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. 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. Roland Breves
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).
Dr. Karl-Heinz Maurer
Vice Chairman CLIB
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.
Prof. Dr. Volker F. Wendisch
Vice Chairman 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”.
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.
Member of the board CLIB
Cornelia Bähr works as Senior Investment Manager at the deep tech investor b.value AG. Her focus is on sustainable material solutions for the chemical industry and on functional ingredients for consumer products. As an employee from the very beginning, she helped to establish and conceptually drive the b.value AG. Moreover, she is board observer of the Hamburg located start-up traceless materials GmbH.
Before she became a project manager at b.value AG, Cornelia Bähr assisted the then Enquete Commission of the NRW regional government investigating the “Future of the Chemical Industry” as a scientific advisor at the VCI.NRW. She afterwards joined the operational CLIB team as a scientific advisor and led the cluster activities on the utilization of carbon containing process gases.
Cornelia Bähr studied biology at the RWTH Aachen University and earned her doctorate in biochemical engineering from the Aachener Verfahrentechnik of the RWTH Aachen University. Already at that time, the commericalisation and scalability of technical inventions were the driving force behind her research activities.
Dr. Silko Grimm
Member of the board CLIB
Evonik Operations GmbH
Silko Grimm currently manages the political networks for the innovation department of Evonik Operations GmbH. In this position he advocates the research and innovation interests of the company in the European policy environment. He maintains the relationships of Evonik with European institutions and international associations such as CEFIC, SusChem, A.SPIRE and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). His professional career started at the Business Line Health Care of Evonik; Division Nutrition & Care as innovation project manager in 2011. In the field of micro and nanoparticle drug delivery systems he was responsible for several publicly funded projects and product development projects. From 2016 till 2022 he was Director of Strategic Projects and Head of the Project Management Office of the business line Health Care. In this position he was responsible for the innovation portfolio management and managed several complex innovation and growth projects. Silko Grimm receive his PhD in engineering science from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Halle, Germany) and the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics (Halle, Germany) and studied physics and computer science at the university of applied science Merseburg (Germany).
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.
Dr.-Ing. Frank Kensy
Member of the board CLIB
Frank Kensy studied bioprocess engineering at RWTH Aachen University. There, during his doctoral studies with Prof. Jochen Büchs, he developed the BioLector technology, which is now used around the globe for early bioprocess development. Frank gained his first professional experience at Rhein Biotech GmbH in Düsseldorf in the field of fermentation development for recombinant proteins.
From RWTH Aachen University, he and colleagues founded m2p-labs GmbH, which he grew to a leading manufacturer of microbioreactors and led as managing director for almost 10 years. Afterwards, he advised start-ups and biotechnology companies in the field of innovation management and bioprocess development. Since 2018, he is founder and managing director of b.fab GmbH, which specializes in the utilisation of CO2 using electrochemistry and biotechnology. Frank has 20+ years of experience in the biotech industry, leading several industry and funded R & D projects at national and European level.
Prof. Dr. Stephan Lütz
Member of the board CLIB
TU Dortmund University
Prof Dr Stephan Lütz has been a member of the CLIB Board since 2023.
In April 2016, he was appointed to the Chair of Bioprocess Engineering at C. Previously, he was head of biocatalysis research at Novartis Pharma AG and a lecturer at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. From 2003 to 2008, he was the head of the “Technical Biocatalysis” working group at the Institute of Biotechnology at the Jülich Research Centre and at the same time a post-doctoral student at the Chair of Technical Chemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Bonn. He has been associated with CLIB for many years, most recently as head of the activities of the CLIB Competence Centre for Biotechnology (CKB) at the Dortmund site.
Stephan Lütz is a trained chemist and received his doctorate from the University of Bonn in 2004. In 2012, he qualified as a professor and was awarded a teaching qualification in biochemistry. In his research, he is fascinated by nature’s power of synthesis, which he wants to utilise for the production of relevant valuable and active substances.
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.
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.
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring
Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovative Business Models, Ruhr-University Bochum
Since 2022 Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovative Business Models, Ruhr-University Bochum
2013 – 2022 Chair for Technology, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, ILR, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn
2019 Guest researcher at the NIKOS department for Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Innovation Management (NIKOS-ESIM) of the University of Twente (Netherlands)
2014-2018 Managing Director for the Bonn location of the Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSc)
2009-2013 Professor of Food Chain Management, University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück
2011-2012 long distance course, University of Hagen, „Intellectual Property Rights“, (during parental leave)
2007-2009 Head of Strategic Marketing, BRÖRING Unternehmensgruppe, Dinklage
2006-2007 Head of Competence Center Agribusiness, Rölfs Partner Management Consultants, Düsseldorf
2005-2006 Project Manager “bio-based renewables”, Degussa (Evonik) AG, Science to Business Center Bio
2002-2005 Research Assitant, Univ. Münster, Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Prof. Dr. Jens Leker, PhD-Thesis (Dr. rer. pol.) „The front-end of innovation in converging industries: The case of nutraceuticals and functional foods” (summa cum laude)
2003 DAAD- Fellow, Université du Québec à Montréal, Department of Innovation and Technology Management, Kanada
2002 Stagiaire: European Commission, DG Health and Consumer Protection (SANCO), Brussels.
1997-2001 Studies: Business Administration at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and Rotterdam School of Management; NL
1995-1997 Studies: Medicine at the University of Lübeck
Per Henrik Larsen
Per Henrik Larsen is a Chemical Engineer from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). He has worked in biotechnology since 1982, starting his career as process engineer in the downstream production of enzymes at Novo Industry, today know as Novozymes. He worked for 24 years at Novo in various positions in production management and technology, ranging from managing fermentation, downstream and formulation departments to general site management and global strategic roles. He was in charge of building Novozymes enzyme manufacturing site in China.
After leaving Novozymes he joined DSM Food Specialties for 10 years, first as site manager for their enzyme plant in France and later as global responsible for operational excellence and global manufacturing.
He is today director of Operational Excellence & Global Engineering at Lallemand Bio-Ingredients. Per’s experience covers large scale production of biotech products from scale-up to commercial production. He has also worked as consultant to the biotech industry.
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.
Dr. Kathrin Rübberdt
Kathrin Rübberdt studied chemistry at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the Universität Leipzig and received her PhD in Göttingen. Complementing her scientific studies, she also received an additional degree in economics at the FernUniversität Hagen. In 2001, she started her career with Accenture in strategic management consulting. In 2007, she joined AMR International Ltd. as a project manager.
Since 2008, she has been working at DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) as Head of Communications and from 2011 also as Head of the Biotechnology Department.
In July 2021, she became Head of Division “Science and Industry” at DECHEMA.
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.
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.
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