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Industry Changing Innovation


Oct 21, 2021 11:33 AM

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Heiko Rischer
Principal Scientist & Research Team Leader of Plant Biotechnology @VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
Heiko Rischer, Principal Scientist, is Research Team Leader of Plant Biotechnology at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. where he is leading innovative applied research covering chemicals, health, personal care, cosmetics and food among other areas. At the University of Helsinki, he is appointed Adjunct Professor in Pharmaceutical Biology and he fulfils teaching duties there and at other Universities. He is a Biologist with PhD in natural product chemistry building on more than 25 years of experience in the biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites. He is an expert in plant cell and tissue culture techniques, analytics of secondary metabolites including metabolic profiling and the biotechnological production, up to industrial scales, of phytopharmaceuticals and other plant-derived compounds.
Kim Elena Ionescu
Chief Sustainability and Knowledge Development Officer @Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)
In her role as Chief Sustainability and Knowledge Development Officer of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), Kim Elena raises awareness, develops strategy, and connects industry actors to address the social, environmental, and economic challenges facing specialty coffee. Prior to joining the association in 2015, Kim spent a decade buying coffee and directing sustainability for Counter Culture Coffee in North Carolina, USA, where she resides with her husband and two daughters. And although these days she is more likely to be found working behind desks and podiums than cupping tables and espresso machines, Kim believes that sustainability must be firmly embedded in every stage of the coffee value chain.
Jay Ruskey
Farmer, Agronomist & CEO @Frinj Coffee
FRINJ Coffee is a late-stage growth company, coffee breeder, and luxury coffee producer. In 2002, Farmer & Agronomist Jay Ruskey planted a trial crop of coffee at his family-owned and operated farm in the hills of Santa Barbara, California, called Good Land Organics. Ruskey proved that coffee could be grown successfully outside of tropical regions and put California coffee on the map! The farm takes the coffee experience full circle, from seed to harvest to roast to cup.
Dr. Aaron Davis
Senior Research Leader of Crops and Global Change @Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK)
Dr. Davis is the leading authority on coffee species and has travelled widely in Africa and Madagascar to study coffee in the wild. Completed projects include Building a Climate Resilient Coffee Economy for Ethiopia (including The Coffee Atlas of Ethiopia), an in-depth study on the risks and opportunities for the Ethiopian coffee sector in an era of accelerated climate change; and Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Resilience at Yayu Biosphere Reserve (Ethiopia), looking at the interplay between speciality coffee, livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and climate resilience at the community level. More recently, he has been working on the use of wild coffee species for the development of next-generation coffee crops (including stenophylla coffee) and the development of methods for on-farm climate resilience.