Förderverein Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern e.V.
Förderverein Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern e.V. is the IBB Netzwerk GmbH’s only shareholder. The association’s purpose is the promotion of an industrial biotechnology and sustainable economy in Bavaria and beyond. A membership is open to everyone and only requires an official application via the following form.
Association’s Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are elected by the association’s members every two years.
Dr. Axel Trefzer
After his doctorate at the University of Tübingen, Dr. Trefzer started his career in industrial R&D at Diversa Corporation, San Diego, USA. Diverse positions of increasing rseponsibility at Invitrogen and DSM in the USA and the Netherlands, respectively, followed. In 2011, he started as Associate Director in the business unit Synthetic Biology at ThermoFisher Scientific. From 2012 to 2021, he was Director R&D for Synthetic Biology at the company’s location ThermoFisher Scientific GENEART GmbH in Regensburg. Most recently, he assumed a position as director for product management in Synthetic Biology. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Trefzer has built an extensive scientific expertise in many fields of industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology and research tools. In particular, he is specialized in driving business innovation based on new technologies within the field of biotechnology and beyond.
Since 2017, he is board member of the association Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern e.V. and since 2019, he is chairman of the board.
Dipl.-Ing. Birgit Lewandowski
Ms. Lewandowksi’s professional career is characterized by the interdisciplinarity of engineering, applied Life Sciences and sustainability. She studied at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna with a focus on hydroelectric and power plant construction linked with stream ecology. Following her graduation, she led international large-scale environmental assessment projects for the electricity industry as well as for the pulp and paper industry. In addition, she joined international academic exchange programs between Europe and Africa by studies and teaching.
After advanced training in the field of protein biochemistry, molecular biology and cell culture, she joined Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG. She was responsible for the scale-up of microbial culture production from lab-scale to industrial processes and gained extensive management experience in her position as Head of the Division of Biotechnology. Since the beginning of 2020, Dipl.-Ing. Birgit Lewandowksi is Development Director at Electrochaea GmbH. With her strong interdisciplinary background, she leads a diverse team of biologists, biotechnologists, and process engineers at Electrochaea. As Development Director, she serves as strategic and scientific representative of the development team for building partnerships and developing commercial projects. She supports the planning and execution of funded and commercial projects with academics, technology partners and clients and supports the extension of Electrochaea´s IP portfolio.
Since 2019, she is board member of the association Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern e.V. and especially represents the interests of SMEs.
Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra
Prof. Skerra (b. 1961) does research on protein engineering and design. The focus of his work is on the construction of artificial binding proteins and enzymes with novel, tailored functions, in particular for applications in medical and industrial biotechnology. Rational and combinatorial research approaches are pursued in tandem with protein biochemical and spectroscopic methods as well as protein crystallographic analysis. Several technologies from his laboratory have entered commercialization: Strep-tag®, Anticalin® proteins and PASylation®.
Following chemical studies at TU Darmstadt, Prof. Skerra obtained a doctorate at the Gene Centre of Munich’s Ludwig Maximilians University in 1989 and completed his lecturer qualification in biochemistry at the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1995. Before his appointment as full professor at TUM, he was professor of protein chemistry at TU Darmstadt from 1994 to 1998. Prof. Skerra is founder of Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PIRS) and XL-protein GmbH. In 2008, he was elected to the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). He is active in the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the German Chemical Society, the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and he was initiator and Vice-Chairman of the Cluster of Excellence “Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich” from 2006 – 2012.
Since 2020, Prof. Skerra has been Chairman of the Department of Molecular Life Sciences at the TUM School of Life Sciences and Academic Director of the TUM Food and Agro Center for Innovation and Technology (FACIT) at the Weihenstephan Campus.
He holds TUM’s Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz-medal and is liaison lecturer of the German National Academic Foundation at TU Munich – of which he was a former fellow himself. Prof. Skerra was nominated for the German Future Prize in 2004 and awarded the Karl Heinz Beckurts-Prize in 2005 for developing anticalins, a novel class of receptor proteins with antibody-like properties.
Since 2021, he is member of the association’s board and represents the interests of academic research.
Dr. Christian Librera
Christian Librera was appointed Senior Vice President Biofuels at UPM effective Jan 1st 2023.
Before his current role, Christian headed the Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives in Clariant (2020 – 2022) and was Head of theBusiness Segment Syngas in Clariant’s Business Unit Catalysts.
