Wed June 09 th 2021

  • PANEL DISCUSSION OF THE BIOECONOMY WEEK - From extracting to creating value in the bioeconomy

    A common event between the IAMO Forum 2021 Agrifood systems in the bioeconomy and the International Bioeconomy Conference

Wed June 09 th 2021

  • OPENING

    Greetings

  • Prof. Dr. Ludger Wessjohann, Prof. Dr. Matthias Zscheile, ScienceCampus Halle - Plant-based Bioeconomy and BioEconomy Cluster, GER

  • Andrea Noske, Head of Division Sustainable Economy, Bio-Economy, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, GER

  • Opening Speach: Prof.Dr. Hermann Lotze-Campen, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research/PIK, GER

    Title: Bioeconomy amd climate change: challenges and opportunities

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    Biography:

    Prof. Hermann Lotze-Campen studied Agricultural Sciences and Agricultural Economics in Kiel (GER), Reading (UK) and Minnesota (USA). He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University Berlin. He is Head of Research Department Climate Resilience at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor for Sustainable Land Use and Climate Change at HU Berlin. He works on global land use modelling, climate impacts and adaptation, and land-use-based mitigation.

     

    Abstract:

    The bioeconomy is evolving as a consequence of ambitious targets for climate change mitigation. In order to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, compared to pre-industrial times, as decided in Paris 2015, it is absolutely necessary to transform the complete energy sector towards renewable primary energy sources and to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture and land use change to a minimum. Moreover, the material base for sustainable economic development, i.e. building material as well as substitutes for petro-chemical products, has to come from biomass-based production systems. This raises large opportunities, by fostering sustainable production and consumption (UN SDG 12), emission reduction (SDG 13), and income opportunities for rural communities around the world, mainly farmers and foresters (SDG 1 and 2). However, a growing bioeconomy may also entail large challenges, e.g. increasing competition for land and water between food, feed, energy, and material production (SDG 6 and 15), increasing food prices (SDG 2), and also the necessity to adapt to residual climate impacts at 1.5-2.0 degrees of global warming. The future development of sustainable biomass production systems will determine to a large extent, whether and how human society will fulfil the targets of the UN Agenda 2030 and stay within the Planetary Boundaries. A mix of coherent policy instruments will be an important component of a sustainable socio-economic development. Here we present advancements of the well-established Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) for improved sustainability assessments. We will give examples, how trade-offs, synergies, and co-benefits between different SDG dimensions in the context of a growing bioeconomy can be assessed with integrated computer models.

    Prof. Dr. Hermann Lotze-Campen Photo: private
  • SESSION 1 - Socio-economic issues of the bioeconomy

    Prof. Dr. Alfons Balmann, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Development in Transition Economics, IAMO, GER

  • Keynote: Prof. Dr. Lene Lange, BioEconomy, Research & Advisory, DEN

    Title: Socioeconomic effects of a just transition to the new Circular Biobased Economy

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    Biography: 

    Prof. Dr. Lene Lange´s career includes experience from leading R&D positions in both industry & academia. She spent the major part of a professional life in NOVO (1986-2007) finishing in top research career positions (Director of Research, in Molecular Biotechnology) within Novozymes R&D. From 2007 she came back in academia, first as Head of Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen, then as Dean of Research and Professor in Biotechnology and Director of research at the Aalborg University and finally as Professor and Research Leader at the Technical University of Denmark. From 2018 she created her own start-up: BioEconomy, Research & Advisory. Prof. Dr. Lange has published over 260 peer reviewed papers, books and patents, resulting in over 2.800 citations.

