Bioeconomy Conference | Programm

Wed June 06 th 2018



  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Pillen (ScienceCampus Halle - Plant-Based Bioeconomy) & Prof. Dr. Matthias Zscheile (BioEconomy Cluster) 

  • Professor Dr. Jutta Schnitzer-Ungefug (Secretary-General of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina – Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften)

  • Dr. Jürgen Ude (State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Science and Digitization of the State of Saxony-Anhalt)

  • Opening Speech: Dr. Waldemar Kütt (European Commission, Head of Unit Bioeconomy Strategy)

    A European Strategy for a sustainable bioeconomy: addressing environmental, social and economic aspects



    Dr. Waldemar Kütt is Head of Unit "Bioeconomy Strategy" in the Bioeconomy Directorate of DG Research and Innovation in the European Commission which coordinates bioeconomy research programmes and policy strategy. From 2012-2014 he was Head of Unit of "Bio-based Products and Processing" in the same directorate. From May 2008 to November 2014 he held various positions as senior expert, Deputy and Head of Cabinet in the Cabinet of Research Commissioners Poto?nik and Geoghegan-Quinn. His main responsibilities included the €80billion new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. He joined the Research Directorate General of the European Commission in 1997 and has since coordinated activities and polices related to innovation, SME, IPR, finance, technology transfer and bioregions. He holds a doctor's degree in physics from the Technical University Aachen, Germany.

    Dr. Waldemar Kütt (Photo: Privat)

    Chairman: Prof. Dr. Alfons Balmann (Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Development in Transition Economics/ IAMO)

  • mehr


    Teis Hansen is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Human Geography, Lund University, and Senior Researcher at the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) in Oslo. Teis has core research expertise in innovation in the bioeconomy and the role of geography in sustainability transition processes, and gives policy advice for organisations such as the OECD and IRENA. He currently leads a M€2.2 project on regional green growth in the Nordic countries.


    Biorefineries are considered a central element in the transition to a bioeconomy, since they promote an efficient use of biological resources and allow for production of a wide spectrum of biobased products, including fuels, chemicals and materials. Consequently, policy interest and support, as well as research on the topic has increased significantly over the last decade. Forest-based biorefineries have also been promoted as a business opportunity for pulp and paper firms in high-cost countries, which are facing decreasing demand for certain core products and increasing competition from firms in the Southern hemisphere, which profit from fast-growing forests. Despite this, willingness of the industry to invest in commercial-scale forest-based biorefineries has remained rather low. Drawing on research carried out over the last five years in the form of interviews, social network analysis and policy document analysis, the talk identifies the key challenges for commercialisation of forest-based biorefineries in the Nordic countries.

    Dr. Teis Hansen (Photo: NordForsk/Terhe Heiestad)
  • Dr. Antje Klitkou (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education/NIFU, NOR) 

    New path creation for forest-based value creation in Norway



    Antje Klitkou has a PhD from Humboldt University Berlin (1993). She has worked at NIFU (Oslo, Norway) since 2002, as research professor since 2014. She has research interests in research and innovation policy and in transition to a sustainable bioeconomy, energy and transport. She has been project coordinator for international research projects, such as SusValueWaste: Sustainable path creation for innovative value chains for organic waste products (2015-19) on the transition to the bioeconomy.


    The talk will analyse and compare new path creation in three Norwegian regions specialised in forest-based value creation. These developments take place in different regional contexts and go into different directions regarding choice of technology, and the success of these developments is differing. We can distinguish between three path ways and compare three empirical cases: (1) replacing pulp and paper production by an integrated biorefinery which produces chemicals and materials (Borregård); (2) integrating pulp and paper production with biofuel production (Norske Skog Skogn), (3) developing an industrial cooperation for replacing pulp and paper production with new forest-based products from logs and residuals (Treklyngen). We ask how existing path-dependencies in the forest-based industry can be addressed. We highlight following conclusions for developing sustainable regional industry clusters: (1) Decisions for a transformation of an industry location have to be guided by long-term strategic perspectives. (2) The industry cluster has to have control of the upstream resources to enable long-term commitments and to attract financial resources. This requires joint understanding in value chains, incl. needs for stream-lined logistics and operations. (3) The industry cluster has to ensure flexibility to address market changes and to exploit new technological possibilities incl. access to relevant human capital, and an ongoing orientation towards changed needs in markets.

    Antje Klitkou*, Marco Capasso, Teis Hansen²

    * NIFU - Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, Oslo, Norway.

    1 Corresponding author. NIFU - Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, P.O. Box 2815 Tøyen, NO-0608 Oslo, Norway. E-mail:

    2 Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sölvegatan 10, SE-22362 Lund, Sweden




    Dr. Antje Klitkou (Photo: NIFU)
  • Coffee Break

  • SUBSESSION 1 – Model Region Central Germany

    Dr. Anne-Laure Tissier, ScienceCampus Halle - Plant-Based Bioeconomy

  • Dr. Frans Hermans (Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Development in Transition Economics/ IAMO) 

    Bioclusters and transitions: Analysis and implications for sustainable development



    Frans Hermans is currently junior research group leader of the TRAFOBIT project: The Role and Functions of Bioclusters in the Transition to a Bioeconomy, at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies in Halle (Saale), Germany. He obtained his PhD degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. His research interests are the dynamics of innovation systems and networks, collaborative learning and (innovation) policy for regional sustainable development.


    Bioclusters are expected to play an important role in the transition toward a bioeconomy. Clusters can be defined as geographic agglomerations with a specialized set of economic activities where the triple helix of research institutes, businesses, and government agencies enhance competitiveness and innovations and cluster initiatives have become an important tool for governments to establish, promote, and strengthen economic collaborations, learning, innovations, and employment within a certain region. However, in addition to issues like competitiveness and employment, bioclusters operate with the additional goal of fostering the transition to a bioeconomy. In this sense bioclusters stand out from other types of industrial clusters because they imply a focus not only on incremental innovations, but also on radical innovations toward sustainability.

    Within the TRAFOBIT project we study the role that bioclusters can play in the shift from a fossil-based economy to a more sustainable bioeconomy. Relevant issues in this regard have to do with the collaborative processes within bioclusters that are geared towards sustainable innovation, the impacts of the biocluster across different geographical levels (local, regional, national and international), the co-evolution of the biocluster within the Regional Innovation System and the political advocacy that occurs with regard to the different definitions of sustainable development, the bioeconomy and their translation into rules and regulations. In my presentation this paper I will analyse the concept of bioclusters and their operations on the different aspects of sustainable (regional) development.

    Dr. Frans Hermans (Photo: Markus Scholz)
  • Prof. Dr. Daniela Thrän (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH/ UFZ)

    Scenarios for a wood-based bioeconomy in Central Germany. Products - Processes - Environmental Effects



    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Thrän (b. 1958) is the head of the department Bioenergy at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH (UFZ) since 2011. There she leads a multidisciplinary team of about 50 scientists focusing on areas of biomass potentials, bioenergy pathways and their assessment, bioeconomy material flows and sustainability assessment. Prof. Thrän is a member of the German Bioeconomy Council and the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel.


    In recent years the German government has fostered the integration among the different industrial sectors working in the bioeconomy field. For this reason, wood and chemical industries have worked together to accelerate regional innovation in the bio-based technical development field, sharing pilot plant facilities in order to scale-up bio-based technologies, and defining technologies that enable process coupling among sectors, thus making feasible the cascading of woody biomass throughout future process networks.

    Nonetheless, the assessment of the actual sustainability implications of the planned bioeconomy regions has not been fully carried out. It is therefore necessary to evaluate the options for process and energy integration among the different industrial sectors participating in bioeconomy networks, for the production of bio-based polymers and engineered wood products, from a life cycle perspective.

    The aim of this work was to assess the potential environmental impacts of implementing a wood-based bioeconomy network in the Central Germany region for the production of high value-added bio-based products. Four scenarios describing possible future implementation alternatives (i.e. each of them describing varying degrees of material and energy integration in the assessed bioeconomy network) were defined. A life cycle assessment approach was carried out to compare the results of the impact assessment of the four defined scenarios against a reference production system (i.e. a selection of representative fossil based products). Eleven environmental impact categories were considered in the assessment. The results show that in most cases the bioeconomy network outperformed the fossil based production system, mitigating environmental impact between 25 %-130%.

    Prof. Dr. Daniela Thrän (Photo: André Künzelmann/UFZ)
  • Claudia Weinhold (EU Academic Network Saxony-Anhalt) 

    Opportunities for research funding in the field of bioeconomy



    Claudia Weinhold studied Agriculture at the Faculty of Natural Science at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and at the University of Edinburgh. After receiving the diploma she got a fellowship of the federal state of Saxony Anhalt and 7 years of research activity followed at MLU. During this time she worked for several research projects on insects, especially beetles, in different agricultural and viticultural used habitats.

    After 10 years work in the trading sector Claudia Weinhold returned to MLU and is now member of the EU-office of MLU. The EU-office is a part of the EU academic network Saxony Anhalt. It’s main task is to support scientists of MLU and universities of applied sciences in the south of Saxony Anhalt who want to apply for funding from EU programmes for research and innovation. The office also to helps with the management of ongoing EU projects.


    The presentation would like to introduce the European landscape of research funding opportunities, in particular the 8th EU Research Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is the largest research funding program in the world, with over € 70 billion funding. The final round of new Horizon 2020 calls for 2018-2020 started in October 2017. Another € 30 billion are available for this period. You will receive specific information about the different funding possibilities for research and innovation projects in the bio-economy.

    The presentation will also provide you with the latest information on various European networks and platforms of the European research landscape and opportunities for participation especially in the field of bio-economics.

    Claudia Weinhold (Photo: Privat)

    Chairman: Gerd Unkelbach, Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes/ CBP

  • Keynote: Prof. Dr. Herbert Sixta (Aalto University, FIN)

    High-quality man-made cellulose fibers from textile and paper wastes



    Dry-jet wet spinning using 1,5-diazabicyclo[4.3.0]non-5-enium acetate as a powerful cellulose solvent is a promising technique for the production of high-strength man-made cellulose fibers not only from wood pulps but also from cellulose-based waste textiles. The regenerated cellulose fibers from waste cotton revealed very high tenacities up to 900 MPa exceeding the tenacity of the strongest virgin cotton fibers and that of commercial man-made cellulosic fibers1. The favorable mechanical properties of the spun fibers from recycled cotton waste can be explained by a small fraction of low molecular weight cellulose and the high total orientation of the cellulose chains along the molecular axis.   

    However, textiles on the market represent almost exclusively multi-component garments with cotton polyester blends being the most prominent mixture. This poses severe challenges onto their recycling due to their inherent heterogeneity.

    Quite recently, we have demonstrated that it is possible to dissolve the cotton component selectively, while the residual and purified polyester experiences almost no degradation. After filtration, the cellulose solution is subjected to dry-jet wet spinning to obtain a Lyocell-type man-made cellulose fiber. At the same time, the recovered polyester can be fed to a melt spinning plant where it can be spun to new textile fibers either as a pure component or in a mixture with fresh polyester.

    Moreover, systematic studies on the recycling of white fine paper and cardboard were carried out to elucidate their potential as raw material for the production of high-quality textile fibers. The raw material was refined gradually to identify the minimum refining needed to turn waste material into feedstock for man-made cellulosic fibers3. Finally, the spun filaments were cut to staple fibers and converted to yarns and knitted prototype fabrics to demonstrate the potential of lignin as a dye substituent.


    1Asaadi, S.; Hummel, M.; Hellsten, S.; Haerkaesalmi, T.; Ma, Y.; Michud, A.; Sixta, H. ChemSusChem (2016), 9, 3250-3258.

    2Haslinger, S.; Hummel, M.; Sixta, H. CELL-42, 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting&Exposition, San Francisco, CA, April 2-6, (2017).

    3Ma, Y., Hummel, M., Määtänen, M., Särkilahti, A., Harlin, A., Sixta,H. Upcycling of waste paper and cardboard to textiles. Green Chem., 2016, 18, 858-866.



    Prof. Dr. Herbert Sixta (Photo: Privat)
  • Dr. Jonas Joelsson (RISE Processum AB, SWE)

    Forest biorefinery development trends – from the regional initiative to pan-European collaboration



    Jonas Joelsson has been working at RISE Processum since 2012, holding positions such as systems analysis specialist and R&D manager and is currently heading the innovation system development group. He has a PhD within energy and environmental systems analysis of biomass-based production systems. Processum is part of RISE research institute of Sweden and an R&D partner within forest-based biorefinery development. Processum is also the host of the regional cluster and innovation initiative “the Biorefinery of the Future”.


    The forest industry has long been part of the economic back-bone of the Scandinavian countries, but is also very important in other regions of Europe. Whereas lumber, pulp and paper remain the bulk flows in the forest bioeconomy, there are several developments towards production of new chemicals, materials, energy carriers and nutrients. New value chains which may integrate with other parts of the developing European bioeconomy in totally new ways. The presentation will give an overview of current trends in forest biorefinery development, with a focus on the Nordics, but also put in the context of pan-European collaboration activities. It will build on experience and examples from the regional innovation initiative “The Biorefinery of the Future”, the national Swedish innovation program “BioInnovation” and the European collaboration projects ERIFORE and BioLinX, as well as other past and present forest biorefinery activities.



    Dr. Jonas Joelsson (Photo: Jonas Forsberg/Processum)
  • Dr. Mika Härkönen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, FIN)

    Piloting and scale-up of new forest based technology concepts – reflections on challenges and opportunities



    Principal Scientist for pilot plant development at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Main responsibilities are project leader for the new Bioruukki Pilot Centre and coordination of research infrastructure development and networking in the field of bio- and circular economy. At VTT since 2006 and before that 15 year in various R&D and management tasks for product development and piloting at petrochemical industry (Borealis, Neste). D.Sc. (Tech.) in polymer technology in 1995 from Helsinki University of Technology.


