Global Bioeconomy Summit 2015

Day 1        Day 2

Pre-Conference Day - 24 November, Federal Ministry of Education and Research
15:00 Advisory Committee Meeting (closed session)
18:00 Opening Ceremony & Welcome Reception
Conference Day 1 - 25 November, Berlin Congress Center (bcc)
09:00 Welcome Address
09:10 Keynote Speeches and Strategic Debate I
How can Bioeconomy Best Contribute to Innovativeness, Economic Growth, and Sustainable Development?

Dilek Bil - Partner, Sustineo Istanbul
Joachim von Braun - Chair, German Bioeconomy Council & Director, Center for Development Research, Bonn
10:40 Coffee Break
11:00 Innovation Policy Fostering Bioeconomy Development
  • Georg Schütte - State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (GER)
11:15 Bioeconomy World Tour: Bioeconomy Innovations – Challenges and Opportunities

Hannelore Daniel - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & Professor, TU Munich
Eduardo Trigo
- Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Argentina
  • Jack Bobo - Senior Vice President, Intrexon Corporation
  • Ben Durham - Chief Director BioInnovation, Department Science & Technology (ZA)
  • Ning Li - Chief Executive Director, BGI Europe
  • Glaucia Mendes Souza - Chair, SCOPE Program for Bioenergy & Sustainability
  • Marc Palahí - Director, European Forest Institute
12:30 Political Agenda: Bioeconomy and the Grand Challenges
Regina Birner - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & Professor, University of Hohenheim
  • Helge Braun - Minister of State to the German Chancellor
  • Jeffrey Sachs - Director, The Earth Institute - Columbia University
13:30 Lunch
14:30 Global Visions for Bioeconomy – an international Delphi-Study
  • Ulrich Hamm - Professor for Agricultural and Food Marketing, University of Kassel in Witzenhausen
15:00 Introduction to Interactive Sessions
Keynote: Future-oriented Bioeconomy Policy Making
  • John Bell - Director Bioeconomy, DG Research & Innovation - EU Commission
15:30 Interactive Sessions
15:30 Coffee Break in parallel to Interactive Session
15:30 - 18:30  15:30 – 15:45
Track 1: Bottom-up and Regional Approaches
Ingrid Kögel-Knabner - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & Professor, TU Munich

15:45 – 16:00
Track 2: Policy Monitoring and Impact Assessment
Chair: Daniela Thrän - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & Prof., Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

16:00 – 16:15
Track 3: Marine, Forest and Agriculture Innovations
Chair: Georg Backhaus - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & President, Julius Kühn Institute

16:15 – 16:30
Track 4: Industrial Innovations and Value-Chains
Holger Zinke - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & Founder, Brain AG
16:30 - 18:30 Roundtables

1. Sustainable Development of the Bioeconomy from a Civil Society Perspective
Marion Aberle - Development Expert, Welthungerhilfe (GER)

2. Challenge-oriented Bioeconomy Research - Solving Trade-offs
Léon Broers - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & Member of the Executive Board, KWS Saat AG
Harald Grethe - Chair, Scientific Advisory Board on Agricultural Policy (GER)

3. Developing Business Models and Innovation Networks
Gunter Pauli - Founder, Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) & Author 'The Blue Economy'
Dirk Pilat - Deputy Director, OECD

4. Policy Approaches Fostering Bioeconomy Development
Jackie Hunter - CEO, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK)
Andrea Noske - Head of Division, Federal Ministry Education and Research (GER)
18:30 Evening Reception (bcc)
  • Dinner Speech: Bioprincipled Cities
    • Li Zhang - Professor for Architecture, Tsinghua University (CN)
Conference Day 2 - 26 November, Berlin Congress Center (bcc)
09:00 Welcome Address
Folkhard Isermeyer - Member, German Bioeconomy Council & President, Thünen-Institute
  • Peter Bleser - State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (GER)
  • Maria Helena Semedo - Deputy Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
09:30 Keynote Speeches and Strategic Debate II
Defining the Transition to a Sustainable Bioeconomy
Franz Fischler - President, European Forum Alpbach
Inge Paulini - Secretary-General, German Advisory Council on Global Change
  • Francois Houllier - General Director, National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
  • Amit Kumar - Professor Sustainable Energy, TERI University Delhi
  • Gunter Pauli - Founder, Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) & Author 'The Blue Economy'
  • Adrian Rodriguez - Head of Agri. Development Unit, UN Economic Comm. for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Maximo Torero - Director, International Food Policy Research Institute
11:00 Coffee Break
11:30 Parallel Workshops (in cooperation)
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Conclusions & Communiqué: Towards a Global Bioeconomy
  • Report from Interactive Poster Sessions and Workshops
  • Wrap-up
    • Christian Patermann - International Bioeconomy Expert, former Director Biotechnology DG R & I
    • Lucia Reisch - German Bioeconomy Council & Professor, Copenhagen Business School
  • Presentation of the Communiqué
14:40 Strategic Debate III
Towards a global dialogue on bioeconomy policy

