Stuttgart, Germany
Stuttgart, Germany

The University of Hohenheim is a campus university located in the south of Stuttgart, Germany. Founded in 1818 it is Stuttgart's oldest university. Its primary areas of specialisation had traditionally been agricultural and natural science, Today, however, the majority of its students are enrolled in one of the many study programs offered by the faculty of business, economics and social science. The faculty has regularly been ranked among the best in the country, making the University of Hohenheim one of Germany's top-tier universities in these fields. The university maintains academic alliances with a number of partner universities and is involved in numerous joint research projects. Wikipedia.


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The direct dependence of humans on ecosystem services is by far strongest in developing regions where poverty restricts access to resources. This dependency also makes people in developing countries more sensitive to climate change than their developed counterparts. Increasing human populations deteriorates natural habitat, biodiversity and ecosystems services which spiral into poverty and low human welfare. This calls for innovative solutions that encompass the entire socio-ecological-economic system, as recognized on a global scale in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. However, innovative and practical solutions require downscaling to regional levels for identifying concrete sets of drivers of change. For Africa specifically, the interplay of human population growth, land use change, climate change and human well-being is a major challenge. This project focuses on the Serengeti-Maasai Mara Ecosystem and associated agricultural areas, a region in East Africa that encompasses parts of Kenya and Tanzania. The ecosystem is world-famous for key aspects of its biodiversity, such as the migration of 1.3 million wildebeest. This flagship ecosystem role will enhance the international interest in the project. In this project, internationally leading researchers from Norway, the Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark and Germany are teaming up with strong local partners in Tanzania and Kenya. The research will be organised in seven interlinked work packages: 1) assemble and integrate the so far separate Kenyan and Tanzanian relevant data on the region; 2) quantify the connections between human population growth, land use change, climate change and biodiversity change; 3) test how biodiversity change leads to changes in key ecosystem services; 4) quantify the dependence of human livelihoods on these ecosystem services. We will implement innovative ways for communication and dissemination of the results of continuous engagement by local stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.5-02 | Award Amount: 7.20M | Year: 2014

EnReMilk will achieve significant water and energy savings in representative dairy case studies, mozzarella and milk powder production, across the supply chain. The dairy industry is an important food industry sector with sales of 124.3 billion and added value of 17.4 billion p.a. It is a high energy and water consumer, both overall and per unit production: up to 6.47 MWh (5.55 MWhth and 0.92 MWhel) and 60 m3 of water per tonne processed milk. 98 % of the fresh water used is of drinking water quality with 80% of energy consumed in process heating, pasteurisation, sterilisation, drying and cleaning operations. During EnReMilk, energy savings of at least 20% and water savings of at least 30% will be achieved in case studies (3 months production), replicable in both SME and larger dairies. These savings will be validated against a consumption baseline of existing operation, being validated in model simulations and in physical trials. Emerging and novel engineering technologies will be optimised and implemented in key dairy unit operations to provide significant and simultaneous saving of water and energy, while ensuring food quality and safety. It will: (i) identify and monitor water and energy consumption patterns of along the entire supply chain, (ii) model and simulate to evaluate savings potential of a vast array of technological scenarios, (iii) optimise selected technologies in case studies with highest water and energy saving potential, (iv) optimise resource supply and use strategies, and (v) ensure benefits for food producers and equipment manufacturers, while reconciling sustainability imperatives. It will ensure a smooth translation into practical implementation, providing an innovation-driven increase in the competitiveness of the EU dairy sector. EnReMilk will ensure that engineering innovations are verified as environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible, and that food quality and safety is not compromised.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2015 | Award Amount: 1.84M | Year: 2016

