The Board of Directors of flanders.bio, the leading independent cluster organisation for the life sciences industry in Flanders and Belgium, has announced the appointment of Wouter Piepers as CEO, and Willem Dhooge as COO, effective May 18th 2022.
With the appointment of Wouter Piepers, flanders.bio welcomes a seasoned international corporate marketing and investor relations executive, with a vast experience in the healthcare and life sciences industry amongst other. Over the past +25 years, Piepers held various regional and global leadership roles, including with companies such as Oxurion, Ansell Healthcare, Siemens and most recently Deme. He started his career as a consultant with market-leading agencies such as Interel and Weber Shandwick.
The BOD also appointed Willem Dhooge as COO. A long-time veteran to flanders.bio, Dhooge currently serves as its co-General Manager since 2018. In his role, Dhooge has been instrumental in growing its membership and setting up public-private collaborations, including most recently Medvia with a focus on healthtech developments. In his new role as COO, Willem Dhooge will continue to support the execution of the flanders.bio strategy whilst also overlooking its day-to-day operations.
Dirk Reyn, Managing Partner of Bioqube Ventures and Chairman of flanders.bio comments: “In a global biotech scene that has been significantly changing the last couple of years, the board of flanders.bio has decided that by further strengthening the team, the organisation is better equipped to address some new challenges and opportunities. In order to support the leading position of the local ecosystem, we need to have a stronger focus on the emerging war for talent and the creation of new biotech and agrotech companies built around new technologies that sometimes did not exist a couple of years ago. We do need to work harder to keep the attention of local and international seed and growth investors on our region and strengthen the voice of small biotech or agrotech companies with key political or business decision-makers. We believe that with the additional capabilities of Wouter and the continued operational expertise from Willem, we are ready to take a next step in further supporting the Flemish biotech and agrotech ecosystem.”
Wouter Piepers, CEO of flanders.bio comments: “As a long-standing advocate and cheerleader for flanders.bio and our life sciences ecosystem locally and internationally, I feel truly honoured with this appointment as CEO. I’m excited to join the dynamic flanders.bio team which has demonstrated a great drive and resilience, including during the recent challenging times we’ve all endured. I plan on continuing this path with Willem and the team, and work alongside the Board, members and partners towards further growth and success for flanders.bio and the full life sciences ecosystem it represents. I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting all stakeholders, starting at the upcoming knowledge for growth conference on 18-19 May in Ghent, Belgium.”
Willem Dhooge, COO of flanders.bio comments: “After four intensive and rewarding years (co)-leading the organisation, I have witnessed firsthand flanders.bio’s transformation, supported by an enthusiastic team and the BOD into an industry association that is ready for the future. I look forward to working together with Wouter to develop new initiatives that should support the future growth of our ecosystem and develop the region into a leading Health and Biotech Valley of Europe.”
flanders.bio is the leading cluster organisation for the life sciences industry in Flanders, Belgium. Over the years, flanders.bio has grown into a dynamic, member-driven organisation with currently over 340 members from Belgium and abroad.