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Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein

Dear friends of the Global Food Summit,

Virtual events continue to shape events in the food sector. The cancellation of the International Green Week in Berlin for the public and the planning as a pure "industry event" makes it clear that we must still expect restrictions on events in the coming year.
The Global Food Summit on 22 and 23 March 2021 in Munich is therefore also planned as a "hybrid event". However, we are pleased to be able to present international speakers again.
The Year of the Bioeconomy has led the Global Food Summit to new topics. Together with Forschungszentrum Jülich, we have applied for the German Sustainability Award of the Federal Government. Using algae to purify industrial, yellow and rainwater and recover important minerals was the subject of the application. Now we are hoping for the results from the jury meetings. In our interview, Dr. Christina Kuchendorf gives detailed insights into her research work with algae.

The Berlin Museum of Natural History is also planning an exhibition on Future Food in Cities, organized by the Fraunhofer IAO Center for Responsible Research and Innovation (CeRRI). How does society deal with ethical and social issues related to new food? Inspired by the interdisciplinary joint project "Cubes Circle" of the Humboldt University in Berlin, which is part of the initiative Agricultural Systems of the Future and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Project Management Jülich (PtJ), I developed a scenario with the exhibition organizers on how a city with urban agriculture could look like in the future (www.cubescircle.de). The exhibition will be open to visitors from mid-September.

Food innovations are being discussed more and more widely, which makes us happy, because we should help decide what and how we want to eat. It is the responsibility of us all. Please continue to support us so that innovations in food have a voice.

Yours sincerely, Unterschrift Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein



Dr. Christina Kuchendorf, researcher and project coordinator at the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, IBG-2, at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Essens Icon Algea Mikroskop Icon Bioeconomy

Dr. Christina Kuchendorf has been coordinating the IBG-2 AlgaeScienceCenter with three pilot scale algae production facilities since 2016. One focus is on the use of algae in plant nutrition, always aiming to keep science applicable and working toward circular bioeconomy. We asked her some questions about algae and her work.

Mrs. Kuchendorf, you work with algae at the Research Center in Jülich. Algae are believed to play an important role in the future of nutrition. What are the extraordinary abilities of algae in general?

Microalgae are ancient organisms. They have been on this planet for over a billion years and have adapted to all conceivable habitats. Since they are unicellular organisms, they reproduce much faster than higher land plants. Under optimal conditions, i.e. light, heat, CO2 and sufficient nutrients, they divide daily. The original habitat of microalgae is the oceans, where nutrients are distributed very thinly. This has made them food artists. They can absorb nutrients with their entire cell surface. They can also absorb and store much more nutrients than they need in the short term. The rapid growth under conditions that are beneficial to them, as well as the efficient absorption and "bunkering" of nutrients, makes microalgae a biomass resource that can be used in a variety of ways. On the one hand, it is pure biomass that can be used as a nutrient in food or feed; this is already happening, for example, in aquacultures for fish, but due to its high nutrient and mineral content it can also be used for our diet and can help to compensate for nutritional deficiencies. On the other hand, the diverse ingredients of algae are interesting as food or pharmaceutical additives, for example as colorants or antioxidants; but their oils and carbohydrates are not only interesting for nutrients, but also for (bio)cosmetics or even bioenergy; while the former can be very profitable economically, the technology is already available for the latter, but the costs are still very high - among other things, because separating the algae from their growth environment, the water, is relatively costly. Nevertheless, the technologies with which algae can be produced have a great advantage - they do not have to be installed on agricultural land and can even be integrated into architecture; and they can be connected to other material flows, for example solar energy, biogas, or rainwater and wastewater. The aspect of nutrient uptake is particularly interesting here, because the biomass can also be used as fertilizer; its ingredients fit the needs of plants very well.

Read the interview here.


Commentary: The acceptance of alternative protein


We continue with our series: "What do you think the Corona pandemic has and has had on the development and customer acceptance of alternative proteins and what is your attitude towards it?

This time, Dr. Markus Weck will speak. He is Chief Executive Officer of Kulinaria Deutschland. The industry association is a merger of the Association of the Vinegar and Mustard Industry, the Federal Association of the German Delicatessen Industry and the Association of the Soup Industry. Products from the "alternative proteins" and "milk substitutes" segments are represented in these associations.

His credo: Meat substitutes have conquered a firm place on the shelves of supermarkets and in consumers' pantry cupboards. He also reports on a current study on the motivation of food purchases, which the Rheingold Institute conducted on behalf of Kulinaria Deutschland. Health, safety and hygiene determine consumer behavior.

Read the commentary here.


Upcoming Events


This year's innovate! takes place on
29 October - completely virtual and interactive


Call for Start-ups: Product development coaching for food start-ups and agricultural businesses with the "food collegen"


Our partner innovate! advanced from
the barcamp of the Osnabrück digital scene to a multi-day event focusing on the topics of food, agriculture and digitalization. It invites founders, students, entrepreneurs, repre-sentatives from research and teaching
as well as interested parties to participate, exchange ideas and learn together.
The highlight is the awarding
of the innovative start-up ideas with the coveted innovate! Awards.

Now innovate! will take place online this year. The program and further information will be available here shortly: innovate-os.de


On 26 November 2020 the kick-off event of the promotion program "food collegen" of the cluster nutrition at the KErn takes place in Munich. The Global Food Summt was also asked to cooperate. 

A total of ten companies will be invited to work with various experts on the taste of their products. In addition, practical information will be provided about important steps in product development, from consumer research to sensory tests.
The day will be concluded with a network dinner.

Here you can find further information and the application conditions:

The Global Food Summit becomes part of the INNOspace network Space2Agriculture


What do aerospace and agriculture have in common? Very much! Both industries are extremely innovative and efficient. And they can learn from each other.
That's why we have taken a further step and expanded our network: The Global Food Summit will be part of the INNOspace network Space2Agriculture.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) launched the INNOspace® initiative in 2013, providing incentives and creating a platform for cross-industry dialogue and technology transfer between aerospace and other industries. It is also part of the National Program for Space and Innovation of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and is part of the German government's new high-tech strategy.

The INNOspace® network Space2Agriculture is a module of the INNOspace® initiative and provides a communication platform between the space and agricultural sectors. The aim is to establish and consolidate cross-sector networking, identify new commercialization potential, initiate technology cooperation and initiate joint funding projects.

The network is currently working on the following topics:
- Space infrastructures for the digitization of agriculture
- Earth observation
- Classical technology transfer between space and agriculture (spin-offs and spin-ins)
- Space services and technologies for agriculture in the context of climate change, food security and climate protection policy
- Space services and technologies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture

As a network partner, we also have the opportunity to set up additional working groups, launch concrete development projects and open up new applications and markets. We are looking forward to the cooperation in the network! 


Science Week Podcast with Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein is online

Highlights unser SponsorenPicture: Berlin Science Week

The first #allweknow Expert Talk Podcast of the Berlin Science Week with Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein is online.

What will the food of the future look like? What role will the megacities play? And how can we create a future where everyone has enough to eat?

Watch the podcast on Youtube.

The Farm to Fork strategy of the European Union - The criticism continues

Innovationen NewsPicture: European Commission

In our last newsletter, we reported on the criticism of our curator Professor Justus Wesseler of Wageningen University and his colleague Professor Kai P. Purnhagen of Bayreuth University on the SAMs report "Towards a Sustainable Food System". This report plays an important role in the "Farm to Fork Strategy" of the European Union. The strategy is heavily criticized and we would like to introduce another voice in this issue: That of Jon Entine, founder and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project.

The Genetic Literacy Project's mission is to help the public, the media and policy makers understand the societal implications of biotechnology in agriculture, food and medicine.

Jon Entine's main criticism is that the Farm to Fork strategy is almost exclusively focused on organic farming and demonizes traditional agriculture and innovations in this area. He highlights the importance of taking another look at biotechnological achievements and explains why without these achievements and further research we will not be able to produce food sustainably and feed the growing world population in the long term.

Read his commentary here.

Sea fish without sea - Aquaponics

Innovationen NewsPicture: Superior Fresh

Do you need the sea or the ocean to breed fish? Thanks to Aquaponics this is no longer the case. This technology combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics, making it possible to produce fish and leafy vegetables practically anywhere. The world's largest plant of this kind is located in the Coulee region, more precisely in Hixton, Wisconsin, USA.

Read the article here.

Vertical farming rethought: The start-up Unfold focuses on the development of new seed varieties

Highlights unser Sponsoren

The new start-up Unfold of Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment unit of Bayer AG and Temasek, a global investment firm based in Singapore, focuses on vertical farming. However, the focus is not on infrastructure development, but on the genetic potential of vertical farms. The start-up is the only company of its kind and develops new seed varieties from the genes of vegetable plants. These are then combined with cultivation recommendations for the special conditions in multi-storey greenhouses. The aim is to set new standards in quality, efficiency and sustainability in vertical farming.en.

Read the article here.
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