    Forest industry is developing new process concepts for production of novel value added products. The new product can be a more sustainable bio-based drop-in replacement for an oil-based material, chemical or fuel component. However, in many cases the main target is to valorise the existing forest based raw materials in form of products having new value added functionalities. This is especially typical for bio-based materials, such as new packaging or textile fibre materials.

    The development chain for the novel forest industry processes and products is typically long: selection of raw material; separation of the attractive raw material component from the biomass or recycled feedstock; chemical, biotechnical or mechanical conversion process; and finally product recovery containing e.g. advanced separation technologies.  In addition, a new forest industry product is often made from a new type of raw material and/or the final product is not a direct drop-in replacement. This means that piloting has to provide both high quality process scale-up data and adequate quantities of material for application tests.  Some different types of piloting cases in are reviewed in the presentation.

    The main purpose of piloting is to cross the “valley of death” by reducing the technological and economical uncertainty to acceptable level for an investment to demonstration or commercial unit. As described above, in forest industry the pilots have to be relatively large leading also high investment and operational costs. Therefore, several so-called open access Shared Pilot Facilities (SPF) have been established. A short up-date on networking of the European SPF:s in the field is given.

    Dr. Mika Härkönen (Photo: VTT)
  • SUBSESSION 2 - Model Region Central Germany

    Dr. Daniela Pufky-Heinrich (Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes/ CBP)

  • Dr. Christine Roßberg (Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes)

    Lignin-based agrochemcials



    Dr. Christine Roßberg studied food chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden followed by her doctoral studies at the Institute of Plant- and Wood Chemistry on the separation of lignocellulosic agricultural residues. Since October 2015 she has been working as a scientist and project leader at the Fraunhofer CBP. Here she is responsible for the application of biorefinery products and the development of strategic (European) collaborations within this field.


    Organic farming is facing various challenges, among them the responsible use of admitted plant protecting agents. Here, copper based products are currently the strongest fungicides and are used in e.g. organic viticulture against the pathogen Plasmopara viticola. However, their application is restricted and is foreseen to be fully forbidden after 2021 leading to an urgent need for alternatives for this growing sector to avoid severe economic losses.

    Lignin and lignin-derived compounds constitute a promising starting material for the application as plant protecting agent. They can be produced by for example Organosolv pulping of lignocellulosic biomass, which has the potential to become a key technology in biorefining. To be financially competitive all process streams require marketable products, preferably in applications where their properties are superior to oil based products.

    In this study experiments have been conducted to evaluate the potential of Organosolv lignin from different biomasses, commercially available Kraft lignin as well as of additional Organsolv process streams containing low-molecular weight phenolics as plant protecting agents. Leaf disc experiments were performed at the Weinbau institute in Freiburg im Breisgau to evaluate the performance against P. viticola. The obtained knowledge can be used as a starting point for developing a functioning agent in ecological viticulture.

    Malte Bubera, René Fuchsb, Christine Roßberga

    a Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP, Leuna

    b Staatliches Weinbauinstitut Freiburg

    Dr. Christine Roßberg (Photo: Privat)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Blum (Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems/ IMWS)

    Chemistry 4.0. Future of the Central-German chemical industry and its industrial heritage



    Ulrich Blum (PhD, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 1982) is full professor of economics at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Germany, Founding Director of the Center for Economics of Materials (CEM), a joint research unit of the Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems (IMWS) of Fraunhofer Society and MLU. He holds Beijing Humboldt Chair at UIBE.
    From 2013 to 2016, he was International Excellence Professor of the People’s Republic of China.From 2004 to 2011 he was president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research. In 1991, after German Unification, he was appointed Founding Dean of the newly founded Faculty of Business and Economics at the Technical University of Dresden where he was full professor of Economics until 2004. Before, he was professor of economics in Bamberg, Germany, and Montreal, Canada.
    He is the author and co-author of more than 200 scholarly articles, monographs and book contributions, and the author, co-author and editor of more than 20 books. His most recent research focusses on Economic Warfare. Other research topics include issues of institutional change, including transition economics, industrial organization and economic policy /governance. He has chaired international and national commissions in the fields of standardization and innovation.


    Chemistry 4.0. Future of the Central-German chemical industry and its heritage

    We start by looking into the comparative advantages of the Central Germany Industrial Region from a historical perspective and relate it to the present. We realize that the richness of the region to a large degree relates to its innovative ability in material sciences,, specifically substitution technologies, and the industrial heritage imbedded in its institutions and work force.

    We then inquire into the transition path from a present Chemistry 3.0-type to a Chemistry 4.0-type industry by using the potential of the digital economy. Among the most important points are two:

    • We can establish a digital twin of materials’ flows that allows to increase the efficiency of processes – be thy continuous or discrete (Materials Data Space, MDS®)
    • We may simultaneously  think about (1), functional materials in the composition of chemical products, i.e. material design, (2), the design that makes the products attractive at the market place and, finally, (3) a design for deconstruction, recycling  etc. and optimize sustainable processes (Total Design Management®).

    In doing so, we can adequately take into account the necessity to implement a circular economy (“cradle-to-cradle”) within the Paris Climate Accord. In addition, we can make use of the natural deposits of the region, specifically lignite, that we can use as a climate-neutral base resource for energy and chemical processes. Here, Fraunhofer implements leading-edge technologies and economic concepts. Finally, this opens paths to new business models that may trigger economic growth and allow firms to become industrial leaders, i.e. control the product-life cycle.

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Blum (Photo: Private)
  • DINNER EVENT - Dr. Judith Marquardt, Deputy Mayor of Halle (Saale)

    7 o'clock p.m., Leopoldina, Jägerberg 1, 06108 Halle (Saale)

  • SUBSESSION 3 - Model Region Central Germany

    Dr. Anne-Laure Tissier (ScienceCampus Halle - Plant-Based Bioeconomy)

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Altmann (Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research/ IPK)

    Investigation of genetic and physiological crop performance determinants using high-throughput plant phenotyping




    1989 Diploma, Faculty of Biology, Free University (FU) of Berlin
    1991 PhD, Faculty of Biology, Free University (FU) of Berlin
    1999 Habilitation, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, FU Berlin

    Current Position:

    Since 4/2008: Professor of Molecular Plant Genetics at the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, and head of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Leibniz-Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben, and head of the research group Heterosis.

    Past Positions:

    10/2001 – 3/2008: Professor of Genetics, Potsdam University, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology and University Guest Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Gemany

    2/1995 – 9/2001: Research Faculty (Group Leader) in the Department of Prof. Dr. Lothar Willmitzer, Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm, Gemany.

    1/1993 – 3/1993: Visiting Scientist, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.

    12/1991 – 1/1995: Postdoctoral Research Associate (Project Leader) in the Research Group of Prof. Dr. Lothar Willmitzer, Institut für Genbiologische Forschung Berlin GmbH, Berlin, Germany.


