Combining economy and ecology#
We have been living beyond our means for quite a while. The use of natural resources such as water, soil or raw materials exceeds the earth's ability for regeneration. The growing world population, climate change and the decline in biodiversity are leading to an ever-faster downward spiral: It is high time for fundamental change. The bioeconomy aims to harmonize the economy and ecology through bio-based production, working and living concepts.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft explore biological systems and combine their findings with imaginative technologies to develop pioneering innovations for a sustainable economy. By working to replace fossil fuels with renewable ones and to recycle plastics, they aim to halt the increasing pollution of soils and oceans. They also design mobility and energy solutions on the model of resilient ecosystems, develop biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases and replace animal experiments with intelligent, cell-based test systems. Their research makes it possible to effectively control pests in agriculture without endangering other species, to use wastewater for vegetable cultivation and much more.
Since the bioeconomy has the potential for sustainable solutions that conserve resources and create prosperity at the same time, Fraunhofer researchers are active in many different fields: