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EU Action Week: Several events at the TUM Campus Straubing

The Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was one of four regions in Germany to successfully apply to take part in the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival. With several events organized in Straubing, the TUM Campus Straubing (TUMCS) took part in this bioeconomy festival week together with other partners. The aim of the festival week was primarily to attract young people as drivers of the sustainable transformation. In total, more than 200 interested people attended the events.

“Is a transition to a sustainable economy possible?”: On Tuesday, a discussion evening entitled “Is a transition to a sustainable economy possible?” was held at the museum NAWAREUM. Together with the Bavarian Bioeconomy Expert Council, the KoNaRo – Competence Centre for Renewable Resources and the student initiative TUMCSGreenTalk, the TUM Campus Straubing hosted this so-called “Green Industry Talk”.

In their welcoming speeches, Mayor Dr Albert Solleder and KoNaRo spokesperson Dr Bernhard Widmann mentioned the enormous importance of sustainable change and Straubing’s pioneering role in the future topic of sustainability. In their joint presentation, the two TUMCS students Vitus Heigenhauser and Philip Dederichs spoke about the perspectives of the younger generation and discussed topics such as climate protection and potential intergenerational conflicts with regard to sustainability and prosperity. Dr Wolfgang Kraus, member of the Bavarian Bioeconomy Expert Council and Development Director at Südzucker AG, gave the audience of around 100 insights into the economic transformation using the example of Südzucker AG’s biorefinery in Zeitz and the role of industry in overcoming future challenges.

In the panel discussion that followed, Dr Philipp Brodbeck, Head of the Bioeconomy Department at the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, pointed out that the public should be made more aware of the bioeconomy. The bioeconomy aims to utilise biological resources sustainably, operate resource-efficiently and reduce environmental impacts at the same time. Dr Philipp Brodbeck: “Only a fraction of Bavarians know what the term bioeconomy means. Whether it’s car tyres made from dandelions or shoes made from bacterial silk, we need to show that the bioeconomy already offers many solutions for a sustainable future.” Prof Sebastian Goerg from the TUM Campus Straubing took the same line: “It is extremely important to better involve society on the path to sustainable change. This is the only way change can succeed!” Business representative Dr Wolfgang Kraus called for better framework conditions from politicians with regard to a sustainable energy supply. Student Nina Faecks said: “There is already enormous pressure to meet the challenges of our time.” However, the transformation towards a sustainable economy takes a long time and costs billions.

“How to…be a bioeconomy founder? – Career opportunities in biobased start-ups”: On Wednesday, a start-up afternoon for students was organised in cooperation with BioCampus Straubing GmbH and the TUM Venture Lab Sustainability/Circular under the title “How to…be a bioeconomy founder? – Career opportunities in biobased start-ups” took place. The founders of the start-ups CityVital, Prevo and MicroPyros introduced their companies in presentations. The event provided insights into how to successfully found a biobased start-up.

„Next Steps after Straubing – Careers in Academica, Industry and Beyond“: At the end of the festival on Thursday, the campus invited several alumni to the Zum Geiss pub to talk about the various career opportunities after graduating and completing a doctorate. Dr Christin Fellenberg (Head of the BTA School), Dr Richa Bharti (Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH), Dr José Ortiz Tena (Manager Roche GmbH) and Dr Abu Siddique (University of London) presented their career paths after working at the Straubing Campus to interested TUMCS scientists.

“We at TUM Campus Straubing are very proud to be one of the few institutions in Germany to have been awarded the contract by the EU to organise a satellite event as part of the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival. Together with other partners from Straubing and the region of renewable raw materials, we have put together the most comprehensive programme of events and thus primarily raised awareness among the younger generation for the sustainable transformation in society and the economy,” says Prof. Sebastian Goerg from the Chair of Economics at the TUM Campus Straubing (TUMCS), who was in charge of organising the satellite event in Straubing.

A science slam scheduled for Wednesday had to be postponed due to several cancellations caused by illness and will be rescheduled for a later date.

Straubing has enjoyed an excellent reputation for many years as a region of renewable resources far beyond the borders of Eastern Bavaria. Not only the city itself, but also the district of Straubing-Bogen and numerous partners from society, politics, business and science are dedicated to sustainability and the bioeconomy. Due to the many players involved, the region is considered the centre of the Bavarian bioeconomy.