Plant propagation robot wins Bremen Environmental Award

The project "RoBoCut" of the Bremen plant manufacturer Bock Bio Science GmbH receives the Bremen Environmental Award 2019. With their innovative robot system, the developers of the first fully automatic production method for plant tissue culture in agricultural and horticultural plants prevailed against 19 competitors in the company competition. BAB - The development bank for Bremen and Bremerhaven, under the patronage of the Senator for Climate Protection, Environment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing, awards the Bremen Environmental Prize to the best operational environmental solution in the state at 10,000 euros.

Credit: Frank Pusch

The Senator for Climate Protection and Environment, Dr. Maike Schaefer, paid tribute to the award winner at the evening awards ceremony in front of 300 guests: "With RoBoCut, Bock Bio Science has succeeded in developing a technical innovation whose environmental impact can be assessed as trend-setting for the bio-economy. The emission of climate-damaging CO2 and the use of pesticides can be significantly reduced thanks to the fully automatic plant propagation system." The cultivation of plant tissue culture usually takes place manually in low-wage countries. Production with the RoBoCut system enables them to be relocated back to industrialized countries and reared under laboratory conditions and largely without human intervention. The robot is a fully automated and sterile production cell that works with 3D image recognition, artificial intelligence, deep learning software and laser technology. Transport routes or contamination and the associated loss of production are thus avoided and, at the same time, efficiency and added value on site are increased.

Credit: Alexander Flögel

Ralf Stapp, Managing Director of the competition organizer BAB, therefore sees the economic advantages for the Bremen location in addition to the environmental improvement: "With RoBoCut, Bock Bio Science can grow its plant tissue culture for agricultural and horticultural plants here in Germany. In addition, however, the production and sale of robot technology 'made in Bremen' represents a promising innovation on the green economy market."

Credit: Alexander Flögel

Bock Bio Science owners Friederike and Stephan von Rundstedt are pleased about the award of the Bremen Environmental Prize 2019: "This appreciation is further validation in our development work, because plants are our basis of life and we would like to make a contribution to the preservation of an intact environment with the RoBoCut technology. This is only possible with consistent resource efficiency and sustainable plant production."

Also nominated for the Bremen Environmental Award 2019 were Rytle GmbH, Saacke GmbH, Siebdruck Center, Sonnentracht GmbH and swb Erzeugung AG & Co. KG. All six companies presented their projects to a jury consisting of representatives of the BAB, Bremen Chamber of Commerce - IHK for Bremen and Bremerhaven, Bremen Chamber of Crafts, Bremen Climate Protection Agency energiekonsens, business development agencies BIS Bremerhaven and WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH, RKW Bremen GmbH and the Bremen Climate Protection and Environment Department, which selected the winner in the end.

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