FFA2020 Day 4 Highlights: Visions for AgriFoodTech
Thank you for joining us for day 4 of Future Food Asia. The recurring theme for today was future visions for fostering the agrifoodtech ecosystem.
We began with a discussion on what it means to run a purpose-driven organisations in the agrifood sector.
“People, planet and profit can be optimised without one being at the expense of the other” – Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Dole Asia Holdings
We had two investors’ panel: one on nurturing talent and investment opportunities and China and Singapore, and one on the perspectives of three AgriFoodTech investors with vastly different investment backgrounds.
‘Singapore startups need to think about solutions that can meet the needs of the ‘new Asian consumer’ – Geraldine Goh, Temasek
“(Once the idea, team and market size match the investment criteria)…startups need to have a clear theory of change and articulate how they will create a paradigm shift” – Ayaka Fujiwara, Green Climate Fund
There was also an exciting discussion on a newcomer for agrifoodtech in Asia: hemp and cannabis.
Policies for hemp and cannabis in China are probably the most practical and well thought across the globe. In China the uptream which is production is highly controlled which avoids oversaturation and in the downstream they have maintained a pure market allowing any company to start a branded product allowing for high quality products to flourish – Brian Sheng, Asia Horizon
In line with the theme of visions for the future, we had an exclusive launch of Rooted, a new global urban farming platform, that strives to bring out the urban farmer in everyone.
We heard the final two pitches by our FFA finalists:
Tartansense (India): Startup addressing the problem of weed management for cotton farmers in India through its ‘Brijbot’, an AI-driven robot.
TerraQuanta (China): Startup focusing on large-scale application of satellite remote sensing imagery and AI-based data processing technologies
Stay Tuned For….
A panel discussion on the power of AI in Agriculture, and on digital innovations for smallholder farmers and supply chain resilience.
Announcement of the winner of Corteva Agriscience Award for food resilience
Our FINAL day of Future Food Asia 2020, where the jury will reveal the winner of the FFA Award winner.
My passion for switching to plant-base foods is inspired by a shear desire to transform the world significant reliance on animal proteins but also by the very interesting technical nature of the challenge itself. I am the Business Development Manager APAC at DSM , a company which earlier on this year announced its food system commitments to set healthier future for planet, people and livelihoods, an initiative that aligns perfectly with my passion for change.
I also served management roles in R&D and Marketing and Sales at Nestle and Frito Lay. I have collaborated extensively with food manufacturers in Asia, helping them to resolve their pain points always fostering in the process an environment where people are always respected.
I hold a Food Engineering/Master degree from the University of Burgundy, France and a Diploma of Business from University of Montpellier, France
CEO Esco Aster Pte Ltd
My Professional Experience
XL Lin graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences from the University of Sydney, joining the family business upon graduating. He started the Esco Group of Companies’ Healthcare division from beginning to end as a “Discovery to Delivery” platform establishing its global partners and factories in USA, UK, Taiwan, Singapore/Indonesia. He conceptualized as the overall systems architect the commercial chemical small molecule, biomanufacturing large molecules including advanced therapeutic medicinal products tools platforms as well as overseeing detailed engineering production and final quality control & assurance. Overall conceptual designs merged multi-disciplinary manufacturing technologies with science and cross disciplinary engineering from chemical to bioprocess, mechanical, electrical & controls instrument engineering as well as cGMP Regulatory and cGMP Compliance. In 2017, upon developing various commercial manufacturing platforms, providing translational process development, commercial life science manufacturing tools and consultation for MNCs as well as start-up clients for the past 10 years, XL spun off the continuous bio & chemical manufacturing technologies into an independent contract development and manufacturing organization Esco Aster Pte Ltd. Its vision; to help Singapore translate her assets bridging the translation gap from lab bench to bedside. In addition, to neighboring, developing and countries new to these modalities with self-sufficiency to produce autologous & allogeneic cell-, gene- therapy, vaccines and biosimilars/biobetters with the main focus on highest yield at the lowest cost with linearly scalable quality.
, Chief Technology Officer
My Professional Experience
Sunil Sukumaran serves as Chief Technology Officer at Perfect Day, a consumer biology company on a mission to create a kinder, greener tomorrow by developing new ways to make the foods you love today — starting in the dairy aisle. In his role, he leads a global team of scientists, engineers, and researchers on the development and innovation of Perfect Day’s technology. Sunil brings nearly two decades of expertise in using razor-sharp focus to make simple, yet impactful moves at the right time with the appropriate resources to bring about positive change. He has driven research and development breakthroughs by identifying the strengths of his team, deploying the best-in-class tools, and putting in place procedures to allow for efficiency and collaboration. Sunil joined Perfect Day as the Head of Operations and Vice President of R&D, before being promoted to Chief Technology Officer. He was previously with Anthem Biosciences, where he served as the Head of R&D for a decade, responsible for leading the biology team to some of the most diverse and significant product developments in the company’s history. Through his mentorship of a team of talented innovators, during his time at Anthem Biosciences several processes were transitioned from the lab into the vessel, at scales of tens of thousands of liters. Prior to Anthem Biosciences, he served as a Research Associate at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. Sunil’s ability and dedication to bringing scientific rigor to the creative process of discovery allows companies to create new categories at an unprecedented pace. He sees the visionary goals of saving the planet and impacting lives not just today, but forever, as the motivation behind each scientific and technological discovery. Sunil earned his PhD in biotechnology from Anna University and the University of Leicester and completed his post-doctoral training in microbial pathogenesis at the University of Southern California. He is passionate about the future of animal-free dairy and, with the rest of the Executive Leadership Team, is driving Perfect Day to its vision of building a more equitable, resilient, and diverse food system for all of us.
Dr Melanie Weingarten
Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation
“The Foods of Tomorrow Series: How Biotechnology is Changing Food Production”
Title: Food Revolution by Alternative Proteins
Dr. Melanie Weingarten is head of the department “Biotransformation” at the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI), A*STAR. Before joining in April 2021, she worked as a Senior Researcher at BASF SE, Ludwigshafen in Germany in the departments “White Biotechnology Research” and “Process Research & Chemical Engineering” from August 2008 to March 2021. She was responsible for synthesis and process development for projects in nutrition and health chemistry, aroma chemicals, crop protection, pharma, cosmetics and biopolymers. Her educational background is in chemistry and physics having studied as a fellow of the German National Merit Foundation at RWTH Aachen in Germany and at UC Berkeley in USA. She graduated (Dr. rer. nat.) under the supervision of Prof. A. Fürstner at the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research in Germany in metalorganic chemistry and natural product synthesis followed by a post-doctoral stay at MIT, USA with Prof. B. Imperiali in biochemistry and microbiology.
