Bioregions Facility launch event


Marc Palahí is a leading expert on forests and global change, with a new vision of the transformational role forests can play in fighting climate change and developing a Circular bioeconomy. He has been Director of the European Forest Institute since 2015, driving its development as a pan-European science-policy platform, and working to connect knowledge to action at the interface of science, policy and business. Marc has a PhD in forestry and economics, and is an Honorary Member of the Italian Academy of Forest Sciences. His work, which has featured in Nature and other high-level scientific journals, focuses on the creation of a sustainable circular bioeconomy, and how it provides an urgently needed strategy to connect ecology and economy, nature and technology. 


Adrian Enache is Forestry Sector and Rural Development Specialist at the European Investment Bank. A natural resources management specialist, he has over 14 years of experience in sustainable forest management and international forest-based sector projects, with global touch and focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation, bioeconomy and rural development.  

Hubert Kaiser is Head of the Department of Forestry and Nature Conservation and Head of State Forestry Administration, North Rhine-Westphalia since 2018. Previously, he was State Forest Service Director and Head of Unit for Budgetary and Cross Sectoral Tasks on Major Conservation Projects and European Conservation Projects. He has worked as Deputy head of the unit for silviculture in the Ministery for Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection and was Head of the forest district Mönchengladbach.

Ulrika Landergren is the recently elected Chair of The Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) of the European Committee of the Regions, informing policies related to rural development, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), fisheries, forestry, food and public health. Ulrika has been member of the Committe of Regions since 2013 and is the first vice-president of Renew Europe CoR’s Bureau.  She has been Councillor and member of the executive board at the municipality of Kungsbacka, near Gothenburg (Sweden), for the last 11 years, covering all policy areas for which the local council is responsible. Before becoming a full time politician, she led the IT services of Gothenburg City.

Nick Lyth is a Co-Founder and Director at the Green Angels Syndicate – the first angel investment syndicate specialising in the green economy. He founded GAS in order to use the knowledge gained from the research world to help to commercialise resource use innovations effectively and successfully, for the greater benefit of the green economy.  Previously, Nick spent ten years building up the International Resources and Recycling Institute (IRRI),  an eco and environmental applied research institute that now holds an international status. He has been invited to assess innovation competitions in the UK run by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) and Scottish Government and has contributed to various government forums. He has also served on a range of charitable and commercial Boards. 

Inazio Martinez de Arano is Head of Office at EFI Mediterranean Facility since June 2013. He was previously Executive President at the Union of Foresters of Southern Europe (USSE), where he was involved in the analysis of forest-related policy developments at European and global levels, and the evaluation of the potential effects of policies and regulations on Mediterranean and South Atlantic forests and forestry. Mr. Martinez has wide experience working in a network organisation and with various stakeholders. He was coordinator of forest research and a researcher at the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research (NEIKER), as well as a university lecturer in the University of Concepción, Chile. As President of the European Institute for Cultivated Forests (IEFC), he was involved in establishing the EFI Atlantic Regional Office.


Philippe Mengal is Director of the Bio-based Industry Joint Undertaking (BBI JU).  He started his career in 1990 in France as R&D engineer in the field of biomass fractionation and purification. In 1995 he became Technical Director of a research centre dedicated to biomass valorisation and between 1990 and 1997 he taught in a Master programme on chemical engineering in Rennes- France. He has published a number of scientific papers and awarded 5 patented license agreements. In his 25 years of professional experience before joining BBI JU, Mr. Mengal held strategic managerial positions in France and Belgium, such as CEO of three companies, Global R&D Director of a multinational and Senior Consultant in food ingredient, engineering and life sciences industries.
Harri Palviainen is the CEO of Business Joensuu, Finland. He is an international business executive and transformation leader and has managed worldwide business operations in Europe, MEA, APAC and Americas, with successful change leadership in business and public domains. He has managed companies, business units, regional business, sales and marketing, and services operations, with hands-on experience in strategy and offering development, growth & go-to market, organisation culture and competences, and several international M&A and integration processes. He specialises in B2B service and solution business, has extensive insight to ICT, technologies and digitalisation.
Risto Poutiainen is the Regional Mayor of the North Karelia region in Eastern Finland. He graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology with a degree in Engineering (Master of Science). He has been in charge of regional strategies and international activities in North Karelia since mid-1990s. He is a passionate supporter of fossil free North Karelia and a leading force of the recently established European forested regions initiative.
Arantxa Tapia Otaegi is Minister of Economic Development and Infrastructure of the Basque Government. She leads the Department of Economic Development and Infrastructure in which Industry, Innovation, Agriculture, Fisheries converge, areas that directly affect the productive economy of Euskadi. She is responsible for organising productive sectors for development that takes advantage of internal collaboration, common orientation and generating synergies to create wealth and employment. She is a leading proponent of the New Competitiveness Model which is adapted to the capabilities and tailored to the needs and aspirations of Basque society.
Diana Tuomasjukka is Principle Scientist and Team Leader for the “Sustainable Bioeconomy” team at EFI. Dr. Tuomasjukka has been working in various EU projects mainly in the context of sustainability impact assessments. She is currently working on topics related to the circular bioeconomy and cross-sectoral forest-wood-chain modelling in Europe, whose assessment based on an indicator approach covering economic, environmental and social aspects, as well as corporate social responsibility and ecolabels. 

Peter Wehrheim is Head of the Bioeconomy and Food Systems Unit in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, joining the Cabinet of Commissioner Hogan in February 2018.  Between 2010 and early 2018 he worked as Head of Unit in the European Commission's Directorate General "Climate Action". His portfolio included climate finance, deforestation (REDD+ and LULUCF) and agriculture.  Peter began work for the European Commission in 2004, first affiliated with the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Prior to joining the Commission he was a Heisenberg-Fellow of the German Research Foundation. He worked during that period at the Centre for Development Research/University of Bonn and at the IRIS Centre at the University of Maryland.