Representatives from science, industry and politics met in Berlin at the invitation of Genius GmbH as part of the "Salon Global Agriculture" to discuss on the topic "Impulse für die pflanzenbasierte Bioökonomie – Fokus Photosynthese". Keynote speeches and a subsequent discussion dealt with the role of plant research in the transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. Around 130 participants had the opportunity to follow a varied programme and to exchange ideas with other experts during the breaks.
As an introduction to the topic, Peter Westhoff presented an overview of photosynthesis research and possibilities for optimizing photosynthesis efficiency. CEPLAS speaker Andreas Weber deepened this topic and illustrated how plant research can contribute to a plant-based bioeconomy. This requires both genom editing methods and classical plant breeding.
In a lively discussion it was expressed that not only yield increase is an aim of plant breeding, but also yield stability against the background of changing climatic conditions. Plant breeders must therefore in the future meet more and more the demand for drought-resistant varieties. Other topics discussed included the need for intensive scientific communication that promotes dialogue between society, science and politics.
In conclusion, all participants agreed that plant research has great potential for innovation towards the bioeconomy and that this should be combined with other areas in an interdisciplinary approach.