The CLIB cluster management team fosters and extends the CLIB network, advises and supports the CLIB members, and coordinates our funded projects.
Please feel free to contact us.
Dr. Tobias Klement
Dr. Katrin Kriebs
Dr. Markus Müller
Dr. Sarah Refai
Dr. Tatjana M. E. Schwabe-Marković
CLIB Extended Board
The CLIB Extended Board is made up of twelve representatives from the CLIB membership. It meets in regular intervals and takes strategic decisions. Currently, the following people form the board of CLIB:
Dr. Karl-Heinz Maurer
Karl-Heinz Maurer is Chairman of the CLIB Board. In 2019, he co-founded the start-up Aachen Proteineers. From 2011 to 2019, Dr. Maurer was part of the Senior Leadership at AB Enzymes GmbH, where he held positions including Director of Business Development and Regulatory Affairs, Head of Global Business Organisation (Marketing and Sales), Director of Global Marketing, and Head of Regulatory Affairs and Special Projects. From 1986 to 2010, he worked in different positions in the Henkel organisation (including Cognis Biotechnology), starting in R & D Biotechnology, which he directed from 2000 to 2010 as Director Biotechnology (Corporate, later Laundry and Home Care division).
Karl-Heinz Maurer is a biochemist and microbiologist by training and received his doctorate from the University of Tübingen in 1994. He was co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Industrieverbund Mikrobielle Genomforschung (now Industrieverbund Weiße Biotechnologie) until 2018. In 2009, he received an honorary professorship from the University of Greifswald.
Dr. Roland Breves
Vice Chairman CLIB
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
Roland Breves currently is Head of Corporate Microbiology of Henkel AG & Co KGaA in Düsseldorf, which as a corporate function acts for all business units, including Cosmetics, Laundry and Home care and Adhesives. After studying chemistry and obtaining a PhD in microbiology (on chitinases from Streptomyces) in Hannover, he worked as a post-doc at the IPK Gatersleben on plant cell wall degrading enzymes.
After joining Henkel in 1997 (initially in COGNIS Biotechnologie GmbH), he was responsible as head of laboratory for the development and expression in Bacillus of detergent enzymes. In 2000, he joined the microbiology department as project leader „Smart Hygiene“. Topics were non-biocidal mechanisms against microbes and their negative impacts, e. g. malodour and biofilm formation, as well as prebiotic cosmetics. In addition to these explorative and classical microbiological topics, the department develops innovative concepts for biomaterials like adhesive bioconjugates.
Roland Breves is active in several national and international expert groups (DIN, CEN, DECHEMA, AISE).
Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Jaeger
Vice Chairman CLIB
evoxx technologies GmbH
Karl-Erich Jaeger received a Staatsexamen in biology and chemistry and a PhD in microbiology from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. In 1995, he obtained the venia legendi for microbiology with a habilitation thesis on bacterial lipases. Karl-Erich Jaeger is co-founder and served as Chairman of the Management Board and Member of the Scientific Advisory board of the biotech company evocatal GmbH (now evoxx technologies GmbH). In 2002, Karl-Erich Jaeger was appointed as Professor for Molecular Microbiology at the Department of Biology of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and director of the Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology. In 2013, he was additionally appointed as director at the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences IBG-1: Biotechnology of the Helmholtz-Forschungszentrum Jülich.
His research interests focus on bacterial enzymes and fluorescent proteins, their biochemical and structural characterization as well as their biotechnological applications. He has published about 200 peer-reviewed papers, several textbook chapters, and a textbook; he is co-inventor on about 20 patents and member of various scientific organisations, editorial and advisory boards.
Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V. NRW
After his studies of law at the Universities of Bonn and Freiburg, Hans-Jürgen Mittelstaedt worked as an attorney in Düsseldorf from 1988 to 1992. In 1992, he joined the Association of the Chemical Industry (VCI) at the department of environmental legislation.
He held several positions in Frankfurt and Brussels before he became CEO of VCI NRW, the Association of the Chemical Industry in North Rhine-Westphalia. In this position, he is also CEO of BPI NRW, the Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Hans-Jürgen Mittelstaedt is one of the founding members of CLIB and has been holding a position in the extended board since the foundation of the cluster.
