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Members of the Blue Bioeconomy Forum's Steering Group

Published on: Mon, 27/08/2018 - 11:44
Table of Contents
    The Steering Group ensures balanced view of the Blue Bioeconomy Forum from business, financing, research and public policy perspectives. The steering group will advise and contribute to the development of the pipeline of projects and drafting the roadmap.

    Olavur Gregersen


    Olavur Gregersen has more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and international consultant as well as non-executive Director in several innovative companies and projects. He is the founding partner of Syntesa Partners & Associates which provides research and innovation services within business development, project management and socio-economic impact analysis. Furthermore, he has been the coordinator of the European FP7 project ALL-SMART-PIGS, the Nordic Innovation project WhiteFishMaLL and MacroValue; and the NORA project MacroBiotech and TaraTekstil. He is the Dissemination and Exploitation Manager of the European H2020 BioBased Industry project “Macro Cascade”, and the Technical Director of the US ARPA-E funded project “MacroSystems”. Olavur is frequently invited as a speaker at international conferences on seaweed cultivation and growth in the blue bioeconomy. He is a member of the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel and the West Nordic Bioeconomy Panel representing the Government of the Faroe Islands.


    Liina Joller-Vahter


    Liina Joller-Vahter is a researcher and a lecturer at the University of Tartu. She is passionate about innovative business models, which enable environmentally sustainable solutions to become financially viable. Her academic, as well as policy advisory experience includes supporting diffusion of various eco-innovations, ranging from uptake of electric cars to sectors involved in the bioeconomy value chains. Currently she is leading the work on business model innovation for maximizing added value from the Estonian biomass resources. She teaches courses on biotechnology entrepreneurship and innovation management, and coaches start-ups in life sciences. As a biotechnology entrepreneur, she develops equipment for sequestrating carbon dioxide in industrial symbiosis with microalgae production. Hence, she brings to the table the combination of academic and entrepreneurial perspective.


    Snejana Moncheva

    Institute of Oceanology, Bulgarian Academy of Science


    Professor Jens Kjerulf Petersen


    Professor Jens Kjerulf Petersen (JKP) is head of the Danish Shellfish Centre, a section in Danish Technical University, Institute of Aquatic Resources. The Danish Shellfish Centre is performing research in all aspects of shellfish and seaweed production and is scientific advisor to the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment & Food. JKP is an experimental marine biologist and specialist in ecophysiology and population dynamics of benthic suspension feeders, bentho-pelagic coupling in coastal waters and all aspects of shellfish production. JKP has professionally been working with implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, the EU Species and Habitats Directive and the EU Marine Strategy Directive in a previous position at the Danish National Environmental Research Intitute (now AU-DCE) JKP has been awarded >55 research grants as PI or co-PI. He has co-ordinated PhaSe (EU-FP4) and been involved in 9 other EU-FP projects and is currently coordinating the BONUS-OPTIMUS project. JKP was appointed to the (Danish) Permanent Mussel Committee in 2004, as a member of ICES working group on Aquaculture in 2013-16 and (Danish) Business Region North in 2015. JKP has published >60 ISI peer-reviewed journal papers and >75 scientific reports on a variety of topics within his field of expertise. Recently JKP has edited a report on the Danish potential for blue growth for the Ministry of Environment and Food.


    Wilco Schoonderbeek


    For almost two decades Wilco Schoonderbeek supported companies manage their risks and capture their potential using technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. He has done this from many sides of the table: corporate, SME, investor or advisor. After many years of passionate work in public and private sector and a number of investments in disruptive innovations he is uniquely positioned to provide guidance in managing these challenges and understand the profound changes that will be ushered by advances in technology. After graduation in 1996 and working in the industry (Heineken, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) since 2001 he has been building up venture capital, private equity and M&A expertise and project / risk management skills within leading firms (Arthur Andersen, PwC and KPMG). Currently he enjoys freelancing to keep abreast of developments and to reinforce his experience from venture capital, consulting and industry. In his current role he supports the Dutch cabinet to establish Invest-NL, an investment institution backed by the government with €2.5 billion in capital. Invest-NL will develop and, where necessary, (co-) finance major Dutch companies and projects that address social and environmental challenges.


    Vitor Verdelho Vieira

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    Vitor Verdelho Vieira is manager of several companies that he co-created with Partners in different sectors. He started the development of his first biotech company, Necton, SA, in March 1989. He is also co-founder and Board Member of A4F - Algae for Future, SA an international reference company in the sector of microalgae technologies ( In the different companies he has formulated and managed several R&D projects - and A4F had 7 projects financed in the FP7 programme with already 3 in the H2020. Developed and participated in 38 R&D projects along the last 25 years. Graduated in Physics and has more than 25 years of experience in Microalgae Biotechnology and business development. His activities involved the management of research projects, technology transfer and new business development. He is the President of EABA - European Algae Biomass Association (2015-2019).


    Helena Vieira


    Helena Vieira has been an entrepreneur for the past 16 years. She has founded a few startups and was co-founder and CEO (2005-2013) of BIOALVO SA, a Portuguese natural resources biotech company. Currently, Helena is the Executive Director of BLUEBIO ALLIANCE, the Portuguese network for the marine bioresources sector. She is also a Full Associated Invited Professor of FCUL, responsible for all teaching of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Transfer. She is a PI at BioISI centre, responsible for the blue biotechnology unit at M&B lab. She is an expert for marine biotech at the UN DAOLOS, Pool of Experts, BBI-JU SC, European Marine Board and at the International Advisory Board of ERA NET MARINE BIOTECH. Helena has been an invited mentor for several national and international mentoring programs. She holds a post-graduation in Leadership & Strategy in Pharma & Biotech, from Harvard Business School, USA and a PhD in Biomedicine from Imperial College of London, UK. Helena is highly skilled in startup founding and fast growth, being an expert in biotech strategy and major technical aspects of natural products bioactive discovery and development for several industries, from pharmaceutical to cosmetics and nutraceuticals while having developed specialized skills in innovation and tech transfer business methodologies, consulting and management strategies in marine biotech and sea economy projects.


    Maye Walraven


    As Head of Business Development, Maye leads InnovaFeed’s marketing strategy and is in charge of the commercial deployment of insect protein in the aquaculture industry. She is committed to taking part in the development of innovative and sustainable practices for aquaculture in Europe and in the rest of the world. As part of her role, she oversees InnovaFeed’s relationship with various stakeholders including fish feed formulators, fish farmers, retailers, NGOs and end-consumers. Prior to joining InnovaFeed she worked at McKinsey & Company in New York for 4 years as was part of the Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice where she helped clients from the private and public sector to implement sustainable business solutions. Maye has a Bachelor of Engineering from Centrale Paris (France) and a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Queensland (Australia), where she also spent time studying Marine Biology.