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


Occupational field day plant sciences for the bioeconomy on May the 16th 2017

In the course of the Fascination of Plants Day 2017, the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Institute of Plant Sciences in cooperation with JuLab Schools Laboratory) and the Bioecononmy Science Center invite 8th to 10th grade students on May 16, 2017 to gain insight into job profiles related to plant sciences.


Prof. Petra Bauer is new BioSC Core Group

Petra Bauer is head of the Institute of Botany at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Her research is addressing the acquisition of the micronutrient iron by plant roots, its storage and transport through the plant. Plant growth and biomass production are crucially characterized by efficient usage of minerals while application of fertilizer should be limited. Prof. Bauer aims to contribute to an efficient and resource-saving agriculture by developing new processes and methods for controlled cultivation and for physiological and molecular analysis of plants.


DECHEMA-Prize for "Ways to efficient use of renewable raw materials" for Regina Palkovits from RWTH Aachen University

Efficient use of renewable resources

Professor Dr. Regina Palkovits from the RWTH Aachen received the DECHEMA Prize 2016 due to her fundamental work on the development of heterogeneous catalytic processes which enable a selective conversion of renewable materials in the liquid phase into basic chemicals and tailor-made fuels.


16th BioSC Lecture

The BioSC lecture on “The role of plant breeding in bioeconomy” was given on the 15th of March at Forschungszentrum Jülich. Dr. Léon Broers, Member of the Executive Board of KWS SAAT SE, Einbeck and Member of the German Bioeconomy Council talked to many interested persons about the actually status of the plant science in the bioeconomy.



Successful first BioSC Spotlight event

On 01.02.2017, more than 75 participants from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark und Northern Ireland joined the new BioSC event „Spotlight“ in Aachen. Eight interesting talks were given by scientists from academia and industry, addressing different aspects within the scope of „Enzymes and Processes for Biomass Degradation“. Latest developments were intensively discussed by all participants.


German-Costa Rican Innovation Days

BioSC participated in the Innovation Days in San José, that were initiated by the German (BMBF) and the Costa Rican (MICITT) Science Ministry.


13th BioSC Lecture

Topic: Protein stability engineering as a workhorse for a sustainable bioeconomy

Speaker: Jens Erik Nielsen, Director, HTS and Design, Novozymes A/S

In the present lecture, Jens Erik Nielsen will discuss different strategies for stabilizing enzymes and highlight current research at Novozymes aimed at producing enzymes that are stable against a number of harsh conditions.


3. BioSC Forum and PhD Training

On 22nd November, the symposium was followed by the 3rd BioSC forum, the internal annual conference of the BioSC, in Cologne. Around 140 scientists from almost all Core Groups of the BioSC took part in the event and introduced results and developments from BioSC projects.


You can find an overview of all news articles here.


SEED FUND Project AquaPro

Using invasive alien aquatic plant biomass for bioenergy production

The aim of this project is to analyze the potential of Invasive Alien Aquatic Plant species (IAAPs) and to identify a further cascade usage after fractionation. Besides providing a new insight in the utilization of the polysaccharide fraction from IAAPs in a biorefinery process the identification of valuable compounds will increase the economic potential of the system. This will generate new options for the economic use of plant biomass of IAAPs.


BOOST FUND Projekt OrCaCel

OrganoCat plant and pulping combinations for the full valorization of lignocellulose from marginal land grown perennial plants

The full valorization of lignocellulose residues is a crucial step to obtain ecological and economic figures in future biorefineries. The recently developed OrganoCat process is a promising alternative to deliver non-degraded fractions of the three main carbon components of lignocellulose. The OrCaCel project aims to combine plant science with analytics and chemical engineering to adapt the OrganoCat process for different types of plant biomass that is obtained from perennial plants growing in low-inpit production to minimize environmental footprint.


BOOST FUND Project PectiLyse

Activation of intrinsic enzymes for degradation of plant biomass side-streams

The projects aims to apply a microbial bioprocess to generate platform chemicals from pectin-rich biomass side-streams, which should be degraded to fermentable sugars by enzymatic conversion by using the plant pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis as a whole-cell biocatalyst.