  • Luis Almagro - Secretary General, Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Mohd Nazlee Kamal - CEO, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation
  • Alice Kaudia - Environment Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources
  • Frank Rijsberman - CEO, CGIAR Consortium - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
  • Klaus Töpfer - Executive Director, IASS Potsdam - Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
16:00 Closing Ceremony & Farewell
Daniel Barben - Chair, GBS Conference Committee & Professor, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt
Christine Lang - Chair, German Bioeconomy Council & CEO, Organobalance
  • Short Conference Summary (Video)
17:00 Farewell Coffee
18:00 End


  • Position concepts of a future bioeconomy in relation to similar or competing concepts (such as green economy or circular economy)
  • Identify opportunities and constraints of bioeconomy policies to address important global challenges and policy issues

Discussion points:

  • Prospects of a biobased economy to provide cross-sectoral innovations, contribute to economic growth and job creation, as well as to sustainable development and societal welfare.
  • Integration of bioeconomy policy with innovation, economic, agricultural, developmental, environmental, and social policies, including global policy agendas of economic and societal transformation (e.g., SDGs and post-2015 development process).
  • Landscape of controversies and conflicts, divergent perspectives and expectations, winners and losers (e.g., at global and local levels, between emerging and industrialized/re-industrializing countries, or regarding focus on exploitation of biomass or innovation).
  • Circular Economy

Driven by technological advances, the bioeconomy has gained momentum around the world. More than 30 industrialised and emerging economies have implemented bioeconomy in their political strategies. The concept of knowledge-based bioeconomy comprises a broad set of sciences, technologies and industrial sectors, ranging from the life sciences to engineering and informatics. The session will showcase hot topics in bioeconomy research together with exemplary regional innovations.

Discussion points:
Perceived opportunities and challenges of innovation activities in the respective topic area and geographic region. Show early successes and failures and promising future developments. Highlight opportunities for transnational learning and strategic cooperation in bioeconomy.

  • South America: Pioneering a new Industry
  • Asia/Pacific: Prospects of biological engineering – Genomics and Synthetic Biology
  • North America: Airborne CO2 as Feedstock – Artificial Photosynthesis and Algae
  • Africa: Towards Rural Development and Economic Participation
  • Europe: Stimulating Industrial Change and Markets


  • Identify guiding principles and key elements for the development of a sustainable bioeconomy.

Discussion points:

  • Prospects of biobased innovation strategies: generalized and context-specific aspects (e.g., national, sectoral)
  • Approaches to research, technology development, and industrial implementation/industrialization (including creation of new value chains and markets)
  • Social embedding
  • Driving forces of and obstacles to a biobased sustainability transition: science, engineering, and industry.
  • Regulatory frameworks (i.e., at international and national levels, and across policy and innovation sectors).
  • Experiences and lessons learned: defining targets, conflict management, understanding failures, maximizing benefits, guiding principles for governing the transition to a sustainable bioeconomy.


  • This concluding debate will discuss and highlight the key messages of the Conference Communiqué. Opportunities for future collaboration and intensified dialogue in bioeconomy policy will be presented.

Discussion points:

  • Stipulations in the Conference Communiqué
  • Opportunities for future collaboration
  • Highlighting important platforms for international dialogue and collaboration
  • Communicating next steps

Target group:
NGOs and civil society organisations with an interest in BE-related policy issues  

This roundtable will provide a platform for NGO representatives from around the world to discuss experiences, activities and positions regarding the BE. What can be learnt from experiences in the past? What are the key issues in the present and the future? What are common or diverging viewpoints among NGOs and civil society organisations? Is there a shared vision of a sustainable BE? What are opportunities for future collaborations? What is the significance of regulatory frameworks, how should they be developed further?  

The Roundtable will allow for up to ten impulse presentations including discussion. A call for contributions has been sent to all GBS2015 invitees.

Target group:
Industry and business representatives active in the bioeconomy  

This roundtable will provide a platform for discussing the future development of a bioeconomy through creating new biobased value-chains as well as business models and innovation networks. What achievements have been made in advancing business opportunities and industry foundations for bioeconomy-related growth? What may be promising avenues to pursue in the future? What are the challenges to and opportunities for developing the bioeconomy across sectors? What role do regulatory frameworks play, how should they be developed further?  

The Roundtable will allow for up to ten impulse presentations by leading experts in the field including discussion. A call for contributions has been sent to all GBS2015 invitees.

