Biopolymer Network

About Us

Our New Zealand based company was formed in 2005 born of a desire by its shareholders to exploit specific niche areas of bio-research to create new bio-based chemicals, biopolymers and applications. In keeping with today’s style of doing business we are a small but agile company able to draw upon the skills of a large pool of talented research scientists sub-contracted from our shareholders AgResearchPlant & Food Research Ltd and Scion.

Our Management Team

  • Sarah Heine, CEO
    Sarah Heine
    Sarah Heine has been the CEO of Biopolymer network for its journey from fundamental research to  commercial production. She is passionate about the world of bioplastics and the opportunity to drive change and is excited about the company’s potential to offer new materials to enable more sustainable packaging choices as we continue to develop new products. From a background in forestry and accounting, she brings experience in problem solving, logistics, accounting and management.

  • Anne Harris

    Anne Harris, Company Secretary
    Anne is responsible for governance and compliance, however her skill set means she also works across a broad range of other areas within the company including marketing, external communication, reporting and contracts.

    Sally Williams

    Sally is BPN’s extremely capable Office Manager a role which encompasses a multitude of tasks both operational and administrative across a team of scientists spread from Auckland to Christchurch along with extensive customer engagement here in New Zealand and internationally.

    Sally Williams

    Sally is BPN’s extremely capable Office Manager a role which encompasses a multitude of tasks both operational and administrative across a team of scientists spread from Auckland to Christchurch along with extensive customer engagement here in New Zealand and internationally.


  • Barbara Forbes
    Barbara Forbes, Legal Counsel
    Barbara is a lawyer with many years’ experience in research, development and intellectual property in the science sector. She obtained her BSc at the University of Alberta followed by a law degree. Barbara is all about practical legal solutions to add value to the business. Barbara provides advice across a wide field of commercial matters with information technology, intellectual property and corporate governance being strong areas of expertise.

  • Sally Williams


    Sally Williams, Operations Manager

    Sally's role encompasses a multitude of tasks both operational and administrative as well as co-ordinating EcoBeans customer enquiries and orders.


  • Heena Patel
    Heena Patel, Chief Technical Manager

    Heena holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Auckland.  She has had over 10 years’ experience in Personal and Homecare product development working with well-established NZ companies. She takes great pride in seeing products through from conception to commercialisation especially products that are good for health and the environment. 

    With her technical background and strong focus on quality, she expects to optimise manufacturing process to produce consistently high quality sustainable products.

  • Joseph Noster
    Joseph Noster, Production Manager

    Having recently graduated from Unitec with a Bachelors in Production Design, Joseph brings the skills of problem solving and most of all, hard work. Always curious as a child about how to help the Earth and the people in it, Joseph realizes that ZealaFoam has the potential to be something sustainable for the whole world and believes that we can make a difference if we try.

  • David Hall
    David Hall, Technical Consultant

    David has an educational background in synthetic organic chemistry, and industrial experience in dairy related process development and process engineering. He is an independent technical consultant and has worked closely with the BPN for several years helping to scale up and test our ZealaFoam process.


  • David Hughes
    BPN Chair
    David Hughes, CEO,
    The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd

    David is currently the CEO of The NZ Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, a Government owed Science Company with a focus on horticulture, food & beverage, and seafood.  The company has 1000 staff spread over 17 sites in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Through its work with its partners, Plant & Food Research is creating the world’s most sustainable food production systems.‚Äč


    David has 32 years of international experience with the food industry with 13 of those years spent living outside of NZ in Japan, the USA, the Middle East, and Australia.  His roles have included directorships, general management, business development, innovation management, sales and marketing.

    David has also served as a director, chair or trustee for 16 organisations ranging from early stage companies through to joint ventures and industry organisations. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum.

    Professional Memberships

    Member, New Zealand Institute of Directors
    Business Leaders' Health & Safety Forum


  • Kieran Elborough
    Kieran Elborough, Group General Manager - Technology Development, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd

    As Group General Manager of technology development at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, Kieran is involved in aligning the majority of New Zealand's horticultural/arable breeding.   Kieran’s governance experience includes a Ministerial appointment on the Authority of the Environmental Risk Management Agency NZ and more recently several plant based companies both in NZ and overseas.


    Kieran has had a diverse science career to date, with a background that includes a lectureship at the University of Durham in the UK, and commercial research with a subsidiary of Fonterra.  In that time he has worked in cancer research, microbiology and plant molecular/breeding biology, working for a time in metabolic engineering of plants for bioplastics production.

    Professional Memberships

    Director and decision maker for the New Zealand government's environmental protection agency (ERMA NZ)

  • Jolon Dyer
    Jolon Dyer, Group General Manager Science Services, The NZ Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd

    Jolon has over 17 years’ experience in various roles focused on people and science leadership, including the roles of Science Group Leader (Food & Bio-Based Products) and Associate Research Director, Capability at AgResearch. Professor Dyer has also gained significant national and international recognition for his science achievements, specialising in the development of redox proteomics approaches to understanding and controlling protein modification and damage.

  • Stuart Hall
    Stuart Hall, Agresearch Ltd, Deputy CEO, Commercial Partnerships

    Stuart is responsible for broad commercial activity, a role he commenced in late 2017.


    Prior to joining AgResearch, Stuart commenced his career with DB Breweries Ltd, spending 15 years in a variety of New Zealand based commercial roles, the last being National Sales Manager.

    In 2009 Stuart joined ANZCO Foods, a significant New Zealand Agri-Business with a global export focus. He spent 8 years in Sales & Marketing roles, the final 4 as General Manager of Sales & Marketing with responsibility for global commercial activity including responsibility for several international offices.

    Stuart graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Post Graduate Diploma from Otago University in 1993 and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.