April 17-19, 2024

BLUE ECONOMY AQUACULTURE FORUM

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Blue Economy is the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.”

World Bank

Our Vision

SAN Group and Sterner Group see it as their joint responsibility to drive sustainable solutions in fish farming. The ecological footprint of global food production for eight billion people on this earth is larger than ever. The world population is growing, but the resources of our planet are limited.

For this reason, it is necessary to produce sustainable fish.
RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) are considered one of the key forward-looking solutions that contribute to a more sustainable tomorrow.

The aim of Blue Economy Aquaculture Forum 2024 is to discuss solutions to one of the most important future problems together with experts from all over the world.

Learn more about the arranging companies
Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel

The Venue

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Residences Emirates Pearl offers a 5-star luxury hotel and events venue of aweinspiring design and extraordinary architecture.

The hotel is located in the iconic West Corniche district of Abu Dhabi and is conveniently accessible to the city’s business hub, high-end shopping Districts and is a short 35-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Program

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024
Thursday , April 18th, 2024

09:00 - 09:10

Welcome

Welcome

09:10 - 09:20

Opening

Opening

09:20 - 09:50

Blue Economy and Blue Finance

Blue Economy and Blue Finance

Speakers

Catherine Jadot

Dr. Catherine Jadot

Chief Executive Officer, Elemental Solutions

Prof. Erich Erber

Founder and President, SAN Group GmbH

HE Dr. Mohammad Al Hammadi

HE Dr. Mohammed Al Hammadi

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

Sissel Susort

Global Marketing Manager, Closed Aquaculture Systems, Skretting

Vincent Erenst

M.Sc. Vincent Erenst

Chief Executive Officer, The Kingfish Company

Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis

Event Host, SAN Group GmbH

anthony-j-dinning

Dr. Anthony J. Dinning

Head of Water Quality, Sterner Group AS

Markus Schrittwieser

Global Business Development Director Aqua, SAN Group GmbH

Martin Blauensteiner

Managing Director - Global Business Unit, SAN Venture Invest GmbH

Rachelle Jensen

Rachelle Jensen

Chief Executive Officer, Luminis Water Technologies

Prof. Kevin Sowers

Prof. Kevin Sowers

Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Yonathan Zohar

Prof. Yonathan Zohar

Professor of Marine Biotechnology, Department Chair, Marine Biotechnology; Director, Aquaculture Research Center; Project Director, SAS², University of Maryland

Geir Stang Hauge

M.Sc. Geir Stang Hauge

Chief Executive Officer, BioSort AS

Gonçalo de Abreu Santos

M.Sc. Gonçalo de Abreu Santos

Head of Projects, Hatch Innovation Services

Christine Huynh

Dr. Christine Huynh

Managing Director and Senior Veterinarian, Nautilus Collaboration

robert-eliassen

Robert Eliassen

Head of Biogas and Sludge Treatment, Sterner Group AS

TBA

TBA

TBA

TBA

HE Dr. Mohammad Al Hammadi

HE Dr. Mohammed Al Hammadi

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

Markus Schrittwieser

Global Business Development Director Aqua, SAN Group GmbH

Geir Stang Hauge

M.Sc. Geir Stang Hauge

Chief Executive Officer, BioSort AS

Christine Huynh

Dr. Christine Huynh

Managing Director and Senior Veterinarian, Nautilus Collaboration

TBA

TBA

Prof. Erich Erber

Founder and President, SAN Group GmbH

Sissel Susort

Global Marketing Manager, Closed Aquaculture Systems, Skretting

Yonathan Zohar

Prof. Yonathan Zohar

Professor of Marine Biotechnology, Department Chair, Marine Biotechnology; Director, Aquaculture Research Center; Project Director, SAS², University of Maryland