     

    Abstract:

    A brief but comprehensive view is given of potential of the new circular biobased economy (CBE). Based on this, CBE will be analyzed in a socioeconomic perspective. Bio-processing and biobased products are in their off-set democratic: The feedstocks for biobased products, the many types of biomass (crop residues, industrial processing side-streams, food and non-food waste along with organic municipality waste) are found in all countries. Different from fossil resources, found present in few places, of even fewer countries. Upgrade of broad spectrum of biomass (terrestrial as well as aquatic; from agriculture, forestry, fishery) leads to job generation primarily in rural areas; and the spectrum of job profiles needed for building the CBE are of many types of skills, talents and interests. Together this gives a more inclusive society. Further CBE focuses also on re-using non-food materials such as discarded plastic and textiles. This opens for new manufacturing jobs in EU. Notably it is not just biomass valorization, it is also biobased products which have positive socioeconomic effects: Microbiome analysis has opened for evidence-based documentation of gut-health effect of food and feed ingredients. Such prebiotic products for a healthy gut microbiome can be made from (low cost) plant cell wall residues. This is good news for improved public health. Even people with eating habits, with too much fat and sugar, can improve their gut health by taking prebiotic toppings on morning cereal, yoghurt or bread. Similarly, prebiotic feed can lead to reduction of antibiotics in industrial meat production; leading to reduced risk of antibiotic resistance; and to lowering risk of epidemics. Benefitting all societal groups and public health budget.     

    Prof. Dr. Lene Lange Photo: Private
  • Dr. Martin Langer, BRAIN AG, GER

    Title: Positive socio-economic impact for Bioeconomy. Two case studies from industry-led strategic alliances

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    Biography:

    Dr. Martin Langer, born in 1965, is a biochemist and molecular biologist. He studied biology at the universities Darmstadt & Karlsruhe, Germany and Adelaide, Australia. Since 1995 Martin has been working in various positions with BRAIN. In 2013 he was appointed as executive vice president. After growing the business within the BU Industrial BioSolutions for two years, he took over the position as Head of Business Development. Aside of that he holds several external positions as e.g. member of the board of IWBio.

     

    Abstract:

    Bioeconomy has a growing impact in industry with beginning environmental and socio-economic benefits while addressing the key global challenges which we are facing over the years to come.

    Since 2013 two BMBF-funded Strategic Alliances with altogether more than 40 partners joined forces to drive several programmes towards the market. Two case studies will be discussed.

    1.) In the Strategic Alliance ZeroCarbFP, the green house gas CO2, coming directly from an industrial process, was used to feed specialized micro-organisms as the sole carbon source for growth and production of value chemicals. A first step, in circumventing the use of annually 300 Mio. tons of fossil carbon for the production of chemicals, was achieved. The socio-economic impact of such a new process will be discussed.

    2.) The Strategic Alliance NatLifE 2020 is dealing with the increasing socio-economic effects correlated with malnutrition (i.e. too much sugar and salt to be found in processed food). Since many years, the health care systems experience an increase in obesity in the OECD population (around 25% of the people and nearly one out of six children). Aside of the sugar load, too high salt in the diet additionally drives health concerns, as half of the deaths in Europe being related to cardio-vascular diseases, at least partially related to high salt (sodium) consumption. Aside of the personal health situation of the individuals, malnutrition is directly linked to increasing economic effect on the health care systems of the OECD states. We developed tools for the screening of natural taste modifiers and with these new natural molecules were identified. Now we work on the reduction of sugar and salt in processed food and thus make the daily diet healthier without any compromise on taste.

    De. Martin Langer Photo: BRAIN AG, Anja Jahn
  • Junior Prof. Dr. Sina Leipold, University of Freiburg, GER

    Title: Towards a circular Bioeconomy? Opinions from the Bioeconomy-Sector

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    Biography:

    Sina Leipold is an assistant professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where she heads a transdisciplinary research group that works on identifying policy and business strategies of a “circular bio-economy” that create positive environmental impacts and to understand whether and how decision makers are able to promote them. Her expertise includes policy analysis theories and methods (qualitative and quantitative), transnational business governance, and the circular economy.