The European Fruit Network (EUFRUIT) includes 12 countries focussed on 4 thematic areas of critical for the competiveness and innovation potential of the European Fruit sector: i) new cultivar development and evaluation; ii) minimise residues on fruit and the environment; iii) optimising storage and fruit quality; iv) sustainable production systems. EUFRUIT will coordinate and support innovation through developing a framework for relevant stakeholders and it will establish a systematic approach for knowledge gathering and dissemination. The systematic approach includes: i) scanning & synthesis via 4 expert groups who scan state-of-art knowledge, practises and technologies and synthesise the material to identify key areas of learning and best practise approaches at a European level. ii) showing & sharing will deliver outreach/dialogue at a national level through establishment of local operational groups. An online Knowledge Platform will hold all outreach material, outreach activities include; 100 industry publications, 90 technical bulletins, 25 flyers/newsletters, 60 seminars, 160 field based meetings, 25 conference plus 12 events aimed at the general public. iii) sustaining the network will occur through long-term integration of the assembled EUFRUIT network in future actions. The overall outcome of EUFRUIT will be establishment of a framework and a systematic approach that together builds a bridge across the valley of death. This bridge will secure a direct path for new knowledge in the future and reduce the likelihood of repetition of research at a national level. The European fruit sector will have ready access to up-to-date information to implement and value will be created both for the industry with respect to competitiveness, sustainability and efficiency and society through ensuring the security and safety of fruit; underpinning human health and wellbeing.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-12 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2014

FLINT defines Farm Level Indicators to improve the policy evaluation on (amongst others) cross compliance, sustainability and innovation in the CAP. The data collection on these indicators has ideally to be linked to the current Farm Accountancy Data Network in which data on costs of production and incomes are collected on 75.000 farms over the EU-27, but alternatives will be explored. In the project foreseen harmonized data on the Profit, Planet and People indicators will be collected in a pilot-network in several European countries with an invitation for others to join. Data will be stored in a central database (after permission of the collaborating farmers of course) and used to investigate how this date improves policy evaluation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-02b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2016

European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil improving cropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits and drawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects. Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing performance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil-improving cropping systems for scientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented cropping systems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption of soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites. Results from study sites will be up-scaled to the European level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil-improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainability impacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitable soil-improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe. Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations will be provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences, to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-35-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

REELER - Responsible Ethical Learning with Robotics Robots are the next ICT-related technology on the horizon ready to radically alter human societies. It is a major societal concern that up to 40% jobs may be replaced by robots over the next 20 years. Few empirical studies have been made in how roboticists visions may differ from users/affected stakeholders needs and concerns with these pervasive and radical changes. The REELER project aims at aligning the roboticists visions of a future with robots with empirically-based knowledge of human needs and societal concerns. Based on extensive robotics/SSH-RRI collaboration, REELER will offer proactive steps towards ethical and responsible robots by suggesting radical changes in current robot design procedures. Moreover, REELER will formulate guidelines in the REELER Roadmap for distributed responsibility among roboticists, users/affected stakeholders and policy-makers by closing the current gap between these. At the core of these guidelines is the concept of collaborative learning which permeates all aspects of REELER and will guide future SSH-ICT research. The main outcome of REELER is the research-based roadmap presenting a) ethical guidelines for Human Proximity Levels, b) prescriptions for how to include the voice of new types of users and affected stakeholders through Mini-Publics and call forth roboticists assumptions via sociodrama and c) an agent-based simulation tool for policy-making. The high level of multidisciplinarity (8 robot designers from the LEIT-ICT batch 23, anthropologists, psychologists, economists and philosophers) of the REELER research, will assure cooperation, comprehension and acceptance of SSH-research by the robotics research community. Integrating the recommendations of the REELER Roadmap for Responsible and Ethical Learning in Robotics in future robot design processes will ensure a European robotics community that take humans needs and societal concerns into account.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2014 | Award Amount: 1.99M | Year: 2015