Martin Blauensteiner

Managing Director - Global Business Unit, SAN Venture Invest GmbH

TBA

TBA

Catherine Jadot

Dr. Catherine Jadot

Chief Executive Officer, Elemental Solutions

Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis

Event Host, SAN Group GmbH

anthony-j-dinning

Dr. Anthony J. Dinning

Head of Water Quality, Sterner Group AS

Gonçalo de Abreu Santos

M.Sc. Gonçalo de Abreu Santos

Head of Projects, Hatch Innovation Services

TBA

TBA

Vincent Erenst

M.Sc. Vincent Erenst

Chief Executive Officer, The Kingfish Company

Prof. Kevin Sowers

Prof. Kevin Sowers

Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Rachelle Jensen

Rachelle Jensen

Chief Executive Officer, Luminis Water Technologies

robert-eliassen

Robert Eliassen

Head of Biogas and Sludge Treatment, Sterner Group AS

TBA

TBA

Directions to the event venue

Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl

West Corniche Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

reception info

Phone Number: +971 2 510 1234
Email : abudhabi.grand@hyatt.com

Prof. Erich Erber

Founder and President, SAN Group GmbH

Prof. Erich Erber Ing. PhD h.c., born in Austria and a true global citizen, holds a graduate degree in agricultural engineering. In 1983 he founded Biomin, which became a global player in the feed additives business. Subsequent to the acquisition of Romer Labs (a US food safety company) and Sanphar (a Brazilian animal health company), Erber Group was founded. In the following years, Erber Group’s scientific lead in the fields of mycotoxin risk management and natural growth promoters as a replacement for antibiotic growth promotors in animal nutrition resulted in Biomin’s global leadership in its field of expertise. In 2020, Erich Erber sold Erber Group to a Dutch multinational company. As a result of the carve-out of an animal health company and a plant protection company from his former enterprise, along with the acquisition of three other companies in the same fields, SAN Group was founded the same year. SAN Group is a multinational Biotech company focusing on Animal Health (SAN Vet), Plant Health (SAN Agrow), and Planet Health (SAN Venture).

Awards and Honors:

1997 “Honorary Senator” of the Veterinary University, Vienna
2013 “Honorary Consul” of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
2014 “Entrepreneur of the Year” awarded by Ernst & Young
2015 “Expat of the Year” awarded by the Foreign Trade Organization of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
2016 “Silver Commander’s Cross for Recognition of Services on Behalf of the State of Lower Austria” awarded by the Governor of Lower Austria
2021 Awarded professional title of “Professor”
Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis

Event Host, SAN Group GmbH

Joshua Davis is an experienced marketing and communications professional in the biotech and high-tech industries. He has held marketing and communication positions at Romer Labs, a worldwide food and feed diagnostics company, and Tricentis, a software company, among others. A native of the USA, he has an MBA from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

HE Dr. Mohammad Al Hammadi

HE Dr. Mohammed Al Hammadi

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

Mohamed S. Alhammadi held a Ph.D. in Soil, Water, & Environment from the University of Arizona. He joined the College of Food and Agriculture at United Arab Emirates University as Assistant Professor in 2006, and in 2007 he was appointed Assistant Dean for Students’ Affairs. During the period 2011-2022, he worked as Director of Research and Development at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and then held several positions in the area of Legislations, Communication & Community Service, and Technical Services. Since Jan 2023, he is with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity & Marine Life Sector. Dr. Alhammadi chaired technical committees for several conferences, conducting agricultural projects and in the area of developing standards of scientific innovations. He also worked as a consultant on FAO projects and served on a number of committees, including the Emirates Award for Excellence in Government Performance. Dr. Alhammadi received a number of acknowledgments and awards for his outstanding contributions and distinguished performance.
Catherine Jadot

Dr. Catherine Jadot

Chief Executive Officer, Elemental Solutions

Dr. Catherine Jadot is a highly experienced marine biologist and environmental consultant with a passion for sustainability. She holds a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Liège in Belgium, a M.Sc. in Oceanography from the University of Liège, a M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Louvain-La-Neuve and a post-graduate degree in Sustainability Leadership from Harvard University.

Dr. Jadot has over 20 years of experience working in the field of the marine conservation, Blue Economy and climate change adaptation. She has worked with various universities, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Catherine is currently based in Florida and works with Elemental Solutions, a boutique environmental consulting firm. She is also the lead consultant for several E.U programs and currently works with the government of 25 small island nations around the world to develop strategies to become more resilient to climate change.

Dr. Jadot is also an active member of the international community, serving as a Board Member for Blue Ocean Future and a board member of Maroon Invest Global.

In recent years, Dr Jadot has focused on identifying opportunities to promote the Blue Economy, protect biodiversity and boost climate resilience.

Sissel Susort

Global Marketing Manager, Closed Aquaculture Systems, Skretting

Sissel Susort, an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience at Skretting, has dedicated her career to the sustainable production of salmon. Currently based at the global head office in Norway, she plays a pivotal role in supporting Skretting’s salmon business worldwide, with a recent focus on land-based farming.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Sissel enjoys hiking, skiing, golfing, and socializing with friends. Her passion for the aquaculture sector extends beyond the workplace, driving her motivation to contribute to Skretting’s mission of ensuring a sustainable future through responsible and innovative practices in salmon production.

Vincent Erenst

M.Sc. Vincent Erenst

Chief Executive Officer, The Kingfish Company

Vincent Erenst was born in Groningen, The Netherlands. He obtained in BSc. In Biology at the University of Groningen and his MSc. In Aquaculture & Fisheries at Wageningen University. Vincent has worked in aquaculture since 1984 in various positions around the world, involving many different species, such as Salmon, Tilapia, Bass, Bream, Barramundi and shrimp. Amongst others, he worked 9 years in Ecuador as Managing Director of Enaca, farming shrimp and Tilapia and 11 years in Western Canada as Managing Director of Mowi Canada, farming Atlantic salmon. Since February 2023, he is the CEO of The Kingfish Company, which produces and markets Yellowtail Kingfish in a land-based RAS system in the Netherlands.
anthony-j-dinning

Dr. Anthony J. Dinning

Head of Water Quality, Sterner Group AS

Dinning has 25 years of experience as an independent consultant, trouble shooting industrial water treatment systems ranging from offshore reservoirs for H2S souring mitigation, denitrification technologies, seawater treatment, pipeline fouling and the prevention of microbial induced corrosion to the prevention of biofouling in fluid treatment for the food and beverage industry.