    Whole plant phenotyping integrated with genotyping and molecular profiling is used to uncover determining factors and mechanisms of plant (growth) performance. It relies on IPK facilities for automated cultivation, transport, and imaging of plants in climate controlled phytotron/glasshouse cabins equipped with diverse camera and illumination systems and a broad range of environmental sensors [1]. Beyond GWAS-based detection of QTL for final biomass, water consumption, and water use efficiency, repeated non-invasive size monitoring of 261 maize dent lines revealed the complex genetics of growth dynamics [2]: 12 main effect QTL and 6 pairs of epistatic interactions displayed markedly different temporal patterns of activity. Some also affected relative growth rates and 4 additional growth dynamics QTL were detected using nonparametric functional mapping and multivariate mapping approaches. Thus, integrated time-resolved analyses are required addressing further physiological (e.g. PS II efficiency) and architectural features. These parameters were found to vary strongly among c. 500 of the c. 1300 IPK Genbank maize accessions.

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Altmann (Photo: Sam Rey)
  • Dr. Jochen Kumlehn (Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research/ IPK)

    Site-directed genome modification in cereal crops: applications and challenges



    Jochen Kumlehn studied Agricultural Sciences at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg to graduate in 1988. He obtained his doctoral degree at the Technical University of Berlin in 1994. After over 6 years of research at the Centre of Applied Plant Molecular Biology at the University of Hamburg, he went to the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben. The Plant Reproductive Biology group led by him since 2001 has a strong focus on plant biotechnology. Dr. Kumlehn gives lectures at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and is editor of the Springer-Nature Series Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry.


    Site-directed genome modification triggered by customizable endonucleases offers novel possibilities for the elucidation of gene function and the improvement of crop performance. Site-directed mutagenesis induced by RNA-guided Cas-endonucleases has been established in many crop species and is now being routinely used to produce knock-out lines. Using this method in barley, we showed that the multiple mutations carried by the typically chimeric primary mutants can be readily separated and fixed by producing doubled haploid progeny. Further, the simultaneous expression of two or more different guide-RNAs was demonstrated to result in the precise deletion of fragments between the respective Cas endonuclease-targeted cleavage sites. By contrast, the precise editing of plant genomes using synthetic repair templates implemented by homology-directed DNA repair still represents a serious challenge, because such repair events are comparatively rarely occurring and are typically not associated with a selective advantage needed for the preferential regeneration of genetically modified individuals. Besides our efforts to further improve the technology, current projects aim to generate plants with enhanced yield potential owing to modified spike morphology, with resistance to viral and fungal pathogens as well as with improved product quality.

    Dr. Jochen Kumlehn (Photo: Privat)
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Pillen (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg/ MLU)

    Utilization of biodiversity to improve productivity and cell wall composition in barley



    Prof. Klaus Pillen studied Agriculture (1982-88) at University of Bonn. In 1992, he earned a PhD in Plant Biology at University of Munich. Afterwards, he received a fellowship of the Human Frontier Science Organization and spent a 3 years post-doctoral stay at Cornell University, USA (1993-95) studying tomato genetics.

    Subsequently, Prof. Pillen enrolled again at University of Bonn (1996-2006) being a researcher and lecturer in Molecular Plant Breeding. From 2006-08, he led the Independent Research Group on Barley Genetics at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne. Since 2008, he acts as a Full Professor of Plant Breeding at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg.

    Prof. Pillen is the Co-Speaker of the ScienceCampus Halle - Plant-Based Bioeconomy, elected member of the Reviewing Board of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and Board Member of the German Plant Breeding Association (GPZ). His major research interests are molecular breeding, genomics and genetic diversity of barley and wheat.


    The Chair of Plant Breeding at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg has a strong research focus on applying state of the art plant science technologies to molecular breeding of the cereal crops barley and wheat. Using genetic resources of related wild species, we intend to increase biodiversity and improve productivity and quality using modern high-resolution multi-parental populations of barley and wheat. The populations are subjected to genetic characterization through genome sequencing techniques and to phenotypic characterization through non-invasive hyperspectral and multispectral imaging assays in the field, as well as proteome and metabolome studies in the lab. These methods are applied to study, explain and select a variety of agronomically relevant trait complexes in cereal crops, for instance, plant development, yield formation and quality as well as pathogen resistances and abiotic stress tolerances, for instance against drought or salinity.

    During my talk, I will focus on the elucidation of the genetic regulation of plant development, yield formation and cell wall composition in barley and show how the identified genes will be exploited for a plant-based bioeconomy.

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Pillen (Photo: Maike Glöckner)
  • Coffee Break


    Chairman: Dr. Joachim Schulze, EW Biotech GmbH

  • Keynote: Dr. Andreas Worberg (The Novo Nordisk Foundation, DE) 

    Having the End in Mind – Commercialization of bio-based products with a Pre-Pilot-Plant




    “Having the End in Mind” approaches commercialization of bio-based products deriving from improved cell-factories and adding bio-processing through an ideation – concept evaluation – implementation – validation workflow. State-of-the-art systems biology with design-test-build-learn mechanisms follow a product and market assessment and conceptual process design to make a compelling business case. Besides computational, metabolomics and genetic engineering, IP assessment and development is part of the process and highly integrated. Potential cell-factories get selected through rigorous industrial entry criteria to allow for scale-up work with milestone-driven projects. A smart way to pilot bio-processes is needed to enhance the time to market and create additional value for spin-outs or license-packages.

    NNF granted a substantial amount of money to establish such facility. The PPP is expected to be fully implemented by 2019 and the facilities are located on CFBs premises at the campus of the Danish Technical University (DTU) in Lyngby, Denmark. Operations start up by late of 2017, with a ramp up to full operation by end of 2018. Chemical and Bio-Process engineers, technicians, chemists, biologists and commercial specialists staff the facilities capable of developing two bioprocesses simultaneously while the first projects will commence in mid-2018 and equipment purchases and installation will be completed during 2017-19.

    In order to productively invest PPP resources in accordance with CFB’s mission (to promote a more sustainable bio based chemical industry), it is essential to rigorously evaluate technologies prior to entering the pre-piloting stage. Filter out those that are not commercially viable and/or are inconsistent with CFB’s mission, give constructive guidance to those with commercial potential but not technically ready for pre-piloting. Prioritize those that are clearly ready for pre-piloting and have the most commercial potential and the greatest potential to fulfill CFB’s mission. To characterize key process scale parameters, the PPP has to operate at near, or at, planned operational system level to demonstrate at a small processing scale. Testing of industrial feeds (rather than research grade media), prototyping of product separation strategies, examination of impurities in the purified product, estimation of large-scale capital and operating costs, generation of kilogram quantity product samples is required to produce technology information packages for productive, fully-valued technology transfer into desired commercialization tracks (e.g. spin outs or licenses). Additionally the Center`s facilities will provide process demonstrations, training, and troubleshooting support for internal and external stakeholders.