Prior to this, he was Regional Head of Production EMEA of Clariant’s Business Unit Catalysts and Site Manager for the Catalyst Unit of Süd-Chemie AG’s Heufeld facility in Germany, where he had been Production Manager Catalysts since 2008.
Before joining Süd-Chemie/Clariant, Christian held various positions at Celanese Chemicals (in Germany and USA) which he joined as Six Sigma Black Belt in 2003.
Born in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany in 1975, Christian holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Würzburg, Germany and a Master of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati, USA.
Dr. Günter von Au
Dr. von Au studied textiles and synthetic chemistry at the Technical College Reutlingen and chemistry at the University of Tübingen, where he finished his doctorate in 1980. In the following, he assumed diverse global positions within the Wacker-Chemie AG (Burghausen, Munich, USA, Brazil). Before leaving the company in 2001, Dr. von Au was Head of the division Polymers, Specialty Chemistry and Biochemistry as well as CEO of Wacker Polymer GmbH. In 2001, he became president and CEO of Süd-Chemie Inc., Louisville, USA. Three years later, he took over the position of Süd-Chemie AG’s CEO in Munich until March 31, 2012. In 2012, Dr. von Au became Vice President of the Board of Directors at Clariant AG. Since April 1, 2021, he holds the presidency of Clariant’s Board of Directors. In addition, he assumes positions as chairman of Advisory and Supervisory Boards in diverse family and private equity owned corporations.
Prof. Dr. Hannelore Daniel
Prof. Daniel studied nutritional sciences at Justus Liebig University in Giessen. She received her doctorate in 1982 and qualified as a lecturer in Biochemistry of Human Nutrition in 1989. She has worked at the University of Glasgow and spent three years at the School of Medicine in Pittsburgh. She was appointed a full professor at the University of Giessen in 1992. Since 1998, she has held the Chair of Nutrition Physiology at TUM. Prof. Daniel is a member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), various advisory bodies, supervisory boards and associations.
Prof. Daniel researches the basic principles of nutrient transport in mammals at genetic, structural and functional levels. She also studies the molecular basis of the adaptation of metabolic processes to changes in the intake of nutrients and non-nutritive ingredients of food as well as ageing processes.
Dr. Hermann Heumann
Following his studies in physics and biophysics at TU Munich, Dr. Heumann became associate professor (i. R.) at LMU Munich’s Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy. For many years, he was fellow at Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry and studied biological structures through neutron diffraction in the department of Prof. Zillig. In 1998, Dr. Heumann developed a special method to mark biomass in stable isotopes and founded Silantes GmbH, a spin-off by Max-Planck-Institute.
Dr. Heumann was the association’s chairman from 2017 to 2019 and guided the association through an extraordinary time.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Liebl
Prof. Liebl studied biology with a major in microbiology at TU Munich and did his doctorate on the secretion of lipase in staphylococci in 1986. Thanks to a DFG research scholarship, he joined the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following his return to TU Munich, he qualified as a professor in 1997 and accepted a chair at Georg-August-University in Göttingen. From 1997 to 2008, he held the chair of Genomic and Applied Microbiology. In addition, he was active in the university’s self-administration and was Dean of the Biological Faculty (2002−2003) and member of the senate (2007−2008). Prof. Liebl declined a call to TU Graz in 2003, but joined TU Munich again as full professor of microbiology in 2008. He remained active as member of the faculty’s council and Dean of Studies for Biosciences.
From 2017 to 2021, he belonged to the association’s Board of Directors of Förderverein Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern e.V. Afterwards, he became an Honorary Member of the association.
Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Patermann
Christian Patermann is a lawyer. He studied in Germany, Switzerland and Spain and hold various positions in the federal civil service (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Foreign Office, Ambassy Washington, among others). He was a state secretary’s personal advisor in the Federal Ministry of Research and later Head of the Executive Management, Press Officer of the German Federal Minister Prof. Riesenhuber as well as Head of the Section. Since 1996, he was Director of the European Commission in Brussels, initially responsible for Environment and Sustainability in the General Directorate Research followed by Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Biotechnology. In addition, Christian Patermann led the development of a European Bioeconomy.
He retired in 2007 but still assumes many honorary posts and advisory positions. Among others, he was member of the inaugural German Bioeconomy Council, member of the Swiss Agricultural Research Council, Honorary Doctor of the University of Bonn, member of the world’s oldest Research Academy of the Life Sciences, Georgofili Academy Florence. As of late, Christian Patermann is Honorary Member of the Förderverein Industrielle Biotechnologie Bayern e.V.