Collaborating in Innovation Ecosystems to Accelerate the Transformation of the Food System

Can innovation ecosystems overcome shortcoming of the food systems? Representatives from academia, industry and the public sector will discuss their vision, challenges and opportunities of creating and maintaining an innovation ecosystems in the agri-food sector.


Prof. Dr. Joël Mesot, President ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Joël Mesot has been President of ETH Zurich since 2019. Prior to his appointment, he was Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) for more than 10 years. He is a full professor of physics at ETH Zurich, where he also studied. Joël Mesot obtained his doctorate at ETH and the Institut Laue-Langevin (France) in the field of solid-state physics using neutron scattering. After his first employment at PSI, he spent several years researching at the Argonne National Laboratory (USA). He received several awards for his scientific achievements. He is also part of several national and international advisory boards.


Mrs Awilo Ochieng Pernet, Former Chairperson, FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission

Mrs Pernet has served at international, regional and national levels in the fields of food standards, food safety, quality, nutrition and water. She chaired the Codex Alimentarius Commission from 2014-2017. She has spearheaded several important global and regional initiatives including the establishment of a UN World Food Safety Day, achieved with overwhelming support from Codex Members, FAO/WHO and the UN.


Carrol Plummer, Chief Executive Officer, Vivent SA, Switzerland

Carrol is a co-founder and CEO of Vivent, an exciting agtech business that is making agriculture more sustainable by providing real-time information on crop health. Carrol is a mechanical engineer from Canada with an MBA from INSEAD and has been an entrepreneur for over
25 years. She finds working with plants absolutely fascinating and loves watching both the plants and the people at Vivent grow and develop. She is a strong supporter of STEM education. When not at work you can find her swimming in Lake Geneva or skiing in the Alps.


Christina Senn-JakobsenManaging Director, Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley

As a food innovation passionista Christina aims to help solve some of the most pressing global issues related to food. With a core focus on food science and nutrition, Christina believes collaboration between sectors is fundamental to better and faster innovation and aims to put Switzerland firmly on the map as a leading nation in sustainable food & nutrition.

Christina holds a Master’s in Food Science & Technology from the University of Copenhagen and a Master’s in European Food Studies from Wageningen University. She spent the first 12 years of her career at Mondelez in roles spanning R&D, innovation management, marketing, and strategy before she moved on to working with entrepreneurs and startup collaborations. In January 2021 she joined Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley as Managing Director.


Dr. Hugo de Vries, EFFoST President & Research director at INRA-UMR IATE, France

Dr. Hugo de Vries works at INRAE’s Scientific Directorate ‘Food and Bioeconomy’, France.

He is President of EFFoST, member of the SCAR Food Systems Working Group, member of the FAO-International Sustainable Bioeconomy Working Group, associated member of the French Academy of Agriculture; previously he was director of the JRC IATE (transforming renewable resources into bio-based products), the Food Technology Centre Wageningen, and the European Project NovelQ on novel processing methods. He obtained a PhD in physics

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