Biointelligence benchmark: Global trends for sustainable industrial value creation


© Vesela Stanoeva

The convergence of life sciences, engineering and information sciences will transform business and life. The combination of advances in the life sciences with the rapid development of automation and artificial intelligence has the potential to trigger a new technological paradigm. Biological transformation, also known as biointelligence, will help to make products, services and production sustainable in various areas of life such as health, nutrition, energy, housing and consumption. These developments can contribute to overcoming global challenges such as climate change and pandemics.
In a comprehensive study, activities in the field of biointelligent value creation were recorded and analyzed worldwide in order to identify leading countries and target markets and to derive Germany's position. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the international research and industrial landscape as well as the institutional and financial conditions, an assessment of the state of development in selected leading countries is presented by means of benchmarking. Key enabling technology fields (BTF) are presented and market volumes in 82 segments are calculated. The results offer valuable insights for the strategic orientation of research and industry in Germany in the field of biointelligence.
These findings are of great importance for decision-makers in industry and research. They show Germany's current role in global competition and point to political and social opportunities for action in order to act as a leading market and leading provider in the field of biointelligence.
The project was carried out in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, the Chair of Innovation Economics at the University of Hohenheim, the Institute of Bioprocess Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, McKinsey & Company Inc. and VDMA Services GmbH.


  • Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA
  • Chair of Innovation Economics at the University of Hohenheim
  • Institute of Bioprocess Engineering at the University of Stuttgart
  • VDMA Services GmbH


Die Studie ist hier kostenlos erhältlich.

Funding notice:
The study is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Ministerpräsident informiert sich über


© Fraunhofer IPA

Im Rahmen eines spontanen Besuchs erklärten Prof. Bauernhansl und Dr. Miehe Ministerpräsident Winfried Kretschmann neuste Ansätze im Biointelligenz-Labor des Fraunhofer IPA. Dabei  konnten wir das Thesenpapier unseres Vereis #Biointelligenz e.V nun auch offiziell der Landesregierung Baden-Württembergs übergeben.

BIOS ist auf dem Weg


© Christopher Hardt / LifeGlimmer GmbH

‘BIOS: The bio-intelligent DBTL cycle, a key enabler catalysing the industrial transformation towards sustainable bio-manufacturing’ pushes Industry towards a Biological Transformation.

As part of the recent call on ‚Digital and emerging technologies‘ the European project celebrated its kick-off meeting in the representation of the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Brussels, on October 5th/6th (see picture). BIOS started officially on October 1st and will last for 4 years. The nine partners from academia and industry, that originate from six European countries, support and drive the novel scientific movement of ‘biointelligence’ which reflects the conversion of biotechnology, information technology including AI and automation technology. This biointelligence mindset makes up the core of BIOS and accelerates strain and bioprocess engineering for producing novel fine chemicals and commodities in a sustainable manner. BIOS makes intensive use of hybrid learning to fully exploit the information contained in the vast amount of experimental data which are generated in an automated fashion through biorobotics. The project brings together experts from molecular and synthetic biology, systems metabolic engineering, microbiology, biochemical and bioprocess engineering, chemistry, and life cycle assessment. 

The dedicated team has one collective goal: to replace current fossil routes with sustainable microbial processes through the help of the biointelligent mindset. Soon, progress of BIOS will be shared publicly through different channels. 


„Erprobung einer biointelligenten Wasserstoffproduktion mit Evonik“


© Rafael Krotz / Fraunhofer IGB

In the SmartBioH2-BW project, a biorefinery is to be integrated into the existing industrial environment of Evonik Operations GmbH in Rheinfelden to produce biohydrogen and biobased recyclables on an industrial scale - using industrial wastewater and residual material streams generated there.

Hydrogen (H2) is considered a key element of the energy transition. It can be used not only as an energy carrier, for example as fuel for aircraft and ships, to fire furnaces or to generate electricity and heat in fuel cells, but also as a raw material for the chemical industry. As part of its national hydrogen strategy, Germany is focusing primarily on green hydrogen, which is produced from water and renewable energy by means of electrolysis. However, biotechnological processes can also be used to produce hydrogen without the use of fossil energy sources. Processes using photosynthetically growing, hydrogen-producing purple bacteria or microalgae have been studied for a long time. Processes for the production of biohydrogen have not yet been implemented on a larger scale.

With the process of photosynthesis, known primarily from plants, organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide from the air into sugar, a high-energy chemical carbon compound. Purple bacteria and microalgae release hydrogen in the process. Research work on the biotechnological production of hydrogen focuses on modifying or adapting the metabolism of the microbes or the culture conditions for the microalgae in such a way that the organisms produce as much hydrogen as possible and economic production becomes possible. Another challenge is the limitation of the light supply for the purple bacteria in plants that go beyond the laboratory scale.

Further information at:

"Biointelligente Lösungen für kreislauffähige Nahrungs-mittelketten"


As part of the #Biointelligenz e.V research network, the University of Hohenheim hosted a workshop on "Biointelligent Solutions for Circular Food Chains" on October 10, 2022. The seven speakers discussed with 16 participants, on topics including 3D/4D food printing, aroma chemistry, food informatics and AI in agricultural technology. In addition to new collaborative research ideas around the topic of 3D Food Printing (inspired by the concrete practical requests of the participants) and the establishment of new contacts, the speakers received much positive feedback due to the great and exciting insights into the various topics of biointelligence. Further workshops in the fields of housing, energy, consumption and health will follow soon.

Biointelligent Production Sensor to Measure Viral Activity (BioProS)


© Fraunhofer IPA

On July 1, 2022 started the Project “Biointelligent Production Sensor to Measure Viral Activity (BioProS)”. The project duration will be 48 months and seven partners from five countries are represented in the BioProS consortium: Fraunhofer IPA and Fraunhofer IGB (Germany), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany), NecstGen (Netherlands), Elvesys (France), EurA AG (Germany) and BICO Group AB (Sweden). The aim of the project partners is to transform virus biomanufacturing processes and enable new quality control strategies by a continuous, real-time monitoring using biohybrid sensor technology to detect cell-based virus infection cycles. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme (HORIZON-CL4-2021-DIGITAL-EMERGING-01-27: Development of technologies/devices for bio-intelligent manufacturing (RIA)) under grant agreement No 101070120.

Automatisierte Kultivierung von Biomasse - Festo stell PhotoBionicCell vor


© Festo

Our association member Festo presents PhotoBionicCell at the Hannover Messe. The bioreactor makes photosynthesis of algae possible efficiently and on a large scale.

Algae are small climate savers. Even during their natural photosynthesis outdoors, they are extremely efficient and bind ten times more carbon dioxide (CO₂) than land plants. In bioreactors with the appropriate sensors, control technology and automation, the efficiency of algae can be increased to a hundred times that of land plants. Therefore, they hold considerable potential for a climate-neutral circular economy. With the PhotoBionicCell research project, Festo is demonstrating a possible approach for the industrial biologization of tomorrow at Hannover Messe 2022.

This represents a very good example of a "Smart Biomanufacturing Device" and thus the necessary basic architecture of a Biointelligent Production System.

More exciting information about the innovation from Festo:

Unser Thesenpapier


© Fraunhofer IPA

In our industry position paper, we want to show how the convergence of bio-, hardware- and software can enable new biointelligent products and business models and thus make a fundamental contribution to the competitiveness and sustainability of our industries. A crucial prerequisite for this transformation is that technological, informational and biological mindsets and methods come together.

We want to encourage this to be accelerated by flanking political framework conditions with appropriate economic incentives. The time for this has never been more favorable!


Click here for our thesis paper (as PDF).