Proteins play a very important role in human health and with rising income and an increasing global population, the demand for proteins is growing. How to secure the sustainable supply of protein under these circumstances? Traditional proteins alone cannot be the answer due to e.g. environmental footprint and detrimental effects on health. Alternative sources of protein today are on the rise and are mainly originating from plant proteins. We are all familiar with products like e.g. ImpossibleTM burger. However, the range of sources for alternative proteins is expanding due to innovation in fermentation, animal cell culture, edible insects and hybrid products. The talk will elucidate the development of these powerful biotechnology production methods and compare them with the world of plant protein. Furthermore, it will demonstrate how the key purchasing criteria of the consumers are addressed as part of a successful outcome of the protein revolution that we are currently experiencing.
Co-founder and CEO, Ninjacart
My Professional Experience
Thirukumaran Nagarajan is the Co-founder and CEO of Ninjacart – India’s largest fresh produce supply chain company. Ninjacart’s focus is to make our innovation more accessible and leverage our strengths to innovate for new product categories and customer segments while solving complex supply chain problems. On seeing a gap in the food distribution market and opportunity to add value through technology, Thiru founded Ninjacart as an on-demand grocery delivery company in 2015 along with Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Kartheeswaran KK, Ashutosh Vikram, and Sharath Loganathan. Thiru later realized upon the inefficiency of the current supply chain for perishable produce and pivoted the company to become an end to end B2B fresh produce platform. Thiru’s vision is to build India’s most efficient and largest supply chain company, improving the lives of producers, businesses & consumers in a meaningful manner. Thiru holds a PGDM in Finance and Operations from the prestigious IIM Kozhikode. Prior to starting Ninjacart, Thiru has worked with ABB, Axis Bank, Aavishkar & TaxiForSure in varying capabilities. Thiru is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded EduRaft (Education Classifieds startup) and Shout App (Location-based social network app) earlier.
Global Head of Dole Ventures Passionate about disruptive technologies and collaborative culture, Barbara works at the intersection of corporate innovation, technology and sustainability.
In October 2020, Barbara joined Dole to lead its corporate venture arm. Dole Ventures collaborates with start-ups to support profitable growth and enable the realisation of the Dole Promise, announced by the company in July 2020.
To achieve these ambitious goals, Dole Ventures wants to play a role in the complex innovation ecosystem, by breaking down traditional barriers and tapping into talent, science, and technology.
For the last 15 years, Barbara has developed an exhaustive understanding of disruptive technologies, digital environments, and their commercial applications. A respected driver of innovation, Barbara has a track record of building successful collaboration between start-ups and corporate, engaging with tech communities, accelerators, and VCs, as well as building meaningful ecosystem relationships to accelerate growth. Prior to her role at Dole, Barbara built and led for 5 years Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s platform for start-ups engagement, which she then transformed into a cross-functional technology discovery platform, while designing and managing internal and external innovation networks.
A mentor for start-ups, Barbara speaks regularly on corporate innovation and the importance of inspiring entrepreneurial spirit within companies.
About Dole Sunshine Company
Acquired by ITOCHU in 2013, Dole Sunshine Company is a world leader in growing, sourcing, distributing, and marketing fresh tropical fruit and healthy drinks & snacks. Dole Food& Beverage sells a full line of packaged shelf stable fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, and juices. And Dole Fresh Produce sell in Asia fresh pineapple, bananas, papaya and avocados.
The company focuses on four areas of sustainability in all its operations: water management, carbon footprint, soil conservation and waste reduction. For more information, please visit dolesunshine.com.
About the Dole Promise
In 2020 Dole announced The Dole Promise, with its three pillars around nutrition, sustainability and the creation of shared value.
We have given ourselves five years to deliver on our ambitious goals. These include providing sustainable nutrition for a billion people, the elimination of processed sugar from our products, zero fruit loss from our farms, zero emissions and zero fossil-based packaging.
Better for People: Access to sustainable nutrition for 1 billion people by 2025, moving towards zero processed sugar in all Dole Packaged
80 Words Version:
Global Head of Dole Ventures
Passionate about disruptive technologies and collaborative culture, Barbara works at the intersection of corporate innovation, technology and sustainability.
In October 2020, Barbara joined Dole to lead its corporate venture arm. Dole Ventures will collaborate with start-ups to support profitable growth and enable the realisation of the Dole Promise, announced in July 2020.
For the last 15 years, Barbara has developed an exhaustive understanding of disruptive technologies, digital environments, and their commercial applications. Prior to her role at Dole, Barbara led Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s platform for start-ups engagement, which she then transformed into a cross-functional technology discovery platform, while designing and managing internal and external innovation networks.
I am looking forward to talking about the importance of building collaborative ecosystems in an environment which is more and more volatile.
Innovation ecosystems are complex and for Dole to achieve our ambitious goals, we need to work at breaking down traditional barriers and tapping into talent, science, and technology.
Skip to main content accessibility help
Celebrating Sir W. Arthur Lewis
translate english to chinese
Directrice de Dole Ventures, Barbara est notamment en charge de l’agenda sur la réduction de l’empreinte écologique de la société via les nouvelles technologies. Dole est une entreprise multinationale fruitière, dont le siège est à Singapour. Un des plus grands planteurs de bananes et d’ananas au monde, Dole travaille dans 70 pays et a des revenus annuels de plus de 2 milliards de dollars.
Jenny Xin Li
Senior Regulatory Counselor
Business Address: The Bund Center, 222 Yan’an Dong Lu, Shanghai, 200002, China Keller and Heckman LLP
Jenny has a depth of experience handling food, beverage, and agriculture regulatory compliance issues throughout the product’s life cycle, from product composition, labeling, advertising, to product approval, import/export and post-market obligations. She provides day-to-day counseling on food regulatory requirements and helps identify and address the regulatory challenges clients face as well as anticipate and adapt to the future regulatory and policy trends and changes for clients’ business success. She works extensively on issues in China and other jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region.
She plays a key role in the establishment and growth of the firm’s food law team in Shanghai. She is also active in serving the food community such as American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to contribute her food law expertise.
Education: University of California, Berkeley Law (LL.M., 2017), Shanghai Jiaotong University, Koguan Law School (Mater of Laws, 2008), Henan University School of Law (Bachelor of Laws, 2005)
Jim Thomason is VP of Imagery & Analytics Products at Planet, where he oversees a world-class team building innovative imagery and data solutions that make global change visible, accessible, and actionable. He joined Planet over 5 years ago and has worked closely with hundreds of customers in agriculture, government, finance, insurance, and beyond – bringing their needs to the center of Planet’s mission and product strategy. Prior to Planet, Jim has built his career managing high functioning technical teams to deliver market-making data products with companies like Cisco and Schneider Electric.
