Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy

Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy
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Sustainable bioeconomy!?

What is it? And how can research and education contribute to the transformation to a bio-based economy?

The Bioeconomy Science Center explanatory film provides a first insight into bioeconomy. It describes how interdisciplinary and integrative research cooperation on a regional scale can be organized and what is required to develop solution approaches for the challenges of the 21st century.

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Food security
Climate protection
Resource management
Energy supply

Integrative bioeconomy  |  Finding solutions for societal challenges

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Challenge Food security

How can we succeed in supplying a growing world population with high quality foods?

Unfavorable and complex constraints such as limitation of agricultural areas, competing uses of renewable resources – energetically or materially – and changing consumption habits call for new cross-disciplinary approaches from the field of sustainable bioeconomy. 


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Challenge Climate protection

How can the impacts of human activity on the earth’s climate be minimized?

The sustainable production of energy and renewable resources through resource-efficient processes and the development of a closed-cycle economy is an important aspect of adapting to climate change. Already today, the concept of a sustainable bioeconomy offers many solutions for improving climate protection.


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Challenge Resource management

How can we meet requirements for resources and energy production that are both secure and economical?

This can only be achieved through sustainable management of our natural resources, including air, water, climate and ecosystems. A sustainable bioeconomy can provide a number of promising solutions in this area.


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Challenge Energy supply

How can renewable fuels for mobile applications and bioenergy be made available sustainably and for the long term?

Its storage capability is what makes bioenergy such an important part of the future energy mix. It is an indispensable component that can compete with energy sources such as wind and solar energy that are not always available. The sustainable bioeconomy offers solutions for developing integrated production processes for sustainable production.


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Current news


New BioSC Core Group

Prof. Benjamin Stich became a new BioSC Core Group. Benjamin Stich is head of the Institute for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics of Plants at HHU Düsseldorf. However, at the moment his labs are located at MPIPZ Köln. With his research he aims to identify the causes of natural phenotypic variation of crop plants on a molecular level, in order to be able to predict phenotypic performance under various environmental conditions.


"Future Bioeconomy" PhD Day

22nd September 2016 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Lindner Congress Hotel | Lütticher Straße 130 | 40547 Düsseldorf

How to manage the supply of a growing world population with high quality food? How can the requirements of a safe and economic raw material and energy production be fulfilled at the same time? To answer these and other important issues, the expertise of different research fields and scientific disciplines are needed. How does your own research topic contribute to the implementation of a sustainable bioeconomy?



BioSC Project SPREAD starts field trip to find Silphium varieties

Coworkers from the BioSC Project SPREAD are heading 6-weeks through the prairie of North America to find wild varieties of the perennial plant Silphium perfoliatum. Silphium is a very promising plant, e.g. for biomass production or secondary metabolites, but only a very limited number of species are available in Europe. Therefore, the scientists will bring seeds from various (wild) species to perfom cross breeding experiments.


1st BioSC Symposium - Registration is open

On 21st of November, the first BioSC Sympoisum will take place in Cologne. Exiting insights into BioSC projects will provided, but also external speakers will present their recent results. Registration is open!


Optimizing the production of dicarboxylic acids from renewable ressources

Dr. Nick Wiercks, RWTH Aachen, raised succesfully a 5-year funding for a research project within the ERA-NET framework "Industrial Biotechnology". The project "TRAFFIC" focuses on toxicity and transport in the fungal production of chemicals, which are relevant for industry, e.g. itaconic acid. Ustilago maydis will be used as a model organism.


Insulating material from biomass wins the audience award

Professor Ralf Pude of the university of Bonn is decisively involved in the development of an insulating material from natural resources and wins with the project High-capacity insulating plaster from renewable raw materials at the fourth idea market of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Bonn / Rhine-Sieg among 50 founders and idea givers the audience award.


Optimized root systems to increase plant yield

Hannah Schneider (IBG-2, FZ Jülich) was selcted to present her research approach at the Falling Walls Conference in November in Berlin. She convinced the jury with her approach to optimize and adjust root properties and thereby increase nutrient uptake. On the long eng, this would increase plant yield and therefore is an important contribution for worldwide food security.


