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Research project InnoBioDiv

Innovation platform for education and research on the effects of climate change on plant growth performance and soil biodiversity

Overview of InnoBioDiv

  • Research project: InnoBioDiv
  • Funding reference: 67DAS225A
  • Sponsor: ZUG-Zukunft Umwelt und Gesellschaft gGmbH
  • Duration: 08/01/2021 to 31/12/2024
  • Funding program: Promotion of measures to adapt to the consequences of climate change
  • Funding priority: Development of educational modules on climate change and climate adaptation
  • Effects: Soil, microorganisms, plants, drought stress and heavy rain
  • Target groups: Universities, researchers, students, municipalities, and society
  • Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Institute and working group: Institute for Plant Sciences, AG Bucher
  • Project partners: Technical University of Cologne ( Institute for Communications Engineering (INT) ) and CEPLAS Cluster of Excellence
  • Project profile of the TH Köln: Faculty for information, media and electrical engineering, research project InnoBioDiv

Main goals of the InnoBioDiv project

The InnoBioDiv project, a collaboration between the University of Cologne (UoC) and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (THK), aims to create an innovation platform. This platform uses the research results of the Cluster of Excellence for Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) and makes the influence of climate parameters on plant growth and soil biodiversity tangible. One of the main objectives is to develop strategies for crops and ecosystems to adapt to climate change. These include habitat conservation, food security, resource conservation, and the efficient use of water and nutrients in agriculture. The platform will also serve as an interactive center illustrating ecological processes in the rhizosphere and as a communication forum for the exchange of concepts and ideas.

Schematic representation of the InnoBioDiv innovation platform

Part of this innovation platform is a flexible experimentation platform that enables the realistic simulation of ecosystems for the implementation of explorative teaching and learning modules at the participating universities, using the latest technologies in sensing, transmission, and signal processing.

Schematic representation of the experimental platform InnoBioDiv

Setup_Internet-of-Things_Platform(Image:TH Koeln)

Parallel to the establishment of the innovation platform, practice-oriented training modules for students are being developed and carried out at the UzK and THK, in which students in interdisciplinary groups design their own concepts for researching the climate adaptation of plants and implement them experimentally on the experimental platform. By involving students at an early stage of the project, the development of the innovation platform is to be further optimised by and for this target group.The InnoBioDiv platform serves as a basis for connecting further interdisciplinary as well as intercultural research and teaching projects (see for example Plant-Ukraine).