Gatersleben -
the Competence Centre for Plant Biotechnology

Top-class research with tradition

Gatersleben is an excellent location for plant biotechnology in Europe. The Leibniz-Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), one of the oldest and best-renowned institutions for plant breeding research in Germany, has formed the academic core of the Centre and for the past few years has been the breeding ground for start-ups on the Biotechnology Campus Gatersleben. Currently, around 600 employees including ca. 230 scientists are working within the fields of plant biotechnology and plant breeding research.

The Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research undertakes research in modern biology with a special focus on crop plants. The IPK houses a globally unique collection of over 3,000 different plant species in the central German ex situ gene bank for agricultural and horticultural cultivated plants. This knowledge provides a basis for the targeted utilisation of biological diversity for the sustainable cultivation of foodstuffs, animal fodder and also renewable raw materials. In addition, the development of transgenetic approaches will help to underpin the targeted increase in plant productivity and an increase in disease resistance.

The scientific competence at the IPK has resulted in the foundation of new biotech companies e.g. TraitGenetics GmbH. The close link with the IPK was for example a decisive factor for the establishment of the Saaten-Union Biotec GmbH.  The network InnoPlanta e. V., incorporating around 60 partners from research, economic, financial and political sectors, provides ideal conditions for synergy effects and the exchange of information. All partners in this network help to consolidate existing potential within the field of plant biotechnology in the region.

The location initiative Green Gate Gatersleben (GGG) also helps new firms to forge links with existing regional companies and research institutions. The GGG is an initiative involving all companies, plant biotechnology institutions and public authorities within the location which together aim to produce a collective marketing platform and an external presentation of the location Gatersleben and the competences and services of all its partners.

The regional government of Saxony-Anhalt continues to give top priority to the further development and interlinking of the potentials of plant biotechnology in science and research in its regional policy and funding for the future: for this reason, the Campus Gatersleben represents one of the core elements in the federal state’s biotechnology offensive.

We are today already nurturing the junior scientists and engineering scientists of tomorrow. The “Green Laboratory” has been set up on the biotech campus for the purpose of awakening the interest of schoolchildren at an early stage for the natural sciences, in particular biotechnology, and providing optimum support for the career orientation of young persons. This laboratory is additionally open to the general public for the provision of competent information and education on the future-oriented field of bio-sciences within the framework of individual events and courses.