Francesca Kleemans is the Managing Director for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia Pacific and has worked in the cocoa and chocolate industry for almost two decades. In her previous role with Cargill, Francesca was the Global Director for the cocoa product lines and was responsible for driving global growth through optimizing capabilities and generating synergies for customers. Francesca is known for her play-towin mindset and her passion to create differentiated value that helps customers thrive. Building on a foundation of uncompromising product quality, she believes that the future of cocoa and chocolate in Asia is about sensory innovation to excite consumers and robust sustainability to enable farmers for generations to come. Originally from Italy, Francesca relocated to Singapore in 2020 with her husband and three children. Together, they are enjoying Singapore’s melting pot of people and food flavors.
Walter Ge is the Founding Partner of Green Startups Accelerator and Green Leaf Ventures, the first impact fund on mainland China focusing on investing green startups.
Walter became involved in the venture building in 2010 and started the “Green Startups Accelerator”, the pioneer platform for green innovation and entrepreneurship on mainland China via its hybrid model of “acceleration + impact investing” in 2013. It helps early startups with an environmental intent to overcome survival barriers and to sustain development. For the last 10 years, it has supported 300 green startups.
Walter worked as cleantech specialist for Asian Development Bank to build the cleantech eco-system on mainland China between 2016-2018. He also leads the team in analyzing green industry trends and green market growth for climate compatible technologies and investment potentials for policy makers and investors.
In 2019，Walter launched the first impact fund to green startups on mainland China, the Green Leaf Ventures (GLV). The GLV focuses on investing agri-tech startups to combat the interlinked challenge of climate change, food security and sustainability and to lead the impact investing towards agriculture on mainland China.
Walter holds an EMBA degree at HKUST and an MA degree at Beijing Normal University.
Chief Operating Officer
Vandana brings experience in entrepreneurship, innovation, investment and agrifood tech accelerator management and has worked in India and Singapore.
She began her career in financial services and has 10 years of relationship management and investment advisory experience across multinational banks. After her own successful startup journey, she led the design and delivery of entrepreneurship training programs at a leading VC in Singapore.
Most recently, she has been instrumental in the establishment of Southeast Asia’s first impact focused agrifood tech accelerator GROW, in partnership with AgFunder.
Vandana is a qualified CFA, holds a certificate in Agriculture Technology and has completed a strategy program at INSEAD. She is actively engaged in building capabilities to support growth in the Singapore and ASEAN agri food ecosystem.
My Professional Experience
Sze Tan is currently the Chief Technology Officer of CJ CheilJedang based in South Korea. Prior to this, she spent 23 years in Nestlé and held multiple roles including MD of Regional R&D, Global I&R Manager and Global Technology Platform Manager. An authentic thought leader and a strong advocate on research and applications of emerging, sustainable technologies to drive consumer-centric innovation. Sze holds a PhD in Food Science and MBA.
My Professional Experience
XinYi Lim is Executive Director, Sustainability and Agricultural Impact at Pinduoduo. She is responsible for Pinduoduo’s international corporate strategy efforts and innovation in sustainability and agri-tech. Before joining Pinduoduo in late 2018, she worked for Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, in both its Singapore and New York offices as a technology and media analyst in its Public Equities division. Xin Yi holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oxford and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.
Which country will you likely be dialing in from?
Maya is a global leader and seasoned C-suite executive in high growth digital and technology companies. Her career has spanned two decades and 3 continents focused on mobile, consumer and social businesses at companies such as Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Cisco. She has also successfully spearheaded digital transformation at Samsung & Conde Nast. She brings together a passion for high growth technology and sustainability as a CEO, investor and board director. She serves as the CEO of a climate-tech company Terrascope, a global Enterprise SaaS company backed by Olam ventures aimed at helping large enterprises on their Net Zero decarbonization journey.
Prior to Terrascope, Maya spent 7 years at Twitter in a variety of roles including VP of Global strategy as well as Managing Director of Twitter’s Asia Pacific business. Over her career, Maya has built and led diverse organizations marrying cultural contexts having worked and lived in the US, France, India and Singapore. She brings deep expertise scaling businesses globally including key markets such as US, China, Latin America, India & SE.Asia. She serves as a board member of ASX listed edu-tech company OpenLearning where she oversaw their IPO journey, as well as Asia’s leading Insurtech venture Aviva Singlife Holdings as Independent Director and Chair of the Digital & Technology Committee. She is an avid angel investor in technology and sustainability and is a key member of the ecosystem via networks such as XA, TiE and YPO. Maya is passionate about inclusion in the workplace, globalization and sustainability. Some of her views & efforts in this area can be found below: Observations on Managing Women Emotional Inclusion Podcast TED.com-Power of One (Sustainability) Maya has an MBA from INSEAD in France and an MS in Engineering from the United States. She is an avid hiker, art collector, architecture & design enthusiast and an urban farmer.
Co-Founder & Chairman, Next Gen Company Name
Next Gen Foods
Timo Recker is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Next Gen, a Singapore-based food tech company that’s harnessing the power of plant proteins to create the most delicious and satisfying food imaginable. A serial entrepreneur, Timo comes from a life-time background in the food space. Through these ventures, he met co-founder, Andre Menezes, and the two jointly established Next Gen in Singapore, sourcing a team of leaders in the plant-based space. Previously, Timo was the founder and CEO of German plant- based meat company, LikeMeat. He was responsible for the successful conceptualization, growth, and expansion of the brand into ten European countries, with products sold through 15,000 supermarkets, ultimately leading to the company’s acquisition by the global plant-based food company, LIVEKINDLY, Co., in 2020. Prior to LikeMeat, Timo worked for his family’s meat processing company, one of the leading businesses of its type in Germany. It was through this work he became motivated to create a company and products that would leave a better mark on the world — healthier, more sustainable, and less destructive. And that is exactly what he has done, twice now. Timo is a steadfast believer in the power of plants to create a better future for this generation and for those in the years to come.
Venture Partner, JVP: 2021 – Current
Managed full deal processes from selection to due diligence, to deal structure, currently active Board member, Innovopro, Greeneye, Agrint, Kinoko-Tech, cultivating fundraising and growth strategy
Partner, JVP: 2014-April 2021
Partner & Chief Financial Officer (2014-2018), responsible for all financial and investor reports, due diligence, and compliance by team. Led full execution of public positions in Cyber Ark, bringing $550M to investors through sophisticated financial tools. ▪ Active member on the investment and deal flow teams ▪ Managed full deal processes from selection to due diligence, to deal structure, currently active Board member, InnovoPro, Greeneye, Agrint, Kinoko-Tech, cultivating fundraising and growth strategy ▪ Established and secured private and public funding for food-tech ecosystem in the Galilee, managing 20 municipal stakeholders, 4 R&D centers, academia, international strategic partners, and investors ▪ Active lead position in fund management, including hiring and supervision of staff.