New bacterial strain enables natural plant compounds to be produced

Reseachers from the groups of Prof. Michael Bott and Dr. Jan Marienhagen, FZ Jülich, have developed a new bacterial strain of Corynebacterium glutamicum which can produce interesting chemical substances. e.g. the antioxidant Reseratrol by using sugar.


You can find an overview of all news articles here.


SEED FUND Project AquaPro

Using invasive alien aquatic plant biomass for bioenergy production

The aim of this project is to analyze the potential of Invasive Alien Aquatic Plant species (IAAPs) and to identify a further cascade usage after fractionation. Besides providing a new insight in the utilization of the polysaccharide fraction from IAAPs in a biorefinery process the identification of valuable compounds will increase the economic potential of the system. This will generate new options for the economic use of plant biomass of IAAPs.


BOOST FUND Projekt OrCaCel

OrganoCat plant and pulping combinations for the full valorization of lignocellulose from marginal land grown perennial plants

The full valorization of lignocellulose residues is a crucial step to obtain ecological and economic figures in future biorefineries. The recently developed OrganoCat process is a promising alternative to deliver non-degraded fractions of the three main carbon components of lignocellulose. The OrCaCel project aims to combine plant science with analytics and chemical engineering to adapt the OrganoCat process for different types of plant biomass that is obtained from perennial plants growing in low-inpit production to minimize environmental footprint.


BOOST FUND Project PectiLyse

Activation of intrinsic enzymes for degradation of plant biomass side-streams

The projects aims to apply a microbial bioprocess to generate platform chemicals from pectin-rich biomass side-streams, which should be degraded to fermentable sugars by enzymatic conversion by using the plant pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis as a whole-cell biocatalyst.




Ripening delay of climacteric fruits by peptides

Post-harvest losses of food produced for human consumption are estimated to reach up to 50 %. The project RIPE aims at improving and exploiting natural, ripening-delaying peptides by an integrated approach addressing the molecular understanding of interactions of the peptides with the ethylene receptor, the delivery of peptides in terms of peptide containers with reversible binding to fruit/vegetable surfaces, and the pre- and postharvest application to apples and tomatoes. 


SEED FUND Projekt FlowCom

Everything in Flow – New Compartments for Cascade Reactions

The project aims at synthesizing protein/enzyme-based active membranes to be employed in membrane modules for the efficient process control of aldolase-catalyzed reactions. This modular approach is based on the synthesis of protein-polymer conjugates, which form an ultrathin nanoporous membrane via self-assembly at fluid interfaces. It allows the production of functional membranes or membrane modules which combine high flux and permeability with high selectivity and functionality.



Incremental multi-scale and multi-disciplinary Modeling of Processes in Bioeconomy

The vision of a future bio-based economy heavily relies on integrated process chains for biomass production and processing followed by transforming biomass compounds into valuable products. Integrated bioeconomic processes can only become competitive if they are operated with highest efficiency and maximal utilization of all occurring material flows. Thus, effective systems integration is one of the great challenges in this research field. In this context, tools and methods for plant modeling, simulation and design play a crucial role.


SEED FUND Projekt UstiLyse

Improving plant biomass conversion by Ustilago maydis for sustainable production of platform chemicals

The central aim of a developing bioeconomy is the switch to a bio-based, sustainable production of chemicals and biofuels using renewable resources such as plant biomass. For a socially acceptable bioeconomy, this biomass must not compete with human food sources. Hence, the focus has shifted to the use of lignocellulosic plant parts.


Latest publication

Geiser E., Reindl M., Blank L.M., Feldbrügge M., Wierckx N., Schipper K. (2016) Activating intrinsic CAZymes of the smut fungus Ustilago maydis for the degradation of plant cell wall components. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Jun 17. pii: AEM.00713-16.

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next event: 24.10.2016
24.10.2016 - 28.10.2016

International BioSC Summer School


1.BioSC Symposium


3. BioSC Forum (internal event)