Prof. Dr. Ludo Diels
Member of the board CLIB
Flemish Institute for Technological Research, VITO
Prof. Ludo Diels, Dr. in chemistry & biotechnology, works at the University of Antwerp, and is ex senior advisor Sustainable Chemistry for the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Mol, Belgium. He is the chair of the Industrial Research and Innovation Agenda Group of the Public Private Partnership SPIRE/Processes4Planet (Sustainable Process Industry by Resource and Energy Efficiency/Circular and Climate Neutral Industry) bringing together 10 large industrial sectors (chemistry, steel, cement, minerals, non-ferro, engineering, ceramics, water, pulp & paper and refining) and he is member of the SPIRE-BBI JU working group.
He is strongly involved in the set-up of a biobased economy in Flanders and Europe, and the collaboration between Europe and India on bioeconomy and water business. He is also chair of the advisory board of the Shared Research Centre on Bio-aromatics (BIORIZON). He is founding father of the BIG-Cluster and the Vanguard Initiative on Interregional Smart Specialisation. He is also working on the combination of bio- and circular economy with a strong emphasis on the use of wood and wood residues (strong focus on lignin) for integrated applications in many sectors with a first focus on construction materials.
PD Dr. Thorsten Eggert
Member of the board CLIB
ERBER Enzymes GmbH
Thorsten Eggert is Managing Director of ERBER Enzymes GmbH in Dortmund, Germany, a company of the ERBER Group, headquartered in Getzersdorf, Austria. Since October 2020, the whole group is part of DSM. He studied biology at the Ruhr University Bochum and received his PhD at the Institute for Biology of Microorganisms in 2001. Subsequently, he established the Directed Evolution Research Group at the Institute for Molecular Enzyme Technology at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, which he headed until accomplishing his habilitation in molecular microbiology at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf in 2007.
In 2006, Thorsten Eggert co-founded the company evocatal GmbH. As Managing Director (CEO), he developed evocatal, which was renamed into evoxx technologies in 2016, into a leading provider of enzymes for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as the food and animal feed sector. In 2017, he achieved the company sale to the global enzyme manufacturer Advanced Enzymes Technologies Inc., India. Since 2019, Thorsten Eggert works for the ERBER-Group as part of DSM.
Dr. Henrike Gebhardt
Member of the board CLIB
Evonik Industries AG
Henrike Gebhardt advocates the research and innovation interests of Evonik Industries AG in the European policy environment since 2015. She maintains the relationships of Evonik with European institutions and international associations such as CEFIC, SusChem, A.SPIRE and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).
Henrike Gebhardt holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cologne, an engineering degree in biotechnology from the Technical University of Berlin and studied at AgroParisTech (then Institut national agronomique Paris-Grignon), France and Technion, Israel. She began her professional career within the strategic research unit Creavis of Evonik Industries AG (then Degussa AG) in 2006. As project manager, she was in charge of the development of biotechnological processes for the production of surfactants and nutraceuticals. In 2012, she moved to the Corporate Innovation Unit of Evonik to bundle strategic and communicative aspects of the Bioeconomy and to advocate for the interests of Evonik in EuropaBio, CEFIC, EU-RRM, DIN, and CEN.
Dr. Claas Heise
Member of the board CLIB
Since 2008, Claas Heise is responsible for Venture Capital Investments and Early-Stage Financing at NRW.BANK in Düsseldorf, Germany. He heads the venture capital activities of NRW.BANK, including the management of several venture funds focused on the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which together have more than 50 investments. He is also responsible for over 10 investments in European venture capital funds and manages fund-of-fund activities sponsoring now 13 regionally-focused seed capital funds.
From 2006 to 2008, Claas Heise was a partner at Innovature Capital Partners, an advisory and venture capital/secondary services firm based in the Silicon Valley, California. From 2002 to 2006, he was the Managing Director for T-Venture of America, a subsidiary of the Corporate Venture Capital unit of Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile, based in Foster City, CA, USA.
He joined Deutsche Telekom in 1995 and held a variety of management positions. He helped to found the enterprise software start-up TRAIAN and joined TRAIAN in October 2000, where he led the partnership business development efforts.
Claas Heise received his PhD in physics and worked for seven years in science, including a postdoc fellowship at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., USA. He won a Feodor Lynen fellowship of Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung and a NASA grant. Claas Heise is also a graduate of NVCA’s Venture Capital Institute.
Dr. Gernot Jäger
Member of the board CLIB
Gernot Jäger is heading the Competence Center for biotechnology within Covestro. He joined Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) in 2012 and held different responsibilities in Innovation Management, Process Research, Project Portfolio Management, and the Competence Center for Catalysis. Up to now, he has contributed in various public committees including GDCh (sustainable chemistry, board) and VCI (renewable resources).
Gernot Jäger studied biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University and received his PhD (summa cum laude) in biochemical engineering from the “Aachener Verfahrenstechnik” in 2012. His research areas include industrial biotechnology, pharmaceutical biotechnology, process development/conceptual design, and bioanalytics.
Member of the board CLIB
Peter Kallien holds a degree in business administration and is an expert in business model development and financing of innovative companies. In 1992, he became co-founder and managing director of a consulting company, which supports physicians and pharmacists in setting up their own businesses. In 1996, he moved to the Private University of Witten/Herdecke. During his ten years as Managing Director, he was involved in the successful establishment of approximately 15 start-ups originating from the university.
Together with Thomas Schwarz and Gerhard Schembecker he founded b.experts GmbH in 2013 and b.value AG in 2016, and is a member of both Management Boards.
He has been operationally involved in the implementation of numerous successful start-ups. Peter Kallien was a long-time member of the supervisory boards of cardiac research GmbH in Dortmund and of bitop AG in Witten. He is currently the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ISR Software Solutions AG.
Dr. Peter Welters
Member of the board CLIB
Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH
After studying biochemistry in Germany and doing his doctorate at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Peter Welters spent three years at the University of California, San Diego, and two years in Rouen, France, as a postdoc. In 1998, he founded Phytowelt GmbH in Nettetal and in 2002 was appointed CEO of GreenTec GmbH, a spin-off company of the Max Planck Institute in Cologne.
In January 2006, both companies merged to form Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH with Peter Welters as CEO. The company offers contract research in the fields of agrobiotechnology and industrial biotechnology. In addition, the company developed and commercialises an enantiopure and natural raspberry flavour, R-alpha-Ionon, which is produced in a bio-fermentation process. In 2018, Phytowelt was awarded the “Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award” by EuropaBio in the category of agricultural biotechnology and Phytowelt’s BBI-JU funded project BioForever was among the TOP 20 of European Biorefinery Projects of the internet platform BiofuelsDigest. Peter Welters is also a founding and board member of CLIB and a board member of DIB.
Prof. Dr. Volker F. Wendisch
Member of the board CLIB
Volker F. Wendisch holds the Chair of Genetics of Prokaryotes at the Faculty of Biology at Bielefeld University. He is Deputy Scientific Director of the university’s Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) and speaker of its research area “Metabolic Engineering of Unicellular Systems and Bioproduction”. He served as Senator of Bielefeld University, Vice-Dean of Biology from 2014-2016, and Dean of Biology 2016-2018. Volker F. Wendisch received his diploma in biology from Cologne University. After having completed his PhD at the Institute of Biotechnology 1 of the Forschungszentrum Jülich in 1997, he worked as postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
In 2004, he received the venia legendi in microbiology from HHU Düsseldorf. From 2006 – 2009, he was Professor for Metabolic Engineering at the University of Münster. His research interests concern genome-based metabolic engineering of industrially relevant microorganisms, systems and synthetic microbiology. Currently, he coordinates the multi-university ERDF.NRW- funded research infrastructure “CKB – CLIB Kompentenzzentrum Biotechnologie”.
