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Transdisciplinary Research Area
Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures (TRA Sustainable Futures)

Edition March 2021
Welcome to the TRA 6 newsletter!
The newsletter keeps you informed about recent developments in TRA Sustainable Futures and its members' activities.
Distinguished Lecturers' Series "Innovation Pathways to Sustainability"
The lecture series is a forum for high profile and internationally visible scientists who are active in academia or at the science-policy interface.
The next lectures are:
  • March 18, 2021, 13:30 h CET, Dr. Ingmar Weber, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (joint event with ZEF)
  • May 20, 2021, 14 h CEST, Prof. Markus Reichstein, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and Professor for Global Geoecology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Register here

Recordings of the past lectures are available on YouTube.

New TRA 6 funding opportunity: Support for establishment of Junior Research Groups
TRA Sustainable Futures aims to support excellent early career scientists on their way to scientific independency. Therefore, the TRA invites applications for seed funding to apply for third party funds for a Junior Research Group (for example Emmy Noether (DFG), ERC Starting Grant (EU), and other similarly competitive schemes). Junior researchers who want to establish a Junior Research Group in an innovative, transdisciplinary research field with a clear relation to the goals and themes of the TRA can receive financial support from TRA 6.

Further TRA 6 related calls 
German Alliance for Global Health Research: Call for project proposals Bonn SDG Fellowhips
  • Objective: Individual funding
  • Brief description: Invitation of scholars preferably from Africa, Latin America, and South/ East) Asia for research on Sustainable Development Goals-related topics (for periods of 3–12 months).
  • Deadline: May 31, 2021
  • Read more
Argelander Scholarships for doctoral candidates from universities in the Global South
  • Objective: Individual funding
  • Brief description: Research stays in Bonn (3–12 months) for doctoral candidates at universitites preferably in Africa, Latin America, and South (East) Asia.
  • Deadline: May 31, 2021
  • Read more
Third party funding:

KI:STE (AI Strategy for Earth system data)
The KI:STE project aims to exploit recent developments in artificial intelligence – especially deep learning methods – for sound environmental data analysis. The scientific goal is the implementation of current AI approaches for spatiotemporal variable pattern recognition and pattern analysis in environmental data in the subject areas clouds, snow/ice, water, air quality and vegetation within the framework of five dissertations. A technical platform will be created to make powerful AI applications on environmental data available in a portable way, and an online AI learning platform will be established with Interfaces to this AI platform for a location-independent education of young scientists and other interested parties. Participating Researchers are PD Dr. Martin G. Schultz (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH), Prof. Dr. Susanne Crewell (Universität zu Köln, Institut für Geophysik und Meteorologie), Prof. Dr. Ribana Roscher (Universität Bonn, Institut für Geodäsie und Geoinformatik), PD Dr. Julia Kowalski (RWTH Aachen, Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science), Dr. Benedikt Gräler (52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH, Münster) and PD Dr. Markus Abel (Ambrosys GmbH Gesellschaft für Management komplexer Systeme, Potsdam).
Read more
InVaKaS - Innovationspotential zur valorisierten Kaskadennutzung von Nebenprodukten der Saftproduktion (Innovation potential for valorized cascade use of by-products steaming from juice production)
Fruit production is resource-intensive and therefore calls urgently for more sustainable practices, for instance, through the circular use of biomass. The residues of fruits hold potential for further use and valorization e.g. as feed for livestock, for the extraction of antioxidants, as a nutrient for enzyme or biogas production or as a source of dietary fiber and specialty chemicals. “InVaKaS” proposes a 1-week workshop with experts from Brazil and Germany, which intends to map the value network and to develop new research ideas for valorization and cascade use contributing to the sustainability transition of value chains.
Participating researchers are Dr. Natalie Laibach and Dr. Débora Monteiro Moretti (Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn) and Dr. Boje Müller (Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology).
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).
Bio2oundry - Accelerating technology transfer in the BioSC region by design of a biofoundry concept
The concept of biofoundries is intended to offer a shared platform to integrate and optimize new technologies for bio-based processes. In this WHITE PAPER project, a concept and for such a pilot and test facility should be developed as a biofoundry for the Rheinische Revier that should complement the growing bioeconomy (innovation) ecosystem in the context of regional structural change.
Participating researchers are Dr. Natalie Laibach and Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring (Chair for Technology and Innovation Management, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn) and Dr. Christian Klar, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr  (IBG-2: Pflanzenwissenschaften, Forschungszentrum Jülich). The project is funded by the Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC).
Read more
DÜNAMED “DÜngung für NAchhaltiges Management Edaphischer Diversität
This project assesses the effects of organic and mineral fertilizers on the biodiversity of soils. At two sites (Campus Wiesengut and Campus Klein-Altendorf), field experiments have been set up to quantify the response of various invertebrate groups to different fertilizers.
Participating researchers are Prof. Dr. Thomas Döring, Dr. Daniel Neuhoff and Isabel Kilian from Agroecology and Organic Farming group in the Faculty of Agriculture and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wägele and Dr. Sarah Bourlat from Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, (ZFMK), Bonn
The project is funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN).