Ripening delay of climacteric fruits by peptides

Post-harvest losses of food produced for human consumption are estimated to reach up to 50 %. The project RIPE aims at improving and exploiting natural, ripening-delaying peptides by an integrated approach addressing the molecular understanding of interactions of the peptides with the ethylene receptor, the delivery of peptides in terms of peptide containers with reversible binding to fruit/vegetable surfaces, and the pre- and postharvest application to apples and tomatoes. 


SEED FUND Projekt FlowCom

Everything in Flow – New Compartments for Cascade Reactions

The project aims at synthesizing protein/enzyme-based active membranes to be employed in membrane modules for the efficient process control of aldolase-catalyzed reactions. This modular approach is based on the synthesis of protein-polymer conjugates, which form an ultrathin nanoporous membrane via self-assembly at fluid interfaces. It allows the production of functional membranes or membrane modules which combine high flux and permeability with high selectivity and functionality.



Incremental multi-scale and multi-disciplinary Modeling of Processes in Bioeconomy

The vision of a future bio-based economy heavily relies on integrated process chains for biomass production and processing followed by transforming biomass compounds into valuable products. Integrated bioeconomic processes can only become competitive if they are operated with highest efficiency and maximal utilization of all occurring material flows. Thus, effective systems integration is one of the great challenges in this research field. In this context, tools and methods for plant modeling, simulation and design play a crucial role.



Damm T , Pattathil S, Günl M, Jablonowski ND, O´Neill M, Grün KS, Grande PM, Leitner W, Schurr U, Usadel B, Klose H (2017) Insights into cell wall structure of Sida hermaphrodita and its influence on recalcitrance. Carbohydrate Polymers 168, 94-102.

Welters, T., Horn, T., Ruff, A.J., Schwaneberg, U., Büchs J. (2017) Novel technique for high throughput measurement of active monooxygenase concentration. Biotechnol Bioeng.  Apr;114(4):929-933. doi: 10.1002/bit.26215.

L. Frantzeskakis, K.J. Courville, L. Plücker, R. Kellner, J. Kruse, A. Brachmann, M. Feldbrügge and V. Göhre (2017) The plant-dependent life cycle of Thecaphora thlaspeos: a smut fungus adapted to Brassicaceae. Mol. Plant-Microb. Interact. accepted for publication.

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ERA-MIN2 (BMBF): Raw materials for the sustainable development and the circular economy

5th May 2017 (Submission deadline for pre-proposals)

ERA-MIN 2 will liaise with the EIT on Raw Materials to offer complementary support and avoid duplication of efforts. ERA-MIN 2 is supporting the EU’s transition to a Circular Economy by addressing topics which are aiming at retaining the value of the raw materials we use in products and returning them into the product cycle at the end of their use, keeping in mind the need for a sustainable and responsible industrial supply of primary resources to feed the circular economy.

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Nutzpflanzen der Zukunft (BMBF)

27. Juni 2017

Ziel der Förderrichtlinie „Nutzpflanzen der Zukunft“ des BMBF ist es, im Rahmen von Forschungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben (FuE) technologisch-explorative, zukunftsweisende Ansätze zu entwickeln, welche die molekulare Präzisionszüchtung von Nutzpflanzen mit Hilfe von optimierten bzw. neuartigen CRISPR/Cas-Systemen und anderen fortschrittlichen Genome Editing-Verfahren entscheidend verbessern bzw. beschleunigen.

Weitere Informationen





next event: 09.05.2017
Oskar von Miller Forum, 80333 München

Chancen einer nachhaltigen Bioökonomie in Bayern

Halle (Saale)
10.05.2017 - 11.05.2017

6th International bioeconomy conference

12.09.2017 - 13.09.2017

2. BioEconomy Congress Baden-Württemberg

Cologne, Maternushaus

2nd BioSC Symposium

Cologne, Maternushaus

4th BioSC Forum

Cologne, Maternushaus

PhD Training Day