Corporate Budget Controller (FP&A Director) Lumenis Inc Santa Clara, CA
2001-2002 ▪ Responsible for design and implementation of a global budget system (Pillar, Hyperion) for Lumenis after the merger with CMG (Coherent Inc Medical division). o The company’s revenues in 2001-2002 were over $300M, with the Americas region revenue representing about 50% of global revenues.
M.B.A., 2010 – 2012
Graduated with honors • The College of Management, Rhishon Letzion, Israel • Biomedical Management Track • B.A., Economic & Accounting 1993-1997 • Haifa University, Israel
CFO & VP Business Development, European High-Tech Capital, Investment Firm 2005 – 2014
▪ Senior officer in a privately held (By Dr. Shimon Eckhouse) investment firm focused on healthcare, invests across the entire spectrum of medical devices & biotechnology ▪ Holds executive positions in several Shimon Eckhouse portfolio’s companies (CFO, VP Bus Dev, etc.) ▪ Works on multiple deals and across all stages of investment including deal generation, due diligence, deal structure/negotiation, legal documentation ▪ Works closely with portfolio companies and supports with fund raising, financial planning and budgeting, legal activity, M&A and strategic investment ▪ Coordinates and supervises the management of the Eckhouse family estate, comprehensive financial oversight of all liquid financial assets; works closely with multiple significant global banks and investment firms
VP Finance, America, Lumenis Inc Santa Clara, CA 2001-2004
▪ Responsible for coordinating, administering and controlling financial operations for the America’s region; managed a team of about 40 employees, directly reporting to the CFO and CEO. ▪ Re-engineering and implementation of a new US finance organization after the merger with CMG (Coherent Inc Medical division).Responsible for sales operations (including order admin and customer relation dept.) ▪ Involved in developing, modifying, and executing company policies which affect immediate operations with company-wide effects. ▪ Supporting the region’s business management with all financial aspects of legal contract review and new contractual obligations. ▪ Lead a cross organization project (“quote to cash”) that significantly improved the regions ability to execute efficiently the sales processing, to enhance relationship with customers and cash collection. ▪ Project leader for global Revenue Data Warehouse implementation and design.
Lumenis Ltd, Yokneam Israel (formerly known as ESC Medical Systems Ltd.)
1994-2001 ▪ Held several financial positions such as Controller and Financial assistant to the CFO; responsibilities included: ▪ SEC reporting. ▪ Composing annual reports, quarterly reports to shareholders, press releases and analyst presentation ▪ Managing of the company Option Plan ▪ Developed and utilized worldwide Transfer-Price study ▪ In charge of Company’s reporting to the US Tax authorities ▪ Involved in all financial aspects of company’s merger and acquisitions ▪ Building a company revenue recognition policy ▪ Payroll and benefits manger ▪ Contributed to compilation of 2 public offerings of the Company
Dr. Paul Wood
My Professional Experience
Professor Paul Wood AO has led R&D teams from CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis) and was Deputy-Director of the Vaccine Technology CRC. He brought several innovative products to the market, receiving recognition for his work to invent a new diagnostic test for Tuberculosis, including the CSIRO Medal, the Clunies Ross award and made an Officer in the Order of Australia. Paul is the Chair of the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines and an Insect farming start-up, on the Boards of Dairy Australia and ATSE and currently an Adjunct Professor at Monash University.
Dr Jiang Nanqing, Secretary-General, Committee of Green Circular and Inclusive Development of All-China Environment Federation (CGCI-ACEF)
My Professional Experience
She works on carbon digital platform to standardize the carbon reduction of consumers and business as the president of a start-up, and the Committee focuses on circular economy and carbon reduction through standards and internet.
She holds PhD in Ecology, worked 10 years at UNEP China (2008-2018), 2 years Secretary General role of China Plastics Reuse and Recycling Association (CPRRA) (2018-2020). She took efforts in taking the recycling sector of China to be align with branding companies and upstream of polymer companies for close loop. She serves the consultant of EU-China Environmental Policy and Circular Economy Dialogue, ADB, World Bank, WWF International on Plastics projects and report. She was invited by China Delegation to WTO to attend first WTO event on plastic pollution, and EU to attend EU Circular Economy. She is member of P&G Sustainable Development Committee and several charity foundations in China.
Founder & President, the Good Food Fund, CBCGDF
My Professional Experience
Jian Yi is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker and founding president of the Good Food Fund, under the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) in Beijing, China. He is a Yale World Fellow, an India-China Fellow, and an Asian Cultural Council grantee. Jian’s films have won international awards and been shown around the globe. He led the Good Food Fund to be a leading voice for food systems transformation in China. Its Mama’s Kitchen initiative was named one of the ten global Top Visionaries by the Rockefeller Foundation. Jian served on the core leadership team of Action Track 2 of the United Nations Food Systems Summit in 2021. Jian earned masters degrees from the Beijing Broadcasting Institute and the University of Notre Dame, where he received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. He is currently earning his MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and is a Mason Fellow and a Gleitsman Leadership Fellow.
Zhehou Cao Resume
University of Edinburgh (2016-2017) • Master of Science (Neuroscience) Imperial College London (2011-2015) • Master of Engineering (Aeronautical Engineering) • Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical Engineering) Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore (2005-2010) • Junior College • Secondary School
Founder & CEO of Jimi (Current)
Jimi specializes in the research and development of Cultured Beef.
CEO of Hangzhou YS Biotechnology (2018-2021)
YS Biotech is a stem cell and regenerative medicine research company that aims to develop world-leading stem cell-based therapy and it has built a world-class stem cell technology platform since its founding in Feb 2018
Program Director of Global Challenges @ Zhejiang-Edinburgh Institute (2016-2017)
Global Challenges is an interdisciplinary course that draws on expertise from across the
world to address not only the issues surrounding our changing world, but also question
why these events have taken place and what academics can do to address them.
Yoyo Wallet (2013-2014)
Participated in marketing and promotion of European mobile payment platform Yoyo
Wallet, which was founded by the VP of VISA. It received a 12-million euros investing for
its Series B round in 2017.
‘Creating The World’ Global Entrepreneurship Competition 3rd Place (2019) As the CEO of YS Biotech, I participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Competition organized by the City of Hangzhou, China. We emerged as the 2nd Runner-up amongst more than more than 1000 project submissions and secured more than 17 million RMB of funding through the competition.
