Currently, the following people form the board of CLIB2021:


Dr. Thomas Schwarz
Chairman CLIB2021,
b.value AG, b.experts GmbH

Dr. Thomas Schwarz is member of the board of b.value AG as well as b.experts GmbH. Here he is working in the field of start-up coaching and in technology transfer. Between 2009 and 2014 he was CEO, and from 2014 until 2016 CSO of instrAction GmbH in Mannheim, Germany. He served as CEO, respectively head of the board, of bitop AG, which he also co-founded, from 1993 until 2009. Moreover, he is co-founder of SenseUp GmbH, Jülich. Since 2007 he is member of the executive board and since 2013 chairman of the board of CLIB2021.
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. 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 also holds a teaching position in chemical engineering (bioprocess engineering) at TU Dortmund University. He is currently a reviewer in several BMBF calls.

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”.

Prof. Dr. Georg Oenbrink
Vice Chairman CLIB2021,
Evonik Industries AG

Dr. Georg Oenbrink studied chemistry at the University of Bremen and in 1987 received his PhD in the group of Prof. Dr. Detlef Gabel for his thesis about „Synthesis of boron-containing water-soluble porphyrins for neutron-capture-therapy”. Between 1987 and 2002 he held different responsibilities in Product Management, Application Technology, R&D and Innovation Management within the Business Line High Performance Polymers at Degussa AG. From 2002 until March 2010 he was Senior Vice President Innovation Management within the Business Line High Performance Polymers. Since April 2010 Dr. Oenbrink is Senior Vice President Innovation Networks & Communications of Evonik Industries AG within Corporate Innovation.
Dr. Oenbrink is member of the board of the GdCh-Division VCW Vereinigung Chemie & Wirtschaft and member of the board of Kunststoffland NRW e.V. Dr. Oenbrink  has a Curatorship at Fraunhofer Institute IFAM in Bremen, and is Member in the Scientific Advisory Board of the DWI Institute for Interactive Materials Research at the RWTH Aachen. He is also active in other industry advisory boards and sponsoring organizations of IPF, SKZ and IKV. He is also Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board of the European Center for Nanostructured Polymers (ECNP) and holds a professorship at the University of Applied Science Aachen.

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.


Dr. Roland Breves
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Dr. Roland Breves currently is Head of Corporate Microbiology of the Henkel AG & Co KGaA in Duesseldorf, which as a corporate function acts for all business units, as Cosmetics, Laundry and Home care and Adhesives. After studying Chemistry and a PhD in Microbiology (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 changed to the department of Microbiology 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. 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,
evoxx technologies GmbH

Thorsten Eggert, Managing Director (CEO) of evoxx technologies, is co-founder and Managing Director (CEO) of the evocatal GmbH. He studied biology at the Ruhr-University in Bochum and received his PhD degree in microbiology with special emphasis on enzyme-optimization through molecular engineering. After completing his PhD degree he was head of the group “Directed Evolution” at the Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology of Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf and successfully expanded it into a key group of the institute as well as at the Centre for Microbial Biotechnology (CMB) at the Research Centre Juelich. In May 2007 he finished his post-doctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in molecular microbiology. The topic was “Novel biocatalysts for technical applications by evolution and design”. He is board member in the biotech cluster CLIB2021 located in Duesseldorf.

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.


Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schembecker
Member of the board CLIB2021,
BioIndustry e.V., TU Dortmund

Gerhard Schembecker received his diploma as well as his Ph.D. and Habilitation in Chemical Engineering from TU Dortmund University in Germany. He is co-founder of the consultancy firm Process Design Center (PDC) with offices in Europe and the USA. As President and CEO of PDC he has worked in more than 100 industrial design projects for the chemical industry.
In 2005 Dr. Schembecker was appointed Professor for Plant and Process Design at the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering of TU Dortmund University. His research focuses on the conceptual design and simulation of biochemical processes with special interest in downstream processes and on modular plant design. His laboratory hosts the CLIB technology platform Downstream Processing.
Dr. Schembecker received several process innovation awards, has published about 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and is named as inventor on 5 patents. Recently he co-founded the start-up companies inosim consulting and b.experts. Dr. Schembecker holds various positions in advisory boards and is member of the board of invite GmbH, a joint research organization of Bayer Technology Services and TU Dortmund University in the field of future manufacturing.

Dr. Peter Welters
Vice Chairman CLIB2021,
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 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. Walther Pelzer
Permanent guest of the board CLIB2021,
Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia