International Center for Food Chain and Network Research
Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (University of Bonn)
Establishment and Extension
The ‚Bonn International Center for Food Chain and Network Research‘ (FoodNetCenter Bonn, FNC) is the first trans-faculty center at the University of Bonn initiated by scientists of the Agricultural Faculty among whom Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schiefer and Prof. Dr. Brigitte Petersen the founding members and first co-chairs of the center took a leading role.
The cross-faculty network has in the past been very successful in activating external funds for the University of Bonn, supporting young scientists in obtaining a dissertation and getting involved in international co-operations and providing the possibility for students to receive the certificate of a ‘DGQ Quality Systems Manager Junior’. A particular strength of the FNC while establishing and consolidating regional and especially European and global research networks has been the close collaboration with the ‘Wageningen Expertise Centre for Chain and Network Studies (Wageningen CNS)’ and with the international public-private-partnership ‘GIQS e.V.’ in Bonn. The FNC is together with GIQS founding member of the regional cluster bonn.realis (Bonn Research Alliance of Innovative Information Systems in International Quality Food Chain and Crisis Communication) which started its work in 2012. The FNC is also involved as a partner in the current initiatives FoodDACH and Foodbest. By building upon existing European excellence centres those initiatives aim to propose a new approach of innovation in Europe, a European network Knowledge Innovation Community (KIC) “Food4Future. All three sides of the “Knowledge Triangle”, i.e.higher education, research and innovation, will be integrated in this KIC initiative.
Fundamental changes are emerging in the organization of regional, national and international food chains and networks. The global dependencies and linkages in one of the biggest economic sectors with its importance for basic human needs and its basis in the most diverse cultural, social, economic, legal, and natural environments are a challenge for research and research cooperation. To meet the diverse challenges that confront these chains and networks the classical single focused research approach is no longer adequate. A multi-disciplinary approach, encompassing side by side economical, social and legal disciplines as well as technological, environmental and natural sciences is required. The Bonn International Center for Food Chain and Network Research (FoodNetCenter Bonn) provides with both research and educational programs, and a close co-operation with businesses a multidisciplinary platform to investigate challenges in the areas of e.g. food safety, food security, food affordability, new technologies (genetic modifications, nano-technology), market access, global logistics, dependencies and cooperation between multi-nationals and small-scale producers, private and public standards and sustainability.
Mission and Vision
The mission of the networks is to promote chain and network research and to become an internationally acknowledged center of excellence, by establishing a world-wide
infrastructure for exchanging, developing and disseminating knowledge and by supporting public private project development in the field of food chains and networks.
To achieve its mission, the FNC will:
- promote multi-disciplinary chain and network research nationally as well as internationally,
- enhance the international position and role of Bonn university in chain and network research and play a key role in strategy formulation and setting of research agendas on food chains and networks,
- strengthen the existing scientific community at Bonn university in the area of chain and network research and add value to ongoing research and education by enabling scientists to work with colleagues from other groups and other disciplines,
- facilitate and support public private partnerships in food chain and network research projects and provide a research communication platform for national and international businesses, organizations, and public institutions.