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BBW ForWerts Graduate Program

Bioeconomy Baden-Württemberg: Exploring Innovative Value-Added Chains

Currently we do not have any open positions on projects.

Application of graduate students who already have a PhD position and supervisor is possible. Please contact BBW ForWerts administration for further information (

The BBW ForWerts Graduate Program (Bioökonomie Baden-Württemberg: Erforschung innovativer Wertschöpfungsketten) is integrated into the Bioeconomy Research Program Baden-Württemberg, which has been launched in 2014. This innovative research program addresses the complex challenges of a sustainable bioeconomy, based on

- excellence in a broad range of disciplines
- unique selling points of bioeconomy-relevant research hubs in Baden-Württemberg
- continuous dialog with local bioeconomy-related industrial partners
- platforms for collaboration, fostering exchange of concepts and methods

The Graduate Program coordinates state-of-the-art research activities for the graduate students, which are distributed across different universities and research institutions in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg and fosters the education of scientists with strong focus on interdisciplinarity. This systemic approach encompasses the analysis of entire value chains including genotype/biomass selection, biomass production and conversion, and product development as well as analysis of economic, ecological, ethical, and societal aspects. The administration of the graduate program is located at Heidelberg University (coordinator: Prof. Dr. Thomas Rausch). Doctoral degrees will be awarded by the institution where each individual project is based. Additionally, a BBW ForWerts certificate will be issued.

The funded projects are embedded into several focus areas, including:

Lignocellulose –an alternative commodity platform for new materials and products

Biogas – development of sustainable and flexible value added chains

Microalgae - integrated use for nutrition and feeding stuff industries or as a fuel

Microbial biotechnology - generating new platform chemicals by using microorganisms

Plant molecular physiology – exploring molecular mechanisms defining the lignocellulose quality and quantity

Economic and political aspects - social transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy

The interdisciplinary approach and networking are fundaments of the graduate program, allowing successful candidates to enter their professional careers later on with broad and solid knowledge in both, their specific subjects and crucial bioeconomy issues.

BBW ForWerts offers all assets of an excellent graduate program, including

- supervision of each PhD student via a thesis advisory committee
- participation in regular interdisciplinary workshops
- participation in summer schools
- training courses in specialized methods
- excursions to industrial partners - participation in an international meeting
- participation in soft skill courses (scientific writing etc.)

Please visit our webpage for further information about the BBW ForWerts Graduate Program.