Membership in the BioSC is organised in the form of Core Groups. Core Groups are institutes or institute divisions from the four partner institutions of the BioSC. Membership in the BioSC is granted upon application to the Executive Board.
With its form of cooperation, size and broad scientific basis, the BioSC provides ideal structural and content-related conditions for inter- and transdisciplinary networking by integrating basic and application-oriented research. Depending on the research question, project teams are formed from the Core Groups. These can be assigned to different challenges.
In order to ensure the supply of healthy food for the world's population and at the same time provide biomass for chemicals, materials and energy, global plant production must be increased significantly in the coming years and decades. This requires environmentally and climate-friendly cultivation methods that preserve natural resources and use them efficiently. With numerous working groups from the plant, soil, agricultural and environmental sciences, the BioSC is broadly positioned to address these challenges scientifically.
For the production of high-quality chemicals and materials from biomass, the transformation of substances with microorganisms and enzymes plays an important role. With the tools of modern microbiology, biotechnology and molecular biology, metabolic pathways can be modified or newly developed in such a way that they provide access, for example, to new natural substances or pharmaceuticals. The combination with substance transformations from chemistry creates further opportunities for biobased value creation. All mentioned disciplines are well represented in the BioSC.
Biorefineries combine the breakdown of biomass into its basic chemical building blocks, their conversion into target substances and the formulation of final products. The processing of biomass brings with it specific process engineering challenges, in particular the large fluctuations in the quantity and composition of the biomass, which are seasonal, regional and caused by different plant species. For the development of integrated and modular biorefinery concepts, different sub-disciplines of process engineering are represented in the BioSC.
Establishing a bioeconomy requires the consideration of economic impact and social implications of production and processing. New bio-based products and value chains will change entire economic sectors and thus also social contexts. In addition to economic feasibility and social acceptance, the ecological and economic sustainability of the bioeconomy is a central issue, especially against the background of a globally increasing demand for food and consumer goods. For these questions, the BioSC includes a spectrum of different expertise from the field of socio-economy.
The cross-cutting topic of Systems Engineering touches on all size scales of bio(techno)logical systems. The objective is to represent complex biological and technical interaction networks in terms of mathematical models, develop and apply computer-assisted methods for generating quantitative data, and validate models as well as to utilize model-based methods for product and process development in the bio-economy.
The cross-cutting topic of Bioinformatics addresses the relevant issues in the field of data management, modelling and data analysis with a broad spectrum of technologies and methods. The bioinformatics activities focus on the research and development of algorithmic approaches to solve challenging problems in the above-mentioned areas.
The cross-cutting topic of Structural Biology provides necessary information about the structure and dynamics of biologically and medically relevant molecules, which are essential for understanding the mechanisms underlying life on all scales. The ability to obtain structural and dynamic information about proteins in atomic resolution allows, for example, the optimization of biomolecules in industrially and socially relevant areas as a basis for a sustainable bioeconomy.