A sustainable land management that protects the foundation of our life, always puts new developments and trends to the test and brings the various interests into harmony, is a key task for the future. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) supports a total of nine Innovation Groups that aim to develop by 2019 future-oriented and practicable solutions for handling land as a vitally important resource.

From the Idea to Professional Practice

With the funding programme "Innovation Groups for Sustainable Land Management" BMBF is following a new approach in order to pave the way for bringing innovation in sustainability into practical use:  Scientific-practice-teams work as equals from the start. Both groups can be qualified in the area of innovation research and innovation management. Along with research institutions, communities, municipal utilities and regional planners as well as farmers, energy producers, energy agencies and engineering offices are among the scientific-practice-teams. All Innovation Groups have the objective of connecting regional value-added-nets that handle the available areas carefully and sustainably and contribute to integrated urban-rural development. They can draw from insights that have been developed since 2011 in the BMBF-funding programme “Sustainable Land Management” are published in the Knowledge Library.


Thinking, Working and Acting Together

The Innovation Groups take up urgent, real questions from practice and work them out with the tools of research and development. The practical implementation and transferability of the concepts developed have high priority. So that their results can actually be made practically useful, the Innovation Groups keep in mind from the very beginning under what conditions the results of their research can later be put to use. These innovative concepts should continue to drive forward the implementation of the results worked out as well as the processes put into motion even beyond the end of the project cycle and should support it. And both sides – science and practice – are involved in this work. A scientific coordinating project supports the Innovation Groups with subject-specific input, networking and coaching services.

Trailblazers for New Career Paths

Transdisciplinary research is important for societal transformation processes. Nevertheless, until now the opportunities for training and continuing education for the work on this important interface between science and practice was not well-developed.  With the new funding programme, the BMBF wants to make a contribution to career development: the next generation in science and professional practice will get the opportunity to earn qualifications in the fields of Innovation Research and Innovation Management. The BMBF supports them with a specific focus using continuing education and coaching in the development of suitable innovation concepts and the design of successful innovation processes.

Giving Impetus to Practice

BMBF expects in this funding programme that it will see dedicated development of ready-to-use solutions as well as work in research. Because the Innovation Groups are supposed to pave the way for sustainable land management in practice. To this end, the Innovation Groups already gave thought to which results would be available to which users at the end of their research when they were just starting it. The quality of the research results will be assessed based on the excellence of their content but also on how well the solutions developed are accepted in practice and prove themselves.