Sustainability in Research

Our Vision

Through its high-level research, the University of Bonn will act as an agent of change, helping to lay the foundations for transformation processes affecting the whole of society. Many of our researchers are studying sustainable development issues, thus establishing a valuable knowledge base for debates, political and personal decision-making, and answering pressing social questions. In particular, we are supporting inter- and transdisciplinary research and promoting the transfer of research findings into day-to-day work and society.

Icon Forschung
© Universität Bonn

We are formulating our sustainability strategy in a continuous participatory process as part of the University’s own sustainability platform, known as BOOST (Bonn Program for Sustainable Transformation). Strategic objectives and measures for research are being developed in a dedicated working group.


Listen in now: our Cluster of Excellence PhenoRob in the Podcast "Excellent Explained"


News from Research
New Supercomputer Accelerating Top-Level Research

Constantly increasing data volumes, ever more complex calculation and modeling—working with large amounts of data is crucial in many fields of research. The new high-performance computer "Marvin" now makes it easier for University of Bonn researchers to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning. Featuring a scalable GPU partition, Marvin is among the world’s top 500 most powerful computers. Funded in part under the Excellence program, the acquisition of Marvin comes as part of the University of Bonn digital strategy. 

More animal welfare or more environmental protection?

Which sustainability goals do people in Germany find more important: Animal welfare? Or environmental protection? Human health is another one of these competing sustainability goals. A team of researchers from the Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research at the University of Bonn have now found that consumers surveyed in their study would rather pay more for salami with an “antibiotic-free” label than for salami with an “open barn” label that indicates that the product promotes animal welfare. The results have now been published in the journal “Q Open.”

Study calls for improvements in climate protection

Projects that reduce deforestation often sell carbon credits - for instance, to consumers purchasing airline tickets. However, over 90 percent of these project credits do not actually offset greenhouse gas emissions. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands), the University of Bonn, the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) and the European Forest Institute in Barcelona (Spain). It was carried out on an exemplary basis for 26 projects in six countries. The results have now been published in the renowned journal Science.

Researchers “film” novel catalyst at work

A novel catalysis scheme enables chemical reactions that were previously virtually impossible. The method developed at the University of Bonn is also environmentally friendly and does not require rare and precious metals. The researchers recorded the exact course of the catalysis in a kind of high-speed film. They did this using special lasers that can make processes visible that last only fractions of a billionth of a second. The results allow them to further optimize the catalyst. They have been published in the international edition of the renowned journal “Angewandte Chemie.”

High-Level Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Universität Bonn

6 Clusters of Excellence

How can technologies unlock sustainable crop production? How do policy instruments impact social and economic inequality? These and other questions are being addressed by researchers from various disciplines in the University of Bonn’s six Clusters of Excellence.

The Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production cluster, or PhenoRob for short, is Germany’s only Cluster of Excellence in the agricultural sciences. 

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Universität Bonn

6 Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs)

The University maintains six Transdisciplinary Research Areas in which researchers from all its faculties are studying cross-cutting issues together. This transdisciplinary approach is producing innovative research that reflects a variety of perspectives.

Sustainability issues also play a major role in terms of content here, such as in the Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures TRA.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn

Research in collaborative projects

As a University of Excellence, the University of Bonn is among the universities with the strongest track records for research in Europe. It is known for its high-level research, which is underpinned by an international network and an innovative and cosmopolitan research culture.

The University conducts research into sustainability issues as part of numerous collaborative projects funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the European Union (EU) and other third parties.

Selected Institutions

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Colourbox

Center for Development Research (ZEF)

The Center for Development Research is an institute at the University of Bonn that conducts trans- and interdisciplinary research. The researchers at the ZEF devise scientifically sound answers to questions of development policy. Doctoral students, researchers and partner institutions from all over the world come together at the ZEF to work toward solving global challenges.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert

Klein-Altendorf Sustainability Campus

The Klein-Altendorf Campus (CKA) is one of the Faculty of Agriculture’s three off-site laboratories. It hosts numerous tests and experiments by the University’s institutes and partner research institutions. 

Issues connected with crop production are its main focus.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Unsplash

Sustainable AI Lab

Outstanding researchers from various disciplines are working together in the Sustainable AI Lab to study the environmental, social and economic consequences of designing, developing and using artificial intelligence (AI). 

The laboratory is the brainchild of AI ethicist Prof. Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe, Director of the Institute of Science and Ethics at the University of Bonn. 

Networking and Transfer

Partnerships for meeting sustainability targets

The University of Bonn collaborates with a wide range of partners in order to advance sustainability research at a local, national and global level and transfer research findings to the economy and society. We make the most of the unique advantage that Bonn offers us as a UN city.

Transfercenter Logo_Bialek Uni Bonn.png
© Bialek/Uni Bonn

enaCom Transfer Center

The enaCom Transfer Center sees itself as an intermediary, translator and catalyst between science and other stakeholders whose purpose is to make research findings available for the benefit of society.

Part of Research and Innovation Services, the enaCom Transfer Center is the first port of call for any questions about knowledge and technology transfer.

bonnalliance_logo_2020.jpg
© bonnalliance

Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research

With its six partner institutions, the Bonn Alliance combines basic and applied research conducted by both universities and non-university institutions.  It takes account of the complexity of the problems and issues presented by the sustainability landscape by adopting an interconnected approach to science and research. Its common aim is to provide scientific support to the implementation of the UN’s Agenda 2030 on every level from the local to the global. The Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research was set up at COP23 in November 2017 under the overall leadership of the University of Bonn.

Logo_Humboldt_n_complete_4c.jpg
© Humboldt N

Research networks 

The universities of North Rhine-Westphalia have joined forces in the Humboldtn network in order to share responsibility for sustainability issues of relevance to the future. 

The University of Bonn is also an active member of other German and international sustainability networks, including the German Association for Sustainability at Universities (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltigkeit an Hochschulen, or DG HochN) and the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN).

since 1819

Sustainability research at the University of Bonn

1934

Foundation of the Faculty of Agriculture

2017

Founding of Bonn Alliance for the Sustainability Research in context of COP23

Work in progress

This web page will be added to gradually. 

See also

Sustainability in teaching at the University of Bonn

Vice Rectorate for Sustainability and Sustainability Unit

Bonn Program for Sustainable Transformation—BOOST

Wird geladen