     

    Abstract:

    The European Union as well as Germany promote a ‘circular bioeconomy’. In the eyes of European and German policy makers, we will reach a circular bioeconomy through business innovation or the promotion of existing sustainable business models based on circular economy principles. Yet, we know next to nothing about how European businesses perceive or take up this strategy and whether it contributes to business innovation or the promotion of sustainable business models. To fill this gap, this paper analyses the bio-based sector’s view on the circular economy. It scrutinizes EU level debates as well as business practices in Germany. Based on a document analysis and participant observation data, the results show that business stakeholders currently relate the circular economy predominantly to established practices and to technological business models. This leaves considerable room for innovation in areas like social or organizational business models. Yet, the directions and effects of current activities remain uncertain. Connecting the debates about the circular economy and the bioeconomy could benefit the discussion of these possible directions and their effects. As our results show, exploring the relation between the circular economy and the bioeconomy highlights the need to define which cycles contribute most to a sustainable future economy. Existing guidelines and standards developed for businesses have been criticized for lacking exactly this definition. Hence, strengthening the link between circular economy and bioeconomy debates may provide a crucial step towards setting clear priorities for sustainable business practices.

    Jun. Prof. Dr. Sina Leipold Photo: Körber Stiftung, David Ausserhofer
  • SUBSESSION 1 – Model Region Central Germany

  • Dr. Alberto Bezama, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research/UFZ, GER

    Title: "Addressing the Urban Bioeconomy through Life Cycle Management"

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    Biography: 

    Dr. Alberto Bezama is a Chemical Engineer from the University of Concepcion (Chile), with a PhD in Industrial Environmental Protection from the University of Leoben (Austria). Since 2012 he is a Researcher at the Dept. of Bioenergy at UFZ in Leipzig. There he leads the Working Group “Systems Analysis of the Bioeconomy.” Main focus of his research is the development and application of life cycle-based tools to assess the effects of implementing bio-based technologies in a regional perspective.

     

    Abstract:

    Over the last years, a series of works at national and international levels have highlighted the relevance of the regional perspective on the successful implementation of the bioeconomy. As this is the scale where the actual effects of implementing the foreseen transition towards the bioeconomy, it is therefore the scale where these effects can be measured. However, nowadays there are not widespread tools that help measure and evaluate these effects.

    Life cycle management approaches could be used as basis for developing these tools. They provide a structure that allows to represent and model regional systems. In this regard, cities can be considered as the smallest representative entity where a regional approach can be developed and implemented.

    Therefore, this work provides an overview of the systems analysis of the bioeconomy on an urban scale. A first draft concept for the urban bioeconomy based on the traditional urban metabolism model will be presented and discussed, with the aim of introducing some questions and needs ahead to define the urban bioeconomy concept.

    It is expected that through this model it will be possible to identify and understand the transformation processes of bio-based resources on an urban level, as well as to understand the mechanisms underlying the interactions between different actors found at the city level in the bioeconomy field.

    Dr. Alberto Bezama Photo: Private
  • Kerstin Wilde, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Development in Transition Economics/IAMO, GER

    Title: "Bioeconomy discourses in regional development policy"

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    Biography:

    Kerstin Wilde graduated in political economics at Hamburg University, Germany. In research, consulting and (executive) education she focused on entrepreneurship, innovation systems’ development and sustainable regional development. Kerstin contributed to the strengthening of industry-research interaction in ASEAN before she joined IAMO in 2016. Within the BMBF-funded TRAFOBIT Junior Research Group, she now takes an innovation system perspective for the analysis of European Bioeconomy clusters.

     

    Abstract:

    Establishing a Bioeconomy in Europe has often been portrayed as new opportunity for regional development, which “can maintain and create economic growth and jobs in rural, coastal and industrial areas” (EC 2012, p. 8). Quite some support for actors comes from regional/provincial governments and development authorities – mostly via the promotion of specialised clusters: so?called bioclusters (Zechendorf 2011; Hermans 2018). However, the meaning of a bioeconomy is still ‘in flux’ and a matter of discourse among stakeholders (see e.g. Hüsing et al. 2017; Kleinschmit et al. 2017; Bauer 2018; Ramcilovic?Suominen & Pülzl 2018; Giurca 2020). Moreover, there are ambivalent research results regarding the relevance of place-based factors for successful bioeconomy development. It is also argued that (industrial) cluster policies are vulnerable to policy capture by vested interests (Nathan and Overman 2013; Njøs et al. 2017; Vivien et al. 2019). Against this background, we analyse dominant narratives on Bioeconomy visions and the role of bioclusters in regional development policies. An actor-focused perspective is applied to two transregional bioclusters in Germany and The Netherlands. Q-methodology serves to categorise different discourses into coherent storylines. The resulting policy perspectives on Bioeconomy promotion are interpreted against existing discourses of sustainable development (Dryzek, 1997; Hermans et al. 2009) and regional innovation strategies (Capello & Kroll 2016). Results highlight pronounced differences of the importance that is attributed by actors to the government, market forces and decisive place-based factors. Actor coalitions in and across science, incumbent firms and public services accentuate ‘sustainability light’ and ‘regional competitiveness’.