CLIB Advisory Board
To advise the executive board and the cluster management on the further strategic development of CLIB, we are happy to have the following persons on our Advisory Board:
Dr. Kai Baldenius
Baldenius Biotech Consulting, formerly BASF
Kai Baldenius is a chemist by formation. After having received a PhD from Hamburg University, he spent a post-doc research year at The Scripps Research Institute, and then joined BASF in 1993. At BASF, Kai served in various positions in Research, Process Development, Production, Marketing & Sales. From 2009 to 2018 he led BASF’s Biocatalysis research group.
In September 2019, Kai has left BASF to become an independent consultant for applied biotechnology. Baldenius Biotech Consulting offers advice to venture capital and young start-ups for best technology positioning.
Dr. Stefanie Kesting
Dr. Stefanie Kesting is a top leader in finding & building up transformational businesses for companies which need to decarbonize their portfolio. Her track record covers more than 15 years of identifying sustainable businesses and making them scalable. She has founded and leads key global initiatives to transform industries into carbon-neutral strategies and businesses.
As Director Innovation at Uniper, she has been responsible for the identification and development of scalable new business for transformation since 2016. Since November 2017, Stefanie is the founding President of CO2 Value Europe, Europe’s key industrial Association dedicated to Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU). Stefanie is also a Member of the advisory Board of the Global CO2 Initiative, Michigan, USA, since its founding in 2018.
Between 2013 and 2016, Stefanie was part of the management team of Connecting Energies, a new E.ON company building sustainable B2B solutions business. Stefanie holds academic degrees in business & management (Dipl.-Kffr.) from the University of Cologne, and a PhD in Economics from International University Bremen.
Dr. Manfred Kircher
Chairman of the CLIB Advisory Board
KADIB, formerly Evonik Industries
Based on more than 30 years’ experience in chemical industry and bioeconomy, Manfred Kircher works on regional as well as international bioeconomy strategies. His career milestones are biotechnological research and development (Degussa AG, Germany), production (Fermas s.r.o.; Slovakia), venture capital (Burrill & Company, USA), biotechnology partnering, and branding (Evonik Industries AG, Germany) and building the bioeconomy cluster CLIB. He chairs the Advisory Board of CLIB (since 2014) and is Member of the Board of the bioeconomy association BioBall (bioeconomy in a metropolitan region; since 2019). In 2020, he has been appointed to the Advisory Board for Sustainable Bioeconomy of the State Government of Baden-Württemberg and as Chairman of the Organics Valorisation Section of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB). Manfred is owner of KADIB, a company consulting on important aspects of industrial bioeconomy.
Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Patermann
Formerly European Commission - DG Research
Christian Patermann studied Law, Economics, and Languages in Germany, Switzerland, and Spain and completed his doctoral thesis in law at the University of Bonn in 1969. He entered the German public service in 1971 by joining the Federal Ministry of Science and Education.
From 1974 to 1978, he was Science Counsellor at the German Embassy in Washington D.C., USA. He then returned to the Ministry of Research and Technology, where he held many positions in Germany and in international organisations, like ESA, ESO, and EMBL. In 1996, he joined the European Commission, DG Research and Technology and was appointed Director for Environment and Sustainability.
In January 2004, he was named Programme Director for Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food Research, where he was responsible for launching the Knowledge based Bioeconomy in the European Commission. He also served for four years as co-chair in the EC-US Task Force Life Sciences and Biotechnology Research. He retired in 2007 but remains active in advising public and private institutions and companies on European affairs and the Bioeconomy. He was a member of the 1st German Bioeconomy Council from 2009 – 2012 and has been strongly involved in the preparation and implementation of the Global Bioeconomy Summits in Berlin in 2015, 2018 and 2020.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg
RWTH Aachen and DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials
Ulrich Schwaneberg graduated in chemistry (in 1996) and received his PhD (in 1999; supervisor Prof. R. D. Schmid) from the University in Stuttgart. After a post-doc at Caltech in the lab of the Nobel laureate Prof. Frances H. Arnold he was appointed as Professor at the Jacobs University Bremen in 2002. In January 2009, he moved to the RWTH Aachen University as Head of the Institute of Biotechnology and is since 2010 co-appointed in the Scientific Board of Directors at the DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials.