In Sterner his competence has been applied to the provision of the best possible water quality in recirculated aquaculture through the exploitation and optimization of Sterner’s bespoke technological applications.

Dr. Dinning is currently involved in high end sales and due diligence as well as the continuing day to day development of new solutions.

Markus Schrittwieser

Global Business Development Director Aqua, SAN Group GmbH

Markus Schrittwieser graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (VUW) majoring in Biotechnology and Ichthyology and holds a MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Science from the University of Stirling (UK). After graduating in Vienna (2004) Markus worked 4 years in the veterinary business in Austria and England before working as an environmental analyst for a state accredited laboratory (Biutec GmbH). In 2012 Markus began his post graduate education in Stirling and subsequently worked there as a research assistant. He then joined Marine Scotland Science in Aberdeen (2014), focusing on treatment of Sea lice and Amoebic Gill Disease in Atlantic Salmon. Subsequently Markus was running his own veterinary consulting business for the Austrian aquaculture industry. In 2018 Markus became the Company Veterinarian for Barramundi Group (BG, a fully integrated aquaculture operator based in Singapore. He was responsible for fish health, operating in 3 different countries. In 2019 Markus also was appointed General Manager for UVAXX Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BG, developing autogenous vaccines and providing diagnostic services for the aquaculture industry in South- East Asia. In 2021 he was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Barramundi Group and expanded UVAXX’s business in Southeast Asia. Markus recently joined SAN GROUP in April 2023, based in the UAE where he is responsible for the Global Business Development Aqua and acts as an interface between research and application. He is leading research and development projects in the aqua sector to expand SAN Group’s sales on a global level. Markus has published with Marine Scotland Science and James Cook University (Singapore). He is a member of the European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP) and a certified aquaculture veterinarian.

Martin Blauensteiner

Managing Director - Global Business Unit, SAN Venture Invest GmbH

Martin Blauensteiner is the head of the global business unit SAN Venture, which focuses on the planet health sector of SAN Group. He has a strong technical background and has been working in the fields of plant engineering, power engineering, and project management for almost 20 years. He further expanded his knowledge 15 years ago when he was responsible for global projects as well.
In the past, Blauensteiner has worked in international plant engineering, commission managing, and project management, including the construction of hydropower plants in Europe, and he spent two years in Turkey working in the field of power engineering.

As a project manager, he moved to the pharma industry and led various sustainability projects. After that, he worked at the globally operating company ERBER Group for four years, in charge of international project management and facility management.

He has been part of SAN Group from the very beginning, assuming the project management of one of the first green hydrogen production operations in Austria and managing technical trades globally, and he now moves on to his next career step.

Blauensteiner is Managing Director of SAN Venture, which consists of real estate and technical departments. As a senior professional in his fields, he is responsible for all solar, geothermal, and hydrogen projects, which also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of SAN Group.

Rachelle Jensen

Rachelle Jensen

Chief Executive Officer, Luminis Water Technologies

Rachelle serves as CEO of Luminis Water Technologies, a leader in developing NGS-based microbiome intelligence and molecular innovations designed to solve today’s challenges in aquaculture and environmental monitoring. Luminis aims to underpin sustainability in aquaculture and lesson the strain on wild fisheries by offering innovative microbiome-based products and services for early disease detection and management.

Recognized as a Global 100 CEO of the Year for both 2023 and 2024, Rachelle is a highly driven team leader, and has given speeches at The White House, UNESCO events, and Oxford Nanopore community events. She is also frequent panelist at international conferences.

In addition to her professional achievements, Rachelle is an experienced sailor, having sailed over 20,000 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean, the East Coast of Africa, Australia, Mauritius and Chagos Archipelago (BIOT) one the world’s most remote places on earth where she and her team characterized the microbiome across the high seas.

Prof. Kevin Sowers

Prof. Kevin Sowers

Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Kevin R. Sowers obtained a Ph.D. in Anaerobic Microbiology from Virginia Tech and is currently the Associate Director the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology and Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Prof. Sowers specializes in the development of anaerobic consortia of bacteria optimized for bioremediation of specific organic wastes and environmental contaminants. Current research projects in land-based recirculating aquaculture focuses on the application of methanogenic consortia for conversion of solid organic waste to fuel-grade biogas. Processes have been developed for both freshwater and marine as well as warm and cold water RAS. Another current project is the development of microbial consortia and application technologies for in situ bioremediation of halogenated organic compounds such as PCBs in soils and sediments. His research has generated over 85 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters, and several patents. Prof. Sowers is the cofounder of two start-up companies, RemBac Environmental and Silfra Biosystems, which specialize in bioremediation technologies.

