ATB Director appointed new Vice President of the Leibniz Association
Prof. Dr Barbara Sturm, Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), was elected Vice President for a two-year term by the majority of the General Assembly at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Leibniz Association in Berlin yesterday. Prof. Dr. Barbara Sturm succeeds Prof. Dr. Kathrin Böhning-Gaese of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN), who is leaving the Leibniz Association’s Executive Board after two terms.
Prof. Dr Barbara Sturm is heading the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy in Potsdam as Scientific Director and Chair of the Board of Directors since October 2020. In a joint appointment, she holds the professorship „Agricultural Engineering in Bioeconomic Systems“ at Humboldt University in Berlin. Before moving to Potsdam, she was head of the research group „Process and Systems Engineering in Agriculture“ at the University of Kassel. Born in 1978, the agricultural engineer received her doctorate from the University of Kassel in 2010 and started her career at the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, Newcastle University (UK). In 2018 she was awarded the prestigious Anton Schlüter Medal of the KTBL for her habilitation thesis. Barbara Sturm is, besides others, board member of the German Agricultural Research Alliance (DAFA).
„I am looking forward to the new task and will commit myself to intensifying inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation within the Leibniz Association for sustainability goals. We need to network the diverse competencies of the Leibniz institutes, from economics and social sciences to life sciences, natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences, even more strongly than before in order to jointly advance solutions for globally pressing issues such as food security, environmental and climate protection,“ says Prof. Sturm. „Infrastructures such as the ‚Leibniz Innovation Farm for Sustainable Bioeconomy‘, which is currently being built close to Potsdam with the participation of around twenty Leibniz institutions, can act as crystallisation centres for cross-disciplinary and cross-sectional cooperation on core topics of the Leibniz Association.“
Currently, the Board of the Leibniz Association consists of the President and four Vice Presidents. The Board is responsible for managing the Association and for carrying out resolutions passed by its official bodies. It is responsible for implementing generally binding rules produced by the committees, such as rules and principles of procedure and electoral regulations. The eleven-member Executive Board of the Leibniz Association advises the Board on all fundamental matters pertaining to the Leibniz Association and takes funding decisions relating to the Strategy Fund.
The Leibniz Association connects 96 independent research institutions that range in focus from natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economics, spatial and social sciences and the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz institutions collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “Leibniz ScienceCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the importance of the institutions for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 21,000 individuals, including 12,000 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 2 billion Euros.
The Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) is a pioneer and driver of bioeconomy research. Its research creates scientific foundations for the transformation of agricultural, food, industrial and energy systems into a comprehensive bio-based circular economy. The focus is on the development and integration of technology, processes and management strategies in the sense of converging technologies in order to intelligently network highly diverse bioeconomic production systems and to control them in a knowledge-based, adaptive and largely automated manner. ATB conducts research in dialogue with society – knowledge-motivated and application-inspired.
The institute employs about 250 people. The federal and state governments, including Brandenburg, are funding the institute this year with 14.7 million euros. In addition, there is third-party funding amounting to about 30 % of the budget.