Big Design Award (2014) LiVO – Collaboration project between London Design Museum, Imperial College and Royal College of Arts. Awarded by London Design Museum to outstanding projects. (Modular Light Bulb)
Aeronautics Scholar (2011-2013) Awarded by Imperial College London for academic excellence in the first two years of undergraduate course in the aeronautics department.
Green Wave Award (2009-2010) Created and organized in partnership with the National Environmental Agency, the inaugural Singapore Environmental Ebook Discovery competition for primary school students. The project was recognized by the Singapore government and given the green wave award for the contribution my team and I have made to raise environmental awareness in Singapore.
Canoeing National Champion (2009) Singapore Canoe Marathon Junior C2 21km – 1st Asia Pacific Mathematical Olympiad for Primary School (2004) Platinum – Top 10 in Asia Pacific
Dr Schellhorn is co-founder and CEO of RapidAIM real-time pest detection technology, that
takes the guesswork out of pest management.
Prior to co-founding RapidAIM, Nancy was a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO in Brisbane
Australia where she worked across grain, and horticulture systems to develop sustainable pest
management solutions to achieve productivity and biodiversity.
Nancy has served on many national and international committees and advisory panels; has
received many accolades and awards, and over 1600 peer-reviewed citations.
Xiaozao Tech & Lyxia
Ph.D. in Bio-engineering, UCLA. Microalgae bioscientist. Entrepreneur.
Worked in mircroalgae industry for years, accumulaed rich experiences.
Nominated by Patrick Soon Shiong Innovation Award; shortlisted for the Von Liebig Award by US Department of Energy; shortlisted for the Clean Energy Accelerator Award by US Department of Energy; shortlisted for the final round of Flow Competition by US Depatment of Energy; selected by the Kunpeng start-up plan; Won the Future Food Asia Award 2018.
Justin Gong joined XAG (XA.COM) as the co-founder and CMO in 2013, took charge of corporate strategy and marketing. Before returning to China, Justin was a film producer and overseas correspondent in Australia. Founded in 2007, XAG is an agriculture technology company originated in China. It aims to build the infrastructure of agriculture that can provide the world with sufficient, diversified and safe food. With 14 years of practice in field, XAG is now one of the largest drone, robot and AI companies in the world, providing smart agriculture solutions for both scaled farms and smallholders around the globe. Being a pioneer in R&D, manufacturing and operation of agriculture robots and AI, during the past 7 years, Justin and his team had successfully introduced precision farming technologies to 9.3 million farmers, serving more than 52 million hectares of farmland worldwide. In 2016, Justin Gong founded XAG Academy, which has trained more than 120,000 rural young people to embrace new technology and sustainable farming concept. In August 2018, Justin gate-crashed the Forbes China “30 Under 30”, marking his contribution in the field of agricultural technology. Besides his work, Justin is also a DBA researcher at Université Paris Dauphine and THU, specialised in rural economics.
Managing Director, CSST Asia
My Professional Experience
Ming Peng is Managing Director for Cargill’s Starches, Sweeteners and Texturizers business in Asia, based in Singapore.
Ming joined Cargill’s Corporate Strategy & Development (CSD) function in 2008, becoming one of the first members of CSD Shanghai office. During her five years with CSD as Business Associate and later Project Team Leader, she worked extensively on strategy and corporate development projects for almost all of Cargill’s businesses in China and Asia. Notably, she spent a year with the Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain business, developing the Food & Industry refined oil business.
In 2013, Ming joined Cargill’s Starchers, Sweeteners and Texturizers business for Greater China, responsible for trading & risk management as well as strategy and business development projects. As part of her responsibilities, Ming oversaw a cornerstone expansion project of CSST Greater China’s flagship corn processing facility in Song Yuan. In 2018, she took on the additional role of Commercial Lead for the business, where she led the integration of the Sweeteners and Texturizers commercial teams in China, and established a new sales organization focusing on domestic market growth.
Prior to joining Cargill, Ming spent six years in Sales & Marketing in the electronics industry in China. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of International Business & Economics in Beijing and an MBA degree from Darden Business School, University of Virginia.
Ming is married with two children. In her spare time, she enjoys reading investment and technology news and is an ardent fan of the latest high-tech gadgets.
Antoine Hubert is an agricultural engineer graduated from AgroCampus-Ouest and AgroParisTech. He is co-founder, President and CEO of Ÿnsect, a world leader in the natural production of insect proteins and fertilizers, and a Next40 company. Ÿnsect transforms insects into premium, high-value ingredients for animals, plants and people in state-of-the-art vertical farms using pioneering technology protected by 341 patents worldwide. The company, whose third vertical farm – the largest in the world – is currently under construction in Amiens, France, already operates two sites in France (since 2016) and the Netherlands (since 2017). Since its creation in 2011, Ÿnsect has raised approximately 435 million USD from major global investors and exports its products worldwide.
Sebastien joined Temasek in January 2014 and is currently a Director in Temasekís Agribusiness cluster that is responsible for direct equity investments across the food and agriculture value chain. He oversees the cluster activities in EMEA and co-lead the global Ag tech and Food tech portfolio, as well as the traditional supply chain, with the aim to reduce the environmental and resource footprint of the global food system.
Prior to Temasek, Sebastien focused on commodities, including carbon emissions, within the principal investment team of the Noble Group, and as a Vice President on the trading desk of J.P. Morgan. He previously worked at the World Bank Group, covering energy, sustainability and clean tech for the Latin America region.
GREAT WRAP CO-FOUNDER + CO-CEO
My Professional Experience
From a young age Julia was drawn to all things material and design which led her to a career in architecture. Over the past decade she worked in the Architecture industry where her experience took her throughout Australia and Europe designing local galleries through to schools. Working in the construction industry was a real eye opener for her as she saw copious amounts of waste with no clear solution in sight. For someone who grew up caring deeply for the landscape around her this was a disturbing sight to see, she couldn’t believe the amount of waste the everyday business was churning through and knew something needed to be done. It didn’t take much time to discover that in Australia alone we send 150,000 tonnes of stretch wrap to landfill every year and that unfortunately there wasn’t a solution to the problem. With all of this in mind, in 2019, Julia Co-founded Great Wrap with her husband Jordy Kay, a company that set out to design their way out of the plastics pandemic we’re living in, through material innovation. Today Great Wrap manufactures stretch wrap from food waste for homes and businesses at their ever evolving solar powered factory on the Mornington Peninsula. The next decade for Julia will be vastly different to the previous and it will be completely driven by the impact her business has on the planet and generations to come.