Target group:
Scientific policy advisers in policy areas relevant to the bioeconomy, such as: circular economy and resource efficiency, green/blue growth, agriculture, forestry, marine industry, research & innovation, biotechnology, biobased industry & enterprise, food security, bioenergy.  

This roundtable will provide a platform for discussing key issues in science-based policy advice. What experiences have been made in different countries? In what form and to what end has policy advice been provided? What role does science or, respectively, do scientists play? Are there tensions between challenge and excellence-oriented research strategies? What is the significance of regulatory frameworks, how should they be developed further? What are options for future collaboration among those concerned with soliciting or offering policy advice on bioeconomy-related research and innovation strategies?  

The Roundtable will allow for up to ten impulse presentations by leading experts in the field including discussion. A call for contributions has been sent to all GBS2015 invitees.

Target group:
Policy makers and researchers, regional and local bioeconomy promotion organisations


This roundtable will provide a platform for policy makers and promotion organizations from around the world to discuss experiences, activities and positions regarding suitable policy and trade strategies fostering sustainable bioeconomy development. What can be learnt from experiences in the past? What are the key issues in the present and the future? What are opportunities for future collaborations? What is the significance of regulatory frameworks, e.g. in the area of international trade, how should they be developed further?

The Roundtable will allow for up to ten impulse presentations including discussion. A call for contributions has been sent to all GBS2015 invitees.

Johanna Wanka has been appointed German Minister of Education and Research in 2013. Mrs. Wanka has a wealth of experience in higher education and research management and policy. She was Minister of Science, Research and Culture of the state of Brandenburg for nine years and subsequently Minister with the same portfolio in Lower Saxony for four years. Prior to her government roles, she was Professor for Engineering Mathematics and was elected Rector at Merseburg University of Applied Sciences. Subsequently she assumed responsibilities in the Rectors' Conference of the state of Saxony-Anhalt and in the German Rectors' Conference.

Dilek Bil is one of three partners of Sustineo Istanbul, a consulting agency that builds systems to prioritize, measure, and report in issues of sustainability. Previously Ms. Bil gained work experience in marketing with several significant brands in Turkey and also worked as a board member of the Turkish-British Business Association. Ms. Bil holds the position of vice president of the Turkish Financial Literacy and Inclusion Association (FODER) as well as a BBA in International Finance and International Marketing from the University of North Texas, USA.

Alice Kaudia is Kenya’s Environment Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. She has extensive experience in the field of institutional capacity building, community-driven natural resources management and conservation, spanning close to three decades. She has coordinated Kenya’s National Climate Change Response Strategy, the Master Plan for Conservation and Sustainable Management of Water Catchment Areas and the National Environment Policy, among others. She is a founding member of the Kenya Professional Association of Women in Agriculture and Environment. Ms. Kaudia has published numerous papers on poverty, community participation and gender in relation to agriculture and forestry.

Hannelore Daniel is a nutritionist by background and is director of the Centre Institute of Nutrition and Food Research at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Since 2009 she has been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council. In addition she holds various memberships in national and international organisations such as the National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). Ms. Daniel co-founded the European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO) and the European personalised nutrition project Food4Me. She has received several well-known scientific awards as well as the Medal of the Land of Bavaria.

In 2010 Regina Birner took the Chair of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Hohenheim, Germany. Before that Ms. Birner worked as Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) where she led the Research Program on “Governance for Agricultural and Rural Development”. She has many years of professional experience in working in and with development countries such as Ghana and Uganda. Since 2012 Ms. Birner has been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council.

Ingrid Kögel-Knabner has held the Chair of Soil Science at the Life Sciences Centre of Technical University of Munich since 1995. During this time, she gained varied experiences by visiting the US Geological Survey/Reston and the Delft University of Technology. Aside her membership in the German Bioeconomy Council, Ms. Kögel-Knabner is represented in the Committee of the German Research Foundation as well as in evaluation panels of the German Science Council. She is also a member of several high-impact soil science journals and since 2011, she has been Carl von Linde Fellow at TUM Institute of Advanced Study.

Daniela Thrän is head of the department of Bioenergy Systems at the German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ) and also of the Bioenergy Department at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). Ms. Thrän is a graduate Diplom-Engineer for environmental technologies and since 2011 she has held the professonial chair Bioenergy Systems at the Institute for Infrastructure and Resources Management, University of Leipzig. Aside from her membership in the German Bioeconomy Council, Ms. Thrän is represented in working groups at ISO, CEN, VDI, DIN, the European technology platform for biofuels as well as the IEA Bioenergy Task 40.

