Last week, the board of the Union of the German Potato Industry (UNIKA) was given an insight into the research fields of ATB during its summer meeting.
"I was extremely pleased about the request for UNIKA and ATB to get to know each other, because the exchange with practice is of central importance for us in science," emphasized Prof. Dr. Barbara Sturm, our scientific director of ATB, in her welcoming speech.
After the welcome as well as the presentation of the research work and the structure of the ATB here in Potsdam by Prof. Dr. Sturm, Dr. Sebastean Schwarz, Managing Director of UNIKA, presented the concept of UNIKA as a cross-stage workbench for the German potato industry.
"The variety of research topics being worked on at ATB is already impressive. The joint discussion clearly showed that there are also numerous intersections with topics of the potato industry. We discussed intensively, for example, whether agromechatronics and sensor technology could be used for haulm regulation or for weed control," explains Leo von Kameke, vice chairman of UNIKA.
The lively discussion continued during a tour of the research campus of ATB. In the agromechatronics hall, digitalization and robotics were the focus of the exchange. In the fresh produce lab, scientists provided information about their work in the fields of storage and packaging. During a visit to the pilot plant for biochemicals, the UNIKA board learned how lactic acid can be produced from bioresidues, such as potato peelings.
"We will remain in dialogue in the future, because there are many common issues. It was a fruitful and interesting exchange for both sides," summed up Prof. Dr. Sturm and von Kameke.