Currently, the following people form the board of CLIB2021:


Dr. Thomas Schwarz
Chairman CLIB2021,
instrAction GmbH

Dr. Thomas Schwarz is CEO of instrAction GmbH in Mannheim, Germany, since 2009. From 1993 to 2009 he led the R&D department and later became CEO, respectively head of the board, of bitop AG, which he also co-founded. After studying biology at RWTH Aachen and Cologne University, he successfully completed his studies in biochemistry at the University of Witten / Herdecke in 1989. He obtained his PhD from the University of Witten/Herdecke in 1993 and in the same year founded bitop GmbH. His professional focus lies in the areas of fermentation, enzyme based catalysis and downstream processing. Dr. Schwarz held a position in the board of BioIndustry e.V. and works as an advisor for several committees (e.g. NRW Bank). Since 2006 he holds a teaching position in chemical engineering (bioprocess engineering) at TU Dortmund University.

Dr. Claus Dreisbach
Vice Chairman CLIB2021,
LANXESS Deutschland GmbH

Dr. Claus Dreisbach studied Chemistry at the University of Bonn. After his PhD thesis at the Institute of Biotechnology at the Research Center Jülich with Prof. Wandrey and a postdoctoral fellowship at the MPI of Coal Research with Prof. Reetz he joined the Bayer AG in 1995. He was the head of a lab for catalysis and biocatalysis within the business unit Organic Chemicals focused on the process development of fine chemicals. In 2003 he joined the management of a production plant for the synthesis of fine chemicals at Bayer later LANXESS and Saltigo. In 2009 he joined the group function innovation at LANXESS working on biorenewables. Now he is leading a team for biorenewables and catalysis within the product innovation of the group function Innovation & Technologies of LANXESS.

Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Jaeger
Vice Chairman CLIB2021,
Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, evocatal GmbH

Karl-Erich Jaeger received his Staatsexamen in Biology and Chemistry as well as his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. In 1995, he obtained the venia legendi for the field of microbiology based on his habilitation thesis on bacterial extracellular lipases. Karl-Erich Jaeger is co-founder of the Biotech-company evocatal GmbH which is located in Düsseldorf, Germany. He also serves as the chairman of the management board and member of the scientific advisory board of evocatal. In 2002, Karl-Erich Jaeger was appointed Professor for Molecular Microbiology at the Department of Biology of Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and director of the Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology at Research Centre Jülich. His research interests focus on bacterial enzymes, their folding, secretion, and biotechnological applications. Karl-Erich Jaeger has published about 130 reviewed papers and textbook chapters, is co-inventor of 7 patents and member of various scientific organizations, editorial and advisory boards, and coordinator of the Technology Platform “Protein Expression”.

Hans-Jürgen Mittelstaedt
Treasurer CLIB2021,
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 CLIB2021 and holds a position in the extended board, since the foundation of the cluster.

Prof. Dr. Ludo Diels
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Flemish Institute for Technological Research, VITO

Ludo Diels, Dr. in chemistry - biotechnology, is research manager Sustainable Chemistry at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Mol, Belgium.  During 15 year he managed the Environment and Process Technology Business Unit and is now responsible for the transition toward sustainable chemistry and clean technology.   He is responsible for the organisation of collaboration with the academic and industrial World and for co-financing projects. He coordinated and is involved in many international research projects. He worked on the creation of the Flanders Initiative for Sustainable Chemistry(FISCH) and the Flemish Algae Platform (VAP). Ludo Diels is strongly involved in the set up of a biobased economy in Flanders. He is also responsible for the collaboration between VITO and India and he is managing the creation of a road map and Strategic Research Agenda for R&D on biomass and biowaste between India and Europe.He is responsible for the Shared Research Centre on Bioaromatics and is in charge of the Port of Antwerp – University Antwerp – VITO initative on CO2 to chemicals.
Ludo Diels is also professor at the University of Antwerp at the department of bio-engineers. He teaches environmental stress, environmental technology and sustainable chemistry.

PD Dr. Thorsten Eggert
Member of the board CLIB2021,
evocatal GmbH

Dr. Thorsten Eggert is the co-founder and managing partner of evocatal GmbH, located in Monheim am Rhein, Germany. This biotechnology company, founded in 2006, is a provider of enzymes and fine chemicals for industrial use in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as the food and animal feed sectors.
Thorsten Eggert studied biology at the Ruhr University Bochum from 1993 to 1998 and received its PhD from 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 Research Center Jülich, which he headed until accomplishing his Habilitation in molecular microbiology at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in 2007. Dr. Eggert is a member of the board of the biotechology and bio-economy cluster CLIB2021 and CleantechNRW, as well as an advisor to the DECHEMA biotransformation expert committee.