Yonathan Zohar

Prof. Yonathan Zohar

Professor of Marine Biotechnology, Department Chair, Marine Biotechnology; Director, Aquaculture Research Center; Project Director, SAS², University of Maryland

Professor Zohar is Chair of the Department of Marine Biotechnology, Director of the Aquaculture Research Center and former Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland, USA. He has over 40 years of substantial record in the field of marine biotechnology with a focus on sustainable aquaculture. He is recognized globally for his pioneering research and development on high value marine fish which he has translated into commercial applications in the aquaculture industry. He currently serves as the leader of two national, multi-million dollar interdisciplinary public-private-federal programs that aim at addressing challenges and building capacity for land-based (RAS) Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the US.

Professor Zohar has published over 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and is the inventor of 10 issued international patents in aquaculture and biotechnology. He is regularly invited to deliver keynote and plenary lectures at international conferences and has served on multiple marine biotechnology and aquaculture panels, committees and boards in the United States and globally. He received several prestigious US and international honors and awards.

Geir Stang Hauge

M.Sc. Geir Stang Hauge

Chief Executive Officer, BioSort AS

Geir is one of three founders of BioSort, a technology company with the ambition to be the global leader in sensor-based solutions enhancing resource utilization in aquaculture and fisheries. BioSort is most known for iFarm, a product that utilizes computer vision, deep learning, and biometrics to create individualized health records for farmed fish. The result is increased insights, fish welfare and sustainability, while lowering production cost for fish farmers.

Before BioSort, Geir worked most of his career within management, sales, service, and product development of sensor technologies in Tomra Systems ASA, a listed sensor company. He has also served in the management group for Tomra Food and Recycling.

He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics from University of Washington in Seattle.

Gonçalo de Abreu Santos

M.Sc. Gonçalo de Abreu Santos

Head of Projects, Hatch Innovation Services

Gonçalo Santos has a varied background encompassing aquaculture, production systems, and nutrition, gained through extensive global experience across various markets.

In his role as Head of Projects at Hatch Innovation Services, he spearheads numerous international initiatives, providing guidance to large corporations, investors, and governments in the realms of aquaculture innovation and business development. His responsibilities span from conducting market, technical, and business case assessments to overseeing due diligence processes.

With 20 years experience in the aquaculture sector he has also held pivotal roles at Cargill Aqua Nutrition and Biomin, showcasing expertise in aquaculture R&D, technical management and business development. Goncalo holds an MSc in Animal Sciences and Aquaculture from Wageningen University, The Netherlands and an Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology degree from NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Christine Huynh

Dr. Christine Huynh

Managing Director and Senior Veterinarian, Nautilus Collaboration

Christine has been working in aquaculture since graduating from the university of sydney. She primarily works in production and is interested in improving production efficiencies to produce affordable and responsibly farmed protein. She is a director of Nautilus Collaboration, a consulting business that supports health, biosecurity and welfare management, R&D, diagnostics, compliance and implementing responsible farming practices.

robert-eliassen

Robert Eliassen

Head of Biogas and Sludge Treatment, Sterner Group AS

Eliassen has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been working with waste treatment solutions since 2007.

The last 10 years the focus has been led towards the aquaculture marked, and how to capture and utilize nutrients and energy potential in fish faeces and residues. Including development of the world leading biogas technology, which is the only technology in the world that provides biogas using fish slugde as the only raw material.

Harald Takle

Dr. Harald Takle

Head of Strategy and Seawater Innovation, Cermaq Group AS

Dr. Harald Takle is Head of Strategy and Seawater Innovation at Cermaq Group, where he has been since 2017. He has previously worked as a global fish health specialist at Mowi and as a senior scientist at Nofima and AVS Chile. Harald Takle has a PhD in molecular fish biology and has worked extensively with innovation and production improvement throughout the value chain from roe to harvest since he graduated from University of Life Sciences, Norway, in 2001. Throughout his career, he has worked internationally, and he therefore knows the salmon industry well. Dr. Takle has been a board member of Akvaforsk and Nofima and has vast experience from representation on boards and committees related to research and development. Dr. Takle is motivated by working interdisciplinary to develop the industry on the fish’s terms, and he is committed to creating good collaborative relationships so that all parties succeed in achieving their goals.

Marta Rojo Alonso

Chief Executive Officer, Sterner Group AS

Marta Rojo, Spanish nationality, has over 24 years of international experience with positions in Europe, Asia and Latin America. She has worked with various large companies within the Aquaculture industry such as Mowi, Skretting and as CFO and Head of investor relations at Salmones Camanchaca in Chile, a leading salmon producer and listed on Oslo stock exchange. In addition to having experience of start-up companies in aquaculture.

She has a master’s in economics and management from the University of Madrid, as well as an Executive MBA from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.
She is the CEO of Sterner Group a water treatment technology company and with leading technology in landbased fish farming, after serving as CFO of the company since she joint the company in August 2022.

She is passionate about aquaculture. Sterner offers a possibility to participate in this incredibly exciting segment that really helps to solve the growing need for healthy proteins in the world, and Marta strongly believes that Sterner is sitting on solutions that take the industry a big step forward in relation to sustainability and the circular economy.