Harjan Kuiper is the Chief Executive Officer of Rabobank Singapore branch
Based in Singapore, Harjan is responsible for the overall management of Rabobank office in Singapore,
as well as the wider South-East Asian franchise for which Singapore is the hub for clients from Indonesia,
Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Harjan has over 20 years of successful banking and finance experience most notably in investment and
portfolio management, markets and trade finance. He started his career with Rabobank in London, and
subsequently took on various key management positions in Dublin, Utrecht and New York with his most
recent position being the Head of Markets North America at Rabobank New York and double hatting
the role of Chief Executive Officer for Rabo Securities USA, Inc.
Harjan holds an MSc of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Technology in Delft as well as an
MBA of the NYU Stern School of Business.
My Professional Experience
Dr. Wei Anning is Executive Director and General Manager of Shanghai Gueva Investment Management Limited, an independent director of Minsheng Securities Co.,Ltd., Fortune Fund Management Co., Ltd., Bondex Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd, and Jiahe Foods Industry Co., Ltd., and a director of Dachan Food (Asia) Co., Ltd..
Dr. Wei started his business career with international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, Rabobank and Fortis Bank. After 13 year banking experiences he came to agrifood industry as a senior executive. He was the executive vice president of New Hope Group, running the company’s day-to-day business for 5 years, and later on he chaired the boards of directors of Chinwhiz Agribusiness Co., Ltd, and Dachan Food (Asia) Co., separately. These were leading Chinese agrifood companies dominating the market they were active. Over years Dr. Wei has grown the interests and expertise in corporate governance, along the lines of finance and agrifood, he served as a director/independent director/advisor in the boards of directors of many public and private companies. At later stage of his career he founded a boutique investment house，Gueva Investment Management, focusing on the private equity investment in agrifood industry, which combines his skills and experiences in the fields of finance and agrifood.
Over his career, Dr. Wei has developed an in-depth understanding and accumulated rich experiences in corporate governance, strategic planning, investment, merger and acquisition, and cross-culture business management, particularly in the industries of agrifood and finance. Currently he split his time between private equity investment and directorship.Dr. Wei received cross culture education in Economics. In China he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Nankai University and his master’s degree in Peking University. In the USA, he earned his master’s degree from Williams College and his doctorate’s degree in Agricultural Economics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Singapore Deep-Tech Alliance
Clara Chen Founding Managing Partner Singapore Deep-Tech Alliance
Twice-exited Entrepreneur. Seasoned Intrapreneur. Venture Builder & Accelerator. ● Commercial operations veteran with two decades of go-to-market and revenue operations experience across Southeast Asia and Latin America. ● Intrapreneur in the largest media conglomerates. ● Entrepreneur acquired by public listed companies, twice. ● Builder of deep-tech startups to reduce the environmental impact of entire industries. ● Strong proponent of a paperless society. ● Executive MBA, English Business Law, Behavioral Economics, and Marketing Management qualifications.
Chief Revenue Officer Asia Sustainable Foods Platform
Since April 2022, Gerri is responsible for revenue generation at the Asia Sustainable Foods
Platform, a Temasek company that aims to inspire people to embrace sustainable foods by
accelerating access at scale across Asia.
Gerri was previously a Director in Temasek’s Enterprise Development Group, where she was
actively involved in Temasek’s efforts to build new platforms and has led several transactions in
the AgriFood sector. She also sits on the board of Unfold.
Prior to joining Temasek, Geraldine was the Director of New Ventures at the Singapore Economic
Development Board (EDB). She spent more than 11 years at the EDB in roles that involved
account management of strategic investors and developing and executing the strategy to grow
the Energy & Chemicals sector in Singapore.
Geraldine graduated with a Master of Science in Economics from Peking University and a
Bachelor of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics.
1. Deputy Executive Director – National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), NSTDA 2. Director – Biopolis, The Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), NSTDA
Kuakoon Piyachomkwan earned her Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from Oregon State
University, USA in 1997. After her graduation, she has joined National Center for Genetic
Engineering and Biotechnology since then, working on utilization of starch and sugar crop for
biorefinery. Her research interest is on carbohydrate chemistry and enzyme technology. She has
published over 60 international publications in peer reviewed journals and patents. Dr.
Piyachomkwan has been appointed as the Committee of Thai Commercial Product Standards by
Ministry of Commerce and an honorary member of Thai Tapioca Starch association. Currently, she
serves as the Deputy Executive Director of National Center for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology (BIOTEC), a member of National Science and Technology Development Agency
(NSTDA) and is in charge of R&D activities in Bioscience and Biotechnology for Industry. Dr.
Piyachomkwan is also a leader of NSTDA team, working on BIOPOLIS, an innovation platform of
biotechnology at the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), to support the development of
an Eastern Economic Corridor, a focal point for Thailand’s promotion of 10 strategic industries to
become the “New Engines of Growth” to drive the country’s economy.
Co-founder & CEO DANA Venture Builder
“happiness is when you think what you say and what you do are in harmony” Mahatma Gandhi
My Professional Experience
Forbes 30Under30, With an Industrial and Management Engineering background and years of proactive and advisory and board roles in local acceleration programs, Zada accumulated extensive experience in both Israeli and Palestinian innovation ecosystems. She has assembled and led her own Startup team, and participated in multiple acceleration programs. Over the years, Zada received several awards in Tech and Innovation competitions and Hackathons. Additionally, Zada served as an advisor for Arab women-empowerment programs aimed at increasing diversity throughout the ecosystem. Zada is a storytelling coach with deep knowledge of AI and Machine Learning tools, including considerable expertise in coding. She delivered a Python coding course at Appleseeds Academy and Tel Aviv University.Zada has been engaged in various initiatives to integrate Arab Israelis into the innovation ecosystem, and that bring international investment to startups in the West Bank. Zada is the CEO and Co-founder of the DANA Venture Builder, Dana is a bespoke accelerator program for women-led start-ups in the Desert Tech sector, Based in the MENA region, the offices are in Israel and Abu Dhabi. Zada’s vision is to lead a global Impact by bringing tech and innovation to the negotiations table instead of politics.
Dr Raffael Osen is currently leading the Food Process Engineering Group at SIFBI, Astar. His main interest is integrating protein ingredients development, texturization and formulation from alternative protein sources such as underutilized Asian crops, fermentation-derived proteins and cultivated cells for developing tasty, healthy, sustainable and affordable foods. Prior to his move to Singapore, he led the department of food process development at Fraunhofer, the largest organisation for applied R&D in Europe. He started his research on the development of plant-based meat substitutes in 2010 and obtained his PhD in Food Technology from the Technical University of Munich on high moisture extrusion of plant protein. With his colleagues at Fraunhofer IVV, he provided the scientific and technological framework for meat substitutes from pea protein.