    Dr. Andreas Worberg (Photo: Privat)
  • Ronny Kittler (futureSAX, GER)

    50 shades of green: the glocalisation of bioeconomy markets



    Ronny Kittler is project manager at futureSAX - the ecosystem for innovation and growth in Saxony. He is responsible for facilitating the knowledge and technology transfer between research and industry organizations. Mr. Kittler holds a degree in political science is trained in environmental technology and has several years of experience in the field of technology and innovation transfer. He previously worked as business coach at the DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum and project staff at engage Technology Ventures.

    futureSAX is an initiative of The Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport. It provides the ecosystem for innovation and growth in the Saxony region of Germany.

    futureSAX is for both, high-growth companies with a strong market position and high-potential startups. With futureSAX it will be much easier to scale a high-growth business as we will back your growth with our network and many coaching and networking opportunities, such as innovation forums, workshops and Investor Roadshows.



    Sustainable Davids and Greening Goliaths – A Tale of Technology Innovation and Diffusion

    The diffusion of technology innovations can be understood as a process of communication among different participants in a social system over time. A comprehensive study of technology innovations and their market diffusion explored factors for failures and success of 100  sustainable and green products and services. From these cases some lessons learned will be presented looking at the key factors for success and how innovation platforms like futureSAX can support such technology innovation diffusion processes.    

    Ronny Kittler (Photo: Private)
  • Dr. Mika Aalto (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, FIN)

    Bioeconomy Research & Innovation Activities and Latest Developments in Finland



    Dr. Mika Aalto is Deputy Director General in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Finland. He is heading the division Enterprises and Growth Ecosystems, and is responsible for enterprise policy, industrial policy and natural resource economy. Before this position, he was development manager in the Strategic Program for the Forest Sector in the same ministry. Prior to joining the ministry, he held various positions at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, including team leader, program manager, Director of Process and Material Technologies, and Director for Forest and Chemical Industries. He also worked in the Tekes Silicon Valley office in California in 2002-2004. He holds a doctor’s degree in chemical technology from Helsinki University of Technology, currently the Aalto University.


    Finland was one of the first countries in the EU to develop its dedicated bioeconomy strategy, which was adopted by the government in 2014. Its goal was to increase the value of Finnish bioeconomy from 60 to 100 billion euros by 2025, and its implementation has been led nationally from the ministry level, in a tight co-operation between the three key ministries: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Ministry of Environment. The presentation is going to outline the implementation of the Finnish bioeconomy strategy up until now, and present highlights of the most important and most successful activities, including examples of successful bioeconomy companies.



    Dr. Mika Aalte (Photo: Privat)
  • SUBSESSION 4 - Model Region Central Germany

    Dr. Daniela Pufky-Heinrich (Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes/ CBP)

  • Dr. Marc Struhalla (c-LEcta) 

    Cell-free synthetic biology to produce food ingredients



    Marc is co-founder, shareholder and managing director of c-LEcta. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Hamburg following an undergraduate study in biochemistry at the University of Leipzig. On completion of his Ph.D., he returned to the University of Leipzig before founding c-LEcta. Marc has more than 10 years of experience in product development and commercialization in the industrial biotech field and managed the closure of numerous strategic alliances with the industry.


    Many biotechnology companies are specialized on the use of metabolic engineering to develop designer bugs for the fermentative production of ingredient products for instance for the food and personal care industry. Recent scientific advances in synthetic biology have paved new possibilities and will lead to exciting new high-value products entering the market. On the other hand the efficiency of fermentation processes is sometimes a little bit overrated. Expectations towards product formation rates and product titers are too high and unrealistic. Making use of “metabolic pathways” or better call it multi-enzyme cascade reactions towards new products in a cell-free in vitro setup is nowadays becoming a very powerful alternative (“cell-free synthetic biology”). Enzyme Engineering allows to provide enzymes with completely new properties and abilities like coping with very high substrate and product concentrations that are by factors larger than usual titers encountered in fermentation processes. One often used argument against the in vitro use of enzymes is the necessity of very expensive cofactors and cosubstrates. But such costs automatically come down with increasing product titers. Smart concepts for cofactor recycling and in situ cosubstrate generation help to tremendously increase the process cost efficiency. The talk will exemplify enzyme engineering and synthesis process development work done by c-LEcta on multi-enzyme one-pot synthesis of high-value food ingredient products and give an outlook towards the future potential of cell-free synthetic biology.



    Dr. Marc Struhalla (Photo: Privat)
  • Dr. Dana Kralisch (JeNaCell GmbH)   

    From lab to market - How to succeed?



    Dana is Chief Technical Officer at JeNaCell GmbH and one of the two founders of this young biotech-company. She is chemist with focus on technical chemistry & process design. Together with Nadine Hessler, Dana developed the “Horizontal-Lift-Reactor” process for continuous biotechnological cellulose generation. The pioneering work of both was awarded by, e.g., the Sciene4Life Venture Cup, the Thuringian Research Prize and Falling Walls Venture. Today, JeNaCell produces innovative medical products based on the process revolution.


    Within only five years, JeNaCell developed from a science-based start-up to a certified medical producer of pioneering products for burns and other skin injuries with a production capacity in ton-scale. How did this happen?

    JeNaCell is specialist for the development and production of biotechnologically derived cellulose (BC) with a defined shape and controlled 3D structure design. Our own self-developed worldwide unique technology for automated, (semi-)continuous production of planar BC, with the name biocellic+ - a high-performance high-tech-biopolymer - is the manufacturing base and core element of our innovation. With this efficient process, we are the first who are able to produce this fascinating biomaterial, both in large quantities and in consistently high quality. The main business of JeNaCell are hydroactive medical and dermatological products. The market volume for modern wound care products is estimated at EUR 15 billion worldwide. Here, hydroactive products and skin substitutes have a high market potential with attractive growth rates of up to 15%. The USPs of our products enable excellent market opportunities.

    In this presentation, we will share our experiences gained during the first years of start-up and growth and discuss hurdles and chances we met on our way as a young biotech company.

    Kralisch D, Hessler N, Klemm D, Erdmann R, Schmidt W (2010) White biotechnology for cellulose manufacturing – the HoLiR concept, Biotechnol Bioeng 105 (4):740–747.

    Dr. Dana Kralisch (Photo: Dirk Bannert, Evonik )
  • Dr. Joachim Schulze (EW Biotech GmbH)

    The Top Trends in Bioeconomy  - without shortcuts to success



    Joachim is Doctor of natural science, Inorganic Chemistry and has been CEO of EW Biotech GmbH in Leuna since 2017. EW Biotech is specialized in transfering small scale and newly developed Biotech processes into industrial scale.
    At the EW Biotech site in Leuna we operate Fermentation and Downstream lines from lab to production scale with 85m³ Fermenter under industrial conditions (24/7).
    Besides Scale-Up and tolling services the facility enables expanded research and development activities in the Biotech Industry.

    Before that, he spent almost 10 years with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions Head of Department.



    The use of renewable raw materials as an alternative to fossil resources is gaining in importance in the chemical industry. One particular focus is on platform chemicals produced by means of fermentation. These are products which can be used as a basis to produce a multitude of chemicals. This are the first steps into industrial biotechnology.

