Photo: Rumposch/ATB


Using biogenic resources in a circular economy.

In a bioeconomy, society uses renewable, regrowing, i.e. biogenic raw materials as the basis for its economy. Fossil resources play no role in a sustainable bioeconomy, while residual materials are of central importance. Production and consumption always generate by-products and residual material flows, i.e. by-products and supposed waste that can be returned to the production cycle as valuable resources. They can be used to produce new bio-based materials and energy. In a bioeconomy, agricultural production plays a key role in the production of raw materials.

Bioeconomic production systems are highly complex: the material flows and processes in agriculture, the food industry and biomass conversion interact with each other in a wide variety of ways and are highly variable.

Knowledge-based, temporally and spatially differentiated and automated 

Our research aims at controlling these processes in a knowledge-based, temporally and spatially differentiated and increasingly automated manner. We use sensors, digital technologies and innovative methods of data processing to obtain comprehensive information about the respective material flows and process steps and to derive management strategies from this information.

Focus on microbiome management 

And we have the smallest in our focus: microorganisms are the 'greatest' in the bioeconomy. They are indispensable for biological processes - whether for the conversion of nutrients in agricultural soils, for the degradation of substrates in biogas fermenters, for the conversion of substances in biorefineries or even in terms of contamination and spoilage of food. 

With our research in the field of microbiome management, we want to gain a better understanding of the microorganisms involved in the various processes. The use of this knowledge can help to further improve the efficiency of bioeconomic production systems.

Innovative business models for the bioeconomy

Together with European partners, we develop new and innovative business models for bio-based value chains and ecosystem services that meet the specific requirements of different regions. At the national and regional level, we also focus on key figures and indicators for monitoring the progress of the bioeconomy and suitable methods for its implementation.

With our flexible, site-specific concepts for a bio-based circular economy, we contribute to meeting the global challenges of food security, climate and environmental protection and animal welfare on a local and individual basis. 

Selected research projects on the topic

More projects on the topic ...

More publications on the topic ...


PD Dr. habil. Grundmann, Philipp

Head of Research Group Innovations in Sociotechnical Systems

Department: Technology Assessment


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