Furthermore, he has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Bioeconomy Science Center, serves as Speaker of the RWTH profile area Molecular Science & Engineering and coordinates RWTHs’ bioeconomy activities in the “Strukturwandel”.
He is a cofounder of the companies SeSaM Biotech & Aachen Proteineers and has a special interest in protein engineering to provide tailored protein building blocks for the biological transformation of material science and production. In 2016, Ulrich received the BMBF-Forschungspreis for the next generation of bioprocesses and has published over 270 original manuscripts and is co-inventor on more than 20 patents (mostly with industry).
Dr. Willem Sederel
Circular Biobased Delta
Willem Sederel is a chemical engineer and polymer scientist from the University of Technology Twente in Enschede (NL). He completed his education cum laude and did a post doc on biomedical materials at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1977, he started his industrial career with Shell in Amsterdam, and then moved to General Electric where he fulfilled global leadership roles in process, product and application development and marketing. His last role before retiring from his 36-year long career in industry was global innovation leader with SABIC. Willem joined Biobased Delta in 2013 as director and chairman. From April 2016 -2020, he was responsible for the international activities within the Board. Since April 1, 2020 he is again chairman of what is now called Circular Biobased Delta.
Willem is also the founding father of the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom which opened in 2011. Willem contributed to the transition agenda biomass and food in the Netherlands. Since many years, he has been a member of the Policy Group Innovation of the Dutch Chemical Branch Organization VNCI and a member of the Advisory Board of Biorizon, the shared research center for the development of bio-aromatics.
Prof. Dr. Kurt Wagemann
Executive Director DECHEMA
Kurt Wagemann studied chemistry in Munich and received his PhD in 1989 at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics. Since 1989, he headed some of the large departments at the DECHEMA, e.g. for congresses as well as for research management and administration. In 2010, he took over the position of DECHEMA’s Executive Director.
He regularly operates as an expert for the evaluation of research institutions and is currently chairman of the life science jury for the EXIST programme of the BMWi (Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy). He serves as a member of advisory boards of research institutes and networks, e.g. as Head of the Scientific Advisory Board Energy at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In February 2011, he was appointed honorary professor at the University of Stuttgart, where he fulfils a teaching assignment on “Technical Chemistry and Technical Biochemistry – Biorefineries” since 2006. Furthermore, since 2010, he gives lectures at the University of Magdeburg in the field of “Chemical Processes – Renewable Raw Materials”.
Dr. Thomas Schwarz
(until July 2020)
It is with deep regret that we must report that our former Chairman and Member of the Advisory Board Thomas Schwarz passed away much too early in July 2020. We will miss him as a person, a source of ideas and a tireless advocate for biotechnology.
Our office is located in Düsseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia on the 12th floor of the RWI4 building with a beautiful view over Düsseldorf and the Rhine.
Coming from Düsseldorf central station, you can reach our office via public transport using the suburban train lines S8 (direction Mönchengladbach), S11 (direction Bergisch Gladbach), or S28 (direction Kaarster See), all departing from platform 12 at Düsseldorf central station. Exit the train at the stop “Völklinger Straße” and head north (in direction of the television tower) either via Völklinger Straße or via Volmerswerther Straße/Neusser Straße until you reach Bürozentrum Unterbilk/RWI4-Haus (about a 10 minute walk).
You can reach our office by car via Völklinger Straße and the Rheinufer tunnel. Turn off Völklinger Straße towards „Bürozentrum Unterbilk/RWI-Haus“ and follow the short street to the RWI towers. Visitor parking is available to the left of the main entrance.
Via our partner organisations, you can reach us at offices around the world.
BE-Basic Brazil Office, BE-Basic Foundation
Rua Cora Coralina 330
13083-896 – Campinas – São Paulo
Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières
370, rue des Forges, bureau 100
Trois-Rivières (Québec) G9A 2H1
Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, CAS
No. 189 Songling Road, Laoshan District
A.N.Bach Institute of Biochemistry of RAS
Leninsky prospekt, 33, build. 3, ap. 3,0