Multifunctional Biomaterials

Photo: Foltan/ATB

State Secretary Tobias Dünow visits ATB

MWFK State Secretary Tobias Dünow (f.m.), accompanied by Sonja Germer (h.m.), Officer for Non-University Research, finds out about research at the ATB. Scientific Dir. Prof. Barbara Sturm (from left), Prof. UZ Barbara Amon (from right, Research Officer), Dr Robin Gebbers (right, Scientific MA) and Dr Thomas Hoffmann (left, Board Representative InnoHof) inform about current research projects. (Photo: C. Petzold/ATB)

Deep insights: Dr Thomas Hoffmann uses the prototype to explain the technical implementation of weed control in the SensoBA project. (Photo: C. Petzold/ATB)

At the Rapid Mapper, Dr Robin Gebbers explains the development of a mobile sensor platform for determining soil properties from the I4S project. (Photo: C. Petzold/ATB)

On 7 March 2024, State Secretary Tobias Dünow visited the ATB to inform himself about current research topics and visions for the future, in particular the Leibniz Innovation Farm for Sustainable Bioeconomy (InnoHof) and applications of artificial intelligence in agricultural research focusing on practical applications.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Sturm, Scientific Director of the ATB, began by giving a comprehensive overview of current work at the ATB and the institute's vision for the future. She was very pleased about the many interested questions and the intensive exchange with Mr Dünow. ATB scientists then presented a selection of current work statuses and results from the areas of diversified crop production, individualised animal husbandry and multifunctional biomaterials, in which the use of AI technologies is currently being intensively researched and tested.

" It becomes clear that - contrary to widespread opinion - technology can and must be part of the solution to current problems. Although it cannot itself ensure greater environmental protection, it can help," says Barbara Sturm, summarising the exchange. "We are pursuing this approach intensively in our research, as demonstrated by the work presented today in SunBot, I4S, BETTER-WEEDS, KAMI, EmiMod und SensoBA“.

The Leibniz Innovation Centre for Sustainable Bioeconomy (InnoHof) aims to test and further develop options for transforming agricultural and food systems into a circular economy under real-life conditions. The project, which was launched in 2021 and is being funded with 25 million euros from the Brandenburg Future Investment Fund, met with particularly great interest from the State Secretary. The transition from the planning phase to the construction phase is expected to take place at the end of 2024, with the topic of sustainability already being intensively incorporated into the construction concept.

"InnoHof and all its partners are also pursuing the goal of linking research and practice, both industrial and agricultural practice, even more closely. It is important to us that we are intensively involved here and can help shape this fruitful exchange, as this is the only way to create realisable innovations that will ultimately be used. As an institute, research takes centre stage for us, but we are also aware of our social responsibility," explains Barbara Sturm.

In order to be able to implement transdisciplinary approaches and drive forward the necessary transformation with a holistic approach, however, appropriately trained specialists are also needed who learn this overarching way of thinking during their training. "We also want to make our contribution here and have initiated the Joint Lab Artificial Intelligence & Data Science together with the University of Osnabrück and partners, in which young scientists are trained at the interface of agricultural sciences, engineering and artificial intelligence," emphasises Barbara Sturm.


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