Cutting-edge research on sustainability

Transdisciplinary Research Area Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures

Sustainability means using resources in a way that the needs of today are met without neglecting or even disregarding the needs of future generations. This raises questions in a wide range of areas: poverty, hunger, food security, demographic change, health, protection of the environment, climate change and the responsible use of resources pose a global challenge for us all. To achieve progress with regards to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, our researchers apply an interdisciplinary approach focused on solutions combined with basic research, actively engage in global networks and collaborate with Bonn-based UN organizations.

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Importance of Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainability: The significance of the Sustainable Development Goals

Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun, Center for Development Research (ZEF) and Speaker of TRA Sustainable Futures, outlines the significance of the UN's sustainable development goals for global development.

News

  • The Center for Development Research (ZEF) and TRA Sustainable Futures jointly invite Prof. Johan Swinnen (IFPRI) to give an in-person lecture on June 29, 2022.
  • Continuation of our Distinguished Lecturers Series "Innovation Pathways to Sustainability" starts on July 5, 2022 with Prof. Katrin Böhning-Gaese.
  • Open Call for seed funding is still available to all TRA members.
Press releases
Two new research units on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting a boost: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding a total of eight new AI research units with a total of 31.4 million euros. Two projects from the University of Bonn in the fields of geodesy and precision agriculture are among them. The millions in funding will flow over the next four years. An extension is possible.

Where do the ingredients for your chocolate, smartphone and clothes come from?

A bar of chocolate in the U.S. might have been made in Belgium, with cocoa from the Ivory Coast, almonds from Morocco, vanilla from Madagascar and sugar from Brazil. Were forests cut down for it? Were forced or child laborers involved in the harvest? Were toxins used or rivers polluted? We see similar stories for other products we use daily, such as smartphones, clothes, and cosmetics. These questions cannot be answered easily. That's why companies and corporations should conduct due diligence in their supply chains and pay more attention in the future to the impact of their products on the environment and human rights. Dr. Jorge Sellare, group leader and senior scientist at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and member of the Transdisciplinary Research Unit "Sustainable Futures" at the University of Bonn, has written a commentary on this topic together with other authors in the journal "Nature". The Department of Communications of the University asked him about it.

What benefits nutrition in Africa the most

Malnutrition in developing countries is best addressed not by increasing the variety of crops grown on smallholder farms, but by improving access to markets. This is the conclusion of a recent study by the MwAPATA Institute in Malawi and the University of Bonn in Germany. More variety in animal production, however, does show positive effects. The findings are now published in the journal “Lancet Planetary Health”.

Meat substitutes: Environment does not motivate consumption

People who have a critical attitude toward factory farming or who pay attention to their health in everyday life are more likely to turn to meat substitutes. Concern for the environment, on the other hand, plays no role in this decision. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the University of Bonn in which more than 400 people between the ages of 17 and 86 took part. The results appear in the journal Food Quality and Preference.

Press review

Members of TRA Sustainable Futures in the media (in German)


Speakers

Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun
Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Prof. Dr. Jan Börner
Institute for Food and Resource Economics

Management

Dr. Daniel Minge
Manager TRA Sustainable Futures

Strategic Development and Quality Assurance
Vice Rectorate for Research and Early-Career Researchers

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn 
Argelanderstraße 1
53115 Bonn  

Phone:  +49 175/103 89 57
Email: tra6@uni-bonn.de

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