    Kerstin Wilde Photo: IAMO
  • SESSION 2 - Lignocellulosic fiber within the bioeconomy

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Zscheile, BioEconomy e.V., GER

  • Keynote: Dr. Monica Normark, Sekab, SWE

    Title: "Advanced bioethanol production from softwood residues"

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    Biography:

    Dr. Monica Normark, is the Head of the Biorefinery Technology within Sekab. The biorefinery technology platform CelluAPP® that can be licensed enables the fractionation of biomass into sugar, lignin and ethanol towards various green chemicals, bio-based materials and advanced biofuels. Dr. Normark is a chemical engineer and holds a PhD in chemistry, focusing on pretreatment and bioconversion of lignocellulosic materials. Applying her engineering background and deep understanding of chemical processes she can lead this technology forward targeting forestry residues among other biomasses for a green fossil free transition. Dr. Normark lives in Sweden and is proud to be part of the ongoing transition to a fossil-free society.

     

    Abstract:

    In Örnsköldsvik, in the midst of the northern forests, close to the Baltic Sea, lies the cradle of the Swedish chemical industry. This is where Sekab has its roots. Sekab is a Swedish Chemical and Clean-Tech Company Group. We process ethanol into Chemicals and Biofuels, we develop Biorefinery Technology for new sustainable product options based on lignocellulose raw materials. SEKAB has extensive experience, of manufacturing, processing and marketing of ethanol and basic chemicals for the chemical industry. The company has developed certain know-how, patents, processes and proprietary technologies for the production of fermentable sugars, lignin and ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass, which can be licensed for commercial scale production. The processes and technologies are commercialized through the technology platform called CelluAPP®. The unique features applying Sekab’s patents regarding pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of lignocellulosic material will contribute to a green transition and help reducing the carbon footprint for both industrial biofuel and chemical production.

    Dr. Monica Normark, Photo: Sekab
  • Dr. Frank Meister, TITK, GER

    Title: "Sustainability to the third power - an actual challenge past COVID 19"

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    Biography:

    Dr. Frank meister studied chemistry and polymer chemistry at the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences. After working as project engineer in the Central Polymer Research Department of Leuna-Werke AG, he took over the position of project manager and since 2001 of head of the Chemical Research Department at TITK. His expertise includes the alternative dissolving pulps suitable in solution fibre spinning and chemical derivatisation, the development of solution spinning processes in NMMO, the dipolar-aprotic and ionic solvents, the physical, chemical and enzymatic modification von cellulose, the rheological, thermal und optical characterisation of polymer solutions, and the chemical recycling of fabrics and textile fibres. He also hold several external positions as member of General Board of European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) Association and member of Zellcheming sub-committee “Cellulose and cellulose derivatives.

     

    Abstract:

    Sufficient food, long-standing health and sustained apparel belong to the basic needs of mankind. Recent development in man-made fibre industry doesn’t fully reflect this simple fact. More than twothirds of annual produced man-made fibres are based on synthetic polymers which are nondegradable over hundreds of years and cause generation of huge amounts of marine micro plastics. Because of theirs small sizes micro plastics also intervene into the food chain of humans and animals, as well. The realignment of global MMF industry after passing COVID 19 requests a much more consequent implementation of sustainable fibre raw materials and sustainable technologies for manmade fibre manufacturing. The sustainability to the third power is well fulfilled in case of Lyocell fibre production. Sustainable raw material based on woods or annual plants or even textile circularity by means of recycled post-consume fabrics is well combined with an environmentally friendly technology for man-made fibre production. The attributes of the latter are no risky and toxic process fluids and a nearly closed solvent cycle without disposal of harmful pollution. But Lyocell fibres do offer not only sustainability in raw materials and technology, but also in recyclability of fabrics after consumer textile use. The lecture will demonstrate the state of art in cellulose man-made fibre production, will introduce and discuss the recent development of Lyocell technology and will try to view on options of innovative new fibre manufacturing technology in the future.

