Grants and Awards


Innovationspreis der BioRegionen 2018

The Schwaneberg group is proud to announce that the project greenRelease was awarded with the Innovationspreis der BioRegionen Deutschland during this year´s edition of the Deutschen Biotechnologietage in Berlin, the price which is sponsored by the scientific journal BIOspektrum and carries a value of 2,000 € was presented to Dr. Felix Jakob and Prof. Ulrich Schwaneberg.

The Innovationspreis has been awarded for the 11th time and acknowledges the three most innovative ideas and patents developed in the BioRegions.

The Arbeitskreis der BioRegionen in Germany is an association of the BioRegionen in Germany located at the Biotechnologie-Industrie-Organisation Deutschland e. V. (BIO Deutschland) in Berlin. The 31 members of the association primarily support financing, founding and technology transfer as well as representation of the German biotechnological industries.

  Another award for Professor Schwaneberg in 2018 S. Kurc Photo of the 2018 Innovationspreis award ceremony. Left to right: greenRelease team members Prof. U. Schwaneberg, Dr. F. Jakob, Prof. A. Pich and BIOspektrum Chief editor C. Schreiber

The Innovationspreis of the BioRegions in Germany is awarded to outstanding research in the fields of biotechnology and life sciences […] In this year, it was especially hard for the judges to select the laureates among a large list of excellent applications”

– Dr. Hinrich Harbeck, Speaker of the Arbeitskreis der BioRegionen Deutschland e.V.

The greenRelease technology awarded with this price consists of a universally chargable microgel container which protects active compounds from environmental hazards and releases them on demand. The second component consists of “anchor peptides” that attach the microgel containers to a large variety of crops and facilitates rainfastness.

This project is catered for by the division Biohybrid Systems of the Schwaneberg group and conducted in cooperation with the DWI - Leibniz Insitute for Interactive Materials e.V. and SFB 985 „Functional Microgels and Microgel Systems“ (DFG) as well as financed by the the Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC). The resulting technology minimizes the loss of active compounds (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides) into the environment, improves plant compatibility and ensures adjustable biodegradability of the microgel containers.

Interested in the greenRelease-Technology? Please find further information on our website. A detailed description of the award ceremony and the laureates can be found here.




CAAS-Appointment as distinguished Professor 2018

During his recent visit to a number of Chinese research institutions, Professor Schwaneberg was awarded with Letters of appointment as Distinguished International Supervisor and as Distiguished Professor by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

  It is the price for Professor Schwaneberg Bio VI

CAAS - Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is a national Chinese research organization of 42 institutes focussing on agricultural reserach. This organization is employing more than 5,000 scientists and has founded more than 100 companies as well as won more than 3,000 national and international prices since 1957. CAAS investigates a wide spectrum of agricultural topic and as bred more than 1,000 new breeds of plants and lifestock, produced novel vaccines and developed new strategies for plant protection.


The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences acknowledges the longterm efforts of the Schwaneberg group and its leader for the education and training of Chinese students and the joint work in application for grants as well as projects in the field of agricultural sciences.

  Award ceremony for Prof. Schwaneberg Bio VI Award ceremony for Prof. Schwaneberg for distiguished supervision through two representatives of CAAS



The iGEM-Team Aachen wins a gold medal at the 2017 Giant Jamboree

iGEM-Aachen@Jamboree iGEM Aachen 2017

The Giant Jamboree is an annual event that showcases work from the iGEM Competition. All iGEM teams were invited to present their synthetic biology projects and compete for prizes. This year iGEM hosted over 300 international, multidisciplinary teams, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, USA.

With the project “Salt vault”, iGEM Aachen team happily announce that they are bring a gold medal and nominations for the best environmental project and the best hardware to Aachen.

You can find more information about the project and the Giant Jamboree on the following websites:

  The 2017 Aachen iGEM-Team iGEM Aachen 2017



Professor Schwaneberg receives 2016 BMBF research award

Professor Schwaneberg receives the research award from BMBF endowed with 1.7 million Euros for the “Next Generation of Biotechnological Processes”

Since 2012, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research - BMBF - grants this award every two years within the Initiative Biotechnology 2020+. Together with the Max Planck Society, the Fraunhofer Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and universities, the Federal Ministry founded this initiative in 2010. Major scientific breakthroughs for bio-based productions are acknowledged by these grands. We are pleased to announce that Professor Schwaneberg was honored in 2016 with the award “Next Generation of Biotechnological Processes" from BMBF. With this 1.7 million Euro award, funding of a research group for five years will be possible. The coordination of this funded project will be managed in the Schwaneberg group by Johannes Schiffels.

  Photo of the award winners Bio VI

The award winner, Professor Ulrich Schwaneberg, develops a technology platform to utilize established production organisms for the material production in organic solvents. The general use of production organisms would catalyze the convergence of material production industries via chemical synthesis and biotechnological procedures and allow new integrated and combined material production processes. Inspired from nature, nanogels are used, which stick to cells and generate synthetic biofilms. These thin synthetic biofilms protect the cells from organic solvents without hindering material transfer significantly. The binding of the nanogels to the bacterial surface takes place via a procedure involving anchor peptides, whereby this platform is submitted for patent.

