University of Bayreuth, Presse release No. 147/2022 - 7 September 2022

University of Bayreuth participates in new EU research programme: Gene editing as a chance for more sustainability 

On September 1, 2022, the research project "GeneBEcon" funded by the European Union was launched. The University of Bayreuth is taking part with its Food Law research group led by Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen. A network of 18 universities and research institutions from 11 countries will explore the innovation potential of gene editing and related biotechnological methods by research and development from different disciplines. The project will be funded for three years with a total of 5.5 million euros, of which the University of Bayreuth will receive around 140,000 euros.

“GeneBEcon” addresses the opportunities for a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe, in particular for a climate-friendly and resource-efficient agriculture. The acronym stands for "Gene editing for a sustainable BioEconomy". The Chair of Food Law at the Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health in Kulmbach will focus on how gene editing applications should be legally and politically regulated at the European level. "The EU collaborative project GeneBEco offers us for the first time the opportunity to systematically link the diverse legal and legal policy aspects with research from the natural and economic sciences. This interdisciplinary networking will enable us to conduct research at the highest level. The University of Bayreuth with its concept of the Campus in Kulmbach and with its Research Unit for German and European Food Law is ideally positioned for this," says Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen, Chair of Food Law and Director of the Research Unit FLMR at the University of Bayreuth.

The research work at the University of Bayreuth is supervised by Yasmine Ambrogio, who was trained at the Campus in Kulmbach for this form of interdisciplinary research on nutritional issues. She is supported by Alexandra Molitorisová, a research assistant at the Campus in Kulmbach. "It is important for the future to advance research and innovation in the field of gene editing not only from a technological point of view, but also to include the equally significant social, economic and regulatory aspects at the same time. In cooperation with the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, which also participates in GeneBEcon, and research partners in other European countries, we want to work towards ensuring that the great opportunities offered by gene editing are used responsibly and transparently, taking into account all the benefits and risks. In this way, we will be able to promote environmentally and climate-friendly, efficient and at the same time resource-saving production methods throughout Europe, both in industry and in agriculture," says Yasmine Ambrogio.

GeneBEcon is funded by the Horizon Europe programme, the EU's ninth framework programme for research and innovation. The framework programme is designed to promote excellence in European science. Key objectives are combating climate change and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen, LL.M.

Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen

Chair of Food Law
University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-1020

Christian Wißler, Wissenschaftskommunikation

Christian Wißler

Deputy Press & PR Manager, Research Communication
University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5356