    Dr. Frank Meister, Photo: Private
  • Prof. Dr. Jan-Peter Mund, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, GER

    Title: "Beyond biomass - lessons learned from sustainable forest-based bioeconomy development from the taiga to the tropics"

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    Biography:

    Jan-Peter Mund (Prof. Dr. rer. nat) holds a full professorship for GIS and Remote Sensing at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development in Germany. Since 2010 he serves also as a senior advisor to the UN-Water Programme at the United Nations University in Bonn and to several EU-research programmes. He is a member of the Arbormaps scientific advisory board and provides scientific consultancies for several international organisations. Additionally he is a regular guest lecturer at TU Munich and for Remote Sensing, GIS and Disaster Management.

    He studied Physical Geography, Landscape Ecology and Geo-Informatics at the Universities of Bonn and Mainz, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in physical geography and a German Diploma on Geography and Landscape Ecology with key competences in Remote Sensing, GIS and tropical soil science. He gains more than 15 years of international experience in academic work and international cooperation, capacity building and applied remote sensing in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia.

     

    Abstract:

    The EU and over 50 countries globally have developed Bioeconomy strategies to transform into economies based on renewable natural resources used in a sustainable manner in line with the requirements of SGD 4, 7, 12 and 15. It is evident that increasing demand for wood material and timber-based products, especially low-value wood resources like sawmilling residues, is only positive if forest ecosystems are managed sustainably. However, visions about the relationship between the bioeconomy and sustainable development differ substantially among various global regions and segments of society.

    At the same time, Higher Education Institutions continuously face the challenge of producing fit-for-job graduates in response to evolving global job markets. Highly skilled personnel are the prerequisite for innovative research, growth and secure employment in multidisciplinary sectors such as the bioeconomy. To address the gap between international study programs currently available and the knowledge and skills needed to drive the emerging bioeconomy sector, six universities from four countries cooperated to develop an international, innovative and multi-disciplinary master’s curriculum on sustainable forest-based bioeconomy. The consortium includes EU universities from Finland, Germany and Spain, and three universities from Vietnam. All universities share a common emphasis on sustainable environmental and forest sciences yet bring unique technical expertise, perspectives towards local markets and stakeholder networks within the bioeconomy sector. The result is a new master’s curriculum which includes multiple disciplines, values and perspectives and involves various stakeholders to facilitate the development of a sustainable forest-based bioeconomy.

    Prof. Dr. Jan-Peter Mund, Photo: Private
  • SUBSESSION 2 - Model Central Germany

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Zscheile, BioEconomy Cluster, GER

  • Dr. Martin Zahel, Papiertechnische Stiftung/PTS, GER

    Title: "The role of modified cellulosic fibers in future material development"

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    Biography:

    Martin received an MSc in Chemistry in 2011. During his PhD studies (2011-2015) in Organic Chemistry at Technical University of Dresden he developed synthetic routes to several bioactive sesquiterpenes with anti-tumor activity. Since 2014 Martin is employed at Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) in Heidenau, Germany. Starting as a project manager in the field of advanced chemical modification of pulp fibres and polysaccharidic materials he became Head of Department Composites & Modification in March 2017. His research focus is on the development of novel cellulose based materials and the corresponding process technology.

     

    Abstract:

    Within the last years product development focuses more and more on sustainability in the sense of a circular and bio-based economy. Main tasks are the use of renewable feedstocks, ensuring recyclability, enabling cascade use and providing biodegradability in case of non-closed product cycles. This is most important particularly for short-term use applications such as packaging. Paper has been a sustainable material for this field for over a century. However the increasing customer demands cause different requirements on the usage and processing properties of future paper materials, especially when competing with other packaging materials such as plastics or metals.