E. coli was selected as model organism. For the whole cell catalysis selective P450-monooxygenases and hybrid catalyst systems were selected. Monooxygenases catalyze chemical "dream reactions" like chemoselective hydroxylation of aromatic compounds with ambient temperature with oxygen as a green oxidizing agent. The productivity is often limited by the low water solubility of hydrophobic substrates or the stability of hybrid catalysts in water. Hybrid catalysts constitute a new class of catalysts, in which transitional metal complexes such as ruthenium are anchored in proteins.


The integration of metal catalysts in protein surroundings allows up to now non-achievable chemoselective conversions. One important example is the Nobel prize-winning metathesis reaction in 2005, which is used industrially in large scales including olefin metathesis in the petrochemistry, synthesis of pheromones and pharmaceuticals like anti-inflammatory drugs. Enzymes do not catalyze the industrially used metathesis reaction. The control and selectivity over the protein surroundings in hybrid catalysts allows innovative and new processes particularly in the chemoselective synthesis of hardly water soluble like steroids, aromatic and cyclic hydrocarbons from their polymers, odoriferous substances and preliminary stages of pharmaceuticals. Monooxygenases as well as the whole cell hybrid catalysts are adapted by directed evolution to cost-effective production conditions. The method directed evolution is comparable to evolution in the nature, whereas directed evolution is million times accelerated compared to natural evolution.


Gold medals for iGEM2016 RWTH Aachen team

iGem2016 Team Bio VI International Genetically Engineered Machine Team 2016 RWTH Aachen

The International Genetically Engineered Machine iGEM team 2016 supervised by RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich won gold medal for Best New Application Project and gold medal for the Best Hardware in Boston USA. Within their project, they were searching for an ecological alternative for boric acid based light inducible proteases.


Scholarships of the Chinese Sholarship Council (CSC) 2016

Photo of Yu Ji and Haiyang Cui Bio VI CAS students Yu Ji (left) and Haiyang Cui (right)

Congratulations to Haiyang Cui and Yu Ji for obtaining CSC scholarship of Chinese government. They will be funded for a maximum of four years to perform their PhD study in our group.

   Teaching award 2015 Bio VI From left to right: Prof. Jochen Büchs, Loana Epping, Dr. Monika Reiss, Dr. Tamara Dworeck, Prof. Frank Müller

Teaching award of the student council of biosciences 2015

Dr. Tamara Dworeck and Dr. Monika Reiss were awarded with the 1st place of the "Lehrpreis der Fachschaft für Biowissenschaften 2015" of RWTH Aachen University, after already recieving the 2nd place in 2014.

  Supervision Award 2015 for the outstanding young scientist Dr. Ljubica Vojcic. From left to right: Dr. N. Wierckx, Dr. L. Vojcic and Prof. G. Groth Bio VI From left to right: Dr. N. Wierckx, Dr. L. Vojcic and Prof. G. Groth

Supervision Award 2015 by BioSC

In the frame of BioSC premium to promote outstanding young scientists Dr. Ljubica Vojcic won “BioSC Supervision Award 2015” and was awarded with 25.000 euros for projects funds.


Gold medal for iGEM2015 RWTH Aachen team

Group picture for iGEM2015 RWTH Aachen team who won gold medal for the best measurement project at Giant Jamboree in 2015 Bio VI International Genetically Engineered Machine Team 2015 RWTH Aachen

Interdisciplinary iGEM team Aachen 2015 worked on a project for effective usage of methanol for biotechnological processes and won a gold medal for the best measurement project at Giant Jamboree 2015 competition in Boston (USA).


Gold medal for the 2014 iGEM team of RWTH Aachen University

Group picture of iGEM2014 RWTH Aachen team who won gold medal for the best development of an analytical method Bio VI International Genetically Engineered Machine Team 2014 RWTH Aachen

An international student team of 15 biotechnologists supervised by RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich won a gold medal for the best development of an analytical method and received a special award for the best software and safety concept in the iGEM competition 2014 in Boston, USA. The team developed a modular biosensor for the detection of pathogens.


Borcher Award for best graduates at RWTH Aachen University

Group picture of the Borcher Award winners for best graduates at RWTH Aachen University Bio VI Graduates from 01.10.2012 to 31.03.2014 who have passed their PhD examination "with distinction"

The Borchers Badge is awarded to doctoral students of RWTH Aachen University, who have passed their PhD examination "with distinction". Dr. Anna Joelle Ruff and Dr. André Jakoblinnert from Institute of Biotechnology were awarded on the celebration ceremony in September 2014.


Teaching award 2014 at RWTH Aachen University

Teaching award 2014 at RWTH Aachen University for Dr. Tamara Dworek (left) and Dr. Monika Reiss (right) Bio VI Dr. Tamara Dworek (Left) and Dr. Monika Reiss (right)

Teaching award 2014 at RWTH Aachen University

Dr. Tamara Dworeck and Dr. Monika Reiss shared second place for “Teaching Award 2014” by Student Council Biology at RWTH Aachen.