Norwegian Veterinary Institute

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute is a pivotal biomedical research institution and the national centre of expertise in biosecurity for both fish and land animals. With a dedicated team of 334 professionals, including 126 Ph.D. holders (2021), the institute is Norway’s leading academic environment. The institute spearheads advancements in veterinary science. Focused on biosecurity, it plays a crucial role in the nation’s preparedness for One Health challenges.

With strategic emphasis on biomedical research, biosecurity, and One Health preparedness, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute is committed to expanding the frontiers of knowledge and fostering collaboration for a resilient and sustainable future.

Martin Blauensteiner

Managing Director - Global Business Unit, SAN Venture Invest GmbH

Martin Blauensteiner is the head of the global business unit SAN Venture, which focuses on the planet health sector of SAN Group. He has a strong technical background and has been working in the fields of plant engineering, power engineering, and project management for almost 20 years. He further expanded his knowledge 15 years ago when he was responsible for global projects as well.
In the past, Blauensteiner has worked in international plant engineering, commission managing, and project management, including the construction of hydropower plants in Europe, and he spent two years in Turkey working in the field of power engineering.

As a project manager, he moved to the pharma industry and led various sustainability projects. After that, he worked at the globally operating company ERBER Group for four years, in charge of international project management and facility management.

He has been part of SAN Group from the very beginning, assuming the project management of one of the first green hydrogen production operations in Austria and managing technical trades globally, and he now moves on to his next career step.

Blauensteiner is Managing Director of SAN Venture, which consists of real estate and technical departments. As a senior professional in his fields, he is responsible for all solar, geothermal, and hydrogen projects, which also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of SAN Group.

Christoph Langwallner

CEO and Co-founder, WhatIF F&I Pte Ltd.

It’s a good twenty-five years now since Chris Langwallner started working in the agrifood industry. After working for the family business in Austria, he was employed by SMEs and some of the world’s biggest multinationals. However, his DNA is wired for entrepreneurial adventure. In 2020, Chris co-founded WhatIF F&I Pte Ltd (formerly NamZ Ltd.) with world renowned food and cosmetic ingredients innovator, Dr. Peter S. J. Cheetham.

Singapore-headquartered, WhatIF Foods is a planet-positive food and beverage company that is on a mission to regenerate the planet and its people. As a global champion of true regeneration, WhatIF Foods reinvents and innovates the entire food system and encourages consumers to always choose the better option. WhatIF Foods creates tasty, convenient food foods that replenishes with nutritious ingredients and restores soil health to increase its carbon capture potential. The WhatIF Way reconnects people with farming communities who are vital in our value chain. To date, WhatIF Foods has been a finalist at the 2020 Liveability Challenge as well as the 2020 MIT Solve Food Sustainability Challenge.

Enthusiastically, Chris brings fair and inclusive business strategies, sciences, and remarkable people together to create nutritious products for a profoundly healthier planet, humanity and economy.

“I believe we need to reinvent the food industry category by category. We need to make food based on regenerative principles. Food that replenishes the nutrients we need. Food that is made with regenerative crops and we need to reconnect with nature and communities to rebuild our relationships. We need nature in cities, life in food, and purpose in communities.”

Chris says: “It’s not about saving the planet. It’s about regenerating natural ecosystems so that our children, their children, and their grandchildren find themselves in an environment that allows them to go on hikes in the mountains, ski in powder, or swim in the ocean and surf a wave. That’s what it’s all about! Today, our youth dream about that future, so it’s our responsibility to save their dreams. It’s not about saving the planet. It is about us recognizing our responsibility to leave a natural habitat behind so that future generations can enjoy what I used to take for granted when I was a teenager at the foothills of the Austrian Alps.

We need to work together to protect the very essence of regeneration for the powerful possibilities it holds. Let’s strive to bring back the agrobiodiversity we need to sink more carbon in our soils; to grow a rich basket of many different crops; to create exciting nutrient-dense products; and to reconnect to communities—consumers and farmers alike—so that they prosper within a life-affirming purpose.

REgeneration must not become a new management tool or be misused for greenwashing. Regenerative leaders need to create an environment for others to succeed in delivering a life-affirming future where WIN-WIN equations are the norm and not the exception.”

Chris is passionate about changing the world one meal at the time. Click here if you would like to dive deeper into his origins, values and what drives him.

Please read more on www.whatif-foods.com.

Dr. Haythem Riahi, PhD, MBA

Haythem holds a PhD in Microbiology and an executive MBA from Sorbonne Business School in Paris. He accumulated over 15 years of executive roles at multinational Life Sciences companies, with working experience in Africa, Europe and the Middle-East.

In 2020, Haythem has co-founded Circa Biotech, the first Waste-To-Feed project in the Middle-East region, where they transform food waste into a highly nutritious animal feed and organic fertilizer.

