Innovation starts now

etit at the opening of the ryon transition centre in Gernsheim

2024/03/06 by

Innovation starts now – under this motto, the ryon GreenTech Accelerator Transition Center was opened in Gernsheim on 23 February 2024. A state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure for innovation and research projects has been created in the Transition Centre. Research groups led by etit professors Tran Quoc Khanh and Heinz Koeppl were invited to present their innovative projects.

Jens Balasus presented his project to a prominent audience from politics, industry and research.

Start-ups and research groups from areas that are highly relevant to both TU Darmstadt and its strategic partner Merck presented themselves in the Transition Centre. Research groups from the etit department were represented by etit professors Heinz Koeppl and Tran Quoc Khanh.

ZIM project Plant-Centric-Lighting

In view of the growing population and shrinking agricultural areas, it is crucial to make agriculture more efficient. Greenhouses and in particular novel concepts such as “Vertical Farming” and “Plant Factories with Artificial Lighting” (PFAL) offer solutions to this problem, but have potential for optimisation in the lighting systems. This project combines various innovative solutions to increase the efficiency of artificial lighting and optimise plant growth.

further information on the project

The Lab of Adaptive Lighting Systems and Visual Processing (Prof Khanh) was on site with an impressive demonstrator for simulating plant lighting. The two scientists Jens Balasus and Felix Wirth presented their research from the DFG and ZIM projects Optical structure modelling of plants for testing optical sensor technology in their near field and Plant-Centric-Lighting (PCL) Development of a system that can be adapted to biological processes for energy-efficient and growth-effective plant lighting.

DFG project Optical structure modelling of plants

The research project is creating an optical structural model of young cucumber plants, which will subsequently be used as an example for the virtual testing of optical sensor technology. The field of application of virtual plants will thus be expanded – from the systematic use of virtual plants to better understand plant physiological relationships to the use of virtual plants to virtually test sensor technology and virtually analyse relationships between metrics and plant properties.

further information on the project

etit Professor Heinz Koeppl presented the Centre for Synthetic Biology as a speaker. Managing Director Dr Melanie Mikosch-Wersching and staff from the Self-Organising Systems Lab were also on site with various exhibits.

Prof Heinz Koeppl (centre) in conversation with prominent guests.
Prof Heinz Koeppl (centre) in conversation with prominent guests.

Important milestone in the field of green technologies

The expert audience, consisting of Hesse's new Minister of Economics and Deputy Prime Minister Kaweh Mansoori, Tanja Brühl, President of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board of the Merck Group and CEO of Merck Electronics and the two ryon Managing Directors Jörg von Hagen and Steffen Bruckner as well as other representatives from politics, industry, science and start-ups, engaged in an interesting exchange about future ecological challenges and their solutions.

The opening of the Transition Centre marks an important milestone in the field of green technologies and sustainable innovations in Hesse. In her welcoming address, TU President Tanja Brühl emphasised on behalf of the two universities involved as shareholders, Darmstadt and Frankfurt, that ryon strengthens a powerful and sustainable ecosystem in the Rhine-Main region that brings start-ups and scale-ups together with partners from industry in a fruitful exchange of learning from and with each other.

Interested in participating in research?

Students specialising in electrical engineering, medical technology, mechatronics or computer science who are interested in participating in this research are invited to contact or for seminar papers, Bachelor's or Master's theses.

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