    This talk will focus on pathways for enhancing the material immanent properties of cellulosic fibres via chemical and mechanical modification and will show what may be possible with paper based materials in a sustainable future. Intriguing features that are unknown from today's paper such as thermoplasticity, high barrier or highest strength will be accessible utilizing the right modification strategy. Thereby the arc is stretched from the generation of new structures to suitable processing methods. Furthermore the role of modified fibres in non-paper materials such as biocomposite materials will be discussed.

    Dr. Martin Zahel, Photo: Private

Thu June 10 th 2021

  • SESSION 3 - Plant productivity under climate change

    Prof. Dr. Nicolaus von Wirén, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research/IPK, GER

  • Keynote: Prof. Dr. Alan Schulman, Natural Resources Institute/Luke and University of Helsinki, FIN

    Title: "Plant Responses and Adaptation to Changing Environments"

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    Biography:

     

     

    Abstract:

     

  • Dr. Miriam Szurman-Zubrzycka, University of Silesia, POL

    Title: "HorTILLUS - TILLING population to create barley better adapted to climate change"

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    Biography:

     

    Abstract:

  • Dr. Ralf Wilhelm, Julius Kühn-Institute/JKI, GER

    Title: "A CRISPieR future in the EU?"

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    Biography:

    Since 2017, Dr. Ralf Wilhelm is head of the Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology in the Julius Kuehn-Institute, Quedlinburg, Germany. He has been working as senior scientist in biosafety research of genetically modified plants since 2001, covering methods for biosafety assessment and management as well as regulatory issues. He is co-chair of the Agricultural Technology Working Group of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO).

     

    Abstract:

    Application of gene editing in plant breeding received a considerable push after the discovery of CRISPR/Cas enabling an easy to use, cost efficient way to precisely and targetedly modify plant genomes (directed mutagenesis). Therefore, many plant scientists consider the CRISPR/Cas system as a game changer. Within few years more than 140 applications on plant-trait combinations with considerable market relevance have been recorded world wide, and many plant breeding companies and institutions implemented gene editing workflows in their labs. But, in July 2018 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that products derived from gene editing are legally considered being genetically modified organisms or products thereof. Hence they need to undergo a comprehensive risk assessment and authorization procedure prior to market release like transgenic organisms regardless whether the modifications could have also be achieved by natural mutation or classical (undirected) mutagenesis. The latter is exempted from a strict authorization procedure. Since gene editing does not leave a generic signature in the plant genome, law enforcement  in the EU is challenged with regards to international trade and advancing deregulation of gene edited organisms outside of Europe. The European Commission initiated an investigation about the impact of the ECJ ruling, which is due in April 2021. The presentation will update about the status and perspectives of genome editing in Europe and worldwide.

    Dr. Ralf Wilhelm, Photo: Private
  • SUBSESSION 3 - Model Region Central Germany

  • Prof. Dr. Marcel Quint, Martin Luther University hell-Wittenberg, GER

    Title: "Global warming effects on plant growth and development"

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    Biography:

    Marcel Quint studied and held a PhD degree in Horticultural Sciences at the University Hannover in 2003. After a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, he headed the Independent Research Group Auxin Signal Transduction at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry from 2007 to 2015. Since 2015, he has been appointed professor of Crop Yield Physiology at the Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

     

    Abstract:

    Global warming is one of the most detrimental aspects of climate change, affecting plant growth and development across the entire life cycle. In this presentation I will explore how different stages of development are influenced by elevated temperature in both wild plants and crops. Starting from seed development and germination, global warming will influence morphological adjustments, termed thermomorphogenesis, and photosynthesis primarily during the vegetative phase, as well as flowering and reproductive development. In addition, heat waves that often occur during the reproductive phase can have devastating consequences for fruit development. The parallel occurrence of elevated temperature with other abiotic and biotic stressors, particularly the combination of global warming and drought or increased pathogen pressure, will potentiate the challenges for cultivated plant species. In crops, temperature-sensitive traits relevant for yield will be illustrated on selected species. Taken together, while the fate of wild plants depends on political agendas, plant breeding approaches informed by mechanistic understanding originating in basic science can enable the generation of climate change-resilient crops.

