b'NICK VAN UFFELEN, PRODUCT MANAGER APAC AT SYNGENTA FLOWERS, THE NETHERLANDSNick finds the world behind the scenes to develop flowers (but also vegetables and field crops) simply fascinating. The high level of technology to develop new varieties, and the supply chain needed to produce and deliver them are so advanced. It is key to deliver them high quality varieties in time so they can provide the world with beautiful flowers. It requires alignment and collaboration to make growers successful. Having had the opportunity to work from the Netherlands, the United States and now APAC really shows how dynamic, diverse and global the seeds industry is.PANIDA WADSWORTH,PLANT BREEDER AT ELSOMS, UK Being one of the youngest product managers at Syngenta Flowers, Nick has shown theFrom growing a miniature garden on her ability to make effective and deliberate decisions. Within his global strategy, regionalchildhood windowsill to hobby breeding supply chain and marketing roles, he has shown purpose and versatility to help hisspicy chillies in her fathers greenhouse, colleagues, the business and himself to continuously develop. Panida strived from an early age to enter the world of plant breeding. Demonstrating the drive that saw her working night shifts CATHY WESTHUES, MACHINE LEARNING SCIENTIST AT to fund her masters degree, Panida seized COMPUTOMICS, GERMANY the opportunities provided by Elsoms, With her broad and comprehensive knowl- becoming a valued member of the mul-edge in machine learning and breeding,ti-species breeding team.Dr. Cathy Westhues pioneers in bringing these two disciplines together. Helping plantWorking alongside senior breeder Mark breeders to make an informed choice andNightingale, she has already made a major supporting breeding decisions applyingcontribution to the development of more machine learning is in her DNA. Cathy is anrobust oilseed rape and soya varieties. extraordinary personality with a strong char- Panida is now working with Elsoms UK acter who brings innovation into an extremelyand European partners to pioneer the traditional industry. development of hemp and flax in the UK, supporting the re-establishment of a natural Cathy developed an R package using novelfibres industry, a key to the UK meeting its machine learning techniques which lets younet zero targets.input multi-environment breeding datasetsgenomic, phenotypic and potentially environmental data. These methods generallyPanida is an inspiration to young scientists, result in more precise environment-specific phenotypic predictions than traditionaldemonstrating that exciting career oppor-statistical methods. Besides focusing on further developing and advancing xSeedScore,tunities in breeding enable them to make a Computomics machine learning-based technology for predictive breeding, Cathy is work- real, tangible difference to society.ing in customer-specific projects related to understanding and predicting the interaction between plants and their environment. Cathys passion, curiosity and thinking outside the box inspires the whole team.ALESSANDRO ZAVATTERI, LEGAL ADVISOR AT KU LEUVEN, BELGIUM Alessandro approached plant breeding when he was a child, in his grandparents small vineyards. There, he developed his awareness about the value of plant genetic resources for agriculture, a topic that he also explored in the Master of Agri-Food Law of the University of Turin. Moved by his genuine passion, he has turned plant breeding into his professional common thread, which has led him to Colombia, France (at the CPVO) and Belgium. Currently, he his working as a legal advisor for a company manag-ing an international portfolio of plant breeders rights and, as a student of the Master of IP & ICT of KU Leuven, he will focus his thesis on the contribution of plant breeding to sustainability in the framework of EU Geographical Indications. Through his professional engagement, he witnesses the importance of plant breeding for society and the beauty of a sector which is a source of never-ending inspiration.EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 21'