdoctoral researcher up to 2008. He established the Green Technology Laboratory (GTL) and the Iranian National Algae Culture Collection (INACC) at the University of Tehran. His research interests include microalgae-based technologies, sustainable energy, thermochemical processes, supercritical fluid technology and wastewater treatment.