Sustainable Bioeconomy Strategy

Sustainable Bioeconomy Council

During the implementation and development of the Sustainable Bioeconomy Strategy, the Sustainable Bioeconomy Council, comprised of seventeen experts from various divisions and sectors of the bioeconomy contributing their knowledge, will advise the state government. 

  • Prof. Dr. Iris Lewandowski

    Prof. Dr. Iris Lewandowski (Chair)

    “Baden-Württemberg is a leading bioeconomy region of the EU, because it recognized the potential of the bioeconomy early on and subsequently put relevant research and educational programs into place.”

    Professor Iris Lewandowski heads the department “Renewable Raw Materials in the Bioeconomy” at the University of Hohenheim. The focus of her research is sustainable production as a part of the bioeconomy. Beyond that, she has made a name for herself in the development of interdisciplinary educational concepts, and has established Germany’s first bioeconomy master’s program (MSc Bioeconomy). As chief bioeconomy officer (CBO), she coordinates the diverse range of activities and collaborations of the University of Hohenheim, such as activities within the context of the European Bioeconomy University (EBU), for example. In January of 2020, she and Professor Dr. Daniela Thrän became chairs of the Federal Bioeconomy Council (Bioökonomierat der Bundesregierung) for an initial period of 3 years.

  • Dr. Markus Wolperdinger

    Dr. Markus Wolperdinger (Chair)

    “Innovation and sustainability combined are the basis of human well-being and a healthy environment.”

    Head of Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Co-chair of the Sustainable Bioeconomy Council of Baden-Württemberg, Vice-Chairman of the Federal Bioeconomy Council. “With sustainable technologies for a healthy person in a healthy environment.” This motivation is what drove this chemist through his international career with innovative start-up companies, in medium-sized enterprises, and in leading positions in globally active large industries. Dr. Wolperdinger collected experience in development, sales, and management, and ultimately focused his scientific activities on the efficient implementation of the combination of biology and engineering.

  • Prof. Dr. Regina Birner

    Prof. Dr. Regina Birner

    “In the innovation-enthusiastic Baden-Württemberg, the bioeconomy is offered a significant chance at transforming the economy.”

    Professor Regina Birner holds the chair for Social and Institutional Transformation of Agricultural Development at the Hans Ruthenberg Institute of the University of Hohenheim. She studied agricultural sciences at the Technical University of Munich School of Life Sciences, receiving her doctorate and habilitation at the University of Göttingen in the field of agricultural economy. Before her appointment to the University of Hohenheim in 2010, Professor Regina Birner led the governance research program of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. Her research deals with the challenges of global food security and the sustainable development of the bioeconomy. Professor Regina Birner has over 25 years of research experience in countries of the global south. She has been a member of the Federal Bioeconomy Council since 2012.

  • Dr. Olaf Breuer

    Dr. Olaf Breuer

    Dr. Olaf Breuer is the site director of the Rheinfelden production site of specialty chemicals group Evonik and is responsible for 1,200 employees and 250 products. After studying physics with a focus on physical chemistry and receiving his doctorate at the University of Bochum, Dr. Breuer began his career in 1997 at Abakus Energiesysteme GmbH in Geisenkirchen. After holding various positions there, including head of the electro-, instrumentation, and control engineering division and operations manager, Dr. Breuer arrived at Evonik in 2011 as Senior Manager Operational Excellence. In 2013, he took over as head of Production & Technology (PT) of the Coating & Adhesive Resins (AC) unit within the segment of Resource Efficiency. In this position, he coordinates the AC’s PT activities at the Marl, Witten, Darmstadt, and Shanghai sites.

  • Dr. Norbert Haber

    Dr. Norbert Haber

    “To us, bioeconomy means thinking about agricultural production in new and comprehensive ways – starting at the field, along the entire value chain, and then all the way to the end of the utilization cascade.”

    After getting his doctorate in agricultural sciences at the University of Hohenheim, Dr. Norbert Haber worked at the Regional Council (Regierungspräsidium) in Karlsruhe and at the Ministry of Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection. In 2005, he became the head of the former German Agricultural Analytic and Research Institute Augustenberg (Landwirtschaflichen Untersuchungs- und Forschungsanstalt). Since 2007, he has served as head of the Agricultural Technology Center Augustenberg (Landwirtschaftlichen Technologiezentrums Augustenberg (LTZ)). With his recognized experience in plant cultivation and protection, his productive passion for scientific research, as well as his ability to diagnose a variety of plant diseases and pests, the LTZ gains a personal liaison between university research and practical agriculture.

  • Dipl.-Ing-Agr. Thomas Karle

    Dipl.-Ing-Agr. Thomas Karle

    “The bioeconomy strategy of the state government is extremely interesting, innovative, and forward-looking, and I’m excited to be able to play a contributing role as a member of the council.”

