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About Topic 7


Topic 7  contributes to a sustainable bioeconomy that provides food and renewable resources for industry to a growing and demanding human population while re-ducing the environmental footprint and supporting a growing circular economy.

Our focus:

Producing food and feed, materials, chemicals and energy carriers require the use of natural resources. However, current practices consume resources much faster than they can be replenished by natural cycles. Therefore, a central challenge in the management of the Earth system is to develop a sus-tainable economy, which fulfills human needs, but does not overexploit the resources. This is a major task with the world population expected to be close to ten billion in 2050. The linear approach of today´s economy with massive overconsumption of natural resources and goods based on excessive use of fossil resources is not sustainable. In contrast, a sustainable economy needs to provide stewardship to natural resources and must integrate human consumption into the circular economy. The target is a sustainable supply of ample and healthy food and feed, sufficient and innovative materials and chemicals as well as renewable energy. At the same time, we need to reduce the negative impact on vital functions of (eco-) systems and provide stewardship to precious resources like atmosphere, land, water, nutrients as well as to marine, coastal and urban environ-ments and biodiversity.
Utilizing knowledge about biological systems will be key to deliver towards i) improving production for food and feed, chemicals, materials and energy with respect to amount, quality and footprint, ii) increasing the effi-ciency of the use of natural resources, while decreasing overconsumption, and iii) making the global economy more sustainable by application of biological concepts (or principles) in economic and technical environments.

Recent HighlightsStructure | Subtopics | Participating Centers | Contact

Recent Highlights

The Global Biofoundry Alliance

Jülich Biofoundry joins global network

Biotechnological development processes require high throughput in order to test many microorganisms under different conditions. Therefore, the automated development of microbial bioprocesses is a global trend, especially in Asia and North America. Thanks to an integrated infrastructure, so-called biofoundries enable the accelerated construction and characterization of genetically reprogrammed organisms for biotechnological applications. The Global Biofoundry Alliance was founded in 2019 to coordinate these activities worldwide. The Jülich Biofoundry is now also a member of the GBA. With its extensive robotic platforms for strain and process development, Jülich Biofoundry is currently the largest such facility in the German-speaking world. This enables us to unleash the potential of biotechnology more quickly in order to create a more sustainable world.


Graphic Representation of Subtopics

Topic 7: Towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy

Resources, Utilization, Engineering and AgroEcosystems; Improve biological and environmental resources for sustainable production; Engineer renewable resources to innovative products; Integrate production into the sustainable use of agro-biogeosystems

Subtopics in detail

Participating Centers