The ScienceCampus Halle unites the four institutes of the Leibniz Association in the region of Halle, the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) and the Halle Institute for Economy Research (IWH) in an interdisciplinary manner with the thematically corresponding departments of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the Agrochemical Institute Piesteritz (AIP), the Julius Kühn-Institute Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants (JKI), the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes (CBP), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences.
The Faculty of Natural Science I comprises the institutes of biochemistry, biology and pharmacy. The internationally oriented and strongly third-party funded research focuses on three priorities – protein biochemistry, molecular plant research and biodiversity. Prominent examples are the protein center, which delved the structure, dynamics and biological function of proteins under medical aspects, the Centre for Innovation Competence, and a concentration of research networks, which examine the plant processes such as molecular mechanisms of information processing and stress reactions.
The Faculty of Natural Science II, consisting of the three institutions chemistry, physics and mathematics, combines research and teaching expertise in the field of materials and life sciences. The cooperative and international research is orientated in the areas of functional solid interface, solar/ renewable energy, nanostructured polymers and biorelevant materials. Biochemistry and biophysics of proteins and membranes as well as bio-organic and environmental chemistry of biologically active natural products make this a top priority of the biologically oriented focus. Questions of bioeconomy are answered by the members of the Faculty of Natural Science II alongside the entire value chain of the agricultural economy. The competences reach, for instance, from the analysis of low molecular weight to high-molecular plant raw materials and their targeted modifications by efficient synthesis, to the theoretical and practical optimization of the entire process chains. For in-house testing and screening systems enable the determination of material qualities and biological effects.
The Faculty of Natural Science III consists of the three institutes – Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Geosciences and Computer Science. In research and teaching the institutes follow a system-oriented approach, focusing on analysis, development and understanding, of interactions of agricultural system. Of particular relevance to the cooperation with the ScienceCampus Halle are research on plant-based agriculture, molecular biology and biotechnology optimization, the efficiency of crops and their interactions with microorganisms and also scientific work on business and economic analysis of agricultural production. Complementary to research, activities of the three institutes are currently offered in teaching seven bachelors and eight masters programs and two teaching degree programs. The bioeconomy research competences of the Faculty of Natural Sciences III range from the efficient and economical use of resources, the development of sustainable agricultural farming systems, yield physiological processes, molecular and physiological bases to georesources in aquatic and land-use systems, climate change/ social change – adaptation strategies and land use management. The bioinformatics perform significant contributions in integrative analysis of big data that are generated by next generation sequencing and image sensors.
Universal scarcity advances social conflicts. For their solution it can be targeted on mutual betterment, to enable common rule interests in successfully solved conflicts despite divergent property interests. Activation by institutional incentives, the implementation of processes whose empirical monitoring and also consequences at the institutional level form the core of governance research for the theoretically and empirically valid organization in economic and social order in the fields of the Faculty of Law and Economics.
IAMO analyzes the processes of economic, social and political change in the agricultural and food sector, and in rural areas. The geographic focus covers the enlarging EU, transition regions of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as Central and East Asia. IAMO develops policy alternatives that contribute to the sustainable economic development of the agri-food sector and improve the living conditions of the rural population.
Research at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) focuses on the structural diversity and biosynthesis of natural plant and fungal products, as well as their biological functions and mechanisms of action. Particular focus is on specialized metabolites and chemical signaling agents. The aim is to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the adaptation and development processes that result from the interaction of plants with their environment. Interdisciplinary approaches at the genome, proteome and, in particular, the metabolome level are used to investigate the resulting changes in gene expression and phenotype of the plants. The knowledge gained opens up new avenues for a plant-based bioeconomy. These are used for resource-conserving plant production, innovative biotechnology and drug development, and thus for the health and nutrition of humans, animals and plants.
The IPK is one of the world‘s leading international institutions in the field of plant genetics and crop science. Its research programme and services contribute materially to conserving, exploring and exploiting crop diversity. Its research goals are driven by the need to ensure an efficient and sustainable supply of food, energy and raw materials, thereby addressing a major global ecological challenge. Together with local plant biotechnology companies the IPK builds the nucleus of the Biotech Campus Gatersleben, a renowned center of green biotechnology.
IWH’s tasks are economic research and science-based advising of economic policy. IWH conducts evidence-based research by combining theoretical and empirical methods. In the focus of its research, IWH investigates processes of economic convergence, the role of the financial system regarding the (re-)allocation of production factors as well as the facilitation of productivity and innovation.
The Agrochemical Institute Piesteritz (AIP) is an affiliated institute of the MLU. Five institutes of the MLU and the IPB provide a broad range of interdisciplinary work reaching from agriculture and biochemistry to pharmacy and engineering. Goal of the AIP is to support the interaction of practitioners and researchers for the development and use of agrochemical products for the purpose of science research work. In addition, the AIP has set the task to advise the state and municipal authorities and their public institutions to contribute to the promotion of technology and environmental awareness and to actively support the promotion of education and training.
The JKI carries out agricultural research for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture at 17 specialized centers and ten locations in Germany. The work aims at maintaining the health of our crops. Plant diseases, pests, but also the genetic equipment of the plants are research topics. So the JKI with its breeding research contributes to select new cultivars that are less susceptible to diseases and abiotic stresses. The search for the genetic basics of desired properties is a central working field at the headquarters of JKI in Quedlinburg, where four institutes are located.
Since 2011, the Fraunhofer Center CBP in Leuna closes the gap between laboratory and industrial implementation. Through the provision of infrastructure and pilot- / miniplants, Fraunhofer CBP allows partners from research and industry to develop and scale biotechnological and chemical processes up to an industrial scale. This way, an unprecedented platform was established for the development of new methods with a direct connection to the chemical industry on the one hand and the Fraunhofer research on the other. The Fraunhofer CBP has its focus on the development of sustainable processes along the entire value chain for the production of products based on renewable raw materials. The aim is to cascade, material and energy use of all ingredients of plant biomass according to the principle of a biorefinery. At Fraunhofer CBP modular process capacities of up to 10 m3 fermentation volume and continuous systems up to 20 kg/h are available at high process pressures as well as various treatment and reconditioning techniques. With this versatile biorefinery concept renewable raw materials such as plant oils, cellulose, lignocellulose, starch or sugar can be processed and converted into chemical products.
The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) examines the complex interactions between mankind and nature under the influence of global change. In close cooperation with policy makers and representatives of civil society system, solutions are developed to better manage complex environmental systems and to overcome environmental problems. The UFZ bioeconomy research is focused on the efficient and sustainable use of renewable resources and an interdisciplinary perspective on agriculture, food, and technology.
The Anhalt University has about 8,000 students and is one of the largest Applied Universities in Germany. The academic programs include more than 77 bachelor and master degree programs. Within Germany the Anhalt University occupies a leading position in the field of applied research. This is especially true for the "center of life sciences". The most important research areas in the "center of life sciences" are:
- Biotechnology in environmental, pharmaceutical, food and agriculture
- Functional ingredients for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, food and feed and crop protection
- Renewable resources (material and energy use) sustainable agricultural farming systems
- Ecology (conservation of natural resources and restoration)
In the field of bioeconomy are mainly the "AG Institute of Algal Biotechnology (IAB)", "AG Institute of Bionalytical Sciences (IBAS)" and the "AG Field Trials" actively engaged.