Successful approval of the FocusLab “GreenRelease for Plant Health” endowed with € 2.3 million from the “Bioeconomy Science Center”Bio VI
The main objective of the FocusLab greenRelease which is situated in the Biohybrid Systems Sub division of the Schwaneberg group is to significantly reduce fungicide and herbicide usage and thereby contributing to a sustainable agriculture and bioeconomy. The greenRelease technology (developed in the BioSC projects: GreenGel, RIPE, and BiFuProts) will be further developed into a robust and applicable platform technology for plant health.
To achieve this objective, the FocusLab greenRelease is divided into three areas:
1) Technology advancement & upscaling
2) Validation for a sustainable agriculture by focusing on two fungicides and two herbicides
3) Economic assessment by mapping of the knowledge base, technology transfer, and market entry options. The latter is aimed to be achieved by analyzing existing and developing novel value chains for innovations.
The unique technical application characteristics of the greenRelease technology are based on properties of microgel containers (200 nm to 10 µm). Microgels are soft porous polymer colloids, which can be loaded with active ingredients and can attach through tailor-made anchor peptides on plant leaves at ambient temperature by simple spray applications. The main advantages of the greenRelease technology over existing release technologies are the controlled/triggered release of compounds over weeks/months, minimized losses due to a high rainfastness, plant compatibility, and tunable biodegradability.
The FocusLab “GreenRelease for Plant Health” is funded for three years from January 2018 onwards. The FocusLab is part of the Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC), NRW’s scientific center of excellence for sustainable bioeconomy. Scientists from all four partner institutions (Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Jülich) are involved in the FocusLab. The Ministry of Culture and Science (MKW) is investing a total of € 2.3 million in the new FocusLab as part of the NRW strategy project BioSC.