Georg Backhaus has been the President of the Julius Kühn Institute since 2008. Previously he gained professional experiences at the Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, as director of the department of Plant Protection in Horticulture at the Provincial Chamber of Agriculture in Weser-Ems as well as at the Federal Biology Institute of Agriculture and Forestry (president). He is a graduate agricultural scientist specializing in horticulture and phytomedicine and also the publisher of the Journal of Horticultural Crops. Since 2012, Mr. Backhaus has been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council.

Daniel Barben is director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Society Studies at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. Prior to this he served as Chair of Futures Studies at the Institute of Political Science, RWTH Aachen University. Mr. Barben also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Arizona State University. Since 2012, Mr. Barben has been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council and is head of the GBS2015 Conference Committee. In adition he holds memberships in several professional associations such as the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology and the German Political Science Association.

Ashok Khosla is the founder and Chairman of the Development Alternatives Group, a consortium of social enterprises based in India. The group’s mission is to create technologies, businesses and markets for large scale generation of sustainable livelihoods. Mr. Khosla is an inspiring leader in sustainable development. He has been President of the Club of Rome, a Member of the Governing Bodies of the World Economic Forum in Davos, IUCN, WWF, IISD, the Stockholm Environment Institute and WETV, among others. He was Special Advisor to the Brundtland Commission and Chairman of the NGO Forum at the ‘92 Earth Summit in Rio.

Janez Potocnik has been nominated Co-Chair of the UNEP International Resource Panel in 2014. Before, Mr. Potocnik was European Commissioner for ten years. Already a senior politician in Slovenia, he joined the European Commission first as Commissioner for Science and Research and than for Environment. In his earlier career, he was Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development in Slovenia. He was appointed Head of the negotiating team for accession of Slovenia to the EU, Director of the Government Office for European Affairs, Minister Counsellor at the Office of the Prime Minister and Slovenian Minister responsible for European Affairs.

Murray McLaughlin is the Executive Director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada in Sarnia, Ontario. Since 2013, he has been responsible for generating business opportunities and building clusters for biobased products across Canada. In the course of his career, Mr. McLaughlin has held several high-level private and public sector positions in agriculture as well as the biobased industry. He was President of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, President of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, and President of Ag-West Biotech. Mr. McLaughlin is an expert in biobased and sustainable chemistry-based technologies, with a focus on advanced biofuels, biochemicals, biomaterials and bio-ingredients.

Glaucia Mendes Souza is the Chairperson of the SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability project. The SCOPE, published in 2015, details policy recommendations for the sustainable expansion of bioenergy in the world. The project involves contributions from 137 experts in 24 countries. Furthermore, Ms. Souza is the President of the FAPESP Bioenergy Program in Brazil (BIOEN). She is active in several scientific organizations, for example as the Vice- Coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology of Bioethanol, as leader of the Biomass Systems and Synthetic Biology Center São Paulo and as member of the Bioenergy and Sustainability Research Nuclei Council.

Huanming Yang is the co-founder and Chairman of BGI-China (Beijing Genomics Institute). To date, BGI holds about half of the global capacity in genome sequencing. In the course of his outstanding career as a researcher and founder, Mr. Yang has studied and worked in Asia, the US and Europe. Mr. Yang and his partners have made a significant contribution to the international HGP, HapMap, and G1K projects. Their work in genome sequencing has been published in Science, Nature, and other most prestigious journals. Mr. Yang has been affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, TWAS, as well as to the National Academies of India, Germany and the USA.

Ben Durham is currently Chief Director Bio-innovation at the National Department of Science and Technology in South Africa. His responsibilities included the finalisation of the South African Bio-economy Strategy, launched in January 2014, and he now is overseeing implemention of the three themes of Agricultural, Health, and Industrial sectors. Ultimately the purpose is to develop and improve the efficiencies of the National System of Innovation, ensuring socio-economic benefits to the broader society. Mr. Durham has previously been a Programme Manager for two Research Support programmes at the National Research Foundation, before he joined the Department of Science and Technology in 2003 as Director Biotechnology.

Marc Palahi is the director of the European Forest Institute. Since 2013 in his post as a deputy director of EFI, he has been responsible for the overall coordination and integration of EFI’s strategic activities related to research and policy support. Previously he led EFI’s policy support activities and during this time was instrumental in launching ThinkForest, a European high-level science forum on the future of forests. He has also worked as head of EFI’s Mediterranean Regional Office, EFIMED. Mr. Palahi holds a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.

John Bell is Director Bioeconomy, DG Research & Innovation. He has been a European Commission official since 1993. During his career he has worked on financial aid assistance programmes in the former Yugoslavia and in Albania, as well as public administration reform programmes in Central and Eastern Europe. Mr. Bell was also a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner David Byrne with responsibility for enlargement, public health and global health security issues, including bioterrorism, and Head of Cabinet for European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on Consumer Affairs. He completed his Doctorate at St John's College, Oxford University in 1993.