Dr. Claas Heise
Member of the board CLIB2021,

Since April 2008, Dr. Claas Heise is responsible for Technology and Innovations Investments at NRW.BANK in Düsseldorf, Germany. He heads the venture capital activities of NRW.BANK, including several venture funds focused on the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as fund-of-fund activities sponsoring a number of regionally focused seed capital funds. Since 2006, Claas had been a partner at Innovature Capital Partners, an advisory and venture capital/secondary services firm. From 2002 to 2006, he was managing director for T-Venture of America. He joined Deutsche Telekom in 1995 and held a variety of management positions. He helped found the enterprise software start-up TRAIAN and joined TRAIAN in October 2000, where he led the partnership business development efforts. Dr. Heise joined T-Venture in Bonn, Germany in 2001. Dr. Heise received his PhD in physics and worked for seven years in science, including a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass, USA.

Dr. Rainhard Koch
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Bayer Technology Services GmbH

Dr. Rainhard Koch studied Microbiology at the university of Göttingen. 1992 he joined Bayer and worked on the development of a compostable plastic material. He was a member of different standardization committees and has actively contributed to the implementation of biodegradable packaging and waste management regulations in Germany. Following this he worked on the development of enzyme based auxiliaries for the textile and paper industries. From 1998 to 2000 he managed two projects in which enzymes for chemical syntheses were developed. This work lead to the establishment of the Enzyme Technology Department which he managed until 2002. In 2004 he was appointed as head of research in the area BioMaterials within Bayer BioScience (Bayer CropScience) in Potsdam. In 2008 he joined Bayer Healthcare and was responsible for the Group Collaboration within the Pharma Research Department. Since 2011 he is leading the Innovation and Project Management Group of the Process Technology Department at Bayer Technology Services.

Dr. Achim Marx
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Evonik Industries AG

Since April 2012 Dr. Marx is board member of the open innovation cluster CLIB2021. At Evonik Industries he coordinates bioeconomy initiatives. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Marx was a business coach in Marketing & Sales. He had previously been in charge of fermentation expertise and the Acrylic-Glass-from-Sugar project of the Biotechnology Science to Business Center, a center which he has been helping build up since 2005. From 2002 to 2005, he worked in amino acid production of the Health & Nutrition Business Unit in Slovakia. Before this time, he had been managing a research laboratory of the same business unit since 1998 in Halle in Westphalia. He received his doctor’s degree in biology and was a member of the steering committee of the OECD study “Bioeconomy 2030”.

Dr. Michael Piontek
Member of the board CLIB2021,
ARTES Biotechnology GmbH

Dr. Michael Piontek is founder and Managing Director/Shareholder of ARTES Biotechnology GmbH. He received his PhD in 1991 at the Institute of Microbiology of the University of Düsseldorf, Prof. Cornelis Hollenberg, on the development of alternative yeast expression systems. From 1988 until May 2002, he worked at Rhein Biotech GmbH, Düsseldorf. Following the initial work on projects dealing with whole cell biocatalysis, he took over the project responsibility for the development of Hepatitis B vaccine development and production. From 1996 onwards, he was Head of Process Development, amongst other projects responsible for start-up and development of joint ventures in India, Egypt and Argentina. In 2002, he established ARTES Biotechnology GmbH, focused on the generation of recombinant production cell lines and processes. With ARTES Biotechnology GmbH, he belongs to the founding members of Bioriver e.V. and CLIB2021. Besides BioRiver and CLIB2021 he is member of the advisory board of the faculty of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering at TU Dortmund University.

Dr. Peter Welters
Member of the board CLIB2021,
BioRiver Life Science im Rheinland e.V.,
Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH

After his studies of biochemistry in Germany and his doctoral thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Dr. Peter Welters spent three years at the University of California,San Diego and two years in Rouen, France as a postdoctoral researcher. In 1998, Dr. Welters founded Phytowelt GmbH in Nettetal and in 2002 he was appointed as CEO of GreenTec GmbH, a spin-off company from the Max-Planck-Institute in Cologne. In January 2006, both companies merged to Phytowelt GreenTechnologies GmbH with Peter Welters as CEO. The company offers contract research in agrobiotechnology and industrial biotechnology.
Peter Welters is founding and board member of CLIB2021 - Cluster Industrielle Biotechnologie e.V. and BioRiver - Life Science im Rheinland e.V , and board member of CleanTechNRW. Since October 2010 he serves also as board member of DIB (Biotechnology Organisation of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI)).

Prof. Dr. Volker F. Wendisch
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Bielefeld University

Prof. Dr. Volker F. Wendisch is Chair of Genetics of Prokaryotes at the Faculty of Biology at Bielefeld University. Since 2010 he is member of the board of the university’s Center for Biotechnology CeBiTec and speaker of its Institute for Genome Research and Systems Biology. Volker F. Wendisch received his diploma in biology from Cologne University. After having completed his PhD at the Institute of Biotechnology 1 of the Research Center Jülich in 1997, Volker F. Wendisch worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. In 2004 he received the venia legendi in microbiology from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. From 2006-2009 he was Professor for Metabolic Engineering at the Westfalian Wilhems University Münster. Prof. Wendisch’s research interests concern genome-based metabolic engineering of industrially relevant microorganisms, systems and synthetic microbiology.


Dr. Doris Schnabel
Permanent guest of the board CLIB2021,
Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes NRW