An ever-increasing world-population, changing dietary habits and climate change currently impose great demands on agricultural research. All over the world, a more efficient use of cropland and of pastures, of water and of nutrients in agriculture has taken on primary importance. A joint research institute, founded by the University of Göttingen and K+S KALI GmbH, will from now on focus on practice-oriented research on plant nutrition. The university-affiliated Institute for Applied Plant Nutrition (IAPN) will serve as an intersection between science and industry, and will be charged with investigating topical questions raised by practice, pooling existing knowledge and transferring new findings to agricultural practitioners.
Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition (IAPN) will focus on practice-oriented research approaches concerning plant-nutrition
Which options do agriculturists all over the world have for raising their yields? Climate change is causing increasingly longer and more severe dry spells – how can plants “learn” to use available moisture more efficiently? The newly founded Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition (IAPN) will focus on practice-oriented research approaches concerning plant-nutrition. Among other topics, the institute’s scientists have set their sights on finding out to which degree intelligent fertilisation management may contribute to meeting the global challenges, and to finding practical solutions and methods for this purpose. At the same time, they will identify and develop appropriate techniques for transferring all relevant knowledge to agriculturists, specifically those working in the so-called Third World countries.
Optimal combination of laboratory research, field work and knowledge transfer
This joint project of university and K+S KALI GmbH is meant to bundle the available resources of both organisations, integrate the numerous individual projects into an international network, and to thereby give a boost to practice-oriented research. “The IAPN bridges the gap between academic teaching and research in agricultural sciences and a vital segment of agricultural economy, to the benefit of both research and practice. The institute’s scientists will pick up on topical issues raised by practice, and are able to efficiently generate and transfer relevant findings. Another benefit is created by the excellent training opportunities this provides for students with an interest in global plant nutrition”, says Prof. Dr. Andreas von Tiedemann, from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Göttingen. “The very basic challenge the IAPN will address is the creation of an optimal combination of laboratory research, field work and knowledge transfer”, adds Prof. Dr. Andreas Gransee, Head of Agricultural Advisory Department at K+S KALI GmbH.
The IAPN will function as an administratively and legally independent unit, funded by the K+S An-Institutsverwaltungs GmbH, a K+S KALI GmbH subsidiary newly founded for this purpose. Executive management of the K+S An-Institutsverwaltungs GmbH will be effected by Prof. Gransee. The IAPN’s initial staff endowment will comprise a junior professorship, one Ph.D-position and one technical assistant. Beyond that, K+S KALI GmbH will also grant a one-time seed capital to the affiliated institute, and will provide additional funds for specific projects. The University of Göttingen will provide the premises at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, and will bear their operating costs. Scientific supervision of the institute will be handled by the professorship for plant nutrition, at the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Göttingen.