    Dr. Joachim Schulze (Photo: transmedial)
  • Lunch Break


    13:30 - 16:30 registration for BioLinX Brokerage under


    Dr. Wiebke Müller (Project Management Jülich)

  • Alexander Hilgarth (Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg)

    HONEYCLOUD – Connected Smart Homes for Honeybees



    Alexander Hilgarth is a research associate at the Chair of Aerospace Information Technology at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg. His tasks there include the scientific direction of the prototyping laboratory of the chair. He studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin and wrote his thesis on telemedicine and remote monitoring of vital signs. His research focuses on embedded systems and especially reliable wireless sensor systems.


    Honeybees are irreplaceable key organisms in agriculture due to their pollination capacity. Their direct contributions to the production of fruits and vegetables and their indirect contributions (feed for animals) mean that they are responsible for about 80% of food for people. However, complex changes in the environment over the last few decades are increasingly presenting problems for a healthy, area-wide bee population. The bee deaths that have been observed worldwide for decades are leading to a steady reduction of the bee population. At the same time, the world's population is growing exponentially. Even with a constant bee population, this implicitly results in an exponential dependence of humans on the pollination performance of bees. The external strains and threats of bee colonies require regular condition checks by the beekeeper. However, this in turn is itself a stress for the bees and leads often to disturbed self-regulation (homeostasis) of the bee colonies. For example, each opening of a beehive for control purposes can result in a loss of yield of up to 1 kg of honey. Much more significant, however, is the stress that the bees are subjected to during every regular inspection of the colonies. The HONEYCLOUD project therefore aims to provide an IT infrastructure that enables continuous monitoring of bees without direct intervention. The technology used must remain unobtrusive and the beehive must not become a control cabinet. This infrastructure must not only be easy to install and operate, but also very affordable. In the project, reliable miniaturized and energy-efficient sensors are to be developed using COTS components within the framework of a technology transfer from space technologies to the terrestrial sector.

    Alexander Hilgarth (Photo: Privat)
  • Fabian Bonk (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH/ UFZ)

    Efficient recovery of acidified biogas plants



    Fabian Bonk studied Environmental Engineering at RWTH Aachen and Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi. He was part of the biorefinery flagship project by Masdar Institute (MI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since 2015 he is doing his PhD at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research on the anaerobic digestion microbiome in a combined experimental and computational approach. Since 2016, he is the project leader of the BMBF founded project “Biogas Pill”.



    Several hundred cases of acidification are estimated to occur in German biogas plants annually. In the best case, plants can recover but are faced with economic losses of several thousand euros. In the worst case, the process biology breaks down completely, resulting in months of downtime and substantial economic losses. In our research project, we develop an additive that allows a fast and cost-efficient recovery of acidified biogas plants. Furthermore, we develop an additive to accelerate the start-up of new plants that are located too far from conventional inoculum sources.



    Fabian Bonk (Photo: Privat)
  • Dr. Anne-Katrin Mahlein (Institute of Sugar Beet Research)

    Hyperspectral Phenotyping of Resistance of Crop Plants to Plant Pathogens – New Insights and Opportunities from the project



    PD Dr. Anne-Katrin Mahlein accomplished her studies of agricultural sciences at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelm-University Bonn and achieved in 2011 her PhD in the research programme „DFG-graduate school“ on the application of information technologies in precision plant protection. Subsequently she did research within the “Network of Competence:” at the agricultural faculty of the University at Bonn, funded by the BMBF and established her own independent junior research group. In 2016 she earned her habilitation and has received the venia legendi to teach in the field of plant protection and plant health. Her scientific expertise includes the fields of plant diseases, integrated plant protection and plant phenotyping. In her research she puts special emphasis on the application of optical sensors assessing plant diseases and defence reactions. In July 2017 she has become the head of the Institute of Sugar Beet Research in Göttingen. She teaches in crop science at the agricultural faculty of the University Göttingen. She received several awards and scholarships for her scientific achievements (Julius-Kühn award of the German Scientific Society for Plant Protection and Plant Health; award of the Theodor-Brinkmann foundation for young scientists; award of the Rank Prize Funds Nutrition Committee for young scientist, award from the Universitätsgesellschaft Bonn for the best thesis at the University of Bonn, Fellow of the Daimler and Benz foundation, Miran grant from the University of Manchester). She serves internationally and nationally as reviewer for scientific journals and funding institutions.


    The detection and identification of plant diseases is crucial for an appropriate and targeted application of plant protection measures in crop production and or for a selection of resistance genotypes. Recently, intensive research has been conducted to develop innovative and technology based optical methods for plant disease detection. In contrast to common visual rating and detection methods, optical sensors are able to measure pathogen induced changes in the physiology of susceptible or resistant plants non-invasively and objectively. Especially hyperspectral sensors are valuable tools for disease detection, identification and quantification on different scales from the tissue to the canopy level. Within this context, the detection of subtle resistance reactions is even more challenging. Thus the project at the University of Bonn aimed to develop a non-invasive screening routine based on hyperspectral techniques. Possible applications of hyperspectral sensors on different scales for disease detection and plant breeding have been evaluated. The advantages and disadvantages on each particular scale were critically considered. Based on an approaches by a combination of expertise from plant pathology, electrical engineering, informatics and advanced data analysis, detection of primary infection sites or defence reactions – even before visible symptoms appear – was feasible. The potential of hyperspectral sensors as a tool for resistance screening and disease identification, based on characteristic changes in the plants spectral signature, could be underlined. Future research also has to consider improved sensor platforms and vehicles for field and high-throughput applications. It is expected, that new developments in the field of robotics will speed up the integration into agricultural practice.

    Dr. Anne-Katrin Mahlein (Photo: Gülten Hamidanoglu)
  • Dipl.-Ing. Sven Grasselt-Gille (TU Dresden) 

    The one-way-cot - bioeconomical design for sustainable relief



    Sven Grasselt-Gille is married and has three children. In 2014 he finished his studies at TU Dresden in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in industrial design and aerospace engineering.His first employment was at the Chair of Space Systems of the TUD; later he changed to the Chair of Wood Technology and Fibre Materials technology. There he is working on the development of products made from natural fiber materials since 2014.


    Aid organizations depend on the provision of cots in immense numbers to respond to multiple disaster scenarios as populations grow. Above all, the required equipment must be cheap, easy to transport and easy to dispose of.

    Current designs meet these and other core requirements of modern humanitarian aid insufficient. They have additional disadvantages such as unstatisfactory ergonomics and long logistics chains and are designed for multiple uses, which is the exception in practice. Thus a high expenditure of resources is offset by a low utility value.

    Within the framework of the BMBF project "EFB - Disposable cot from renewable resources for humanitarian aid" a product solution is de-veloped, which basic premises are the design for one-time transpor-tation and construction from renewable resources. Further require-ments are to improve the ergonomics for all user groups and limiting the costs to a competitive level.

    Thanks to the fundamental re-design the previous project goals were met in full extent. By using technologies of the packaging industry, it is additionally possible to manufacture large quantities in a short time, as required by flexible production.