Gunter Pauli is a Belgian entrepreneur, activist, author and lecturer. He made Ecover a pioneering company in sustainable detergents.  Over the years, he has promoted sustainable approaches in business, culture, science, politics and the environment. He contributed to the development of the Kyoto Protocol and founded the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI) and the Global ZERI Network, which uses science and publicly available information to find and develop sustainable business solutions. Mr. Pauli has been visiting lecturer and professor at universities around the world, and a board member of NGOs and private companies in Asia, USA and Latin America.

Francois Houllier is the Chair and CEO of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), one of the key players in the French bioeconomy. Mr. Houllier has extensive experience in multidisciplinary bioeconomy research. Prior to his current role, Mr. Houllier has held several management positions at INRA. During his early career he was Professor at the National College of Forestry in Nancy and Director of the French Institute of Pondicherry in India. For several years, he was a board member of the European Forest Institute (EFI) and Chairperson of the board, when EFI developed into an international organization in 2005.

Leena Srivastava is the Acting Director General of TERI, which is the largest developing-country institution working towards sustainability. Ms. Srivastava is a renowned specialist in energy and environmental economics. She is a member of several international advisory bodies, such as the Executive Committee of the “Sustainable Energy for All” (SE4ALL) initiative of the UN Secretary General and the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) of UNEP. Prior to her current role, Ms. Srivastava was the Vice Chancellor of the TERI University. She is on the editorial boards of various international journals.

Christine Lang is one of the founders and the Managing Director of ORGANOBALANCE GmbH. As a Doctor of Biology, she spent 10 years working in industrial research at Hüls Chemie Forschungsgesellschaft where, amongst other things, she established and ran the working group on genetics and molecular biology. Since 2012, she has been the Chairwoman of the German Bioeconomy Council. In 1993 she moved to the Technische Universität Berlin and was promoted to Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. At the TU Berlin she lectures on genetics in biotechnology. Mrs. Lang is active in various biotechnology associations. She is a member of the Management Board of the DECHEMA and member of the Management Board of the VCI/DIB.

Mauricio Lopes is President of the Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), a leader in bioeconomy research and innovation in Brazil. Mr. Lopes has held different research and management positions at Embrapa since 1989. He was the deputy head for R&D at Embrapa Maize and Sorghum and at Genetic Resources and Biotechnology. More recently, he was a member of the Scientific Council of the Agropolis Foundation (Montpellier, France), the coordinator of Embrapa's Labex in South Korea, and Embrapa's Executive Director for R&D. Mr. Lopes is an agronomist with a MSc in plant genetics, a PhD in molecular biology and a post-doc in sustainable genetic resources use.

Christian Patermann is a former member of the German Bioeconomy Council. Over the years, he has held numerous top positions in the international science and technology policy world. He was 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 at the European Space Agency and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Since his retirement in 2007, Mr. Patermann has been an independent consultant for public and private institutions and companies.

Frank Rijsberman was appointed CEO of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR Consortium) in May 2012, having previously held the position of Director General at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Frank has also worked as the Director of the Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene initiative at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Program Director at, Google's philanthropic sector. Thirty years of experience as a researcher and consultant in natural resources management have helped Frank drive CGIAR's focus towards improving food security, nutrition and health, reducing rural poverty and protecting the environment. Frank has worked in Africa, Asia and Europe, and has authored over 60 scientific articles and book chapters, including World Water Vision: Making Water Everybody's Business. 

Klaus Töpfer is the founding Director and current Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. Over the years, Mr. Töpfer has held several high-level positions in national and international environmental policy. He was Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. He was appointed German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 1987 to 1994 and subsequently Minister for Regional Planning, Housing and Urban Development. Since 2007, Mr. Töpfer has also been Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at Tongji University in Shanghai.

Maria Helena Semedo is Deputy-Director General, Natural Resources of the FAO UN and has been working for it in various positions since 2003. Under her present role she coordinates the work of the 3 departments Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and two natural resources divisions. Ms Semedo former positions have included Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Minister for Marine Affairs, Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs. Furthermore she has served as Coordinator of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in Sahel (CILSS), as Chairperson of the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean and as Chairperson of the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

Lucia Reisch is a professor for consumer behaviour and consumer policy at Copenhagen Business School, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management. Since 2011 she also hold a permanent guest professorship at the Zeppelin University of Friedrichshafen (Germany). Her main research focus is on behavioural economics and sustainable consumption. She is a member of the German Bioeconomy Council and since 2015 head of the new Advisory Council on Consumer Policy in Germany. Furthermore she has a membership of the German Council for Sustainable Development and the Ethics Commission for Safe Energy Supply. In 2012 she was elected to become one of the 400 lifelong members of Germany's Academy of Technical Sciences.

