#LNF22 research attracts 135,000 visitors

Lange Nacht der Forschung #LNF22 (The Long Night of Research) is Austria’s key research and innovation showcase event held every two years in May that takes science to the public. The free event attracted over 135,000 visitors across Austria in 2022.

A myriad of topics were covered like: society’s effect on the world; the environment from all perspectives; groundbreaking health treatments and advances; the state of the natural world, and those in it; technology’s place and influence; innovations in energy; new circular economy concepts; the rapid pace of digitalisation and, lastly, peoples’ orientation to culture, and how it is shaped.

#Research in #BOKU lab

Sebastian Gritsch gives a tour of the BOKU lab where the SUSFERT research is carried out.

The event is sponsored by several Federal Austrian Ministries, including the Ministry of Education, Science and Research; the Ministry of Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology; and the Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs. Across Austria, the public were able to visit over 2,700 research stations and took part in tours, workshops and presentations, as well as interactive experiments.

Designed as a key national showcase research event, the #LNF22 aims to engage, inspire and entertain adults and future young scientists from all ages to foster a curiosity in these pertinent and influencing topics.

SUSFERT Project Manager, Mikael Muegge, and SUSFERT Communications Manager, Philippa Webb-Muegge, both from RTDS Group, attended the Tulln research event and were present at the stations of SUSFERT partners BOKU, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and AGRANA.

The Technopol Tulln Campus houses three universities, including BOKU; a technical college; the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT); and numerous companies working in the technology- and bio-based sectors. Essentially the Campus has become a biotechnology and science hub and is a significant regional employer housing over 1,100 people.

Local Green Hero @ the #AGRANA stand

SUSFERT Communication Manager, Philippa Webb-Muegge, photographed with Gibson Nyanhongo at the AGRANA stand in the AIT building where its bio-based BioAgenasol© fertiliser is being tested on SUSFERT for its iron-chelation properties.

Walking around the Campus was Gibson S. Nyanhongo, former BOKU professor and co-founder of the BOKU spin-off start-up AgroBiogel which received the BOKU Founder Award Phönix prize recently in the presence of the Austrian Minister of Education, Science and Research, Martin Polaschek, and the Austrian Minister of Digital and Economic Affairs, Martin Kocher.

Nyanhongo was awarded the Phoenix prize in April this year for the technology co-invented with SUSFERT partner, Georg Gübitz, Sabrina Bischof and Andreas Ortner from BOKU’s Institute of Environmental Biotechnology.

“The agrochemical gel enables (crop) plants to survive dry periods over longer periods of time by slowly releasing water to the plants,” the prize announcement said.

Subject to the approval of a planned, current amendment, plans are underway to also include Sappi lignins, BioAgenasol© fertiliser from AGRANA, and NPK with the nutrigels from AgroBiogel in the field trials in 2022 and 2023. This year’s greenhouse and field trials, which are housed at AIT are being carried out by BOKU.

Specifically, SUSFERT aims to introduce nutrigels to evaluate their slow-release potential to deliver nutrients, such as probiotics, that have been developed on the project.

#AIT #LNF22 research night

Horticulturist and AIT technician, Theresa Ringwald, photographed with SUSFERT Project Manager, Mikael Muegge, from RTDS at one of the three SUSFERT stations hosted by project partners at the LNF22.

Future scientists

There were throngs of children crowded around tables, running from one station to the next, some coming back multiple times to pick-up soil improver samples from the SUSFERT table. Multi-generations could be seen at the interactive stations where the enthusiasm of the young scientists engaging with the children was at times infectious.

It was estimated that there were around 600 visitors at the Tulln Campus this year.

  #BOKU #LNF22 research night

SUSFERT partner and BOKU post doc researcher, Renate Weiss, showing future generations how enzymes react.

The LNF was covered extensively by the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

Inspiration for the next #LNF #Tulln

Tulln, known as the city of gardens, is situated on the banks of the Danube River in the province of Lower Austria.