Marta Rojo Alonso

Chief Executive Officer, Sterner Group AS

Marta Rojo, Spanish nationality, has over 24 years of international experience with positions in Europe, Asia and Latin America. She has worked with various large companies within the Aquaculture industry such as Mowi, Skretting and as CFO and Head of investor relations at Salmones Camanchaca in Chile, a leading salmon producer and listed on Oslo stock exchange. In addition to having experience of start-up companies in aquaculture.

She has a master’s in economics and management from the University of Madrid, as well as an Executive MBA from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.
She is the CEO of Sterner Group a water treatment technology company and with leading technology in landbased fish farming, after serving as CFO of the company since she joint the company in August 2022.

She is passionate about aquaculture. Sterner offers a possibility to participate in this incredibly exciting segment that really helps to solve the growing need for healthy proteins in the world, and Marta strongly believes that Sterner is sitting on solutions that take the industry a big step forward in relation to sustainability and the circular economy.

Johann Trauninger

Chief production & Procurement Officer, San Group GmbH

Johann Trauninger is the Chief Production & Procurement Officer of SAN Group. With a strong technical background, he has worked in the field of engineering for more than 20 years, expanding his knowledge even further when he took over the complete management of construction projects nearly 10 years ago.

Trauninger spent two years in the United Arab Emirates as a site inspector for the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center Project in Al Ain. After returning to Austria, he worked in the field of site supervision for six years, specializing in project management for ERBER Group, Erich Erber’s former company, as a project manager. There he oversaw large-scale projects such as the most modern premix feed mixing plant in Europe at the time.

Since the summer of 2020, Trauninger has been accompanying the newly founded SAN Group: first as Head of Real Estate Development, and since 2022 as Chief Production and Procurement Officer. In this position, he is responsible for the continuous improvement of the facilities and processes in all existing and future productions, as well as for the further development of purchasing to ensure the entire value stream.

Trauninger has been handling sustainable projects throughout his career and is a firm believer in future technologies that make our lives better.

Prof. Erich Erber

Founder and President, SAN Group GmbH

Prof. Erich Erber Ing. PhD h.c., born in Austria and a true global citizen, holds a graduate degree in agricultural engineering. In 1983 he founded Biomin, which became a global player in the feed additives business. Subsequent to the acquisition of Romer Labs (a US food safety company) and Sanphar (a Brazilian animal health company), Erber Group was founded. In the following years, Erber Group’s scientific lead in the fields of mycotoxin risk management and natural growth promoters as a replacement for antibiotic growth promotors in animal nutrition resulted in Biomin’s global leadership in its field of expertise. In 2020, Erich Erber sold Erber Group to a Dutch multinational company. As a result of the carve-out of an animal health company and a plant protection company from his former enterprise, along with the acquisition of three other companies in the same fields, SAN Group was founded the same year. SAN Group is a multinational Biotech company focusing on Animal Health (SAN Vet), Plant Health (SAN Agrow), and Planet Health (SAN Venture).

Awards and Honors:

1997 “Honorary Senator” of the Veterinary University, Vienna
2013 “Honorary Consul” of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
2014 “Entrepreneur of the Year” awarded by Ernst & Young
2015 “Expat of the Year” awarded by the Foreign Trade Organization of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
2016 “Silver Commander’s Cross for Recognition of Services on Behalf of the State of Lower Austria” awarded by the Governor of Lower Austria
2021 Awarded professional title of “Professor”
stian-johnsen

Stian Johnsen

Managing Director, Sterner Solutions AS

Stian Johnsen is the Managing Director at Sterner Solutions, a company focused on innovative technology for the aquaculture industry and landbased fish farming. With an MSc. In Process technology and a BSc in Machine/Energy, Stian has over 17 years of experience in various industries, including international Oil and Gas, waste-to-energy, and aquaculture.

During his 12 years in the Oil and Gas industry, Stian specialized in separation and water treatment systems for produced water discharge. He then spent 2 years in waste-to-energy, recycling valuables in hazardous waste, and 4 years in international aquaculture business, focusing on sustainable land-based fish farming with RAS-technology.

Stian is a firm believer in the potential of future landbased fish farming with innovative technology. His motto “There is no need in doing things right, if you don’t do the right things” reflect his commitment to finding sustainable solutions for the environmental challenges we face.

Sten Arne Rosnes

Norway Ambassador, Norway Embassy UAE

Sten Arne Rosnes is a Norwegian diplomat currently serving as the Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, as well as to the State of Qatar and the State of Kuwait since 2019.

With an impressive career spanning over three decades, Rosnes has held several important positions in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and served in various countries. Prior to his current posting, he served as the Ambassador to Egypt in Cairo from 2015 to 2019 and was also the Ambassador to Libya (non-resident) during the same period.

Throughout his diplomatic career, Rosnes has held several other important positions, including Deputy Director General at the MFA in Oslo, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Tel Aviv, and a mission of Norway to the United Nations in New York. He has also served as the Consul General in San Francisco, with accreditation to 13 West Coast and Rocky Mountain States.

With his vast experience and expertise in diplomacy, Sten Arne Rosnes is an invaluable representative of Norway and a respected diplomat in the international community.

