Agriculture and Nutrition

Considering the effects of climate change on agriculture, sustainable and efficient food production is of great importance. The institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research carry out pioneering research to develop innovative technologies and solutions that make agricultural production more climate-resilient and environmentally friendly. This includes promoting practices such as precision agriculture, which uses technology and data analysis to optimize the use of resources and increase crop yields. At the same time, our experts are working on interdisciplinary solutions that combine agriculture, water resources and energy efficiency in order to develop sustainable approaches for the future of our food systems.

Competencies of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance in the Field Agriculture and Nutrition

Climate-adaptive Cultivation Systems

Climate change is a particular challenge for agriculture: Heat stress, periods of drought and heavy rainfall pose new challenges for cultivation systems. But how can the agricultural sector adapt to new climatic conditions and avoid crop losses? Researchers at Fraunhofer Energy Research are investigating this question. This involves working in many different directions: From the use of agrivoltaics and wastewater treatment for agricultural irrigation to the use of smart farming methods, our experts are researching how the agricultural sector can adapt to climate change.




The aim of the project is to improve current approaches to rural and urban aquaponics by developing a model and integrating innovative technologies to save water, energy and nutrients.



The project aims to bring researchers together with potential users in the agricultural sector in order to identify practical requirements for the technology and provide farmers with initial experience with organic solar films.



In the »Cognitive Agriculture« project, eight Fraunhofer Institutes are conducting research in the field of smart farming to enable farmers in a digitalized world to achieve high productivity in line with goals such as  resource efficiency and product quality.



As part of »HypoWave+«, the Fraunhofer IGB is working on the digitalization of processes used in vegetable production. To this end, the team is coordinating the work on integrated data acquisition and control of water treatment.


APV Orcharding

The project »APV-Obstbau« (Agrivoltaic Orcharding) will investigate to what extent agrivoltaics can replace protective measures in apple cultivation, which system design makes sense for this crop and in which way the agrivoltaic system affects crop yields.

Nexus Water-Energy-Agriculture

The challenges in the area of resource management require holistic approaches in order to identify the close interrelations and mutual dependencies between the areas of water, energy and agriculture. The Nexus approach seeks to maximize synergies between these sectors while minimizing conflicts and negative impacts. The institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research are working on the more efficient use of water resources in agriculture, the integration of renewable energy technologies and the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, which can not only improve food security but also reduce the ecological footprint of the agricultural industry.




The project aims to investigate and implement a threefold land use for rural regions in West Africa: The cultivation of food, the production of solar power and the harvesting and storage of rainwater using solar modules.



The aim of the Fraunhofer Future Foundation project is to develop a decentralized system solution powered by photovoltaics that can be used to secure energy and food production in rural regions of Kenya.



The project aims to develop, integrate, test and validate innovative nutrient management strategies for the efficient recovery of mineral nutrients and other relevant products with agronomic value from animal manure.



The FIP-WEF@SU was established in 2020 by Stellenbosch University and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The aim of this long-term cooperation is to  develop needs-based technological and cross-sectoral solutions for water, energy and food security.

Efficient Irrigation Systems

With respect to scarcity of drinking water resources and persistent droughts, efficient irrigation systems are more important than ever. They help to save water, increase crop yields and minimize environmental impact. Therefore, the institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research are using new technologies to investigate how agricultural irrigation systems can be optimized through the use of AI, sensor and control-based approaches. The use of autonomous solar-powered PV pumping systems is also being investigated in pilot projects.



Streets of the future

The project is researching climate-friendly concepts for urban and transportation development. The Fraunhofer IGB is contributing its expertise in the field of urban water management in order to conserve water resources and use them efficiently.


Leipzig Blue-Green

The project will use the example of the large-scale "Eutritzscher Freiladebahnhof" project to show how a runoff-free and resource-efficient urban quarter can be designed. Blue stands for water, green for plants as an element of urban infrastructure.


GreenUp Sahara

Based on the success of the World Food Program's (WFP) hydroponic barley cultivation, the Fraunhofer IGB wants to work with local stakeholders to further develop a hydroponic system that makes the cultivation of vegetables in desert regions possible.  



A major objective of the FERTINNOWA project is to create a database of innovative technologies and practices that could improve the environmental and economic sustainability of high-value vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops.