EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 23 in sealing the EU trade agreement with Japan after four years of gruelling nego- tiations. Besides his strong dedication of European agriculture, he has been an active communicator about EU agri- culture and other policies. He shares his views on Twitter with more than 850 tweets per year. Jan Huitema, member of EU Parliament, committee: Agriculture and Rural Development. Jan was one of two initiators of a Resolution in the EU Parliament on the patenting of prod- ucts – essentially biological products – as Jan believes that no one should have the right to patent natural characteris- tics of plants and products coming from classical breeding. And as a result, the EU Commission issued a Clarifying Notice on this topic, eventually leading to the European Patent Office changing its course. He is also the author of the recent report on enhancing innovation and economic development in future European farm management. NielsLouwaars,Managing Director at Plantum NL, the Dutch association for the plant reproduction material sector. Plantum is one of the leading national associations with a number of staff spe- cialised in the main policy dossiers. Niels is also chair of the ESA CRLA, co-chair of the Plant Breeding Innovation working group of ISF and has at the national level several board responsibilities in seed related institutions. Throughout his ear- lier career, Niels worked on improving seed systems as a key element in realis- ing global sustainable development goals and in aligning various policy areas such as seed regulation, intellectual property and biodiversity rights. In 2017, Niels was awarded the Outstanding Alumnus Award of the Wageningen University Fund. He was praised for the way in which he has managed to connect the different stakeholders in this sector. In his current position, he is a bridge builder working for the interest of the private sector, forging partnerships between governments, businesses and educational institutions and with other stakeholders in the policy debates. JanHuitema Penny Maplestone, Chief Executive of the British Society of Plant Breeders. Penny has been relentless in her efforts to promote an understanding of the science and business of plant breeding, and to encourage an enabling regulatory frame- work, strong IP provisions, and investment in breeding through royalties and effective public/private sector R & D partnerships. In the past few years, the BSPB has invested heavily in communication about plant breeding and its benefits, and exemplary are the series of six short videos to explain the business and science of crop improve- ment, to encourage the next generation of plant scientists, and to demonstrate how plant breeding contributes positively to our everyday lives. NielsLouwaars PennyMaplestone