East Netherlands

Speakers Biographies & Presentations

Jean-Benoit BEL

Project Manager

Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management

Brussels · Belgium 

Jean-Benoit BEL is a Senior Expert at ACR+, specialised in waste monitoring and benchmarking. He is in charge different projects: DECISIVE focusing on decentralised bio-waste management in urban areas and COLLECTORS aiming to identify and document good practices for municipal waste collection and sorting in areas with specific constraints, and ACR+’ carbon campaign aiming to help ACR+’ members to reduce their carbon footprint.

Presentation: Plenary_DECISIVE_JeanBenoitBel_21-10-2020


Loredana Torsello

Executive director

CoSviG – Consortium for Development of Geothermal Areas

Region Toscana

has a PHD in Agricultural Environmental, a MSc in Environmental and Resources Economics, and a degree in Economics. She started her career in energy issues in 2001 as consultant. Since 2011 she in charge as cluster manager in the technological energy district DTE-Toscana. From 2012, she is an Executive Manager of COSVIG, a company created to promote the development of geothermal energy. In 2013, she was appointed as General Director of Energea, a subsidiary of COSVIG, engaged in technology transfer activities in geothermal. She has been one of the Chairs of the SETPLAN Working Group on Deep Geothermal, and is still representing Italy. She is coordinating European projects. 


– Part 1 Energy Neutral Food Production_NextGarden_JanTaks LoredanaTorsello_21-10-2020

– Part 2 Energy Neutral Food Production_NextGarden_JanTaks LoredanaTorsello_21-10-2020

– Part 3 Energy Neutral Food Production_NextGarden_JanTaks LoredanaTorsello_21-10-2020

Jan Taks MSc

Acquirer  of the Agricluster

Municipality of Lingewaard

Gelderland, East Netherlands

Jan Taks studied Environmental Sciences at the Wageningen University & Research (WUR). After that, he worked in rural development at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, and subsequently as manager in the fields of spatial planning, urban development and traffic & transport for the board of the Province of Noord-Brabant. He was pre-accession advisor of agriculture, nature, and water in Estland, during the expansion of the EU with ten new member states in the 2003-2004 period. Since then he is an independent public domain advisor, working mostly for regional and local governments. He was also managing director of WarmCO2 for three years, during this period. WarmCO2 is a company that supplies sustainable energy to greenhouse horticulture. More experience in the greenhouse horticulture was gathered by Jan as a restructuring program manager at the Greenport West-Holland, and as agrologistics advisor at the Province of Zuid-Holland.

Together with his son, he has developed the first cooperative hydropower plant in the Netherlands. As from 2016, Jan is innovation manager for the NEXTgarden project organisation in the municipality of Lingewaard.


NEXTgarden is located in the A15 agri-corridor, and it is the development area for horticulture with over 235 companies and 2,150 jobs.
Here, successful entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and governments work together on concrete initiatives that are making the whole production chain more smart, profitable, and sustainable.
The development area is sized 735 hectare and offers plentiful space and facilities for the expansion of our successful companies. Also, new entrepreneurs receive a warm welcome.

Nelly Kalfs


Municipality Lingewaard

Nelly Kalfs, born and raised in Huissen, East Netherlands, has worked as chief engineer-director at the Department of Waterways and Public Works-East in the past years. Before that, she worked, among others, at the municipality of Amsterdam (chief traffic research), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (program manager accessibility), and as managing director at the Kijkonderzoek Foundation. The mayor is not affiliated to a political party.


Susana Freitas

Project Manager 

Environmental Education and Training Unit (UEFA) of LIPOR.


With a master’s in Environmental Economics and Management from Economics Faculty of Porto University and a Degree in Environmental Engineering from Polytechnical Institute of Bragança. Susana was also a researcher on the development of climate change bio-indicators (NIOZ and ICBAS). Her main activities are managing and implementing environmental projects regarding food waste, composting and green areas (LIPOR).

Gijs Schilthuis

Gijs Schilthuis

Head of Unit for Policy Perspectives at the

European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development

He has worked since 2008, in different capacities, on agricultural policy reform in this Directorate-General. He first joined the European Commission in 2005 at the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers. Prior to joining the Commission, he worked at the European Parliament as a parliamentary assistant. He earned a Master’s degree in agricultural economics from Wageningen University in 2000. He is a Dutch national.


Toine Timmermans

Managing Director of the foundation

Food Waste Free United

National private-public partnership in the Netherlands,
Toine is also program manager Circular Economy in Food at Wageningen University & Research. He coordinated both EU projects FUSIONS and REFRESH, focusing on innovation and research in food waste prevention at EU-level. He is member of the EC-Food Loss and Food Waste platform and Non-Executive Director at the Board of the Fight Food Waste CRC in Australia.


Anne-Jo Smits 

Project Manager

Poultry Expertise Centre

Anne-Jo Smits graduated in 2019 from the study Animal Sciences at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) with specialization ‘Global and Sustainable Production’. Currently, Anne-Jo works as project employee at the Poultry Expertise Centre (PEC). PEC is an organization that has as aim to gain and spread knowledge in the poultry sector by connecting research, education, business and government in knowledge transfer, practical research and innovation. At PEC Anne-Jo works on different projects focusing on e.g. emission reduction, alternative protein sources, distance learning and practical research.

Walter Jansen

Managing Director

Amusca BV

Walter Jansen completed his MSc in Animal Science from Wageningen University in The Netherlands with two theses: one in Tropical Animal Production and the other in Animal Nutrition.  Moreover, Walter obtained a Ph.D. degree in Veterinary Nutrition in 2001 at the Veterinary Faculty in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Currently, Walter is leading Amusca BV, an industrial insect breeding business that will valorize organic waste with insects into a sustainable source for proteins, special (non-)food ingredients, and medications to the benefit of People, Planet, and Profit. 

Laura Star

Professor Precision feeding and sustainable poultry farming

AERES University of Applied Sciences

Dr. Laura Star studied Animal Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. After completing her graduate studies, she pursued Doctorate in Animal Science, also at Wageningen University, during which time she focused on poultry. After completing her doctorate, Dr. Laura Star started to work at Schothorst Feed Research as researcher on poultry nutrition, with focus on nutrition for layer birds. Dr. Laura Star has been a researcher with Schothorst Feed Research for 12 years now. In addition to her research work at Schothorst, Dr. Laura Star started three years ago as professor at Aeres University of Applied Sciences on the subject ‘Precision Feeding and Sustainable Poultry Farming’. At the same time as she started as professor, she also became a member of the Poultry Expertise Centre.

Aeres University of Applied Sciences is located in Dronten, the Netherlands, and has bachelor programs in Agribusiness, Food business, Horticulture and Animal husbandry, and a master programs in Agribusiness development and Food systems innovations. Besides, there is a research program with focus on Sustainable entrepreneurship.

Schothorst Feed Research is a research institute located in Lelystad, the Netherlands, and performs research on behalf of the feed compounding industry and its suppliers. The core business of SFR is feedstuff evaluation and implementation of nutritional knowledge to our partners. SFR has state of the art facilities to conduct trials from small to practical scale in poultry, swine and dairy.
Poultry Expertise Centre is located in Barneveld, the Netherlands, and is a partnership between companies, government bodies and educational institutions, all working in or involved with the poultry industry. Within Poultry Expertise Centre the expertise from education, research and the business community is united and transferred to entrepreneurs and young professionals working in the poultry industry, national and international. Innovation is key factor in this.


Part 1 – ProteinRevolution_AERES_LauraStar_21-10-2020

Part 2 – ProteinRevolution_AERES_LauraStar_21-10-2020


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