Creative young talent wanted for the bioeconomy

Creative young talent wanted for the bioeconomy

With the new "BioKreativ" funding initiative, the BMBF is enabling young researchers from the natural, IT and engineering sciences to set up a junior research group for bioeconomy research. Apply by April 15.

Junge Menschen diskutieren
Young researchers can once again submit their ideas for funding.

With the National Bioeconomy Strategy, the German government has defined the guidelines and goals of its bioeconomy policy and at the same time set out measures for the transition from an economy based largely on fossil raw materials to a more resource-efficient and circular economy based more strongly on renewable raw materials. The guidelines and objectives of the bioeconomy strategy are based in particular on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

The successful transformation of resource-efficient and recyclable processes from research to application is a prerequisite for a sustainable economy. The aim of the BioKreativ – Creative Young Researchers for the Bioeconomy (German link: BioKreativ – Kreativer Nachwuchs forscht für die Bioökonomie) funding initiative is to prepare young scientists from the natural sciences, engineering and information technology for this transformation process and to qualify them for attractive career prospects in science and industry.

Innovative and high-risk research approaches wanted

The funding initiative is looking for innovative applications for the bioeconomy in which the concept of sustainability is consistently taken into account from the outset. Courageous research spirit and novel, open and creative thinking are to be promoted and used for new, innovative and risky research approaches in the sense of a sustainable bioeconomy. The synergetic exchange between creative young researchers and established scientists should help to master the expected challenges.

Thinking about sustainability right from the start

The solutions pursued in the project must be oriented towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and incorporate them so that the bioeconomy makes a significant contribution to achieving the goals. SDGs 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 are particularly relevant. The projects should catalyze new, groundbreaking achievements in know-how, processes, technology or software, whereby they can be open to topics or technologies. In addition, the topics from application-oriented basic research should each have a connection to industrial implementation and provide new impetus for solving various challenges of a sustainable bioeconomy.

For example, the following are supported:

  • Development of innovations and pioneering research approaches on the path to transformation from a petroleum-based to a bio-based economy
  • Development of innovative bio-based products for the bioeconomy
  • Efficient use of biomass for energy or material purposes, taking into account the challenges of preserving ecosystem services and food security
  • Improvement of one or more links in a value chain, particularly with regard to sustainability aspects
  • Development of new tools and methods for the realization of a sustainable bioeconomy in terms of climate protection
  • Development of cycle-supporting models and approaches for a bio-based circular economy

Funding is provided for research, development and innovation projects (R&D&I projects) as individual projects or, in exceptional cases, as joint projects as well as junior research groups in the natural and engineering sciences and information technology. The funding extends over a period of five years. In the fifth year, the project results are evaluated with regard to their transfer into application and their commercial usability, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

Universities, non-university research and scientific institutions, federal and state institutions with research tasks and commercial enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), based in Germany are eligible to apply.

BioKreativ junior research groups

Guidelines for the funding of junior research groups in the natural sciences, engineering and information technology "BioKreativ - Creative young researchers for the bioeconomy"

To the current call for proposals on the BMBF website (German version)

The application procedure consists of two stages. In the first stage, a project outline must be submitted via the "easy-Online" electronic application system. The submission deadlines are April 15, 2024, April 15, 2025 and April 15, 2026. Project Management Jülich has been commissioned to handle the funding measure. The contact person is Eva Graf (