‘Impact licensing’ – Delivering social impact through IP licensing in the pharmaceutical and environmental fields: Current business practices and novel business models.

Organizer: Mark Wilson, Licensing Executive Society (LES)

Chair: Omer Hizirolglu, Principal at Azur Strategy, France


  • Bruno Vandermeulen, Impact Licensing Initiative, Belgium
  • Morris Berrie, Director, Tech Investor and Founder, TTS Global Initiative, UK
  • Mark Wilson, Director, Strategic Technology Bioconsulting, UK
  • Joanne van Harmelen, Patent Attorney and Lead, Biotechnology IP Cluster, ENSafrica

Omer Hizirolglu, Principal at Azur Strategy, France
Omer is an IAM 300 recomended intellectual property attorney and licensing professional with substantial experience in transactional work, technology commercialization, licensing agreements, business development and technology ventures. He is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) and EuKTS Expert and a Member of the bars of the State of New York, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (USA) and Istanbul, Turkey. An area of particular focus for him is the development of early stage technologies, including University IP, and he provides advice on legal protection alternatives, business development for spin off companies, strategic partnership, term sheet and licensing negotiations. He is interested in strategic management of intellectual assets: securing sustainable business growth through strategic implementation of long-term targets in conjunction with efficient management of intellectual assets. He is an Adjunct faculty member at Yeditepe University Law School, teaching U.S. Law, Introduction to Intellectual Property and International Licensing courses.

Bruno Vandermeulen, Impact Licensing Initiative, Belgium
Bruno is a lawyer with 30 years of professional experience in the field of intellectual property litigation and licensing in major IP firms (Pennie & Edmonds, Loeff Claeys Verbeke, Bird & Bird). He is a first tier ranked expert in life sciences transactions and multi-jurisdictional IP disputes. Bruno was co-founder and co-managing partner of the Brussels office of Bird & Bird from 2008 to 2013 and was the Belgian Risk & Compliance partner at Bird & Bird from 2011 until December 2018. He is an expert member of Belgium’s Council for Intellectual Property and is on the WIPO “List of Neutrals” Arbitrator. Bruno is a teaching Professor in IP Strategies at Solvay Business School and an accredited teacher in technology transfer with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Licensing Executive Society (LESI) for whom he regularly lectures and trains licensing professionals.

Morris Berrie – Director, Tech Investor and Founder, TTS Global Initiative (UK)
Morris Berrie is a business professional and ex-postdoctoral scientist who operates at board level within healthcare/life science/biotechnology. He has an in-depth understanding of relationships between science, business and finance, and has developed and led a number of biotech and medical technology businesses, over a 20+ year career in the industry. Well-connected having worked with senior Government figures, C-level industry leaders, decision-makers and learned society executives, he is an entrepreneurial networker, who is recognized as an effective revenue generator, has raised capital and develops and maintains strong relationships with co-workers, KOLs and clients alike.

Mark Wilson – Director, Strategic Technology Bioconsulting (UK)
Mark Wilson is a consultant in the field of technology commercialisation, with twenty-five years’ experience of developing, commercialising and licensing novel technologies. He has acted as a strategic adviser or interim business development director for a number of European biotech and medical technology firms, has provided commercialisation advice to several major European public bodies and programmes (such as EIT-Health and Invest Horizon), and has acted as an expert adviser on corporate venturing practices for the IP Directorate of the European Commission.
Previously, he was a Director in GSK’s Platform Technology and Science division, seconded on a long-term basis into SR One (GSK’s wholly-owned corporate venture capital group). He was responsible for developing technology-based spin-outs and for out-licensing activity, and co-led this CEO-sponsored initiative. Mark worked for GSK in various licensing and alliance management roles for nearly twenty years and has been involved in over a hundred commercial transactions and alliances. He holds a Master’s degree and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Leeds, in addition to an MBA from Columbia University and London Business School.

Joanne van Harmelen, Patent Attorney and Lead, Biotechnology IP Cluster, ENSafrica
Dr. Joanne van Harmelen is a patent attorney in the intellectual property department at ENSafrica and heads up the biotechnology and life sciences team. Joanne has nine years’ experience specialising in patent filing and prosecution in the biotech and pharmaceuticals sectors.
Joanne holds a PhD in medical microbiology and vaccine development. She has extensive experience in the field of biotechnology and life sciences having prepared and filed patent applications locally and in foreign jurisdictions in the fields of microbiology, biochemistry, molecular medicine, agrobiologicals, bioremediation, bioprocessing, biopharmaceuticals, nutriceuticals, cosmetics and food sciences. Joanne is also experienced in the preparation and filing of Plant Breeders’ Rights applications. Joanne’s clients include leading international biotech companies and start-ups with operations in Africa, North America, Europe, Australasia
and Asia.
Her expertise extends to the assessment of the patentability of inventions, preparation and filing of patent applications locally and abroad, performance of freedom-to-operate assessments, general IP commercial transactional advice, IP due diligence assessments, and advice on IP and biotech-related legislation, in particular, legislation relating to publicly financed research & development; bioprospecting involving indigenous biological resources and traditional knowledge; and genetically modified organisms.
Prior to qualifying as a patent attorney, Joanne was employed as a chief scientific officer at the University of Cape Town, involved in HIV vaccine development and testing as well as the preparation for Phase I clinical trials in South Africa and the United States of America. She then completed her training as a patent attorney and practised at Spoor & Fisher before joining the
ENSafrica IP team.
Joanne has been recognised as leading patent and IP lawyer by IAM Patent 1000 and Legal 500, and as an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property.