The member institutes oft he Leibniz research Alliance „Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition” have identified the topic of “Proteinresearch” as a highly important cross sectional topic. The research done within this project focuses on protein (plant, animal and organisms) as on of the key components of human and animal nutrition. Current production and supply systems are causing increasing and global problems. These include:
- Increase in biogeochemical flows (nitrogen and phosphorus inputs),
- Change in land use (expansion of production areas),
- Sweet water usage (irrigation),
- Loss of functional and genetic diversity (Steffen et Al. 2015) and
- Health issues (under- and malnutrition, unhealthy over nutrition) (FAO 2015, 2016).
In the Research Alliance our members are doing interdisciplinary and goal oriented research spanning from molecules to global economies, covering:
- Resource-efficient production systems (analysis and evaluation),
- Circular economy and recycling,
- Protein-markets and –trade,
- Alternative protein sources for humans and livestock,
- Protein-quality and –valency,
- Personalised (humans) and individualised (livestock, other organisms) protein requirements and
- Socioeconomic aspects of protein production.
The primary aim of our Research Alliance is to connect previously independent fields within the Leibniz-Group to answer collective and transdisciplinary research questions. Answering complex questions, concerning the transformation of food supply systems towards more sustainable ones, requires the combining of different theories, approaches and methods.
The current societal discourse on the urgent need for viable production systems and consumption habits is the foundation of the Research Alliance’s research topics –for the identification of research needs, as well as the strengthening of expertise in the topic of protein research.
Facilitated by the Leibniz-Group, an important instrument of the Research Alliance is the Alliance Project “Protein Paradoxes”. It serves as a platform for the networking, specifically of young scientists in and outside of the Leibniz-Group. The project supports the joint development of research questions and goals as well as joint work by applying target group oriented project management.