13. December 2023

University of Bonn Contributes Expertise to NRW Bioeconomy Advisory Board University of Bonn Contributes Expertise to NRW Bioeconomy Advisory Board

Sustainable, biobased economy to boost climate-neutral transformation of industry

From biodegradable plastic to cement manufactured in a climate-neutral way and leather made sustainably from fungi, biobased business management and biotechnological processes can do much to turbocharge the climate-friendly transformation of industry and a resource-efficient circular economy. The government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has now assembled a Bioeconomy Advisory Board to strengthen the state as a center for the bioeconomy and undertake a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and risks. The independent body of 15 counts not one but two specialists from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Bonn among its members in the shape of Professor Monika Hartmann and Professor Ralf Pude.

Bioeconomy advisors: Professor Monika Hartmann (right) and Professor Ralf Pude (left) on the Klein-Altendorf Campus.
Bioeconomy advisors: Professor Monika Hartmann (right) and Professor Ralf Pude (left) on the Klein-Altendorf Campus. © Photo: Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn
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15 experts from the fields of industry, academia and civil society were appointed to work together on a bioeconomy strategy for NRW over the next two years. Mona Neubaur, NRW’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy, says: “The innovative use of biomass and new biotechnological methods are making a vital contribution to the climate-neutral transformation of industry and a resource-efficient circular economy. We in North Rhine-Westphalia recognized the huge potential that the bioeconomy offers competitive, sustainably minded companies and start-ups a long time ago and are being ambitious in driving forward the expansion of a biobased economy. With the appointment of the Bioeconomy Advisory Board, the state government is delivering on a major promise in its coalition agreement.”


Seeing matters from the consumer’s point of view

Professor Monika Hartmann has led the Agricultural and Food Market Research Department at the Institute for Food and Resource Economics since 2002, having previously been a professor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) in Halle. Together with her interdisciplinary team, Professor Hartmann studies what shapes environmentally, socially and economically responsible behavior in the agriculture and food sector. She focuses particularly on consumer behavior in relation to sustainable consumption and the acceptance of new products and technologies.

“I’m delighted to be appointed to NRW’s Bioeconomy Advisory Board and to have the opportunities it brings me to lend active support to the transformation process as we endeavor to meet our climate targets,” she says. “Securing acceptance from all relevant stakeholder groups is key to a successful transformation into a sustainable bioeconomy. Unfortunately, the needs of society and the expectations of consumers are rarely paid enough attention. I want to change that to make sure biobased innovations don’t fail due to insufficient acceptance.”


A renewable raw material for construction and other uses

Agricultural scientist Ralf Pude is Professor for Renewable Raw Materials at the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES) and Scientific Director at the Klein-Altendorf Campus. He is also a pioneer in renewable raw materials, a field that he played a significant role in developing. For many years now, his main research interest has been miscanthus, a perennial that yields vast amounts of biomass. His innovations include a type of lightweight concrete and other (construction) materials based on miscanthus and other plants.

Professor Pude has gradually grown the Klein-Altendorf Campus into a genuine “sustainability campus,” which likewise prioritizes the transfer of research findings into practice. He is pleased to be joining NRW’s Bioeconomy Advisory Board: “The transfer process has always lasted too long up until now. This is something I want to change through my involvement. There is still some catching-up to do in terms of offering farmers incentives to grow certain crops, and the recently imposed ban on them cultivating renewable raw materials on set-aside land is simply absurd!” This is one of the reasons why Professor Pude is especially keen to contribute his interdisciplinary approach to the board.

The following 15 members have been elected for the board’s first three-year term:

  • Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring, Ruhr-University Bochum, Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovative Business Models, Academic Director of the WORLDFACTORY Start-up Center
  • Dr. Peter Enste, Institute for Work and Technology at Westfälische Hochschule – Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Head of Research Department Health Industries & Quality of Life, Gelsenkirchen
  • Dr. Ricarda Finnern, LenioBio GmbH, Chief Scientific Officer, Aachen and Düsseldorf
  • Timothy Fitschen, Federal Employment Agency, Head of the Rhineland Division, Brühl
  • Prof. Dipl.-Holzwirtin Katja Frühwald-König, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Speaker for the proHolz.NRW Cluster, Member of the Board of the Smart Wood Center
  • Dr. Christopher Grünewald, Managing Director of Grünewald Papier GmbH & Co. KG, Vice President of DIE PAPIERINDUSTRIE
  • Prof. Dr. Monika Hartmann, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics
  • Dr. Gernot Jäger, Covestro, Head of Biotechnology
  • Dr. Christian Lenges, International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), Venture Director
  • Prof. Dr. Regina Palkovits, RWTH Aachen University, Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry, and Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for a Sustainable Hydrogen Economy
  • Thomas Patermann, Chair of the NRW Regional Group of Verband kommunaler Unternehmen (Waste Management and City Cleanliness VKU/VKS Division), Chair of the Board of Wirtschaftsbetriebe Duisburg AöR
  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Pude, University of Bonn, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Scientific Director of the Klein-Altendorf Campus
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Bio- and Geosciences, and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; Bioeconomy Science Center and BioökonomieREVIER
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Schweizer-Ries, Bochum University of Applied Sciences, integrated Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Prof. Dr. Anna von Mikecz, Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Deputy Chair of NABU NRW

Press release of University of Bonn:

www.uni-bonn.de | 13.12.2023

Prof. Dr. Monika Hartmann
Institute for Food and Resource Economics
Phone: +49 228 73-3537
E-Mail: monika.hartmann@ilr.uni-bonn.de

Prof. Dr. Ralf Pude
Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation
Phone: +49 2225 99963-13
E-Mail: r.pude@uni-bonn.de

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