Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

BioSC in dialogue 2018

Lecture "Bioeconomy" at the RWTH Aachen

On October 16th, Prof. Ulrich Schwaneberg as responsible lecturer opened the lecture series “Bioeconomy – Routes to a Sustainable Economy”, which is taking place at the RWTH Aachen University during the 2018/19 winter semester. The lecture series is organized by the interdisciplinary RWTH teaching project LEONARDO and the Biotechnological Student Initiative e.V. Aachen in collaboration with the BioSC. Close to 200 students registered for the lecture at the beginning of the semester.

“Interdisciplinary Teaching: Meeting Global Challenges” is the motto of the LEONARDO Project that was launched at the RWTH in autumn 2008 and which is located at the Institute for Political Science. Each semester, different teaching modules are initiated and organized, which are jointly offered by lecturers from various specialties and are aimed at students of all faculties. The topics include social challenges such as climate change, migration or urbanization.

The Biotechnological Student Initiative (bts) e.V. is a nationwide network that is active at 26 university locations and organizes excursions, company contact fairs, lectures and workshops and more, delivered by students for students. In cooperation with representatives of the LEONARDO Project and Prof. Ulrich Schwaneberg (Chair of Biotechnology of the RWTH and BioSC CoreGroup Leader), bts Aachen developed the concept for an interdisciplinary lecture series on the bioeconomy. Various BioSC CoreGroup Leader are contributing to the lecture, including the Chair for sustainability in Building Trade of the RWTH and the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen. One of the lectures is given by Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum, Henkel AG. Depending on performance, students can acquire different numbers of credit points.

During the introductory lecture on October 16th, Prof. Schwaneberg discussed the social challenges of the 21st century and explained how the bioeconomy is defined and how it can contribute to the solution of global problems. After an overview of national and international bioeconomy strategies and research networks, he introduced the Bioeconomy Science Center and presented a few select BioSC projects. This was followed by a lively discussion with many questions. A total of more than 200 students registered for the lecture.




From the lignite mining district to the bio-economy district

A chance of success for the sustainable shaping of structural change in the Rhenish mining area

November 20, 2018, 13 - 16 h, Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2: Plant Sciences, Building 6.2, Room 402

"Sustainable bioeconomy" can become an important model for the transformation of the Rhenish lignite mining area into the "Rhineland bioeconomy area". On the basis of the location competencies in (agricultural) economy, research and education as well as the proximity to industrial buyers of bio-based raw materials and products, a transformation into a bio-economy district can be successfully shaped.

The transformation is based on the development of bio-based value creation concepts and science-to-business perspectives in order to systematically strengthen the region's strong position in bioeconomic research with the regional economy.

In addition to the production of food and animal feed, the manufacture of bio-based chemicals and plastics, for example, opens up opportunities for entrepreneurial success, new jobs and new business models. The same applies to the development and construction of future technologies with interfaces to digitalisation, automation, robotics or artificial intelligence.

The event will discuss the potentials and first steps in the transformation towards a high value-added, climate- and resource-saving lighthouse region (living lab) for sustainable and circular bioeconomy with international visibility and highlight the unique regional potentials for linking with the topics of energy and digitalisation.

The programme is based on the following key questions:

Sustainable Bioeconomy!? - What is that anyway?

Why in the Rhineland of all places?

What do bio-based value creation models look like?

And how can they contribute to structural change?

What is the initial situation in agriculture, industry and science?

What are the market opportunities for biogenic products?

How do bio-economy, energy and digitalisation fit together?