Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

10th BioSC Forum on March 12, 2024 in Jülich

More than one hundred BioSC members gathered for the tenth BioSC Forum, the BioSC's annual internal retreat, on March 12, 2024. In numerous project talks, poster presentations, panel discussions and round tables, there were many opportunities to exchange ideas about ongoing BioSC projects and activities and further developments. There was also an overview of BioSC initiatives in the field of education and early careers. This area also included the doctoral student competition, which was held for the first time and awarded doctoral students' ideas for networking with ongoing BioSC projects.

After a welcome by Ulrich Schurr (Forschungszentrum Jülich | Member of the Executive Board of the BioSC), Peter Jansens (Member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich) addressed the audience. Among others, he emphasized how the bioeconomy and the BioSC also play an important role in the regional context, particularly in the context of structural change in the Rhenish mining area.

The three sessions offered contributions from research activities in selected projects of the NRW strategy project BioSC. In the first session on "Plant nutrition and protection", the projects NewBIAS, P3roLucasProRNA and ASHtoCASH were presented. The presentations provided insights into soil improvement through biochar, alternative cultivars such as lupins and plant protection measures and their regulation.

The projects MetaProcess, ToxPot, PREDIGValorCO2 and LEDCyans were presented in the second session on the topic of "Contributions to biorefinery concepts". The range of biocatalytic processes, the use of side streams and renewable raw materials, simulation applications, gas fermentations and phototrophic cultivation impressively demonstrated the diversity of topics in this area.

In the third session, "Challenges in transfer, market entry & sustainability assessment", the socio-economic research approaches from the SurfIn, MK-ScaLoop, BioPlastiCyclePepTechFruit and FABIOS projects were highlighted alongside the technological challenges. The development of a new technology must be brought into line with market developments and consumer needs. A major hurdle for the market entry of bio-based innovations is the upscaling and further development of products and processes to production scale, which often cannot be achieved at present due to a lack of investment in the necessary technology maturity levels. The relevance of this so-called "Valley of Death" was highlighted in several presentations. Other topics included the consideration and evaluation of overall process chains using life cycle costing (LCC) and life cycle assessment (LCA). FABIOS is investigating the role of agricultural associations in the practical implementation of bioeconomy topics.

In the poster sessions, the contents of all current projects were presented and there was ample opportunity for personal exchange on research questions. The contents of all BioSC research projects are presented on the BioSC homepage. (

Discussions on the content, opportunities and challenges of the bioeconomy and the BioSC took place both in panel discussions and in smaller groups at the roundtables. Among other things, the outstanding interdisciplinarity of the BioSC and the importance of practical relevance and suitable political framework conditions were emphasized.

Heike Slusarczyk, Head of the BioSC office, provided information on current developments at the BioSC. Ingar Janzik highlighted in particular the activities in the area of education and early career. This year, the PhD Student Competition was held for the first time, giving PhD students the opportunity to link their own research topics with ongoing projects from the NRW BioSC strategy project. The PhD students then presented their ideas to the auditorium. Meike Sauerland, Nil Güreli and Johanna Rütt set an excellent example for the possible continuation of this competition in the coming years. We provide information on all BioSC activities in the field of education on the BioSC homepage ( The contact person is Prof. Dr. Ingar Janzik (email:

The tenth BioSC Forum once again demonstrated the high scientific value of interdisciplinary research within the BioSC. Intensive discussions throughout the day served as a starting point for the expansion of interdisciplinary networking between scientists and the further development of the BioSC.