Food Science Day” with distinguished guests at the Leibniz Institute in Freising

The Leibniz Institute of Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) presented its cutting-edge research for food and health at the IZB campus in Freising on this occasion

attendants on the event

The Chairman of the Foundation Board MDirig Dr. Manfred Wolter from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs.

“The research field of systems biology is groundbreaking in every respect”

Manfred Wolter, Head of the Department for Innovation, Research, Technology and Digitalization of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs

On August 4, 2022, the Leibniz Institute of Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) was pleased to welcome high-ranking guests from science and politics on its “Food Science Day”.

Among them were the new President of the Leibniz Association, Professor Dr. Martina Brockmeier, the Chairman of the Foundation Board MDirig Dr. Manfred Wolter from the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the Mayor of Freising, Birgit Mooser-Niefanger. The Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Gerhard Krammer, Head of Research at Symrise AG, and his deputy, Professor Dr. Elke Richling from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, also sent a joint message of greeting by video. In their message, they thanked the LSB team for its excellent work.

In her welcoming speech, the director of the institute, Professor Dr. Veronika Somoza, also thanked all employees and sponsors for their great support and dedication over the past years. Since its reorientation in 2017, the institute has successfully pursued the research concept of food systems biology and has developed extremely positively despite manifold challenges, the scientist continued in her address.

Veronika Somoza had taken over the office of LSB director from Professor Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann in November 2019. The latter had led the scientific fortunes of the Leibniz Institute from 2017 to 2019 until taking up his presidency at the Technical University of Munich.

Progress through interdisciplinarity

Today, the institute’s research concept goes far beyond the core discipline of classical food chemistry. For example, food systems biology is a cross-disciplinary research approach that makes it possible to address complex issues in food research. It combines food chemistry and molecular biology application-oriented basic research with in silico biology. The latter includes the areas of Bioinformatics, Statistics & Machine Learning, Systems Theory & Mathematical Modeling, and Molecular Analysis.

The President of the Leibniz Association congratulated the LSB on its successful transformation process over the past years and the positive evaluation. Viewing food, nutrition and health as a systemic interplay is a scientifically innovative approach with which the LSB scores points in its reorientation, President Brockmeier emphasized. At the same time, it addresses one of the major social challenges of our time: ensuring healthy, sustainably produced nutrition. The cooperation of the research sections, the establishment of technology departments and the successes in the Leibniz competition are an expression of the new dynamics at the LSB. The president encouraged the institute in this integrative and interdisciplinary development and wished it all the best for the continuation of this path.

Teilnehmer der Veranstaltung

Guests included the new President of the Leibniz Association, Prof. Dr. Martina Brockmeier (r), the Chairman of the Foundation Council MDirig Dr. Manfred Wolter from the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy (m), and the Mayor of Freising, Birgit Mooser-Niefanger (l).

The institute as a driver of innovation

Manfred Wolter is also convinced of the institute’s great potential and innovative strength. In his address, for example, the head of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Innovation, Research, Technology and Digitization stated: “The research field of systems biology is forward-looking in every respect.” Embedded in the TUM School of Life Sciences, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, as well as the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, see the institute as an innovation driver in its field that is of great scientific as well as economic importance – regionally, nationally and internationally.

As such, the Leibniz Institute is now excellently equipped, not least thanks to the support of Bavarian state politics. In 2018, the Ministry of Economic Affairs had already provided almost 17 million euros for investments in a modern research infrastructure. In addition, the institute has succeeded in attracting two outstanding young female scientists, whose research will receive additional funding of almost 2 million euros as part of the Leibniz 2022 competition. Last but not least, the institute has doubled its output of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals since its realignment.

The institute, with its accumulated expertise in the field of sensory, health-oriented food research, is also an important partner in the region in the eyes of the city of Freising – and not only because of its excellent research, said Mayor Birgit Mooser-Niefanger. For example, it was actively involved in the planning and implementation of the Freising Innovation Day on Nutrition. The event of the research institutions at the Weihenstephan science location, which was co-sponsored by the city of Freising, had made the great research at the location transparent through numerous lectures, talks and hands-on activities at the exhibition booths. It had helped to promote dialog with the population at eye level and to get them excited about science. It was great fun with a gain in knowledge and many aha experiences for young and old.

Food systems biology: Cutting-edge research for food & health

Following the keynote speeches, Veronika Somoza and two section heads gave insights into the Institute’s innovative research concept in short presentations under the motto “Food Systems Biology: Our Cutting-Edge Research for Food & Health”. Afterwards, all guests had the opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the institute and thus dive deep into its research world. The evening ended with a musically accompanied get-together together with the employees of the LSB.