Prof Dr Patrick Rudelsheim – senior regulatory advisor and managing partner
Prof Dr. Patrick Rüdelsheim obtained his PhD in Biology from Antwerp University in Belgium. In 1990, he joined Plant Genetic Systems N.V., Belgium where, after being in charge of Product Development and Registration, he was appointed Director Regulatory Affairs and Member of the PGS Board. During subsequent mergers and acquisitions, he became Global Head Regulatory Affairs BioScience within respectively the AgrEvo group, Aventis CropScience and Bayer CropScience. In 2003, he founded and became General Partner of Perseus BVBA. He is active in diverse associations (President 2008-2010 of the “International Society for Biosafety Research”; President 2011-2012 of the “European BioSafety Association”, co-founder of the “Belgian Biosafety Professionals”, member of the board of Bio.Be, member of the board and chairman of the “TF Safety in Biotechnology” of the European Federation of Biotechnology, member of EuropaBio).
Monitoring the developments of the Convention on Biological Diversity, he was involved in the implementation of the Cartagena and the Nagoya Protocols. In addition to training and assisting users in fulfilling their obligations, he is engaged as an expert in the EU project establishing sector specific guidance document related to the pharma and biotechnology sectors, as well as for academia and collections.
Dr Thomas Vanagt– senior scientific advisor and managing partner
Thomas Vanagt originally trained as a marine ecologist, obtaining a PhD in biology from Ghent University in Belgium. He is the managing director of eCOAST, a marine environmental research centre in Belgium. Over the past few years, Thomas has been working closely with science and industry on ABS, particularly on Marine Genetic Resources (MGR). He is one of the key experts on ABS of MGR for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions, advising negotiators at the United Nations.
He has been giving trainings to users of genetic resources all over Europe, and has given numerous presentations at international scientific conferences about the Nagoya Protocol and the EU ABS Regulation. He has also published on ABS models, and is working actively on developing ABS models that create win-wins for both users and providers. Since 2012, Thomas Vanagt has been the work package leader of the legal and policy WP of the EU funded project PharmaSea. This work package specifically looked at the legal obligations of users of genetic resources, and performed numerous outreach activities towards users. Thomas is also responsible for the legal work package in the recently started Marie Curie project, MarPipe, on the marine biodiscovery pipeline.
Mr Dominic Muyldermans LLM – senior legal advisor
Dominic Muyldermans, independent attorney and advisor to ABS-int, studied law in Leuven and Strasbourg, and obtained a Master of Law (LL.M) from University College London. He has been a member of the Brussels bar, working as an attorney in the Intellectual Property Department of the law firm Allen & Overy. He has been senior counsel at Bayer CropScience, BioScience, with global responsibilities for the rice market area, as well as for legal matters related to certain public and governmental affairs. He is now working as an independent attorney focusing on issues of ABS and Intellectual Property (IP). He has been advising CropLife International, an international federation of agricultural biotechnology companies, as well as EuropaBio, the European Biotech Association, on ABS and IP for many years. He is a regular speaker on these topics, has published several articles on ABS, and has been engaged in international training workshops on ABS. He is also a designated expert of the team discussing a sector specific guidance document related to the biotechnology sector under the EU ABS Regulation, as well as an active participant on the ABS Task Force of the International Chamber of Commerce, and has been leading the subteams on Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and Derivatives. Additionally, he has been the industry representative on the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on DSI under the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol.
Dr. Patrick De Boever – senior innovation manager
Patrick De Boever is a senior innovation manager at ABSint. He has a part-time appointment as a professor and business developer at Hasselt University. He worked as a research and innovation manager at the University of Antwerp and was instrumental in establishing the Centre of Excellence Microbial Systems Technology from April 2020 until October 2022. Patrick De Boever had several responsibilities at the Flemish Institute for Technology VITO from March 2007 until April 2020, including leading a research team in health technologies that transformed into a spin-off company. Patrick De Boever began his research career at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre from September 2001 until March 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences from Ghent University and a Master of Science in Bio-Engineering from that same university. Patrick De Boever has broad expertise in Environment & Health sciences.
Ms Cato De Roeck, – junior legal advisor
Cato De Roeck obtained her Master of Law at Ghent University, specialising in international and European environmental law. She started at ABS-int as a legal intern writing her dissertation on the link between access and benefit-sharing and biodiversity conservation while analysing best practices around Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries. After graduating, she continued working on projects focusing on ABS and sustainable use of biological resources. In 2022, she obtained an MSc in Environment, Politics and Development at King’s College London. For her dissertation, she gained knowledge on the development side of ABS by focusing on indigenous people and associated traditional knowledge. In 2023, she will start her PhD on corporate social responsibility related to matters of ABS, sustainable use of biological resources and ethical sourcing.
Dr. Zorica Ubiparip – project manager
Zorica Ubiparip earned her PhD in Bioscience Engineering from Ghent University in Belgium, working on the frontline between academic and industrial research. During this time, she was involved in several industry-driven research projects focused on microbial enzymes expected to find their way into cutting-edge, sustainable manufacturing processes of valuable compounds. Various collaborative projects provided her with extensive specialist and transferable skills and introduced her to research valorization. Before joining Ghent University, she worked at two renowned institutes in Brno, Czech Republic, the Veterinary Research Institute and the Central European Institute of Technology, gaining experience in the more fundamental side of life sciences.
Zorica joined ABSint as a project manager and scientist at the end of 2022, working on EU-funded programs. She is currently involved in two marine biotech-related research projects, MARBLES (https://marblesproject.eu), focused on harnessing marine microbes for drug discovery and sustainable production of fish and crops, and MICRO4BIOGAS, dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of biogas to support Europe’s transition to renewable energy (https://micro4biogas.eu).
Mr Nicholas Theux Lowen, MSc – junior researcher on valorization in aquaculture
Nicholas Theux Lowen graduated from the International Master of Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSEA), an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree based at Ghent University, where he specialized in Management of Marine Living Resources.
Prior to his master’s degree, Nicholas Theux Lowen completed a BBA in Global Management at SKEMA Business (Sophia-Antipolis, France) where he specialized in Marine Biology and a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) where he specialized in Marine Sciences.
As an early-stage researcher, he will work at ABSint on understanding how to capture value of marine aquaculture in Europe. His research is part of multidisciplinary research project called EATFISH, which is a Marie Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the EU. His study will focus on better understanding the potential business models for aquaculture development and assessing how entre- or intrapreneurship can enhance aquaculture profitability.
Mr Charles Dimiaux, MSc – project scientist
Charles Dimiaux started with a Master of Applied Sciences in Chemical Engineering and then continued to obtain an International Master in Marine Biological Resources, specializing in the field of marine food production. He started at ABS-int as a researcher to develop the design plans for a gracilaria seaweed farm and agar agar processing plant in Bangladesh. He is now responsible for production of a market analysis in the micro4biogas project.
Mr Royhanur Islam, MSc – marine scientist