Juan E Bauza

Economic Innovation and Resilience Consultant

Juan Bauzá is an economic development practitioner with over 20 years of experience leading economic integration. As the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Representative for Puerto Rico (PR) & USVI and the Field Coordinator for the ERSF in DR4339PR, led the economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria disaster. responsible for the Blue Economy Initiatives and the Economic Course of Action in the PR’s 2018 Recovery Plan. Spearheaded transformational economic development initiatives, including the framework for the Blue Economy. These efforts have resulted in over $130M invested and 30 projects in 36-months, with an estimated impact of over 8K jobs, retain 5K jobs, and $261M in private investment.

As a business development consultant earned his international experience in North Carolina, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, and Puerto Rico. He led combat missions in dynamic hostile environments as a Paratrooper Team Leader during his time in the US Army.

Holds a BS in Life Science, double master’s in business administration and Non-Profit Organizations Management. Earned 3 Bronze Medal Awards from the US Department of Commerce, Zenith Award in Agriculture, Edie Klein for Program of Excellence, Army Commendation Medal, 2 Army Achievement Medals, and a Joint Special Operations Achievement Medal.

Johannes Brunner

Commercial Counsellor, Austria Embassy UAE

Johannes Brunner graduated from from Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) majoring in International Trade and holds a Master of European and International Business Law from the University of St.Gallen (HSG). He joined ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, the Austrian Foreign Trade Promotion Organization, in 1989 and was posted as Deputy Trade Commissioner at the Austrian Trade Commissions in Barcelona, Toronto and Kuala Lumpur from 1990 – 2001. Returning from Malaysia he held the position of Regional Director for South & Southeast Asia at the ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Headquarters in Vienna from 2001 – 2003. Subsequently Johannes Brunner was appointed as Austrian Trade Commissioner for Finland and the Baltics from 2003 – 2010. During that period Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the EU and were very much in the focus of the Austrian export industry. Until 2012 Johannes Brunner was the Head of Corporate Communication back at ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA in Vienna. From 2012 – 2020 he was the Austrian Trade Commissioner for South & Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg. From 2020 –2022 he was the Regional Director for Asia & Pacific at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA HQ Vienna). In August 2022 Johannes Brunner assumed his position as the Austrian Trade Commissioner for the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Pakistan and Commercial Counselor at the Austrian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Simon McKenzie

Event Host

Simon McKenzie (Mac) is the CEO and co-founder of the Bridge Institute.

The Bridge Institute is a charity that brings senior leaders of governments, corporates, and civil society together to make breakthroughs in thinking and action on complex societal challenges. The Bridge Institute identifies which institutions and leaders can solve the root causes of the challenge, invites them into a breakthrough-thinking process to create a tri-sector blueprint which will progress and move the challenge forward, and then oversees the implementation of this blueprint through to impact.

Current and recent societal challenges the Bridge Institute has taken on include the combatting of human trafficking and gender-based violence (South Asia), enabling health equality (the Philippines), education reform (United Kingdom), carbon sequestration though oceans (Europe), peacebuilding (South Asia), sustainable food (South-East Asia) and the refugee crisis (United Kingdom).

Prior to being CEO at the Bridge Institute, his roles have included:

  • Managing Director of Bridge Asia-Pacific, based out of Singapore, working with some of the most well-regarded global organisations to become an even stronger force-for-good.
  • Operations Director of Reuters, based out of London.
  • A Managing Consultant of Capgemini / Gemini Consulting, based out of London.

Mac is a dedicated sportsman and mountaineer and is passionate about the role of sport in a healthy and thriving society. He has been a mountain guide for Raleigh International.

He graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Engineering, Economics and Management. He is trained and qualified in Neuro Linguistic Programming, the Leadership Development Framework, Transactional Analysis, Myers Briggs, Design Thinking and Systems Thinking.

Markus Schrittwieser

Global Business Development Director Aqua, SAN Group GmbH

Markus Schrittwieser graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (VUW) majoring in Biotechnology and Ichthyology and holds a MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Science from the University of Stirling (UK). After graduating in Vienna (2004) Markus worked 4 years in the veterinary business in Austria and England before working as an environmental analyst for a state accredited laboratory (Biutec GmbH). In 2012 Markus began his post graduate education in Stirling and subsequently worked there as a research assistant. He then joined Marine Scotland Science in Aberdeen (2014), focusing on treatment of Sea lice and Amoebic Gill Disease in Atlantic Salmon. Subsequently Markus was running his own veterinary consulting business for the Austrian aquaculture industry. In 2018 Markus became the Company Veterinarian for Barramundi Group (BG, a fully integrated aquaculture operator based in Singapore. He was responsible for fish health, operating in 3 different countries. In 2019 Markus also was appointed General Manager for UVAXX Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BG, developing autogenous vaccines and providing diagnostic services for the aquaculture industry in South- East Asia. In 2021 he was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Barramundi Group and expanded UVAXX’s business in Southeast Asia. Markus recently joined SAN GROUP in April 2023, based in the UAE where he is responsible for the Global Business Development Aqua and acts as an interface between research and application. He is leading research and development projects in the aqua sector to expand SAN Group’s sales on a global level. Markus has published with Marine Scotland Science and James Cook University (Singapore). He is a member of the European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP) and a certified aquaculture veterinarian.

