Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy
Generation B Project ASHtoCASH

From ash to cash - Utilizing waste streams from locally produced biomaterials for controlling relevant diseases of sugar beet as a key crop for the national bioeconomy

Photo: IMET/JP

Part A: Young scientist`s project

Securing profitable and sustainable production of plant-based biomaterials is key for a functional bioeconomy. To secure crop yields and quality and support establishment of a fully circular bioeconomy, we aim to utilize and valorize existing waste streams as sources for natural plant protectants. Crops, algae, bacteria, and fungi provide a wealth of potentially antimicrobial, repellent or plant health-stimulating molecules such as secondary metabolites, proteins, elicitors, or priming-active compounds. Using established screening tools for assessment of molecular plant performance indicators and assays to robustly evaluate crop performance at stress conditions, we aim to identify such activities encrypted in waste streams of the local bioeconomy to protect sugar beet from economically relevant pathogens and pests that threaten profitable production of this traditional crop which is of exceptional relevance for the local and national bioeconomy. In a tandem approach with an experienced biopesticide regulatory consultant, optimal sources and methods for extraction and purification of crop protectants will be identified and not only evaluated towards their protective capacity but also for their potential to be registered for national and international application as well as for their commercial potential. By this we intend to enforce a streamlined, efficient, and application-centered research strategy for the provision locally produced bio-actives for effective crop protection.


Part B: Mentoring Tandem Project

The ASHtoCASH project aims to support smart management of plant production by identifying and utilizing plant health-promoting components of available biomaterials from waste streams of the local bioeconomy. For successfully transferring findings of the project into application, registering novel bio-actives for cr op protection and thus, making them available to the circular bioeconomy it is fundamental to evaluate raw materials, production and extraction processes and final products with regard to regulatory requirements, with special focus on pesticide residues and other contaminants. To implement regulatory expert knowledge right from the start of the project and ensure effective application-centered steering, an experienced regulatory biopesticide consultant will complement the scientific expertise of the mentee. This will not only promote successful technology transfer into agricultural practice and thus directly pay pack to the local bioeconomy but also foster transdisciplinary and transgenerational knowledge transfer in this highly relevant field, enabling the mentee to better and more independently assess regulatory requirements in the field of pesticides in his future career.

Bioeconomy Generation Mentoring Tandem

Young scientist and project coordinator

Dr. Patrick Schwinges
Institute of Plant Physiology
RWTH Aachen University
email: patricke.schwinges[at]


Dr. Rüdiger Hauschild
APIS Applied Insect Science GmbH
email: r.hauschild[at]


Funding period

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2026