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


Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018: Bioeconomy has to move up the global policy agenda

The bioeconomy has yet to be appropriately included in international fora on innovation, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development policy. Therefore, bioeconomy needs its own independent global forum. This is what the 700 participants agreed upon at the second Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018 in Berlin.


BioSC FocusLab greenRelease awarded with the Innovation prize of the German BioRegions

The Innovation prize is being awarded annually for excellent ideas in the areas of life sciences and biotechnology. In the frame of the German Biotechnology Days 2018, Dr. Felix Jakob, Prof. Ulrich Schwaneberg und Prof. Andrij Pich received the prize which is endowed with 2.000 € and sponsored by the journal BIOSpektrum. The Jury stated that the development of microgel containers for controlled release of nutrients and protective agents has the potential to solve important problems in agriculture.


Novel Containers for Active Ingredients and Modular Biotransformations – BioSC Launches Two New FocusLabs

Integrative research approaches promoting the transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) – this is the objective of the two new "FocusLabs" which will be funded for three years from 2018 onwards. These FocusLabs are part of the Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC), NRW’s scientific centre of excellence for sustainable bioeconomy.


Happy Christmas and a nice holiday season!

We would like to thank all BioSC members and our national and international partners for their engagement and good cooperation during the last year! 2018 will be an existing and promising year for bioeconomy. Several preparations are already running and national as well as global developments indicate that the concept of an integrated bioeconomy will be internationally pushed forward.


Successful 2nd International BioSC Symposium

The 2nd International BioSC Symposium attracted around 160 people interested in the topic “Towards an Integrated Bioeconomy”. The high potential and different opportunities of the bioeconomy were highlighted in the vividly presented keynote of Prof. Lene Lange of the Technical University of Denmark. The integrated character and scientific developments of the bioeconomy were shown in presentations of the interdisciplinary research concepts of the BioSC FocusLabs and in the following sessions reflecting socioeconomic perspectives, strategies for plant production and resource management and green value chains.


Well visited 4th BioSC Forum

At this year’s internal retreat more than 130 BioSC members met in the Maternushaus in Cologne to learn about latest developments. While BioSC projects were presented in the morning, the afternoon presentations included as well talks about externally funded projects and information about funding programmes in the framework of bioeconomy.


BioSC@RWTH Science Night

On 10 November the BioSC was presented at the yearly RWTH Aachen Science Night. The lecture given by Prof. Björn Usadel as well as the exhibition stand had many visitors.


"Future Bioeconomy" 2. PhD Day NRW

Connect with other young scientists and learn more about alternative career opportunities in the bioeconomy! We invite all interested doctoral students to attend the 2nd state-wide PhD-Day "Future Bioeconomy"

Present your PhD work in a poster and win an award for the best poster!


You can find an overview of all news articles here.


FocusLab AP3

Advanced Pulping for Perennial Plants: A holistic and sustainable integrated lignocellulose biorefinery concept

The Focus lab AP³ aims to establish a novel biorefinery concept for a sustainable processing of perennial biomass grown on marginal soils and fractionated efficiently by the OrganoCat technology. The Focus lab combines worldwide leading expertise in plant biology, chemical & process engineering as well as economy in respect to social implications. AP³ will increase the potential of perennial plants by establishing and combining new varieties and management strategies coupled to advanced breeding and ameliorating their biomass processability.

Project leader: Dr. Holger Klose, Institute for biology I, RWTH Aachen University


FocusLab Bio²

Integration of next generation biosurfactant production into biorefinery processes

In the spirit of a sustainable bioeconomy, the Biosurfactant Biorefinery (Bio2) project aims at the development of a biorefinery process for the production of next-generation biosurfactants rhamnolipids (RLs) and mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) with recombinant strains of Pseudomonas putida and Ustilago maydis, respectively. Interdisciplinary cooperation of seven core groups will provide a well-founded basis to establish novel and innovative solutions addressing cutting-edge process development on multiple levels.

Project leader: Dr. Georg Wandrey, AVT - Aachener Verfahrenstechnik, RWTH Aachen




FocusLab CombiCom

Combinatorial creation of structural diversity for novel high-value compounds

Reinforcing the change of paradigm from synthetic chemistry to sustainable microbial production, CombiCom will thus exploit secondary metabolite pathways to deliver natural compounds and further extend these structures by exploring the non-natural chemical space beyond. We will pursue an integrated approach by joining forces of experts in biology, chemistry and engineering to create synthetic biology-tailored microbial chassis allowing for the sustainable production of novel high-value compounds, which will be evaluated for their anti-phytopathogenic activity and pharmaceutical potential.

