AgroBiogel (AGB) (www. ), located in Tulln an der Donau in Austria, is a BOKU spin-off producing novel, multifunctional organic/lignin-based super water absorbent hydrogels. Hydrogels (also known as super-absorbents) are polymeric materials which are able to absorb and store large amounts of water. ABG specializes in producing hydrogels for agricultural applications aimed at improving the soil water holding capacity, organic matter and fertility. The water holding property of the hydrogels enables plants to survive increasing, erratic rainfall patterns and periods of drought, thereby saving water by reducing the need for irrigation. When applied to the soil the hydrogels act as small water reservoirs right around the roots of the plants.

AgroBiogel primarily will be involved in Work Package 4 of the project which involves fertiliser development.

AgroBiogel partners in SUSFERT:

Prof. Dr Gibson S. Nyanhongo

Inventor of AgroBiogel and author of more than 90 peer-reviewed publications, Professor Nyanhongo is responsible for product-related R&D activities. Due to his vast experience in biopolymer synthesis, he leads the planning and synthesis of Nutrigels on SUSFERT. He has extensive experience in managing and overseeing many national and international projects, additionally supervising over 20 PhDs and many Master’s students.

Tobias Keplinger

Tobias Keplinger studied Chemistry at Johannes Kepler University in Linz and obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich. From 2016 – 2020, he was an ETH research group leader with a focus on the chemical functionalization and nanoscale analysis of lignocellulosic materials. In 2020, he commenced as Head of Research and Innovation of Austrocel Hallein GmbH, one of the leading pulp and bioenergy producers in Austria. He joined AgroBiogel as Chief Operating Officer in November, 2022.

Nikolina Burger Soldo

Nikolina holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek, in Croatia. She worked with InFarm — Indoor Urban Farming GmbH as an Associate Field Operations Manager. She joined AgroBiogel in August, 2022 as Technical Marketing Manager, additionally working on the modernization of agriculture through the implementation of innovative technologies.

Christoph Ertl

Christoph holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, and a diploma for Innovation Management from the University of Continuing Education in Krems. His contribution to the agricultural sector spans more than 20 years working for various international companies in different functions including Business Development, Product Management and Sales and Marketing. He joined AgroBiogel in May, 2022 as the Head of Technical Marketing and Sales.