    In the next stage of development, field tests in cooperation with relief organisations will serve to quantify the products benefits.



    Dipl.-Ing. Sven Grasselt-Gille (Photo: Privat)
  • Dr. Matthias Fladung (Thuenen-Institute of Forest Genetics) 

    Genetic modifications to increase biomass yield in poplar



    Matthias Fladung studied biology at the universities of Konstanz and Kiel (Germany) with Diploma in Zoology 1983, PhD-fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Plant Breeding, Koeln, Germany, and habilitation at the University of Hamburg 1988. From 1993 until today, he is at the Thünen-Institute of Forest Genetics in Grosshansdorf, and until 2009, Deputy Head of the institute. His scientific research areas are gene technology, genome analysis, and application of Genome Editing in trees.


    Safeguarding and increase of crop yield, quality of plant raw materials and sustainability in plant production requires new approaches in research and breeding. In the EU, there are 4.5 Mio ha set-aside of agricultural land and 25% of this acreage is used for growing sustainable products. Set-aside agricultural land is usually nutrient-poor, and these nutrient-poor soils are suitable for growing trees as energy crop since trees show a high nutrient-efficiency and it is not necessary to fertilize trees in short rotation plantations.

    The main objective of this BMBF/PTJ-funded project was the generation of qualitatively optimized poplar trees with increased wood yield, modified lignin content, increased tolerances to abiotic stresses, and optimized plant architecture by first employing a transgenic engineering approach of “biomass-related” genes. A Genome Editing approach was also evaluated in this project.

    SOC1 and FUL are genes regulating both flowering time and fruit development. Subsequently, it was shown that both genes have an influence onto biomass formation in Arabidopsis. By overexpression of SOC1 and FUL, their influence onto biomass formation was verified also in poplar in a proof of concept approach. Here, growth of poplar and thus biomass formation was extremely disturbed. In a complement approach, increase of biomass formation is in focus through knockout of five paralog genes of SOC1 and FUL.

    Further, phenotypic modified poplars were achieved by genetic modification of PCBER1, an oxidoreductase gene catalyzing a certain step of lignan biosynthesis. While overexpression of PCBER1 in transgenic poplar lines revealed significantly modified wood composition, knockdown of this gene led to significantly increased plant height and slightly modified wood composition.



    Dr. Matthias Fladung (Photo: Privat)
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Nick (Botanical Garden of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

    Playing LEGO with Plant Metabolism Using a Microfluidic Biofermenter



    Prof. Dr. Peter Nick studied Biology in Freiburg. After his Ph.D. in 1990, he moved for two years to Japan as postdoc funded by the Japanese Science and Technology Agency, then additional two years to France funded by the Human Frontier Science Programme Organisation. After returning to Freiburg to complete his habilitation 1996, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, he obtained a Junior Research Group by the Volkswagen Foundation and accepted a professor position at the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 2003. From 2005, he is Head of the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and the Botanical Garden in Karlsruhe. Since 2003, he is editor-in-chief of Protoplasma (Springer), the cell biology journal with the longest tradition. He is heading a group with currently 25 Ph.D. students, and 5 postdoctoral researchers - research topics are Plant Cellular Biotechnology, Plant Stress, and Applied Biology.


    Plants can synthetise more than a million of so called secondary compounds. What for? Since they cannot run away, plants have chosen the evolutionary strategy to manipulate other organisms for their purpose. Many of these compounds have there also an effect on humans and represent the molecular base for the healing activity of many plants. Since several years we work on production of these secondary compounds in cell cultures to obtain a sustainable alternatives for the collection and extraction of frequently endangered and rare plants. However, often these compounds are not made in cell culture, because plant chemistry is team work, where different cells have to cooperate. This "metabolic LEGO" is hard to simulate in a biofermenter. To get a biotechnological copy of cellular cooperation, an interdisciplinary cooperation of scientists (Botanical Institute and Institute for Microstructure Technology, both Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Phyton Ahrensburg as industrial partner) was established to develop a microfluidic biofermenter for plant cells. In frame of the Ideenwettbewerb Bioökonomie the application of this biofermenter was explored together with Phyton, Ahrensburg using the synthesis of anti-cancer compounds from cell cultures of tobacco, Taxus and Catharanthus as model. We were able to show that modular combination of different cell types can release hidden metabolic potencies. We also were able to show that a careful analysis of cellular aspects in a biofermenter is crucial for application.



    Prof. Dr. Peter Nick (Photo: Privat)
  • Dr. Henrike Brundiek (Enzymicals AG)

    Bio-based antimicrobial substances – an opportunity for a new kind of detergent?



    Dr. Henrike Brundiek is a trained biotechnologist with strong expertise in enzyme expression and protein engineering. During her PhD, she established and optimized the expression of thermostable lipases in gram-positive bacteria (Research Centre Jülich) and during her post-doc time (University of Greifswald), she was responsible for an industrially funded project on enzymatic lipid modification. In Enzymicals, she is head of R&D and responsible for enzyme production and protein engineering projects.


    Currently, laundry is performed in shorter and colder washing cycles. This has provoked a lower level of sanitization in clothes after washing especially in central and northern European countries. Therefore, HYGIENZYM has investigated the creation of a novel bifunctional detergent able to wash and sanitize cloths using the capacity of certain commercial and non-commercial enzymes as well as compounds of essential oils as antimicrobial agents.

    During the project, two antimicrobial enzymes were identified to be of special interest: a haloperoxidase, which was previously not commercially available, and shows a broad antimicrobial spectrum and the enzyme lysostaphin, which is especially active against staphylococci, including the MRSA germs. These enzymes were produced cost-effectively in a secretory form in Pichia pastoris. In addition, a bacterial lactoperoxidase with potentially antimicrobial properties was prepared on a laboratory scale, too. Since the peroxidase system is a complex tripartite system, first plant extracts with antimicrobial activity were used for the proof-of-concept work on the new detergent formulation.
    Finally, a new two-chamber film technology could be employed for the formulation of the novel liquid detergent with the capacity to sanitize clothes during washing. Hence, Hygienzyme has investigated sucessfully novel washing concepts which are in line with greener washing habits.



    Dr. Henrike Brundiek (Photo: Privat)
  • Dr.-Ing. Felix Lenk (TU Dresden)

    Sens-o-Spheres - The wireless sensor platform for the new Bioeconomy



    Dr. Felix Lenk leads the research group SmartLab systems at the TU Dresden. Research focus are the next generation of sensor systems (NGS), the Computer Vision for biological samples and laboratory automation for the Lab of the Future.
    Until 2009, he studied automation and control at the TU Dresden and the University of Calgary, Canada. From 2009 to 2010, he joined the plant automation industry. From 2010 to 2014, he did his PhD at the chair of Bioprocess Engineering at the TU Dresden in the field of growth modeling of plant in vitro cultures.
    Dr. Felix Lenk authored several peer-reviewed publications as well as two book chapters and holds 7 patents.