Ulrich Hamm is professor for agricultural and food marketing at the University of Kassel, Germany. He has more than twenty years of experience in consumer research and agricultural/food marketing. In recent years, he has specialized in organic food and ethically motivated consumption. In 2012, Mr. Hamm has been appointed to the German Bioeconomy Council. For five years, he has also been a member of the German Scientific Advisory Board for Biodiversity and Genetic Resources. Mr. Hamm serves on the world board of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) and is an editor of the Organic Agriculture journal. 

Peter Bleser has been Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) since February 2011. A master farmer by trade, Peter Bleser has been committed to agricultural policy and consumer protection for twenty-five years. Over the years, he has been actively involved in several bioeconomy-related parliamentary groups. Since 2004, he has been the Chair of the CDU Federal Committee on Food and Agriculture in the German Bundestag. From 2007 to 2011 Mr. Bleser has further been a member of the Executive Board of the German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR).

Newai Gebre-ab is the Executive Director of the Ethiopian Development Research Institute and the Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister. Mr. Gebre-ab has extensive experience not only in formulating green growth and development strategies but also in macro-economic policy and international finance. He chairs the Ethiopian Government/Donors Committee on Governance and is the Chairman of the board of directors of the National Bank of Ethiopia. In the course of his career, Mr. Gebre-ab has been involved in many multi-lateral policy forums and negotiations, such as the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Joachim von Braun is a Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and Professor for Economic and Technological Change at University of Bonn, Germany. Since 2012 he has been the Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council and also Vice-President of the NGO “Welthungerhilfe”. From 2002 to 2009 he has been Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington DC, the world's premier research institute addressing food, agriculture, nutrition and related development policies. Before these positions, von Braun was professor of Food Economics and Food Policy at Kiel University, Germany. He received his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Goettingen, Germany in 1978.

Jack Bobo serves as the Senior Vice President for Intrexon, a synthetic biology company developing solutions to the great challenges in food, energy and health. He joins Intrexon from the U.S. Department of State where he has worked for the past thirteen years, most recently as Senior Advisor for Food Policy following his positions as Senior Advisor for Biotechnology as well as Chief of the Biotechnology and Textile Trade Division. Through these key roles Mr. Bobo was responsible for global outreach to foreign audiences and senior foreign officials across a variety of issues and led or participated in bilateral trade discussions and negotiations. Prior to his position at the U.S. Department of State, he was an attorney at Crowell & Moring LLP.

Helge Braun has been Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor since December 2013. Four years before he held the position of the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research. Since 2009, Mr. Braun has been a member of the German Bundestag (also from 2002 to 2005: Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment and Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety). Before starting his political career, Mr. Braun worked as a doctor.

Georg Schütte has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research since December 2009. Prior to this, he was Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn. Mr. Schütte worked as Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin. During this period, he was also a member of the EU Commission's expert group on 'Benchmarking Human Resources'. Among other things he is a member of the Founding Supervisory Board of the Berlin Institute of Health and the Supervisory Board of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research.

Her Excellency Tumusiime Rhoda Peace is the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union. Prior to assuming this portfolio, H.E Tumusiime held various senior positions in the Government of the Republic of Uganda, including Commissioner for Agriculture Planning and Commissioner for Women and Development. She is a holder a Bachelors’ Degree in Agricultural Economics, a Masters Degree in Economics, Planning and Managing Rural Development, and a Diploma in Women and Development. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated leadership in the empowerment of women, poverty eradication, agricultural development, strategic planning and partnership building, among others.

Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo is an Argentinean Bishop and the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, based at the Vatican. He has intimate knowledge of the Pontifical encyclical Laudato Si, which he presents worldwide. Mr. Sánchez has held positions as Lecturer at the Lateran University Rome and as full Professor at the Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta. He received several honors for his work, including the Legion d’Honneur of France. In 2001, His Holiness John Paul II consecrated him titular Bishop of Vescovìo.

Jeffrey Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and also co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance and Director of the Millennium Villages Project. Furthermore Mr. Sachs is one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development.

Georg Schütte has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since December 2009. Prior to this, he had been Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn since 2004. Previously Mr. Schütte worked as Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin and during this period, he was also a member of the EU Commission's expert group on 'Benchmarking Human Resources'. Among other things he is a member of the Founding Supervisory Board of the Berlin Institute of Health and the Supervisory Board of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research.

Eduardo Trigo is currently Director of Grupo CEO and 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. Mr. Trigo was also active as consultant in the area of science and technology policy, with emphasis in biotechnology applications to the agricultural and food sector.