Raffael Osen Ph.D. , Group Leader, Food Process Engineering
Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Mr. Ho is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Thai Wah Public Company Ltd, responsible for developing the company’s vision to create innovation and sustainability from Farm to Shelf as a leading Agri-Food company in Southeast Asia. Since its founding in 1947, Thai Wah has been a leading pioneer in the tapioca starch and food industry, now expanding its footprint to 15 operations in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia. From 2010 – 2015, Mr Ho was the Executive Director and Country Head, China for Banyan Tee Holdings Ltd, helping to position the group as the leading luxury brand in China. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ho worked with the global consultancy Bain & Company Inc. in their New York, Hong Kong and China offices. Mr. Ho currently serves on the board for Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, as well as the advisory board for the Asia Pacific Agri-Innovation Summit and the International Advisory Council for Singapore Management University. He has also previously served on the boards of UN Women as well as Wharton Global Forum. In 2017, in recognition of Thai Wah Group’s sustainability and community efforts across the region, Mr Ho was awarded the “Outstanding Leader in Asia” award at the 4th Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards and Thai Wah was also recognized for Corporate Excellence at the 2021 Asia Pacific Enterprise Asia Awards as a pioneer and leader in the agriculture industry. Mr. Ho has a BSC in Economics (Honors) from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with distinction from the AMP program of China Europe International Business School. In 2018, he was nominated to be a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Class of 2018. He is married with a young son and a daughter, and currently lives in Bangkok with his wife, Teh Su Ching.
Dr Wanyu Zhang
Phagelux AgriHealth Inc.
16 years agbusiness development, JV set up and JV management experiences in China, including working with Monsanto, CNSGC/Sinochem, KWS, and Kenfeng Beidahuang etc;
Good at relationship building with partners, shareholders, officials, authorities& dealers;
Understandboth western and Chinese cultures and balance well for the benefit of business.
BOD & CEO, Phagelux AgriHealth Inc. Salt Lake City and Jiangsu 2019 – 2022
By 04/2022, Completed the fund raising up to RMB 50 Million for the company
Expanded the team from 30 to 60 employees in establishing the BD, Marketing, and sales.
Get regulatory approval from pesticide on citrus cankers from MOA
BOD, Kenfeng-KWS Seed Co Ltd. JV between KWS and Beidahuang
BOD member & DGM, Kenfeng-KWS Seed Co. Ltd. Beijing 2014 – 2019
In 2014, lead the team to get MOA approval for KWS – Kenfeng joint venture application,
which was the great milestone not only for KWS/Kenfeng shareholders, but also for the corn
seed industry since MOA had not approved any foreign JV from 2003 to 2013.
Kenfeng-KWS Seed Co. Ltd. was successfully registered in 12/2014 with the registered capital
100 million RMB.
Responsible for setting up the operational team from Zero staff to 80 employees in 2019. The
sales revenues reached about 200 Million RMB, EBIDA is about 15% of revenues. Profitable
from the year one while other peer companies downsized their business.
Director, International Office in Beijing, BDH Kenfeng Seed Co. 2012 – 2017
Responsible for the international cooperation, trading, or equipment purchase, contract with
foreign companies for examples PETKUS and Hagie Co.
Prepared all the required MOU, Articles of Association, and contract, feasibility study report
for the JV application required by MOA.
Consultant,for MNCs in China, i.e. Context, Kynetec 2006 – 2011
General Manager, CNSGC-DEKALB Seed Co. Ltd 2001 – 2005
The first corn seed JV in China, between Monsanto and CNSGC
Formed the company from scratch and operated them from the very beginning.
By 2005, the sales revenue reached 100 million RMB with 20% of EBIDA. The major incomes
were generated from the oil sunflowers and confectionery sunflower seeds in North West and
tropical corn seeds sales in Guangxi.
From 2001-2005, the company has ranked number one position in profitability in all the
Sub companies of CNSGC group, which later were acquired by Sinochem group
In charge of GMO Bollgard cotton seed business for China. There was two joint ventures,
one was in Hebei (Jidai) and another one was located in Anhui (Andai);
Set up the pricing mechanism, i.e. 42 yuan per kg for cotton seed in China, while the
traditional cotton seed price was only 5 yuan per kg (fuzzy seed). It created the
Commercial cotton seed market which hardly existed in China.
The Bt cotton seed business had been very profitable for Monsanto China from 1999 to 2005
The sales peak for sales revenues of Bt cotton seed for Monsanto in China was about
RMB 80 Millions.
Responsible for the oil sunflower Seed business in China. Directly imported oil seeds
from Dekalb, USA and sold them to the key dealers in Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang.
These part of business had been integrated into the CNSGC-Dekalb Seed Co. Ltd.
BD Manager, Magnequench International, Inc. (MQI) , NY, IN, USA1994 – 1997
MQI was formerly a business of Delphi Division, General Motors, US
One year in New York city to help the negotiation with the acquisition process on behalf
of the Chinese investor side;
One year in Anderson, Indiana to help for transition after the acquisition was completed;
One year as the chief representative in Beijing for marketing and business development.
Visiting Scholar, Institute of Arthropod ology & Parasitology, GA,USA1992 – 1994
Sponsored by Hong Kong Wang Kuang Cheng Fund, worked on the lyme disease biochemistry
Published two research papers.
Associate Professor, Institute of Zoology, CAS, Beijing1990 – 1992
Major study area: Entomological taxonomy on Aphids. Published 44 research papers.
MIM, Master of International Management 12/1998
Thunderbird, Amer. Grad. Sch. of Int’l Management, AZ, USA
D. Entomology, Inst. of Zoology, the Chinese Acad. of Sciences, Beijing1987-1990
M.S. /B.S. Entomology, Hebei Agricultural University, Hebei 1980-1987
China Plant-Based Foods Associatio
Chairman China Plant-Based Foods Association
Dr. EZHIL SUBBIAN
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STRING BIO PRIVATE LIMITED
My Professional Experience
Dr. Ezhil Subbian serves as the CEO of String. As one of the world leaders in gas fermentation, String has a proprietary platform that enables manufacturing of sustainable ingredients using greenhouse gases for sectors fundamental to living including, food, health and, environment. String’s vision is to redefine manufacturing and make sustainability market-relevant.
Ezhil is a scientist, innovator, thinker, hiking enthusiast and a citizen of the world. Post her graduate work, Ezhil went on to play key roles in biobased product innovation at different startups/early-stage companies in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Her experience over the last 20 years helps Ezhil bring first-hand knowledge of solutions that work as well as bottlenecks that plague biobased product commercialization and market growth. Ezhil’s driver is to leverage the technology prowess of the west and the manufacturing capabilities of the east to develop innovations that can have global impact.
Ezhil has been an invited speaker and panelist at multiple conferences. She plays an active role in the biotech ecosystem in India and serves on the board of ABLE-India and CII-National Biotechnology Committee. Ezhil’s work was most recently recognized with the Women Transforming India Award 2018 from United Nations/NITI Aayog.