    Prof. Dr. Marcel Quint, Photo: Private
  • SESSION 4 - The pathway to success with biotech products

    Prof. Dr. Markus Pietzsch, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg/MLU, GER

  • Keynote: Dr. Michael Duetsch, UPM GmbH, GER

    Title: "Wood-based biorefineries: Sustainable renewal of chemical and plastic industry´s value chain"

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    Biography:

    Michael Duetsch joined UPM in 2011 as Director Biochemicals. He holds a PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of Göttingen, Germany. In 1994, he started his career at Goldschmidt (today: Evonik) in research and development (R&D) followed by management positions in corporate strategy and controlling. He headed R&D as well as new business development departments within Evonik and BASF. Today, his main responsibility is to create a sustainable business for biochemicals at UPM.

     

    Abstract:

    UPM is planning an investment into a wood based biorefinery to produce biochemicals, namely monoethylene glycol, monopropylene glycol and lignin. Whereas softwood is widely used in industrial applications and construction, hardwood from Central and Western Europe is used mainly for energy generation besides the production of furniture and parquets.

    Underlying principles of biorefineries to produce chemicals from biomass are an optimized cascade and couple usage of all components of wood. Core process is the decomposition of wood into its components cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Such a biorefinery yielding sugars as intermediates and using lignin as a material exists currently on pilot and demonstration scale only. Sugars can be converted further into various types of chemicals applying chemical or biotechnological processes. Lignin as the other main component of wood is traditionally used as fuel for the biorefinery. However, UPM markets lignin as a replacement of petro-based chemicals already today. One application is for example the replacement of phenol in phenol-formaldehyde resins in wood glues.

    In line with UPM’s strict policies, only wood from certified sustainably managed forests will be used in such a biorefinery and the volume of non-usable waste will be minimized. Life cycle assessments ensure that the new facility is environmental sound.

    The products of such a biorefinery will feed existing value chains of the chemical and plastic industry helping them achieving their sustainability targets.

    Dr. Michael Duetsch, Photo: UPM
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Syldatk, TEBI, GER

    Title: "Deep eutectic solvents (DES) as new and sustainable reaction media for the enzymatic synthesis of sugar related biosurfactants"

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    Biography: 

    Prof. Dr. Christoph Syldatk studied biology in Braunschweig. From 1984 to 1993 he headed the group “Microbila Biotransformations” at the Technical University of Braunschweig. The next ten years he was Professor for Physiological Microbiology at the Institute of Bioprocess Engineering in Stuttgart. Since 2003 he is Full Professor for Technical Biology at the Institute of Process Engineering in Life Sciences at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. His expertise includes Industrial Microbiology,  Enzyme Technology, Production of Biosurfactants, Unusual Enantiopure Amino Acids and Single Cell Oils.

     

    Abstract:

    Under conditions of reduced water activity lipases as well as glycosidases have the capability to reverse the hydrolytic cleavage of ester and ether bonds and to overcome several disadvantages of the chemical synthesis which include lack of specificity and selectivity. For these reasons their application has already become a common technique in industry for many regio- and stereoselective syntheses of fine chemicals under nearly water free conditions in organic solvents. However, their use for the synthesis of sugar related biosurfactants is limited due to poor sugar solubility in nonpolar organic solvents with high log P-values, while the stability of glycosidases is low in most of the organic solvents.

    Deep eutectic solvents (DES) as cheap and sustainable reaction media which are completely based on renewable resources can be a powerful alternative to overcome these problems. In particular, their use will avoid harmful solvents and will help to overcome the problem of dissolving carbohydrates in nonpolar organic solvents as well as the poor stability of enzymes in more hydrophilic organic solvents.

    This presentation aims to present the use of DES as a new technique in biocatalysis and will give an overview of our current work on this topic including the use of microwave assisted preparation of DES reaction media and implementation of enzymatic reactions in DES.

    Christoph Sydatk, Photo: Private
  • Dr. Harald Wedwitschka, German Biomass Research Center/DBFZ, GER

    Title: "No success of biotech products without recycling strategy"

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    Biography:

    Harald Wedwitschka is working as a research associate at the DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Leipzig gGmbH in Leipzig at the Department Biochemical Conversion. His scientific background is biotechnology and environmental science. His research focus areas are biomass pre-treatment and conservation and the energetically utilisation of biomass via anaerobic digestion. He is the coordinator of the ongoing project „Competitive Insect products“.