Luis Almagro Lemes was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States in 2015. Before that Mr. Almagro was Foreign Minister of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. In addition he was appointed Senator in the national elections in Uruguay in October 2014. Mr. Almagro, a career diplomat, was also Ambassador to China for five years, after occupying senior diplomatic posts in the Foreign Ministry of his country, and in the Embassies of Uruguay in Germany and Iran. In 2014 Foreign Policy magazine named him a Leading Global Thinker, one of ten decision-makers in the region granted this international distinction.

Mohd Nazlee Kamal is the CEO of the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, a government agency responsible for implementing the national bioeconomy strategy. Mr. Kamal has a proven track record as an innovator and manager in the biotechnology sector. He was the founding CEO of Inno Biologics and the Group Managing Director of Inno Bio Ventures. He also has six years of business development experience with multinational companies, for example Amersham Biosciences and Sartorius. Mr. Kamal invented the ‚External Spinfilter’, which has been marketed by Sartorius BBI Systems. Mr. Kamal is a member of several associations, for instance the Malaysian Molecular Biology Society.

Albert Butare is currently CEO of Africa Energy Services Group Ltd, based in Kigali. Previously, he held the position as Minister of State for Infrastructure in the Republic of Rwanda. In addition, Mr. Butare gained wide experiences in high level public sector policy and project development as well as implementation, engineering, social and economic development. He assisted a number of institutions including the World Bank, European Union Commission, African Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa and also private companies and organizations on infrastructure related investments. Mr. Butare has won two prestigious awards: the Award on Renewable Energies (2002) and the Lifetime Achievement Regional Award for East African Power Industries (2014/15).

Holger Zinke is a molecular biologist and entrepreneur. In 1993 he founded BRAIN Biotechnology Research AG and acted as CEO until summer 2015. BRAIN is a technology company group with a focus on white/industrial biotechnology. It holds a leading role in the area of the industrial use of natural microbial biodiversity with more than 80 collaborations with companies such as BASF and Clariant. Mr. Zinke is represented in several commissions and advisory committees, e. g. the Association of the German Chemical Industries (VCI) and the Bioeconomy Panel of the European Commission. Since 2010, he has also been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council.

Folkhard Isermeyer is the president of the Thünen-Institute, an indepedent research institute under the roof of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The Institute carries out research and provides science-based policy advice with regard to agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural areas. Mr. Isermeyer received his doctorate degree in agricultural economics from Göttingen University where he holds a professorship. His research focus is mainly on international comparisons of agricultural production systems and on politics (agricultural, environmental, animal welfare, research policy). Mr. Isermeyer is represented in several committees, since 2009, he has been a member of the German Bioeconomy Council.

Gernot Brodning is currently the Director of the Global Economics and Social Science Programme at IUCN. He has some 25 years of international experience in policy analysis, program/project management and research in natural resources management, biodiversity conservation and climate change, with a focus on livelihood and governance issues. Mr. Brodnig worked for UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, served as UNDP's Environment Advisor for Asia, and - most recently - managed various REDD+ research and capacity-building initiatives at the World Bank. Before, he spent five years as a Research Fellow at Harvard University, investigating environmental and social impacts of oil exploration.

Léon Broers is an agronomist and since 2007 he has been the Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board at KWS SAAT SE, Germany. The company is one of the world’s leading seed producers and Mr. Broers is chiefly responsible for the research and development and energy-plant sectors. In this position, he was involved in many plant breeding projects such as GABI, the former German plant genome research initiative. Mr. Broers gained professional experiences at Nunhems (Bayer Cropscience) and joined the German Bioeconomy Council in 2012.

Harald Grethe is an experienced agronomist and since 2008, Professor of Agricultural and Food Policy at the Universität Hohenheim. Furthermore he advises the German government in several positions such as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board on Agricultural Policy, led by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, as a member of the Bioeconomy Strategy Group at the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Wurttemberg and many others. Mr. Grethe is also represented in various international associations as the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium and the European Association of Agricultural Economists.

Dirk Pilat is currently the Deputy Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. He began his career in 1994 with work in the OECD Economics Department on climate change, unemployment and product market regulation. He joined the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry in May 1997and has worked primarily on how to strengthen the contribution of science and innovation to economic performance and social outcomes. He became Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division in January 2006, with responsibilities for the OECD’s work on science, technology and innovation policy. Mr. Pilat holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Groningen.

Jackie Hunter joined BBSRC as CEO in October 2013. She has wide experiences in the bioscience research sector, working across academia and industry and playing a key role in innovative collaborations and partnerships. She holds a personal chair from St George's Hospital Medical School and a PhD in Psychology from Bedford College, London. Ms. Hunter spent several years developing and leading GSK's external science engagement strategy. She also gained professional experience in founding of OI Pharma Partners in 2010 to support the life science sector in harnessing the power of open innovation. Jackie Hunter is a current member of the Council of the University of Hertfordshire.

