With her strong scientific and industrial background, Ann’s profile perfectly matches her new role. She graduated at KU Leuven as a civil engineer in chemistry with a specialisation in environmental technology and obtained her PhD at the University of Leeds-Bradford.
During her career, Ann has worked for companies, knowledge institutes and governments. She started at Exxon Chemical in Diegem, then joined BASF Antwerp as project manager of sustainable investment projects, production manager of the ammonia plant and innovation coach.
In 2010, Ann switched to KH Leuven and subsequently to Innovatiecentrum Limburg. There, she supported companies across all sectors with (inter)national innovation projects. In 2015, she became CEO of Belcare, which initiates and facilitates open innovation and transformation projects in the construction sector, with an emphasis on sustainability and circular construction.
Accelerating the climate transition
“Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to initiate and carry out numerous sustainable innovation projects in multidisciplinary teams,” says Verlinden. “Time and again, I was amazed by the expertise Flanders has on offer and by the innovative power brought by multidisciplinary cooperation. I am excited to work with the Catalisti team and all its partners to create positive collaborations and to realise sustainable innovations that accelerate the climate transition of the chemical and plastics sector”.
Wouter De Geest, chairman of Catalisti, is convinced that with Ann at the helm, Catalisti’s successful track record will be continued in the coming years. “Her drive and vigour will allow the spearhead cluster to further prepare and ensure the sustainable future of our sector.”
Jan Van Havenbergh will remain manager of Moonshot. This Flemish government initiative supports companies in reducing their CO2 emissions and is hosted by Catalisti. “Innovation remains a topic close to my heart. In this position, I will continue to focus on the climate transition of our industry and in particular on the connection between disruptive innovation and business implementation,” says Van Havenbergh.