Bildnachweis: emperorcosar – stock.adobe.com, IBB Netzwerk.

Today, more than ever, the realisation of a sustainable economy requires interdisciplinary cooperation from different economic sectors – not only for business reasons, but also with a view to the preservation of the environment, protection of climate and improvement of societal conditions. With its cluster work, Bavaria fosters the joint efforts of all actors in order to maintain the essential resources for these goals.


With the launch of the “Cluster Offensive” proclaimed by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2006, several clusters were created with the aim of strengthening both traditional key sectors and high-tech ­industries in the Bavarian economy. This political initiative marked the beginning of the rise of biotechnology and other future-oriented industries in Bavaria. With over 7,000 cluster players in 2020, the clusters have become an important factor in the Bavarian innovation landscape. Since their launch, these clusters have held more than 13,800 events with over 730,000 participants and initiated over 2,100 projects between companies and/or research institutions.

Kristina Stricker, IBB Netzwerk GmbH.

Bavarian Cluster Offensive as innovative force

Important clusters and networks relevant to industrial biotechnology and the sustainable economy are the industrial biotechnology cluster, the chemistry cluster, the cluster of environmental technologies, the medical valley, the clusters in the competence fields of nutrition, nanotechnology and new materials and the forestry and wood cluster. This list is not exhaustive; there are also interfaces with other clusters, initiatives, networks, and associations. To unfold innovation potentials at these interfaces, cross-cluster ­projects play an important role in using synergies in the best possible way to support the development of the Bavarian economy.

The cross-cluster project ISEF as the new voice of sustainable economy

One of the ongoing cross-cluster projects is the International Sustainable Economy Forum (ISEF). The ISEF is an event organised and executed by the IBB Netzwerk GmbH and Chemie-Cluster Bayern GmbH in Munich on 27 and 28 June 2022. It is also generously supported by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy. The ISEF will present a new platform for connecting all actors dedicated to the advancement of a sustainable economy worldwide. It is the first event of its kind bringing together stakeholders from all facets of industrial sustainability, regardless of their raw materials, feedstock or conversion methods applied. The event offers a forum to demonstrate the power and potential of the industry to realise the concept of a sustainable economy, but also to assess current obstacles and challenges as well as innovative solutions to reach this goal.

A sustainable economy is as multi­faceted in its topics as it is in its concepts, including e. g. circular economy, zero waste and bioeconomy, which targets the substitution of fossil raw materials wherever reasonable. The ISEF strives to connect participants from international corporations, SMEs and start-ups, members of clusters, academic institutions, and consulting companies as well as political decision-makers in order to enlarge their network and to launch new, productive collaborations. These collaborations may include R&D projects, but also associations of interest groups with the aim of promoting a sustainable economy with all effective, permissible means. By initiating the ISEF, the two Bavarian clusters intend to establish a recurrent, internationally renowned event for the maximisation of innovation and value creation now and into the future.

Two Bavarian clusters in focus

Founded in 2008, the IBB Netzwerk GmbH is a network and service company in the field of industrial biotechnology and sustainable economy. The company’s objective is to support market participants in the efficient and effective implementation of scientific evidence into innovative, marketable products and processes, creating new value. In January 2020, the IBB Netzwerk GmbH was appointed as head office of the new cluster platform “Industrial Biotechnology” within the cluster initiative of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Thus, the company forms an official interface between industry, academia and politics in the field of sustainable economy in southern Germany. The Chemie-Cluster Bayern, founded in 2006, supports its more than 110 members and partner organisations through technology transfer, the discovery of hidden markets and the cooperation between companies and academia. The core competences lie in the realisation of interdisciplinary research projects and the identification and development of novel national and international markets to promote new innovations. With its network of start-ups, SMEs, global players and research institutions, the Chemie-Cluster significantly contributes to the further development of bioeconomy strategies in a national and international context.



Kristina Stricker holds a master’s degree in Biology. She joined the IBB Netzwerk GmbH as project manager in March 2021 and is jointly responsible for the coordi­nation of cross-cluster projects.

Dieser Beitrag ist im Original in der Ausgabe „Circular Bioeconomy“ der Plattform Life Sciences erschienen.