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Industrial Biotechnology Business Seminar - Speakers


Prof. Antti Vasara, President & CEO, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd

Prof., DTech Antti Vasara is the President & CEO of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd since November 1, 2015. Antti is a technology industry executive with close to 20 years of P&L and general management experience from international companies as well as board of director experience from several public and private companies in Finland, Canada and the UK, including companies and organisations like Tieto Corporation, Nokia, Comptel Oyj and F-Secure, Smart Trust Ltd and McKinsey and Company  in Finland,  Nexeon Ltd and  Symbian Plc in the UK,  724 Solutions in Canada, the Research and Technology Committee of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes).


Merja Penttilä, VTT, Finland

Merja is a research professor in biotechnology at VTT, and an adjunct professor in synthetic biology at Aalto University. She has acted as the director of the Academy of Finland CoE in White biotechnology – Green chemistry, and is a partner in the CoE on Molecular engineering of biosynthetic hybrid materials. She currently coordinates a large national programme "Living Factories: Synthetic Biology for a sustainable Bioeconomy". She has led many industrial projects and acted as an advisory board or committee member of a number of international organisations.

Adam Burja, Senior Director, DSM Nutritional Products, USA
Adam is a senior director of process biotechnology at DSM Nutritional Products North America, where he develops and commercializes fermentation-based bio-products. He has worked globally within the fields of renewables, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, and established R&D programs in start-up, medium-sized and multi-national corporate environments. Most recently he held positions at BP as global synthetic biology manager in the Alternative Energy Group and as general manager for Group Technology Biosciences Center.
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Doug Cameron, First Green Partners & Alberti Advisors, USA​

Doug is passionate about building and growing technology-based companies in the field of renewables and the environment. He has worked with over 30 start-ups. He has been an investor and advisor at e.g. Cargill Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Piper Jaffray, and is now director of First Green Partners and Alberti Advisors. He was research director at Cargill and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Doug has a Ph.D. from MIT in biochemical engineering.

Luuk van der Wielen, BE-Basic & Delft University, The Netherlands
Luuk is a distinguished professor for biobased economy at Delft University of Technology and a professor in bioprocess engineering. He is the director of BE-BASIC, a globally operating private-public research organisation in industrial and environmental biotechnology, with a cumulative budget of over 250 M€. In 2012 he coordinated the Netherland's Bioenergy and Biochemicals Innovation plan. His board memberships include investment funds, Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV and BioPort Holland.

Matthew Markus, Pembient, USA

Matthew is co-founder and CEO of Pembient, a company biofabricating wildlife products in order to stop the poaching of, and prevent the farming of, iconic species such as the rhinoceros. As a serial entrepreneur, Matthew's past ventures include, an internet company that was acquired by InfoSpace (now NASDAQ: BCOR). Matthew is an alumnus of IndieBio, the world's first biotech accelerator. He holds a Masters of Engineering Management and M.Sci. in Genetic Epidemiology from the University of Washington in St. Louis.  


Eeva Grannenfelt, Grannenfelt Finance Oy, Finland

Eeva is the Managing Partner at Grannenfelt Finance, a company that assists its customers to find suitable funding solutions throughout their life cycle. She has worked in the financial sector for 36 years. The first 18 years in the banking sector in the areas of corporate finance, FX, asset management and stock brokerage. The following 18 years she worked with pension funds, of which the longest period as Pension Fennia's Chief Investment Officer. Prior to Grannenfelt Finance she worked in Pension Elo as a director. Her responsibilities were corporate finance, private equity, macro view and alternative investments. Eeva is also a second generation entrepreneur and investor in three growth companies. In addition, she is the board member of the following companies: Solteq Plc, Aina Group / AinaCom, Nanten Ltd, Fountain Park Ltd and SEB Fund Management Ltd.


​Isabel Rocha, Chief Scientific Officer, Portugal
Isabel Rocha is Principal Investigator at the Biological Engineering Centre ( where she has established a research lab within the fields of Metabolic Engineering, Systems and Computational Biology. Her research focuses in developing modelling and optimization tools to aid the rational design of improved microbes. She is also one of the founders and the CSO of SilicoLife ( SilicoLife was founded in 2010 and offers Computational Biology Solutions for Industrial Biotechnology applications and is involved in major industrial biotechnology projects worldwide.

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Antoine Mialon, MetGen Oy, Finland
Antoine Mialon has been working more than 20 years with biotechnology and 8 years at MetGen Oy. This Finnish SME designs and produces enzymes to empower industry by enhancing the value of biomass. Since Antoine moved to MetGen Oy, he applied biotechnology, a fast growing branch of science, to industrial sectors. Nowadays, at the head of the application testing group, Antoine is at the bridging point between MetGen's state of the art technology and the industry. He is thereby an active member of the team designing specific enzymatic solutions to answer customer's unique needs. Antoine is particularly interested in applying enzymes in existing process to value them but he is also passioned by the new opportunities of  implementation of enzymatic solutions in frontier applications: biorenewables, micropollutants in wastewater, bioremediation...

Cédric Boisart, EnobraQ, France
Cédric is CTO at EnobraQ, a French biotechnology company developing CO2-based industrial fermentation processes. He has worked in industrial biotechnology for 15 years, mainly in start-up environment. He was a project manager and in charge of bioinformatics at METabolic EXplorer, CTO at Carbios and strategic development manager at Soufflet Biotechnologies before joining EnobraQ.

Tanja Dowe, Innomedica, Finland

Tanja Dowe is the Managing Partner of Innomedica, a company specialized in commercialization of science-based innovations in the life science and biotechnology fields. Tanja's education is Master of science in applied microbiology and biochemistry. She has more than 15 years of experience in commercial development of novel technologies and innovative products, business development and partnering. Tanja is a work package leader for management and involved in the roadmapping and exploitation planning of the Living Factories program.

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Esa Aittomäki, Neste Jacobs Oy, Finland
Esa has over 35 years of strong professional experience in the industrial production of chemicals, biochemicals, BtoB products and consumer products. Esa has worked in international projects and technology sales since 1984, and as a director of the business area Life Science Industries since 1989, acting strongly in the business development and international marketing and supervision of projects.  Esa is experienced in the project management and coordination, in the process concept development, viability evaluation and feasibility studies, as well as in the market surveys and business development of the industrial production.  In recent years Esa has worked in Neste Jacobs' and clients' bio-refinery business development, and managed process R&D in the renewable fuels and bio-based chemicals area.

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