greenRelease wins first place at the start-up competition “Bio-Gründer Wettbewerb” 2019
On September 11, 2019, the greenRelease team, with its innovative approach for crop protection, won the first place in the competition Bio start-up “Bio-Gründer Wettbewerb” 2019. Dr. Felix Jakob (Biotechnologist, DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and RWTH Aachen University), Dr. Caspar Langenbach (Biologist, RWTH Aachen University), Alexander Töpel (Chemist, DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and RWTH Aachen University) and Dr. Michael Wustmans (Economist, Friedrich Wilhelm University Bonn) competed with greenRelease as a research project. A total of 40 teams applied, and the 7 best presented their projects in front of more than 100 guests from the fields of science, business and politics. The prize was awarded by Dr. Kirsten Bender from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, and Digitalization NRW.
"The founding team of greenRelease will revolutionize plant protection with its development," said the jury of the Bio start-up competition. The idea behind it: microscopically small, so-called microgel containers can be applied to the leaves surfaces, which released pesticides continuously over a long period of time (weeks). Anchor peptides ensure that the microgel containers adhere specifically to the leaf surface and are not rinsed off in the rain. Conventional pesticides, on the other hand, are often washed off by rain. Therefore the protection of the plant is limited in time or requires that the product is applied more frequently. Thus, the optimized approach in the greenRelease project enables a clear reduction in the amount of pesticide used.
The greenRelease cooperation project is as FocusLab part of the Bioeconomy Science Center, a consortium of three NRW universities and Forschungszentrum Jülich. The project is coordinated by Dr. Felix Jakob (DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and RWTH Aachen University). Involved in the project are the working groups of Prof. Ulrich Schwaneberg (DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and RWTH Aachen University), Prof. Andrij Pich (DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials and RWTH Aachen University), Prof. Uwe Conrath (RWTH Aachen University), Prof. Stefanie Bröring (Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn), Prof. Georg Noga (Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn), Prof. Claudia Knief (Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn), Prof. Georg Groth (Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf), Prof. Holger Gohlke (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf) and Prof. Ulrich Schurr (Forschungszentrum Jülich). Prof. Schwaneberg, Prof. Pich, Prof. Bröring and Prof. Conrath prepared and accompanied the team as mentors to the competition. The Bioeconomy Science Center was founded in 2010 and consists of 58 different groups.
The annual Bio start-up competition for innovative start-up entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs in the field of agricultural and food industry, biotechnology, biochemistry and related fields took place for the twelfth time. The competition is organized by the Competence Center of Biosafety and offers innovative ideas the space for development. The winners received cash and prizes in the amount of 4000 €.
The award winners "Bio-Gründer" competition 2019
From left to right: Dr. Kirsten Bender , Dr. Christian Rose, Dr. Felix Jakob (AG Schwaneberg, Aachen), Dr. Michael Wustmans (AG Bröring, Bonn), Alexander Töpel (AG Pich, Aachen), Dr. Caspar Langenbach (AG Conrad, Aachen), Dr. Oliver Bonkamp