Dr. Nadine Bongaerts is Chief Innovation Officer at GOURMEY and synthetic biologist by training. GOURMEY is the first cultured meat company from France. They grow duck cells instead of real ducks to revolutionize the way we eat the most controversial French delicacy – foie gras.
Bongaerts is a true connector between science, society and business and is frequently asked to provide her thought leadership on the industrial, societal and sustainability impact of biotech advances.
Throughout her career, she has been determined to accelerate the so-called ‘biorevolution’ in which the convergence of biological and the digital worlds can create a vast range of applications that are smarter, smaller and cleaner. Those innovations are already impacting all sectors: from agriculture to medicine and from new materials to cleaner fuels, but she strongly believes that this technological revolution can only reach its full potential if science takes into account both business and society.
Before joining GOURMEY, graduated summa cum laude from her Ph.D. in synthetic biology at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris. During her PhD, she developed a faster and cheaper method to discover new antibiotics. She previously obtained her bachelors and master’s degree in Life Science & Technology from Delft University of Technology and Leiden University.
Her interest for synthetic biology (or engineering biology) was sparked when in 2010 she participated in the iGEM (Internationally Engineered Machine) competition organized at MIT. The TU Delft team she was part of developed standardized parts of DNA – biobricks – to transform bacteria into oil digesting cells. Their work was recognized both nationally and internationally and received several awards.
During her student time, Nadine did not only develop a passion for science, but also for entrepreneurship.
In 2012, she became the Dutch chairman of the Kairos Society, a global community to connect innovative young entrepreneurs. In 2013, she helped to build the international deeptech organisation Hello Tomorrow that helps science entrepreneurs in their journey to bringing laboratory inventions to the market. Since 2015, more than 20k science startups have applied to their startup challenges and Hello Tomorrow finalist startups have already raised more than $300M.