    Standard sensor probes represent a measured value only in one spot of the bioprocess. While those measurements depict accurately the conditions in the bioreactor for homogeneously mixed processes, heterogeneities in not ideally mixed reactors cannot be detected. Furthermore, the integration of such rod-shaped, wired probes pose a problem when it comes to reactors in which sensor ports are not provided due to design limitations (e. g. shaking flasks, tube or flat panel bioreactors etc.).
    We present a new approach, the Sens-o-Spheres. Omitting the cable connection while condensing the whole sensor geometry to a small sphere of only 8 mm in diameter allows a flexible usage. The re-usable sphere consists of a data and a charging antenna, a micro-controller for the functional coordination, a rechargeable battery all within a laser welded encapsulation for the use in biotechnological processes. Onto this sensor platform a temperature sensor is mounted. This spherical measurement device moves through the process volume independently and transmits the recorded measuring values wirelessly via radio frequency waves to a receiver.
    Mobile sensors like the Sens-o-Spheres provide the opportunity to investigate heterogeneities and make measuring much simpler. With the integration of further measurements such as pH-value and dissolved oxygen concentration, the Sens-o-Spheres will be a powerful tool towards the new bioeconomy.

    Dr. Felix Lenk (Photo: Mann)
  • Nadja Kreuter (Justus Liebig University Gießen)

    Lipases from edible mushrooms for use in the dairy industry



    Nadja Kreuter was born on June 26th 1988 in Koblenz, Germany. In 2013, she finished her studies of Food Chemistry at the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU, Master of Science). In 2014, she completed her state exam at the Landesbetrieb Hessisches Landeslabor in Wiesbaden as a nationally certified food chemist. Since then, she has been working on her doctoral thesis at the Institute of Food Chemistry and Food Biotechnology in Gießen.


    The characteristic aroma profile of e.g. Provolone is achieved by addition of calf, kid coat, or lamb pregastric esterases to the cheese milk. Due to the demands of vegetarians and a growing market of kosher and halal-certified products, alternative lipases e.g. from edible mushrooms (Basidiomycetes) with the ability to create similar aroma profiles are highly sought-after. Here, especially wild-type strains are of interest in order to obtain “natural” and “GMO-free” products.

    In a broad screening, various mushrooms were tested in submerged cultures for the secretion of appropriate lipases. The esterase/lipase profiles of the supernatants were quantified by photometric assays and compared to a commercial product from the root of tongue of goats (“opti-zym”). The cultivation parameters of the most promising mushrooms were optimized to increase the secretion of extracellular lipases. The lipases were purified from the supernatants by means of foam fractionation, ammonium sulfate precipitation and fast protein liquid chromatography. Finally, the target enzymes were biochemically characterized and the encoding cDNAs were amplified by PCR.

    Application tests of promising enzymes were carried out in cooperation with the project partner optiferm GmbH. The cheeses were ripened for 30 days and then stored for another 12 weeks. During the whole ripening and storage process, the sensory properties of the cheese were analyzed and compared to those of the “opti-zym” product. A GC-MS-based method was developed and the produced cheeses were tested for the presence of free fatty acids by solid phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatographic analysis using mass spectrometric detection.



    Nadja Kreuter (Photo: Privat)
  • Prof. Dr. Wulf Amelung (University of Bonn)

    Sustainable adaptation of coastal agro-ecosystems to increased salinity intrusion (DeltAdapt)



    After studies in geoecology (1993), PhD research (1997) and habilitation (2001) at University of Bayreuth, Wulf Amelung became head of the central chemical lab of ecology (TU Berlin; 2002), full professor in soil science and soil ecology at University of Bonn (2004), and, in parallel, head of Agrosphere institute (IBG-3), Research Centre Jülich (2011). His research addresses the fate of priority pollutants in terrestrial systems, nutrient cycling in soil, and the non-invasive sensing of soil properties.



    More than 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 km of the coastline, however, the coastal agro-ecosystems are increasingly threatened by salinity intrusion and recent land-use changes. In the Mekong and Red River Deltas, Vietnam, farmers react to the salinity intrusion by many ways such as shifting from paddy rice to rice-shrimp farming and saline aquaculture, associated with increasing investment costs, unknown changes in soil fertility and greenhouse gas evolution. Other farmers or family members migrate for work or sell their topsoil to generate immediate income, which complicates the options to reverse these trends. In the DeltAdapt project, a consortium of German and Vietnamese scientists evaluated the extent, risks and opportunities of these changes along salinity gradients in both deltas. We found that topsoil selling results in irreversible losses of soil fertility and detrimental legacy effects on neighboring water budgets, though fungi-inoculated composts may improve soils’ status. Shifting from paddy rice to rice-shrimp farming impaired soil fertility much less than direct conversion to saline aquaculture, whereas preventing salinity intrusion by using dykes increase soil pollution with pesticides towards the dyke. On larger scale, novel aquaculture – cropping rotations like integrated rice-shrimp farming or intelligent rice-vegetable or rice –fish systems could provide climate-smart and profit-orientated solutions, if remaining flexible and integrated into landscape-scale land-use planning. If wisely managed on large scale and underpinned by insurance systems, the threat of salinity intrusion may thus finally convert into an opportunity towards an adapted, sustainable coastal agro-ecosystem management with improved livelihoods.

    Prof. Dr. Wulf Amelung (Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH)
  • Dr. Benjamin Engler (Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences)

    Precision Harvesting of Deciduous Species for the Bioeconomy



    Benjamin Engler studied forestry at the University of Dresden and University of Freiburg. Since 2007 he is working in scientific research and education of forest operations and biomass supply at various institutions. He gained his PhD at the University of Freiburg for modeling mechanization processes in Eucalyptus plantations in Southern China. Today, he is working as research coordinator at the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim and University of Göttingen.


    In the light of climate change and societal interests, forests are under change from coniferous to deciduous tree species. Today, deciduous species are by far lesser used for any material application than coniferous species. This offers a great chance specifically for new applications in the field of Bioeconomy. However, there is a lack of precise forest operation technology for harvesting deciduous species, since the development focused on coniferous species for the last decades.

    The joint-cooperation project HIPHAR focused on operation technology that enables foresters to supply wood fully-mechanized with a low impact on the environment, a reduced work strain, but a maximum yield of resources. Four independent developments were realized within the project: a bogie-axle with track-supporting roller to increase the effective area of contact, a harvester head specifically to fell and process large dimensions of deciduous trees, a position and navigation system under forest conditions, and a new designed machine cabin including steering.

    Field studies and experiments at test stands were performed, gaining promising results that support the concept ideas. With the new bogie-axle the effective contact surface area was significantly increased leading to a higher number of passable drives on sensitive forest soils at reduced rut creation. The designed harvester head has a completely different feeder device that enables operators to follow the buckled shaft of deciduous species. The mounted top and bottom saw allow a maximum yield of the valuable trunk. Further tests of the developments are envisaged to make the technology ready for the market.

    Dr. Benjamin Engler (Photo: Privat)

    Prof. Dr. Dierk Scheel, Leibniz Institute of Plantchemistry & Prof. Dr. Matthias Zscheile, BioEconomy Cluster

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