Hannover Messe 2024: Sustainable industry with bioeconomy

Hannover Messe 2024: Sustainable industry with bioeconomy

The Bioeconomy Showcase is presenting bio-based innovations in high density in Hall 2 of the Hannover Messe: 18 federally funded projects are providing information about their research and development.

Schaufenster Bioökonomie auf der Hannover Messe 24
The Bioeconomy Showcase at the Hannover Messe (Hall 2 Stand A 35) presents bio-based innovations for a sustainable industry.

"Energising a Sustainable Industry" is the guiding theme of Hannover Messe 2024. This year, the world's largest industrial trade fair is focussing on innovations for the sustainable production and energy supply of the future. Solutions for CO2-neutral production, AI-based technologies and green hydrogen production are on display. In addition to innovations from the mechanical engineering, electrical and digital industries as well as the energy sector, research institutions and companies are presenting how bio-based innovations are helping to shape the transformation of industrial production.

Well-attended bioeconomy showcase

In the Future Hub in Hall 2, where the latest trends from the innovation hotbeds of science and industry are traditionally on display, bioeconomy players are once again presenting their innovations in the "Bioeconomy Showcase" (Stand A35) this year. At the joint stand of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), 18 current research and development projects are being exhibited. The stand is being organised by the responsible project management agencies of the two ministries, Project Management Jülich (PtJ) and the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR).

The range of solutions presented extends from the construction sector to the energy and food industries. These include efficient biogas plants, new types of food, bio-based plastics and materials for the construction, packaging and automotive industries as well as sustainable bio-based textiles. Highlight at the start of the trade fair: During her tour of the Hannover Messe, Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger also visited the "Bioeconomy Showcase" to find out about the innovations on display.

Hannover Messe 2024: Forschungsministerin am Bioökonomie-Stand
Enno Bahrs (centre) from the NOcsPS research consortium explained the use of drone technology in the agricultural sector to Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (right).

Innovative approaches from bioeconomy research

Stakeholders from the BMBF's "Agricultural Systems of the Future" funding programme are demonstrating what tomorrow's agricultural production could look like. Two of the eight research consortia and the team from the coordination centre are on site with exhibits. DAKIS stands for a digital knowledge and information system for agriculture. As an exhibit, the researchers are demonstrating the function of the web-based app EROSPOT, which can be used to determine suitable locations for erosion control measures.

Researchers in the NOcsPS consortium are developing cultivation systems that do not require the use of synthetic chemical pesticides but are still highly productive. The researchers are exhibiting a drone equipped with a multispectral camera. This makes it possible to recognise plant diseases in the field at an early stage so that they can be controlled in a targeted manner with biological agents.

"It is a unique opportunity for the agricultural systems of the future to be able to present the digital innovations of the two consortia NOcsPS and DAKIS to an international audience. The Bioeconomy Showcase enables an interesting exchange on the transformation of agricultural systems," says Monika Schreiner, Co-Head of the Coordination Centre of "Agricultural Systems of the Future".

Textil-Innovationen im Schaufenster Bioökonomie
The BIOTEXFUTURE innovation space is on site with a bio-based artificial turf (centre) and CO2-recycled sports socks (right).

Products from the bioeconomy innovation areas

Two of the four consortia funded by the BMBF as part of the "Bioeconomy Innovation Spaces" programme are also participating. For example, the NewFoodSystems innovation space is presenting how vanilla or oregano can be cultivated in an indoor farm and is using quinoa, mung beans and hemp to demonstrate the diversity of plant proteins and their potential for the production of new foods. "This opportunity to present some of our innovative projects to the Federal Minister of Education is unique. At the same time, the joint stand offers an important platform for making the diverse topics of the bioeconomy accessible to a broad audience from business, science and society," says Leonie Fink from the NewFoodSystems coordination office.

A miniature armchair made from bio-based yarns and socks made from environmentally friendly elastane were presented by researchers from the BIOTEXFUTURE innovation centre. "We were able to make many exciting contacts in the field of innovation here," said Nicole Espey from the ITA at RWTH Aachen University.

Innovationsraum NewFoodSystems auf der Hannover Messe 2024
The NewFoodSystems innovation room presents a light shelf in which speciality crops such as borage and oregano are grown (centre) and an indoor vanilla cultivation system.

Bioeconomy model region in the Rhenish mining area

The BioökonomieREVIER innovation cluster – part of the BMBF-funded bioeconomy model region research network in the Rhenish mining district – is using a data simulation to visualise geodata for the Rhenish mining district in real time as well as periods of drought. "The Bioeconomy Showcase impressively demonstrates the breadth of German bioeconomy research. Visitors came with specific questions for which they were looking for bio-based solutions – a clear sign for us that interest in a sustainable economy is increasing and fully in line with the trade fair motto Energising a sustainable future," says Anke Krüger from the BioökonomieREVIER coordination centre.

The Bio4MatPro competence centre, also part of the model region research network, is showing innovative biotechnology and nanotechnology concepts, including an active interface system for artificial hearts to reduce blood clotting and support patient recovery. "For us, the Bioeconomy Showcase is an excellent opportunity to present our innovative solutions to a wide audience and receive valuable feedback from potential partners."

Schaufenster Bioökonomie auf der HM24
The BaMS innovation centre for the blue bioeconomy presents a photobioreactor for growing microalgae.

From the BMEL funding programme, the FNR is presenting wood-based materials for the construction sector, for example clay tiles filled with hardwood insulating materials or foamed starch films for impact sound insulation. Biomaterials for use in various user industries are also being exhibited. These include bioplastics as components for the engine compartment, clothes hangers made from hop fibres and 3D-printed prostheses made from polylactic acid (PLA).

Innovative solutions from the biogas industry are also on show, including a model of a reactor for methanising biogas. It is able to convert the CO2 contained in biogas into methane together with green hydrogen so that it can be fed into the natural gas grid.