Research field 1

Sustainable development | Global change | Multifunctionality of rural areas

Responsible and future-oriented policy needs to allow for the principle of sustainability. We are convinced that, in order to achieve this, innovative, knowledge-based approaches that integrate different fields of action are necessary. The research and consulting projects implemented in Research field 1 address the related questions. Our clients are primarily the European Commission, ministries at the national and federal state level as well as subordinated authorities. An important feature of the projects carried out by this group: trans-disciplinary and international cooperation.

Our competences include in particular policy analysis and socio-economic studies. We make use of quantitative and qualitative research methods as well as of participatory research approaches. Our team has specific expertise in intercultural communication and uses this in the international project  coordination.

Global change | Sustainable development | Governance

From our point of view, sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas is the only possible response to global change processes and the related challenges. We are convinced that it is vital to incorporate economic, ecological and social objectives into more comprehensive modernisation strategies, to open up new markets through innovations, and to make allowance for social and ecological interests at the same time.

Multifunctionality of rural areas | Urban-rural relations

The cultivation of renewable raw materials and the establishment of the corresponding value-added chains create additional sources of income – in Germany today 30 to 40 % of the agricultural raw materials used in the chemical industry are already derived from agricultural production. Topics related to that are: interrelations between urban and rural areas as well as the redefinition of the role of agriculture and rural areas in a modern society.

Economic-ecological analyses of agricultural systems | Scenario studies

The issue of climate change with its potential impacts on agriculture and land use is an example underlining the relevance of anticipatory analyses. Through environment-friendly production of raw materials and efficient use of energy, agriculture can substantially contribute to a sustainable energy policy. The objective is to create interconnections between different sectors of the economy and to achieve sustainable management of natural resources by means of incentive structures and support measures.