AgriSPIN: creating SPace for INnovation The project name reflects the overall aim of this project: to strengthen support systems in creating space for innovating farmers. Innovative farmers are everywhere, but their environment determines the rate of success. The project aims to create more space for innovations, through amplifying good examples of innovation support systems and through multi-actor learning about ways to stimulate innovation and remove obstacles. The main target group is intermediates who connect initiators to other actors for involving them in creating innovations, such as farmers, knowledge workers, actors in the value chain, administrators, civil society groups, etc. 11 European project partners are playing this intermediate role in their regional AKIS. 4 scientific partners complete the team. Each regional partner will host a Cross Visit. The visiting team, composed of project partners, studies interesting cases of agricultural innovations. The scientists provide sound methodology for making these visits valuable. Throughout the project period partners support each other in an emerging professional innovation network. They inspire each other and initiate improvements in their own systems. The project also addresses the institutional environment, involving public managers, administrators and policy makers. Case studies and lessons learned are made available to a wider public. Attention will be given to cultural and historical particularities, requiring tailor made solutions for every region. The scientists explore lessons to be generalised and added to the scientific discourse on knowledge brokers. Once the approach of joint learning through Cross Visits has been well tested and the professional network is functional, the project is ready for collaboration with other partners such as thematic networks and operational groups under the EIP as well as other interested regions in joint learning about innovation support systems.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.89M | Year: 2016

The project seeks to explore culinary practice among early farming European communities, from the Aegean to Central Europe, spanning the Neolithic through to the Iron Age (7th-1st millennia BC). The project seeks to identify the food cultures of prehistoric Europe, and to reconstruct how cultivated and wild plant foods were transformed into dishes exploring their underlying cultural and environmental contexts and their evolution through time. The project will explore how culinary identities were shaped through the selection of plant foods both in terms of ingredients as well as processing and cooking practices. Thus not only species and meals but also the equipment involved in plant food preparation will be considered for the study area, linking the end product to the relevant technologies of transformation. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of the archaeological finds and experimental replication of various aspects of food preparation techniques informed by ethnographic investigations will form the main analytical tools. The interdisciplinary and contextual examination of the archaeological record will provide a fresh insight into prehistoric cuisine in Europe, the transformation of nature to culture through cooking. The project will revolutionise perceptions of prehistoric food preparation providing insights for the longue dure of traditional plant foods constituting Europes intangible cultural heritage.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.62M | Year: 2016

The energy crisis, environmental pollution and global warming are serious problems that are of great concern throughout the world. Around 40% of the worlds energy consumption is dedicated to the production of materials and chemicals. Thus, there is a need to develop high-performance materials based on renewable resources, simpler to synthesise and cost effective. Carbon materials derived from renewable resources (e.g., biomass) are ideal candidates to meet these needs. The main objective of our proposed Innovative Training Network is to develop new scientific knowledge, capability, technology, and commercial products for biomass-derived carbons (BCs); thus impacting the way that Europe uses and innovates with sustainable carbon materials. This will be accomplished through outstanding research and training programmes for fourteen early-stage researchers (ESRs). Our proposed research programme is feasible given the varied expertise and knowledge of the academic and industrial participants. We expect that GreenCarbon will improve our ability to rationally design a range of functionalised BC-derived materials using different individual and synergistically coupled processes and expand their practical applications. Our research programme comprehensively covers all aspects from precursors (the nature of biomass) to processing (thermochemical conversion, porosity development, chemical functionalisation) and application (e.g., CO2 capture, heterogeneous catalysis and chemicals from biomass) enabling a unique design of engineered sustainable BC materials. At the same time, our training programme is designed with the aim to empower the ESRs through the provision of a comprehensive and coherent training package, which includes complementary competencies and knowledge in all the science, engineering and business skills so as to be capable of deploying new technologies within different environments both inside and outside of academia.


Wurschum T.,University of Hohenheim
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2012

Detection of quantitative trait loci (QTL) in breeding populations offers the advantage that these QTL are of direct relevance for the improvement of crops via knowledge-based breeding. As phenotypic data are routinely generated in breeding programs and the costs for genotyping are constantly decreasing, it is tempting to exploit this information to unravel the genetic architecture underlying important agronomic traits in crops. This review characterizes the germplasm from breeding populations available for QTL detection, provides a classification of the different QTL mapping approaches that are available, and highlights important considerations concerning study design and biometrical models suitable for QTL analysis. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

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