Ann Verlinden to become new Managing Director

After a thorough selection procedure, the Catalisti Board of Directors has appointed Ann Verlinden, the current CEO of Belcare, as the spearhead cluster’s new Managing Director. She will succeed Jan Van Havenbergh as of 5 April 2021.

Background in science and industry

With her strong scientific and industrial background, Ann’s profile perfectly matches her new role. Ann graduated at KU Leuven as a civil engineer in chemistry with a specialisation in environmental technology. She obtained her PhD at the University of Leeds-Bradford, where she focused on powder technology.

During her career, Ann has worked for companies, knowledge institutes and governments. She started at Exxon Chemical in Diegem, where she worked on membrane technology. She 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 and increasingly focused on innovation in the construction sector. 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.

A positive vision

“Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to initiate and carry out numerous sustainable innovation projects in multidisciplinary teams,” says Verlinden. “I did so within various sectors, always tailored to the specific knowledge institute, government, construction SME or chemical company. 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”.

A bright future

For Wouter De Geest, chairman of Catalisti, the future looks bright: “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. I wish Ann all the best in leading the dynamic Catalisti team.”

Jan Van Havenbergh to stay on as Moonshot manager

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.

“On behalf of the entire Catalisti team,” concludes chairman De Geest, “I wish to thank Jan for his enthusiasm and years of commitment. I am delighted that he will continue his role within Moonshot.”

Download the full press release (in Dutch) and check out Ann’s extended bio on her LinkedIn page.