Dr. Ezhil Subbian played key roles in biobased product innovation at different startups/early-stage companies in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Building on her experience over the last 20 years in biobased product commercialization and market growth, Ezhil’s driver is to leverage the technology prowess of the west and the manufacturing capabilities of the east to develop innovations that can have global impact.
Ezhil has been an invited speaker and panelist at multiple conferences. She serves on the board of ABLE-India and CII-National Biotechnology Committee. Ezhil’s work was most recently recognized with the Women Transforming India Award 2018 from United Nations/NITI Aayog.
Instagram: @aboutstringbio LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/string-bio-pvt-ltd Contact for media enquiries: [email protected]
Kate is an agribusiness professional with a passion for improving the sustainability of food production, distribution, and consumption. In 2021, Kate joined the Agribusiness Investment Team in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, where her focus is investment opportunities that improve climate resilience and gender equity within the agribusiness value chain. Prior to ADB, Kate worked with a UK-based startup that is developing technology to produce an animal feed ingredient using minimal water. She has a deep understanding of global agricultural markets and agribusiness investment, thanks to roles in commodities trading at Louis Dreyfus Company and Fonterra, and agribusiness private equity at Proterra Investment Partners. Kate has an MBA from University of Oxford.
My Professional Experience
Dr Bo Bai is the executive chairman and co-founder of MetaVerse Green Exchange (MVGX). Before co-founding MVGX, Dr Bai founded the Asia Green Fund, an award-winning impact private equity firm with around $2 billion assets under management.
Dr Bai was a partner and managing director for Warburg Pincus from 2009-2016, where he led its investments in the energy, industrials, and business services sectors in Asia. Previously, he worked at First Reserve Corporation and Goldman Sachs.
Dr Bai is also the Chairman of East Low Carbon, and a director of Capital Heating, Four Rivers, Hosjoy, Low Carbon Environment, and AIPark.
Dr Bai holds a BSc and an MSc in Modern Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, a certificate from the Sloan School of Management at MIT in the Financial Technology Option, and a PhD in Physics from MIT. He is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/baibo
THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION
BIO: Kavita Chandran, Journalism Trainer and Content Consultant, Asia
Kavita Chandran is a journalism trainer and news content advisor
based in Singapore. A journalist for more than 25 years, she has
worked in newsrooms across the United States and Asia, reporting,
writing and editing stories. She started her career in New Delhi as
a business reporter and moved on to anchor shows for CNBC Asia.
She worked as a Breaking News editor with Bloomberg in New
York, and then spent 10 years in Reuters’ newsrooms as a trainer
and Front Page editor.
Kavita is currently a certified journalism trainer with the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) and the
Solutions Journalism Network (SJN), where she trains journalists across Asia on topics such as climate
change, human trafficking, racial injustice and social inclusion. She is also a mentor for young journalists,
moderator at news events, and speaker on ‘Solutions Journalism’ as a catalyst for change in the media.
Kavita is a published author of a book, a freelance journalist, and an adjunct faculty for Journalism and
Communications at Murdoch University, Kaplan Institute, and S.P. Jain Global School of Management. She is
also a member of the alumni board at Columbia University. She has an M.A. in Journalism from the Indian
Institute of Mass Communications in New Delhi, and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University
Graduate School of Journalism in New York
v2food is a new, innovative Australian company committed to making delicious food that is good for you and good for the planet. Developed with over 100 years of CSIRO food & science research and with powerful collaborations within the food industry, v2food will play a pivotal role in changing the way we feed the growing global population sustainably.
Recognising that there is a need for a version 2 of the food system, v2food is developing a range of plant-based meat products that taste great for all consumers. Working with the Australian agriculture sector, v2food is part of the growth of a new $6bn+ industry in Australia and a major exporter throughout the world as part of the goal to feed 10 billion people by 2050.
Formed in January 2019, V2food is now Australia’s leading plant based meat brand, and exports extensively into Asian markets.
Nick Hazell is an experienced food innovator, lecturer and consultant who is CEO & Founder of Australian startup v2food. Launched nationally in October 2019, v2food has developed plant-based meat, building on a close collaboration with CSIRO to create tasty, sustainable and healthy products.
Hazell holds a Master of Manufacturing from Cambridge University. He worked in aerospace and chocolate manufacturing before moving into research and development in the food industry, working at global multinationals in The Netherlands and Australia. He was R&D Director at Masterfoods and at PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand, working on products like Grain Waves, Red Rock Deli, Sunbites and Smiths. He lectures in the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS and has consulted to CSIRO and the meat industry.
Dr. Yuchu Zhang
Pronounced as: Youchew My Role at Cargill: APAC regional R&D lead, CPAE R&D lead
My Professional Experience
I worked for a number of global food and food ingredient companies in technical innovation and product development in North America, Europe and Asia for more than 20 years. I have a Master’s and Doctoral degrees in food science & nutrition, specialized in nutritional composition in plants, beverage processing and the development of healthy ingredients and food. I lived in China, UK, US, France, Singapore and worked extensively in South East Asian countries. The experience enriched my understanding of diverse cultures, motivations and market needs. I am most known for my innovative spirit and authentic leadership style. I joined Cargill R&D in Jan 2021 and am based in Shanghai, China, with my family of four. I am responsible for Cargill’s APAC R&D team in Food Ingredient business. My team develops new ingredients and processes for the manufacturing of starch, sugar substitute, vegetable protein, oil and fat products. My team also co-creates solutions with our customers in our innovation centers and labs across China, SG, India, and SouthEast Asia. On my role as R&D lead for Cargill Protein Asia and Europe, I have teams in in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan and across Europe.
Unlock R&D’s potential as an Innovation engine for business
November 2020 – Current Vice President, Cargill Protein Asia & Europe, Regional R&D leader, APAC
November 2017 – October 2020 Development director, Royal FrieslandCampina, Consumer Dairy Asia
August 2012 – April 2016 R&D director, WhiteWave Foods (acquired by Danone North America from June 2016)
January 2006 – January 2011 Senior R&D manager, Technical Innovation, Diageo North America
April 2004 – Dec 2006 Project Lead, Beverage Group, Nestle Research & Development Center,OH, USA
PhD Food Science & Nutrition, The Ohio State University, 2004 MSC.
Food Production & Management, Nottingham University, 1999
BS. Chemistry, East China Normal University, 1996
What I am proud of
Brought many innovative consumer products to the market for household global and regional brands Developed technologies that elevated industry standards and improved consumer benefits Enabled R&D teams with capability development and motivated them with business results and career opportunities Built teams that are considered critical and innovation engines for business