Project list

ClientProjectDurationContactStatusInfo
European Commission DG AgriAnalysis of administrative burden arising from the CAP2018Simone SterlyongoingInfos »
European Commission, DG AgriPilot project: ‘Improving crisis prevention and management criteria and strategies in the agricultural sector’2018Simone SterlyongoingInfos »
European Commission, DG AgricultureFramework contract for the evaluation studies of the CAP: synthesis and cross-thematic issues2017 - 2023Simone SterlyongoingInfos »
Federal Agency for Agriculture and FoodBioFinanz – Alternative forms of financing along the value-added chain of organic food2017 - 2019Simone Sterly, Sarah PeterongoingInfos »
Landwirtschaftliche RentenbankPrepared for change – Peer-to-peer learning among farmers2017 - 2018Simone Sterly, Sarah PeterongoingInfos »
European Commission, DG AgricultureSynthesis study on modernising and simplifying the CAP (Framework contract for the evaluation studies of the CAP)2017Simone SterlyongoingInfos »
European Commission, DG AgricultureSummary of the ex-post evaluations of 2007-2013 rural development programmes (Framework contract for the evaluation studies of the CAP)2017Simone SterlyongoingInfos »
European Commission, DG AgricultureStudy on risk management in EU agriculture2017Simone Sterly, Sarah PetercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG CompetitionStudy on producer organisations and their activities in the olive oil, beef and veal, and arable crops sectors2017Simone SterlycompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research Horizon 2020PEGASUS – Public Ecosystem Goods and Services from Agriculture and Forestry: Unlocking the Synergies2015 - 2018Simone Schiller, Karlheinz Knickel, Kerstin HuelemeyercompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyELERBiodiv – Biodiversity support in ELER2015 - 2018Jörg Schramek, Holger Pabst, Heike NitschongoingInfos »
European Commission SEMA – Sustainable Entrepreneurship based on Multifunctional Agriculture2015 - 2017Ulrich Gehrlein, Simone Schiller, Eva MilzcompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Germany OEVForsch – Implementation and management of ecologigal focus areas from a nature conservation perspective2015 - 2016Heike Nitsch, Jörg SchramekcompletedInfos »
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)Study: ‘Agricultural and rural transformation in Europe’2015Simone Schiller, Sarah PetercompletedInfos »
Gießener Land Region (Hesse), Economy Support Wetterau, Economy Support Hersfeld-Rothenburg, Corporate Community Monsheim, Corporate Community KandelPreparation of rural development concepts (LEADER)2014 - 2015Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von Kutzleben, Christiane Steil completedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyNational Natural Landscapes and Renewable Energies2013 - 2016Ulrich Gehrlein, Eva Milz, Britta DüsterhauscompletedInfos »
Ministry for Rural Area and Consumer Protection Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Nature Conservation Thuringia, Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Lower Saxony Monitoring of the LEADER selection procedure2013 - 2015Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von Kutzleben, Christiane SteilcompletedInfos »
Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Food, Viticulture and Forestry, Rhineland-PalatinateEvaluation of investment promotion within the framework of the common organization of the market in wine2012 - 2013Jörg Schramek, Bettina SpenglercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG ResearchFarmPath – Transition Pathways to Regional Sustainability of Agriculture in Europe2011 - 2014Simone Schiller, Sarah PetercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG AgricultureCAP-Biodiv – Addressing biodiversity and habitat preservation through Measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy2010 - 2011Simone Schiller, Nadja KasperczykcompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanySynergies between conservation and food security2009 - 2010Simone SchillercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Education and Culture, Leonardo da Vinci ProgrammeDevelopment of a training programme for young farmers on multifunctional agriculture (Agri-Multifunctionality II)2009 - 2010Simone SchillercompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyNature and biodiversity in political communication2009Nadja KasperczykcompletedInfos »
EU Commission, DG AgricultureProvision of Public Goods through the European Union Agriculture2009Simone SchillercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 7 – Knowledge Based Bio Economy (KBBE) – Collaborative ProjectRuDI – Assessing the impact of rural development policies (including LEADER)2008 - 2010Simone SchillercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Policy-Oriented Research / STREPETUDE – Enlarging the theoretical understanding of rural development. Project coordination: Wageningen University – Rural Sociology Group (NL)2007 - 2009Simone Schiller, Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG AgricultureDefining EU priorities: Review of rural development instruments (AGRI-2006-G4-10)2007 - 2008Simone Schiller, Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Policy-Oriented Research / STREPIN-SIGHT – Strengthening innovation processes for growth and development2006 - 2009Sarah Peter, Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Policy-Oriented Research / STREPAE-Footprint – Development of a common generic methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of European agri-environmental schemes. Coordination: Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, School of Agriculture Policy and Development, University of Reading (UK)2005 - 2008Nadja Kasperczyk, Karlheinz Knickel, Melanie KrögercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Policy-Oriented Research / STREPTop-MARD – Towards a policy model of multifunctional agriculture and rural development. Coordination: University of the Highlands and Island (UHI), Inverness, PolicyWeb / International Rural Network2005 - 2008Jörg Schramek, Karlheinz Knickel, Melanie KrögercompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Policy-Oriented Research / STREPCOFAMI – Encouraging Collective Farmers Marketing Initiatives. Coordination: Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University (NL).2005 - 2008Sarah Peter, Karlheinz Knickel, Gundula JahncompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyCommon Agricultural Policy (CAP): Cross compliance and advancement of agri-environmental schemes2005 - 2008Susanne von Münchhausen, Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Global Change and Ecosystems / STREPSustainability A-Test – Advanced techniques and tools for sustainability assessment. Coordination: Free University Amsterdam (NL), Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)2004 - 2006Karlheinz Knickel, Nadja KasperczykcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research / FP 6 – Global Change and Ecosystems / SSAMULTAGRI – Capitalisation of research results on the multifunctionality of agriculture and rural areas. Coordination: Cemagref, Paris (F)2004 - 2005Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG ResearchSUS-CHAIN – Marketing Sustainable Agriculture: Analyse der Rolle neuartiger Lebensmittelketten in einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung2003 - 2005Karlheinz Knickel, Gundula JahncompletedInfos »
FRoSTA AG BremerhavenDevelopment of a concept and implementation plan for a sustainable crop production system for FRoSTA2003 - 2004Karlheinz Knickel, Gundula JahncompletedInfos »
Gregor Louisoder Umweltstiftung München (Environment Foundation) / Förderverein Ökologische Steuerreform e.V. (Development Association of Ecological Fiscal Reform)Greening the economic framework conditions for agriculture2003 - 2004Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL)Socio-economic impacts of organic farming in terms of its contributions to rural development: Case studies in different regions of Germany2002 - 2006Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyIntegrating nature conservation goals with the Federal-level Support Scheme for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (GAK)2002 - 2003Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL)Regional Action: Rural areas shaping the future (Regionen Aktiv – Land gestaltet Zukunft). Research accompanying the federal-level pilot programme for regional models for a multifunctional agriculture and rural space2002 - 2003Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research. Quality of Life and Management of Natural Resources.AEMBAC – Definition of a common European analytical framework for the development of local agri-environmental programmes for biodiversity and landscape conservation. Coordination: IUCN European Regional Office (ERO), Tilburg (NL)2001 - 2004Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
European Commission, DG Research; Consultancy for the Institute for Physical Geography at J.W. Goethe-University FrankfurtHYDROSTAR – Assessment of the socio-economic aspects of the sustainability of starch potato production2001 - 2003Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
Federal Environment Agency, Section I.1.4, Environment and AgricultureSustainable food production: Scenarios and forecasts for agriculture in 2030 – need for action and long-term strategies for environmental policy2000 - 2001Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »
German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) GmbH, EschbornRegional planning and development: Training and information seminar for Ethiopian officials2000Dieter BiehlcompletedInfos »
European Commission, GD ResearchIMPRESA – The Impact of Research on EU Agriculture 2013 - 2016Simone Schiller, Karlheinz KnickelcompletedInfos »