Upcoming events:
  • August 24-27, 2021: DAAD International Summer School “Agricultural Robotics” at the University of Bonn.
    PhenoRob will host the International Summer School together with two of the leading universities of the world, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Lincoln University in the UK.
    Read more
  • September 28 - October 1, 2021: DAGM German Conference on Pattern Recognition (DAGM GCPR)
    DAGM GCPR is an international premier venue for recent advances in pattern recognition including image processing, machine learning, and computer vision and welcomes submissions from all areas of pattern recognition. Authors are invited to submit high-quality papers presenting original research. Submitted papers will be reviewed based on the criteria of originality, soundness, empirical evaluation, and presentation. Accepted papers will be published by Springer as a proceeding of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). 
    Paper Submission Deadline: June 17, 2021 (Call for papers)
    Read more
Past events:
  • February 23/24, 2021: Digitainable Forum: Mindful use of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (D&AI) for the SDGs. Read more
  • January 10, 2021: 11th IAPR International Workshop on Pattern Recognition in Remote Sensing. Read more
  • November 10, 2020: DIGICROP 2020. Talks are still available: Talks – 3 Min Trailers – DIGICROP2020
  • October 26, 2020: World Health Summit 2020, Session WS 07: "Science meets Implementation: Multi-stakeholder collaboration in Global Health", co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Walter Bruchhausen (University Hospital Bonn) and RKI. Read more

Prizes / awards:

Christian Paterman Prize awarded at BioSC Symposium
At the 5th BioSC Symposium, the BioSC Supervision Award, endowed with €25,000, was presented for the sixth time to honor young scientists for outstanding achievements in supervising doctoral students. The award was presented for the first time as the Christian Patermann Award and thus dedicated to the founder of the knowledge-based bioeconomy. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Patermann personally handed over the prize to Dr. Michael Wustmans from the Chair of Technology, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Bonn.
Read more

9th German Sustainability Research Award (Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis Forschung)
A team of researchers from the University of Bonn, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology , the Leuphana University and the German Institute for Food technology was placed among the top three of the German Sustainability Award for Research, announced by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on the subject of urban bioeconomy. Dr. Natalie Laibach, a senior researcher at the ILR, Chair for Technology, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, and member of the STRIVE project is also part of this team.
The team’s innovative idea, the “Waste-to-Resource-Unit” bio-refinery, should enable the conversion of organic raw materials into high-quality resources.
Read more 
IROS2020 Best Paper Award on Agri-Robotics
Dario Gogoll, Phillip Lottes, Jan Weyler, Cyrill Stachniss and Nik Petrinic won with their paper: Unsupervised Domain Adaption for Transferring Plant Classification Systems to New Field Environments, Crops, and Robotics
International ranking “Highly Cited Researchers 2020”
PhenoRob Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Frank Ewert is recognized as one of the most influential scientists in the field of Agricultural Science – he belongs to the top 1% of researchers worldwide.


Selected publications from TRA members:
  • Escobar, N., Laibach, N. (2021): Sustainability check for bio-based technologies: A review of process-based and life cycle approaches. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 135.  TRA 6 topics I and II
  • Latka, C., Kuiper, M., Frank, S., Heckelei, T., Havlík, P., Witzke, H., Leip, A., Cui, H. D., Kuijsten, A., Geleijnse, J.M., van Dijk, M. (2021): Paying the price for environmentally sustainable and healthy EU diets. Global Food Security, Vol. 28, p. 100437. TRA 6 topic II
  • Manlosa, A. O., Hornidge, A.-K., Schlüter, A. (2021): Aquaculture-capture fisheries nexus under Covid-19: impacts, diversity, and social-ecological resilience. Maritime Studies, first published 16.01.2021.  TRA 6 topics III and V
  • Von Braun, J., Archer, M.S., Reichberg, G.M., Sanchez-Sorondo, M. (Eds.) (2021): Robotics, AI, and Humanity: Opportunities, Risks, and Implications for Ethics and Policy. Springer. (The complete volume is for free downloading at TRA 6 topics II and V
  • Yasobant, S., Bruchhausen, W., Saxena, D., Falkenberg, T. (2020): ‘One Health’ actors in multifaceted health systems: An operational case for India. Healthcare 8, 387.  TRA 6 topics III, IV and V
Further publications


The ZIM network FruitAdapt is an expert platform for the development of innovative products and processes for the optimal adaptation of fruit cultivation to progressive climate change. These products are intended to contribute to the continued sustainability, competitiveness and profitability of fruit growing in regionally diverse growing areas.
The network is currently in the application phase and is coordinated by EurA AG. Both SMEs and research institutions can participate in the network. The ZIM network thus offers easy access to SMEs and establishes a link between research and industry. The goal in the network is to generate projects on the topic with the participating partners, with EurA providing assistance. Participation in the ZIM innovation network is free of charge for universities.
If you are interested in participating in the network and have further questions, please contact Dr. Thorsten Kraska.
The working group "Anticipating and Transforming Coastal Futures" initiated by Anna-Katharina Hornidge and eight other scientists has been approved by the DKN. The working group follows the purpose to expand and intensify the perspectives on and in coastal and marine research in order to emphasise the role of the oceans as well as the role of the coasts for the preservation of life on earth. In a national and international context, the working group will critically reflect on the existing research activities in relation to coastal and marine worlds and, based on this, develop a new course in sustainability science of the coasts/oceans. A special focus of the group will be the investigation of sustainability concepts in tropical landscapes.
Read more
Timo Falkenberg and Walter Bruchhausen (both ZEF and UKB) have been appointed Adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar which is opening a Global Health Center.

DIE-Director Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge was appointed as a new member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). The council (founded 1992) is dedicated with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a concept of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda. The focus is on global transformation on sustainability in order to further evolve existing development paths in terms of strategy and content. Among other things, the altogether9 scientific members consider global environment and development problems, evaluate global sustainability policy implementation, supplement further recommendations for action, and provide impulses for possible research steps in science.
Read more
DIE-Director Anna-Katharina Hornidge was selected as a new member of the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK). The DUK serves as a bridge between civil society, the state and the international working areas of UNESCO. The focus is on the protection and sustainable development of the cultural heritage and the promotion of education that fosters equal opportunities.

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Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Transdisciplinary Research Area
Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures
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