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Gisle W Larsen

Chief Commercial Officer, Sterner Group AS

Mr Larsen has many years of experience from international business development, mainly within the aquaculture and telecommunications sector in Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Previous positions include business development in Infocom Connect FZE (UAE), Managing Director WiFi4all S.L (Spain), CEO Ionosphere Asia & Middle East (UAE), Director of International Markets, Telenor (Norway) and Sales director IBM.

Since 2015 he has worked in the aquaculture sector and is currently Chief Commercial Officer for Sterner Group with responsibilities to establish Sterners position in the landbased aquaculture industry in the Middle East. He hold a master degree in Management from BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo.

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Dr. Anthony J. Dinning

Head of Water Quality, Sterner Group AS

Dinning has 25 years of experience as an independent consultant, trouble shooting industrial water treatment systems ranging from offshore reservoirs for H2S souring mitigation, denitrification technologies, seawater treatment, pipeline fouling and the prevention of microbial induced corrosion to the prevention of biofouling in fluid treatment for the food and beverage industry.

In Sterner his competence has been applied to the provision of the best possible water quality in recirculated aquaculture through the exploitation and optimization of Sterner’s bespoke technological applications.

Dr. Dinning is currently involved in high end sales and due diligence as well as the continuing day to day development of new solutions.

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Robert Eliassen

Head of Biogas and Sludge Treatment, Sterner Group AS

Eliassen has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been working with waste treatment solutions since 2007.

The last 10 years the focus has been led towards the aquaculture marked, and how to capture and utilize nutrients and energy potential in fish faeces and residues. Including development of the world leading biogas technology, which is the only technology in the world that provides biogas using fish slugde as the only raw material.

HE Dr. Mohammad Al Hammadi

HE Dr. Mohammed Al Hammadi

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

Mohamed S. Alhammadi held a Ph.D. in Soil, Water, & Environment from the University of Arizona. He joined the College of Food and Agriculture at United Arab Emirates University as Assistant Professor in 2006, and in 2007 he was appointed Assistant Dean for Students’ Affairs. During the period 2011-2022, he worked as Director of Research and Development at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and then held several positions in the area of Legislations, Communication & Community Service, and Technical Services. Since Jan 2023, he is with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity & Marine Life Sector. Dr. Alhammadi chaired technical committees for several conferences, conducting agricultural projects and in the area of developing standards of scientific innovations. He also worked as a consultant on FAO projects and served on a number of committees, including the Emirates Award for Excellence in Government Performance. Dr. Alhammadi received a number of acknowledgments and awards for his outstanding contributions and distinguished performance.

Dr. Petter Arnesen

Fish Feed Specialist, Fish Farming Matters

Dr. Petter Arnesen is a Norwegian national, living in Oslo. Educated (MSC/PhD) from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), specializing in fish nutrition. He has worked more than 30 years in the aquaculture industry, mainly in feed and salmon farming, and has held top management positions in several companies. He now works as an independent consultant, project leader, advisor, board member and as a startup entrepreneur (aquaculture technology). Dr. Arnesen has worked with sustainability issues pertaining to aquaculture throughout his career and has been involved with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) since it’s early beginning almost 20 years ago. He now heads their technical advisory group. ASC (non-profit) is the global no. 1 certification scheme for farmed seafood.

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John Crawford

Sterner Group

John Crawford is the Deputy CEO of Sterner Group AS. John has worked with Sterner’s international projects since 2018 and in the MEA region since 2000.

John holds an honours degree in Law and is a Chartered Accountant. He has worked with business planning and corporate finance throughout his career with Arthur Andersen, Deloitte’s and Telenor before joining Sterner. John’s primary focus is on ensuring that plans for RAS projects are built on a robust platform for project economics supporting financing proposals and anticipated return.

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Dr. Gunhild Stordalen

EAT Forum

Gunhild A. Stordalen is the founder and executive chair of EAT. She is a driving force linking climate, health and sustainability issues across sectors to transform the global food system. In 2020, Dr. Stordalen was appointed the global Action Track 2 lead for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021. 

Dr. Stordalen sits on several boards, including the World Economic Forum (WEF) Stewardship Board on Food Systems, REQ Capital Advisory Board, and UNICEF’s Advisory Group. She is a member of the Africa Europe Women Leaders Network and an international advisory board member of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Dr. Stordalen is an ambassador for Friends of Ocean action, sits on the International Leadership Committee for a Net Zero NHS, and is a member of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP) for the Blue Economy. 

Dr. Stordalen is a published scientist and a renowned public speaker with a distinct personal voice and a passionate commitment to food system transformation. She is a medical doctor from the University of Oslo and holds a PhD in pathology/orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Stordalen is a Norwegian national.