Project leader: Dr. Anita Loeschcke, Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf located at Forschungszentrum Jülich



Schreiber, C, Schiedung, H, Harrison, L, Briese, C, Ackermann, B, Kant, J, Schrey, SD, Hofmann, D, Singh, D, Ebenhöh, O, Amelung, W, Schurr, U, Mettler-Altmann, T, Huber, G, Jablonowski, ND and Nedbal, L (2018). Evaluating potential of green alga Chlorella vulgaris to accumulate phosphorus and to fertilize nutrient-poor soil substrates for crop plants. Journal of Applied Phycology.

Loeschcke, A, Dienst, D, Wewer, V, Hage-Hulsmann, J, Dietsch, M, Kranz-Finger, S, Huren, V, Metzger, S, Urlacher, VB, Gigolashvili, T, Kopriva, S, Axmann, IM, Drepper, T and Jaeger, KE (2017). The photosynthetic bacteria Rhodobacter capsulatus and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 as new hosts for cyclic plant triterpene biosynthesis. PLoS One 12(12): e0189816.  

Kessenbrock, M, Klein, SM, Muller, L, Hunsche, M, Noga, G and Groth, G (2017). Novel Protein-Protein Inhibitor Based Approach to Control Plant Ethylene Responses: Synthetic Peptides for Ripening Control. Front Plant Sci 8: 1528. 

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"Ressourceneffiziente Kreislaufwirtschaft – Innovative Produktkreisläufe" im Rahmenprogramm "Forschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung – FONA3" (BMBF)

26. April 2018  (first phase)

Mit der Förderrichtlinie verfolgt das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) das Ziel, mit Hilfe von Forschung und Entwicklung Beiträge zur Umsetzung einer ressourceneffizienten Kreislaufwirtschaft zu leisten. Dabei müssen Produktkreisläufe mit Hilfe von Innovationen geschlossen und die dafür erforderlichen Geschäftsmodelle, ­Designkonzepte und digitalen Technologien bereitgestellt werden.

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"Bioökonomie als gesellschaftlicher Wandel" (Modul II, 2nd Call) (BMBF)

13. June 2018 (first phase)

Mit dieser Ausschreibung wird sozial-, politik- und wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Forschung zum Themenkomplex Bioökonomie gefördert. Sie soll dazu beitragen, die Wechselwirkungen zwischen Technik, Ökonomie, Ökologie und Gesellschaft zu erfassen und systemische Forschungsansätze zu entwickeln, auf deren Grundlage die Chancen und Risiken eines bioökonomischen Transformationsprozesses abgeschätzt und bewertet werden können.

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Christian Wandrey prize 2018

30. June 2018

The Christian Wandrey prize is awarded every second year to an excellent diploma or master thesis in the area of white biotechnology that has been finished at a German (Technical) University .The prize is endowed with 2,500 EUR. The decision is taken by a jury.

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Maßgeschneiderte biobasierte Inhaltsstoffe für eine wettbewerbsfähige Bioökonomie  (BMBF)

23. July 2018  (first phase)

Die Ausschreibung zielt ab auf die Entwicklung biologischer Produktionssysteme, die sich durch ein neuartiges Sustratspektrum, eine erhöhte Produktvielfalt oder eine hohe Produktionseffizienz auszeichnen. Das Einsatzspektrum reicht dabei von Lebensmitteln und Medikamenten bis hin zu chemischen Komponenten für industrielle Produkte.

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next event: 14.05.2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
14.05.2018 - 17.05.2018

26. European Biomass Conference

Jülich, Germany
BioSC EVENT “Young sciences meet Industry”

Ghent, Belgium
30.05.2018 - 01.06.2018

14th International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries

Halle an der Saale , Germany
06.06.2018 - 07.06.2018

7th International Bioeconomy Conference

Aachen, Germany

3. BioSC Spotlight „Phosphorus Recovery and Cycling”

Toulouse, France
05.07.2018 - 13.07.2018

Bioeconomy summer School of Toulouse: BEsST 2018

Aachen, Germany
07.10.2018 - 10.10.2018

Aachen Protein Engineering Symposium (AcES)

Bonn, Germany
12.11.2018 - 13.11.2018

3. BioSC Symposium and 5. BioSC Forum