Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME


Aachen | Münster

Molecular Biotechnology




Fraunhofer IME

Research from molecule to ecosystem

The core competencies of the Fraunhofer IME are structured in two divisions, "Molecular Biotechnology" and "Applied Ecology", on four locations. In Aachen and Münster, we establish demand-optimized plants, animal cells and microorganisms for various industrial applications. At the institute branch "Bioresources" in Giessen, which belongs to the "Molecular Biotechnology" division, a worldwide unique center for the exploitation of bioresources is being established. The division "Applied Ecology" in Schmallenberg concerns iteself with risk evalutation of synthetic and biogenic substances for both environment and consumers. 



Applied Ecology




iMulch-Projekt investigated fate and impact of plastics in soils

Read the press release of the project consortium on the successful conclusion

The iMulch Leitmarkt.NRW project was successfully completed with the participation of the Fraunhofer IME in Schmallenberg. In the study, Dr Dieter Hennecke and his team investigated the fate of microplastics from various agricultural mulch films in arable soils.





Caterpillars as a replacement for mammalian models in preclinical research


Hot off the press - Nature Communications

A team around Anton G. Windfelder, scientist at Fraunhofer IME and University of Giessen, Germany, are reporting the alternative use of tobacco hornworm larvae to study chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. Together with national and international cooperation partners from Düsseldorf, Germany, and New York, USA, the scientists developed an innovative and unique imaging platform using medical imaging modalities.


On your marks, get set, go!


Together with five other Fraunhofer teams, Fraunhofer IME is breaking new ground. Today, on 6.10.2022, our crowdfunding campaign -2detect! starts.
Now we have 55 days to convince as many people as possible of our idea and to reach our funding goal. The decision is made by the crowd.
The Fraunhofer Future Foundation supports this commitment with co-funding. Our project idea: 2detect Covid or Flu? - With a 2in1 test reliable and fast to the right treatment!
Every contribution helps to make 2detect a reality!


"Protecting crops without poison"

Insects devour a third of the world’s harvests each year. How can we fight these pests without endangering the huge numbers of useful insects? Fraunhofer IME has imitated one of nature’s clever tricks to protect plants in an environmentally friendly way.


Nature thought first - we think further

Synthetic rubber has been produced and constantly optimized since the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, its mechanical properties cannot compete with those of natural rubber. At the German Rubber Conference in Nuremberg from June 27 to 30, a tire where natural rubber was replaced by biomimetic synthetic rubber is presented to you. Find out how the team succeeded in reducing abrasion without the tires losing grip or low rolling resistance at the joint booth with Fraunhofer IMWS and PAZ (Science Campus, booth S9-12/-14).

Applied Ecology / 17.11.2021

Reviewing OECD Test Guidelines: pre-evaluation of the general significance of an update need

An online survey had been conducted in the course of May - July 2021 to collect potential update needs and suggestions. The German Environment Agency contracted Fraunhofer ITEM, Fraunhofer IME and Ramboll for the survey. The joint efforts of all of you led to a total number of over 500 individual suggestions. In order to work towards a prioritization of the update needs, we would like to share the reported suggestions with you asking you for a pre-evaluation of the general significance of an update need.


Insights into research at the branch for Bioresources


Prof. Dr. Andreas Vilcinskas, head of the Branch for Bioresources, presents the research area of ​​insect biotechnology, which pursues the goal of developing organisms as biological resources for applications in medicine, crop protection and the food and feed industry.



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Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Divison Molecular Biotechnology

Forckenbeckstrasse 6
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 6085-0


Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Division Applied Ecology

Auf dem Aberg 1
57392 Schmallenberg
Phone +49 2972 302-0


Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Branch Lab for Plant Biopolymers

Schlossplatz 8
48143 Münster
Phone +49 251 8322-323


Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Branch for Bioresources

Winchesterstrasse 2
235394 Gießen
Phone +49 641 9939-500