    Thomas Karle studied agricultural sciences at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science. He has operated a biogas plant since 2001 and currently provides a variety of national and international seminar and advisory services in the field of biogas. He’s been recognized several times for his activities, winning, among others, the Environmental Prize for Enterprises BW (Umweltpreis für Unternehmen) BW and the 2020 Bioeconomy Innovation Prize (Innovationspreis). In addition to that, he has been a council member of the State Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy of the University of Hohenheim for 10 years and chair of Gütegemeinschaft Gärprodukte e.V. As managing director of Agro Energie Hohenlohe GmbH & Co. KG, he develops and optimizes various processes of electricity production and nutrient recycling.

  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Kindervater

    Prof. Dr. Ralf Kindervater

    “The bioeconomy is one of the keys to solving the climate problems approaching us. Alongside energy transition, integration of the bioeconomy into the replacement of fossil-based materials as well as into all spheres of life is something we must do.”

    Professor Ralf Kindervater is the CEO of the state agency BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH and is responsible for supporting the health care industry (pharma, medical technology, and biotechnology) and the forum Gesundheitsstandort Baden-Württemberg (EN: Healthcare Position) (part of the Interministerial Strategy Process for the Advancement of the Health Care Economy). Beyond that, he works to help support the development of a bioeconomy in Baden-Württemberg and accompanies the biological transformation of the economy. A doctoral graduate in chemistry, specialized in biochemistry and biotechnology (Braunschweig Institute of Technology), Professor Kindervater also spends his time as a member of the Federal Bioeconomy Council and as an honorary professor, part of the chemical engineering and process technology faculty, at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

  • Dr. Manfred Kircher

    Dr. Manfred Kircher

    “With the Sustainable Bioeconomy Strategy, the necessary signals are being sent to shape our lives and economy towards a circularly-oriented and thus future-proofed state.”

    After on more than 30 years in the chemical industry, Dr. Manfred Kircher works as a freelance consultant for industrial bioeconomy. His professional positions were in the realm of research and development (Degussa AG, Germany), production (Fermas s.r.o., Slovakia), venture capital (Burrill & Company, USA), partnering (Evonik Industries AG, Germany) and the establishment of the Cluster Industrial Biotechnology’s bioeconomy cluster. He is, among other things, a chair of the CLIB council (since 2014), a chair of the bioeconomy association “BioBall” (“Bioeconomy in the Metropolitan Area,” (since 2019), was appointed to the Sustainable Bioeconomy Council (2020), and is co-chair of the Organics Valorization section of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB, 2020).

  • Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit

    Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit

    Professor Daniela Kleinschmit is the chair of the Forest and Environmental Policy faculty and Vice President for Internationalization and Sustainability at the University of Freiburg. Before accepting her position in Freiburg, she worked six years as an assistant professor and then later as an associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala. She received her doctorate in the field of forestry policy at the University of Göttingen. Her research topics include forestry-, environmental-, and agricultural policy as well as bioeconomy policy. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit is also the vice president of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and is actively involved in an excellent international forestry science network.

  • Dr. Joachim Kreysa

    Dr. Joachim Kreysa

    “The development of the bioeconomy requires, in particular, utilizing synergies – including ones that exist between the implementation of the regional Sustainable Bioeconomy Strategy of Baden-Württemberg and the bioeconomy strategy of the European Commission as part of the ‘Green Deal.’”

    Given his years of experience as a bioeconomy consultant at the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission (2016-2021), Dr. Joachim Kreysa provides an international viewpoint for the Sustainable Bioeconomy Council of Baden-Württemberg. After studying wood industry at the University of Hamburg (UHH), his doctoral thesis investigated the dynamic simulation of a forestry operation. Following his graduation, he held a variety of positions in the European Commission, including planning and implementing European research programs in the field of agro-industrial research, with a focus on forestry and the wood industry.

  • André Olveira-Lenz

    André Olveira-Lenz

    “The ecological transformation of the economy can only be achieved with bioeconomical innovations!”

    Mr. Olveira-Lenz is a mechanical engineer (Dipl.-Ing.) with a focus on energy, environment, and process technology and has expertise in application-oriented process design and optimization concerning energy, environment, and resource efficiency aspects. He has gathered professional experience at EnBW Kraftwerke AG in the field of optimization of thermal power plants as well as at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) regarding the topics of green hydrogen generation and biomass gasification processes. After that, he moved on to the Südlicher Oberrhein Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK)) as a consultant for energy and resource efficiency.  Currently, he is an executive board member and the head of the Innovation and Environment division at the IHK. He is also the head of the Environment Division of the Baden-Württemberg Chambers of Industry and Commerce.

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Pyka

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Pyka

    “The knowledge-based economy acts as an important building block for a future-oriented economic structure where human well-being, international competitiveness, employment, and sustainability are interlinked.”

    Professor Andreas Pyka has been a professor at the University of Hohenheim’s department of innovation economics since the summer of 2009. Between 2012 and 2015, he also held a research professorship at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). From 2019-2020, he was appointed as a visiting professor at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Professor Pyka has been involved with policy consultation for the state government of Baden-Württemberg for several years. Notable examples are with the Europe Dialogue of the Ministry of the Interior, Digitalization, and Local Government, the Automotive Industry Strategy Dialogue, and in the Sustainable Bioeconomy Council. Professor Pyka’s bioeconomical research focus is in the area of sustainability transformation driven by innovation. In addition, Professor Pyka researches energy and innovation, innovation networks, innovation and employment, modern innovation theory, industry and complexity economics, neo-Schumpeterian economics and industrial dynamics, and R&D policy.

  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Robitzki

    Prof. Dr. Andrea Robitzki

    “Baden-Württemberg creates conditions uniquely suited for a sustainable and AI-based bioeconomy.”

    Once appointed the W3 professorship “Hybrid Microsensor Systems for Life Science and Process Engineering” at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Professor Andrea Robitzki is currently the head of Division I - biology, chemistry, and process engineering. After holding a department management position at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT), she was in charge of the Center for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (BBZ) at the University of Leipzig, where she held a C4 professorship for “Molecular Biological-Biochemical Process Engineering.” There, her research concentration was in nano-, microsystem-, and sensor technology, biomedicine, biotechnology, as well as bioelectrocatalysis. As a member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), she is active in the realms of thematic networks of health technologies, biotechnology, and bioeconomy.

  • Prof.-Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Kfm. Alexander Sauer

    Prof.-Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Kfm. Alexander Sauer

    “Biointelligent systems lead engineering, nature, and information sciences together in the context of the bioeconomy and offer a huge opportunity for our local industry.”

    Professor Alexander Sauer is the head of the Fraunhofer Institute of Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and the director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart. His research is in the field of energy- and resource-efficient production as well as the potential applications of digitalization in sustainable production. After graduating with his doctorate in Aachen, he received several awards. Before returning to science, he worked for some time in the automotive industry. Currently, he is a chair of the VDI-Technical Committee “Energy-flexible Factories” and an advisor to Umwelttechnik BW GmbH as well as a member of other councils and evaluation boards concerning industrial energy research. His institute publishes a semi-annual Energy Efficiency Index that reviews German industries. Professor Sauer is an author and editor of numerous books.

  • Prof. Dr. Pablo Steinberg

    Prof. Dr. Pablo Steinberg

    “The feasibility of a biomass-based economic system is centrally dependent on sustainable development in the field of nutrition.”

    Professor Pablo Steinberg received his doctorate in biochemistry at the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires. He received a professorship for Toxicology at the University of Mainz. Between 1998 and 2008, he held a C4 professorship for Nutritional Toxicology at the Institute of Nutritional Science (IEW) at the University of Potsdam. From 2008-2017, he held a W3 professorship for Food Toxicology and Alternative/Supplementary Methods for Animal Trials and was director of the Institute for Food Toxicology and Chemical Analysis at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. He has been the president of the Max Rubner Institute – Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food (Bundesforschungsinstitut für Ernährung und Lebensmittel (MRI)) since May 2017.

  • Stefanie Strebel

    Stefanie Strebel

    “The bioeconomy harbors significant potential to develop innovative products for diverse applications and to build new, regional, and sustainable value chains.”

    Stefanie Strebel is the CEO and founder of KS Agrar GmbH as well as Ceresal GmbH. She has worked in the national and international plant-based raw materials market for years and can offer outstanding expertise and practical experience in material cycles, upcycling, and the market and price development of plant-based raw materials to the Sustainable Bioeconomy Council. She grew up on a farm in Mittelfranken (Bayern) and studied agriculture at the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf and the University College Dublin, as well as industrial engineering at AKAD University. After her studies, she completed a trainee program at BayWa AG. Stefanie Strebel is also a member of the supervisory committee of ForstBW (EN: ForestryBW).

  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Takors

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Takors

    “The results of good research should be implemented for a sustainable economy.”

    Professor Ralf Takors has headed the Institute of Biochemical Engineering at the University of Stuttgart since July 2009. Before that, he was responsible for bioprocess development at Evonik Degussa GmbH since 2005. He habilitated (metabolic engineering) at RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule) in 2005 and in 1997 received his doctorate (Dr.-Ing.) in bioprocess engineering. His research took place at Jülich Research Center GmbH. Currently, he is working on new bioprocesses from renewable resources and residues, such as waste gas, developed with the assistance of enzymes, microorganisms, and mammalian cells. The production of commodity and fine chemicals, aromas, food additives, and pharmaceutical active ingredients is, through a combination of molecular biology and engineering research, implemented all the way up to the industrial scale.

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