BIOTRAIN – A new perspective for sustainable industrial value creation

A transformation of our economy to sustainable production methods with closed cycles and sustainable technologies seems more urgent than ever. In the BIOTRAIN project, six Fraunhofer Institutes have therefore investigated the potential and requirements of a "biological transformation of industrial value creation", in particular with regard to a sustainable way of doing business.

Biology as a model for a future economy.
© Fraunhofer
Technological development modes of biological transformation.

For the future of the German and global economy, the transformation towards sustainable production methods is of great importance. Our current production systems, even when augmented by far-reaching digitalization, do not provide sufficient enablers to cater for the With finite resources and our current production systems, a fair satisfaction of the material needs of finite resources  of future generations. cannot be ensured even with far-reaching digitalization. A transformation to sustainable production methods with new materials, closed cycles and the use of sustainable technologies seems more urgent than ever.

At the same time, the growing knowledge about biological processes and the new possibilities of digitalization offers new potentials to integrate the biological, technical and informational spheres. The "biological transformation of industrial added valuevalue creation" is therefore understood as the systematic application of knowledge about biological processes for the purpose of holistic optimization of production systems.

With the participation of six Fraunhofer Institutes, the BIOTRAIN project identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of a biological transformation of industrial value creation for Germany as a business location. The comprehensive analysis is based on extensive literature research, over 120 interviews with national and international experts from research and industry as well as numerous workshops with a total of over 200 participants.

On the basis of this analysis, baseic technologies and their potential are also examined, and development paths as well as recommendations for action and design are developed for the public sector. The project is supported by a scientific advisory board and an industrial support group, which also ensures that the results are of a highly application-oriented quality.

Project information

Project title

BIOTRAIN – Preliminary study on the biological transformation of industrial value creation


Project duration

November 2017 – November 2018


Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA (Coordination)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU


We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the project sponsor Karlsruhe (PTKA) for funding the project "BIOTRAIN".



Federal Ministry of Education and Research.