Mika Aalto


Mika Aalto is Head of Division at the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, in its Enterprise and Innovation Department. The Division is leading the implementation of the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy, which is being carried out in cooperation with key ministries, research institutes, companies and other stakeholders. Before joining the Ministry, Dr. Aalto worked for more than 15 years at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. He worked in various positions, e.g. as a Senior Technology Advisor, Program Manager, Director of Material and Process Technologies, as well as Director of Forest and Chemical Industries.

Hermann Onko Aeikens

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Dr Hermann Onko Aeikens currently serves as State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. From 2009 to 2016, he was Minister of Agriculture and Environment of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. From 2002 to 2009, he was State Secretary at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry of Saxony-Anhalt. Prior to that, he held various positions at the very same Ministry, including Director-General. He was awarded his PhD in 1979 following studies in agricultural science and economics at the universities of Göttingen and California, Berkeley.

Felix Creutzig

Felix Creutzig

Felix Creutzig is Professor at the Technical University Berlin, teaching Sustainability Economics of Human Settlements, and group leader at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. Felix was lead author of the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report on transportation, coordinating the appendix on bioenergy, and lead analyst of the Global Energy Assessment transport chapter. Previous appointments include postdoc positions at Princeton University, University of Berkeley, and the Energy Foundation China in Beijing. Dr. Creutzig obtained his PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin after graduating in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge.

Joanna Dupont-Inglis

Joanna Dupont-Inglis

Joanna Dupont-Inglis first joined EuropaBio, the European Association of Bioindustries, in 2009 and in 2011 was appointed Director of Industrial Biotechnology. Her work within EuropaBio involves developing a more supportive, predictable and coherent EU policy environment for the deployment of industrial biotech products and processes within the broader bioeconomy. EuropaBio seeks an Innovation-driven EU research agenda for Biobased Industries, enabled by Industrial Biotechnology. Coalition building with other sectors of the circular bioeconomy has been a key area of activity, both in the development of the €3.7 billion Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and through the European Bioeconomy Alliance. In 2016 Joanna was appointed as chair of the EU Bioeconomy Panel.

Waldemar Kütt

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Waldemar Kütt is Head of Unit for "Bioeconomy Strategy" in the bioeconomy directorate of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, and was previously Head of Unit of "Bio-based Products and Processing”. He joined the Research DG in 1997, and coordinated activities and policies related to innovation, SME, IPR, finance, technology transfer and bioregions, and technology platforms. He contributed to the development of the FP7 thematic programme for European knowledge-based bio-economy (KBBE). 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. His main responsibilities included the €80 billion new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020.

Cristina Narbona

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Cristina Narbona was the Environment Minister of Spain during the first term of President Zapatero (2004-2008). She was appointed as Ambassador to the OECD (2008-2011). At the beginning of 2013, she left her seat in the Parliament to become Counselor of the Nuclear Safety Council of Spain. She holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Rome, and was a Professor at the University of Seville for seven years. Dr Narbona has served as a member of both the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability and the High-Level Taskforce for Climate Services of the World Meteorological Organisation. She also served as a member of the Global Ocean Commission and is currently a member of the Spanish Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Marc Palahí

Marc Palahi

Marc Palahí is the Director of the European Forest Institute and responsible for leading the organisation towards an acknowledged pan-European science-policy platform. 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. He has a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.


Göran Persson

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Göran Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006 and was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1996 to 2007. Since leaving office, Mr. Persson has been a consultant for the Stockholm-based PR firm JKL. He is also a Member of the Board of the World Resources Institute, and the President of the European high-level forum on the future of forests, ThinkForest, facilitated by EFI.


Janez Potočnik

Janez Potocnik

Janez Potočnik is Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel hosted by UNEP, Chairman of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council. After a successful career in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, he was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as shadow Commissioner for Enlargement, then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research, and from 2010-2014 as Commissioner for Environment. 


Photos: Simon Pugh (GP); Visuaalinen viestintätoimisto Salama Oy (MP), Michael Gottschalk/photothek.net/BMEL (HOA).