     

    Abstract:

     

    Germany's livestock farmers (agricultural and private) spend over EUR 20 billion annually on animal feed. Large quantities of fish meal and soy meal are imported for animal husbandry. Some of these imports come from sources with questionable sustainability. Insect meal could be a sustainable alternative for conventional protein sources contribution to meeting the protein demand of livestock and fish farming.

    Insect meal consists of insect fat and protein. Insect proteins from black soldier flies contain a high-quality amino acid spectrum and were successfully tested in several feeding studies as a substitute for conventional protein sources. The innovative approach followed in the BMBF project “Competitive Insect products” lies in the use of residues for the production of insect based products. The CIP project aims to support the further optimisation of insect production technology in order to increase the economic and ecological sustainability of the insect farming process and to accelerate the development and market introduction of new, innovative insect products adapted to demand. The first task of the project is the development of new utilization paths for insect products with good sales prospects. The focus of the second task is the optimization of the insect farming process. The proposed concept aims at supporting a high energetic and material efficiency by integrating the insect production process into existing biogas plants. In this way, maximum added value can be achieved from the organic raw materials and the generation of waste products that are expensive to dispose of can be avoided. In addition, the process combination enables an optimization of the heat energy supply, which leads to a higher energy efficiency of the entire insect production process.

    Dr. Harald Wedwitschka, Photo: Private
  • SUBSESSION 4 - Model Region Central Germany

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Schmid, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research/UFZ, GER

    Title: "White hydrogen: energy carrier for a sustainable decentralized production and use"

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    Biography:

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Schmid headed the Technical Enzymology Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology from 1999 to 2004. Then he headed the Laboratory of Chemical Biotechnoloy at theTechnical University Dortmund in Deutschland. Since 2014 he is head of the Department Solar Materials at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig and professor for Biotechnology and the University of Leipzig.

     

    Abstract:

    Hydrogen (H2) is considered as an ideal energy carrier of the future due to its high energy density and it can be a clean and CO2-neutral fuel. Many phototrophic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria can produce H2 under certain conditions via their photosynthetic machinery, i.e. using electrons obtained by light-driven splitting of water. Photosynthetically produced H2 is therefore an attractive option to establish a sustainable bioeconomy. However, to date H2 production by phototrophic biocatalysts is not applicable due to low productivity and efficiency of biocatalytic splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. A catalyst and process concept will be presented allowing the continuous biocatalytic production of hydrogen from water using photosystem II of cyanobacteria in a continuous reaction format and capillary microreactors. Productivities are still low, but in theory scalable. 

     

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Schmid, Photo: Private
  • Dr. Bodo Moritz, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, GER

    Title: "Ferulic acid synthesis in engineered BL21 - Balancing recombinant expression to cell vitality"

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    Biography:

     

    Abstract:

  • SESSION 5 - Research Highlights funded by BMBF

    Dr. Wiebke Müller (Project Management Jülich)

  • Dr. Astrid Gärdes, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research/ZMT, GER

    Title: "Diversity of microorganisms in both natural and aquaculture tropical seaweed systems: biotechnology potential for sustainable development"

  • Dr. Hans Jürgen Hahn and Dr. Susanne van den Berg-Stein, University of Koblenz, GER

    Title: "StygoTracing, a new biotracer technique for hydrological interactions and risk assessment in drinking water supply"

  • Dr. Annette Piorr, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research/ZAL, GER

    Title: "A VITAL approach to sustainable intensification: stakeholder participation, farmer´s behaviour and scenarios"

  • Dr. Anett Werner, Technical University of Dresden, GER

    Title: "Xenokat - can fungal enzymes cleave xenobiotics?"

  • CLOSING REMARKS

    Prof. Dr. Ludger Wessjohann, Dr. Joachim Schulze (ScienceCampus Halle - Plant-based Bioeconomy and BioEconomy e.V., GER)

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