Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Alternative Proteins - Challenges and Chances

BioSC International Summer School 2024
September 2 - 6, 2024
RWTH Aachen University

Photos:  iStock, Fotolia

Proteins are a central and essential part of food and feed. Very often they are made of animal products like meat, milk, or eggs, with a high impact on the environment, like greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and extensive land use. But there are alternatives which require much lesser inputs for example of land and water. This includes plant- or algae-based and fermentation-derived proteins. Fungi and insects can serve as alternative protein sources as well.

The use of all of them goes hand in hand with new and optimised ways of producing and processing the raw materials. In the case of plants, proteins are mostly used directly as food and require little processing. Other protein sources need to be broken down and processed to a much greater extent, depending on their utilisation. For example, they can be used to produce a substitute for animal products with similar or even the same ingredients and properties or they can be highly processed to a very pure protein or even amino acids for industrial use.

In the International BioSC Summer School "Alternative proteins - Challenges and Chances" you will learn about the different sources and processing methods regarding alternative proteins. And you will have the opportunity to work on case studies in small groups.

Monday, 2nd September

Welcome and introduction

11: 30 h Social gathering | Short self-introduction pitches | Building of small working groups for Summer School projects | Lunch


Alternative proteins - The status quo

14:00 h Session 1: Overview of alternative proteins from research and industry perspectives (plenary talks)

16:00 h Group work


Tuesday, 3rd September

Alternative proteins made by plants (open for external guests)

 09:00 h Session 2: Plants as protein sources - Overview and comparison of protein plants

11:00 h Session 3: Protein plants: Growing, breeding, R&D - Lupines as case study

13:00 h Lunch

14:00 h Session 4: Processing plant proteins to products

16:00 h Get-Together


Wednesday, 4th September

Non-plant protein sources

 09:00 h Session 6: Alternative protein sources - Aquaculture and algae

11:00 h Session 7: Alternative protein sources - Insects and fungi

13:00 h Lunch

14:00 h Session 8: Alternative protein sources - Cell cultures

16:00 h Group work

19:00 h Networking Dinner


Thursday, 5th September

Processing, products and acceptance

09:00 h: Session 9: Processing of alternative proteins: Technical challenges

11:00 h: Session 10: Processing of alternative proteins: Fermentation

13:00 h Lunch

14:00 h Session 11: Alternative protein products: Policy and acceptance

16:00 h Group work


Friday, 6th September


09:00 h Final preparation of the Summer School project results by the working groups

10:00 h Group picture

10:30 h Presentation of working group results

12:30 h Summary and closing remarks

Light Lunch


Speakers include:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schillberg, RWTH Aachen University / Fraunhofer IME, "FutureProtein" project

Dr. Matthew Slater, Head of Aquaculture Research, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven

Dr. Marco Löhrer, RWTH Aachen University, Department of Plant Physiology, "P3roLucas" project

Prof. Dr. Ronald Gebhardt, RWTH Aachen University, Soft Matter Process Engineering

Thibault Godard, Chief Science Officer, Infinite Roots, Hamburg

Adam Erdös, Institute of Agricultural and Urban Ecological Projects, Berlin

N.N., GEA Group


Requested / to be confirmed:

ICIPE International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi

EU H2020 project NextGenProteins

CellTec Systems, Lübeck

Purvegan, Ramsen (RLP)

The Summer School addresses mainly PhD-students and advanced Master students. The approval is done on the basis of the motivation letter and the background of the applicants.

Participation is free of charge and includes accommodation, breakfast and lunch. The accommodation is centrally organized by the BioSC office. In individual cases support for travel expenses may be granted; please contact the BioSC office.

Please hand in your application not later than June 30, 2024 under the following link:

You will be notified by July 8, 2024 whether you can participate.