Barend Verachtert is the deputy Head of the Biobased Products and Processes Unit in the Research and Innovation Directorate-General of the European Commission The unit is in charge of the development and implementation of research and policies in the context of the bioeconomy and Horizon2020. Until recently he was the interim Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership. Previous assignments in DG Research included the SME unit in charge of the development of SME research policies and the promotion of SME participation in FP6 and FP7, and the Food Quality and Safety unit. Before joining the European Commission in 1998, he was a technology acquisition manager for Plant Genetic Systems NV, a Belgian plant biotechnology company. He obtained a PhD in biology from the University of Leuven (1988).