Li Brian Zhang is Founding Partner of Atelier TeamMinus in Bejing, which envisages to developping an alternative modernity in Chinese architecture. TeamMinus has earned international recognition, e.g. for the China Pavilion roof gardens at the Expo in Shanghai. Mr. Zhang is also Chair and Professor of Architecture at Tsinghua University. He is Board member of the Society of Chinese Architects and Editor-in-chief of the World Architecture Magazine. Mr. Zhang has taught in a number of reputable international institutions, including Syracuse University, National University of Singapore, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Barcelona School of Architecture.

Franz Fischler is an experienced representative of the agriculture sector whose career began at the Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Tyrol. After becoming its director, Mr. Fischler was appointed Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Austria in 1989. In that capacity he played an important part in the negotiations for Austria's accession to the European Union. From 1995 to 1999 he was European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and after that also responsible for Community fisheries policy. Since 2004 Franz Fischler has concentrated on consultancy work, giving lectures and holding speeches. In addition he has been president of the think tank European Forum Alpbach and Chairman of the RISE-Foundation since 2012.

Inge Paulini has been the Secretary-General of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) since 2009. Ms. Paulini holds a Master of Science in Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, a Diploma in Nutrition, University of Bonn as well as a Ph.D. in Biology from the University Hannover. Before joining the WBGU she worked in various leading poitions at the Federal Environment Agency (Germany) on environmental and sustainability topics. In addition Ms. Paulini is a member of several committees on sustainable development strategies.

During her political science studies Marion Aberle gained journalistic experiences as a freelancer for various daily newspapers and for television. After graduating from university she completed an editorial traineeship at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Following this she worked there in several positions including a two years stay in South Africa. In 2004 Ms. Aberle joined the German NGO Welthungerhilfe. She started as press officer, afterwards she was head of information and press office. Since 2014 Ms. Aberle has been supporting Welthungerhilfe’s politics and lobbying activities.

Andrea Noske was appointed Head of Division “Bio-Economy” at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in September 2015. Her main responsibilities include project funding as well as science and technology policy in relation to a bio-based economy. She had previously completed a four-year post as Head of the Science and Technology section at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. Additionally Ms. Noske gained political experiences, among others, as Desk Officer for Scientific Cooperation with Israel in the division “Bilateral Cooperation with Western Europe, Mediterranean Countries and Africa”, Deputy Personal Assistant to Federal Minister Jürgen Rüttgers as well as Head of the German Delegation at the OECD Science and Technology Policy Committee and also at the OECD Education Policy Committee.

Maximo Torero is currently the Division Director of the Market, Trade and Institutions Division at International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI Coordinator for Latin America, and also a leader of the Global Research Program on Institutions and Infrastructure for Market Development. In addition he is a professor on leave at the University of Pacific, Lima. Mr. Torero's major research work lies particularly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets (private or public) in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs (or discontinuities) can improve the welfare of households.

Ning Li is the Chief Business Officer of Beijing Genome Institute and Executive Director of BGI-Hongkong, BGI-Europe and BGI-America. Mr. Li has led his group to successfully establish lots of forward NGS-based epigenomic platforms in BGI-Shenzhen, and also to develop the bioinformatics analysis tools specifically for the epigenome data analysis. Ning Li has published in most reputable international journals, Nature Genetics, Journal of Autoimmunity, PNAS, PLoS Biology, Plant Cell, Methods, PLoS ONE among others. Mr. Li is member of the Steering Committee of Genome Denmark and of the executive committee of International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC) on behalf of BGI.

Adrian Rodriguez is currently Chief of the Agricultural Development Unit at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile. He has recently organized the Latin America and the Caribbean Bioeconomy 2015 conference in Chile. Mr. Rodriguez has been involved in the bioeconomy-related activities in the interregional ALCUE NET. Before moving to ECLAC, he was a Rural Development Specialist at the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in Costa Rica. In the course of his career, Mr. Rodriguez has advised numerous projects and international organizations throughout Latin America.

As Dean (Distance & Short Term Education), Amit Kumar is responsible for development and outreach of the University’s online courses, management & faculty development programmes, and other skill enhancement initiatives. Before he moved to TERI University, Mr Kumar was leading research activities in the fields of renewable energy and resource efficient process technology applications in TERI. He has been working on the development and diffusion of cleaner and renewable energy resources based technological solutions in India for over 32 years. His experience ranges from policy and programme formulation, through project implementation, to the design and development of renewable-energy technologies, as well as manufacturing of solar energy devices.