Currently, the following people form the board of CLIB2021:


Dr. Karl-Heinz Maurer
Chairman CLIB2021
Aachen Proteineers

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 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. 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

Prof. Ludo Diels, Dr. in chemistry & biotechnology, works at the University of Antwerp and is research manager Sustainable Chemistry for the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Mol, Belgium. For 15 years 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 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 a founding father of the Shared Research Centre on Bio-aromatics (BIORIZON) between the Netherlands and Flanders. He is also founder and Flanders coordinator of the BIG-C trilateral alliance between Flanders, the Netherlands and NRW. He is case leader for bio-aromatics in the Vanguard Initiative, pilot Bio-economy, leading to smart specialisation of interregional collaboration. He is the chairman of the working group FEED in the Energy and Resources PPP SPIRE and he is member of the SPIRE-BBI JU working group.


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

Dr. Thorsten Eggert is the co-founder and managing director of evoxx technologies GmbH, located in Monheim am Rhein, Germany. This biotechnology company, founded in 2006 as evocatal GmbH, 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 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 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 Helmholtz Research Network “Molecular Interaction Engineering”.

Dr. Henrike Gebhardt
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Evonik Industries AG

Dr. 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 aisbl and 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. Henrike Gebhardt 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 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. Gernot Jäger
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Covestro AG

Dr. Gernot Jäger is responsible for biocatalytic and biobased processes 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), CLIB (biotechnology cluster, board), and VCI (renewable resources).
Dr. 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.


Prof. Dr. Georg Oenbrink
Member of the board CLIB2021,
Creago Solutions UG

Prof. Dr. Georg Oenbrink studied chemistry at the University of Bremen and received his PhD in 1987 in the group of Prof. Dr. Detlef Gabel, 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 Hüls AG and Degussa AG. From 2002 until March 2010 he was Senior Vice President within the Business Line High Performance Polymers, which became part of Evonik Industries AG in 2007. From April 2010 until August 2017, Georg Oenbrink was Senior Vice President Innovation Networks & Communication within Corporate Innovation of Evonik Industries AG. He is founder and Chief Executive Officer of CREAGO Solutions UG, a business strategy, Innovation and technology management consultancy and service providing company focussing on small and medium sized enterprizes. Prof Dr. Georg Oenbrink holds a honary professorship at the University of Applied Science in Aachen.


Dr. Peter Welters
Member of the board 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 also founding and board member of CLIB,  board member of ABIC Foundation Inc., Canada as well as  the German Association of Biotechnology Industries (DIB)  and CleanTech NRW.


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. Kirsten Bender
Permanent guest of the board CLIB2021,
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia