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Research focus

Our research focus is on the quantitative analysis of questions related to sustainability and provision of eco-systems services by agri-food systems from farm to global scale. To do so, our team develops and applies different Economic Simulation Models and related methodologies, often in large-scale applications. The software backbone of our models is the Algebraic Modeling Language GAMS, driven by Graphical User Interfaces implemented in Java. We introduce our graduate students in courses to the tools we apply in our research and foster their application in students' projects.

Specific applications include for instance mixed-integer, dynamic and stochastic programming, large-scale non-linear and bi-level programming, mixed complementarity problems and constrained systems of non-linear equations. Drawing on computing servers available at institute level, we apply parallel computing, inter alia for large-scale sensitivity analysis. Our models are hosted on a software versioning system, adhere to coding standards and implement quality management based on test suites.


Our group links via various grant funded projects to the German and European research area, sponsored inter alia by the German Science Foundation and the Research Framework programs of the EU Commission, often jointly participating with other teams from the institute or faculty. A close co-operation with EUROCARE, a consulting specialising in quantitative policy impact analysis, supports the access of graduate students and post docs to applied research projects, and helps transfering our scientific findings to stakeholders.

Current projects
Bio-Economy in Europe and SDGs: Development, Contribution and Trade-Offs (BEST), 6/2019 - 5/2022
Coordinator: Christian Lutz, co-ordinator, Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftliche Strukturforschung, Braunschweig, Germany
Team: Dr. Wolfgang Britz, Rienne Wiltz
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Research Area bioeconomy as societal change (Logo)

Low-Input Farming and Territories - Integrating knowledge for improving ecosystem-based farming (LIFT), 5/2018 - 4/2022
Coordinator: Dr. Laure Latruffe, INRA, Rennes, France
Team: Dr. Wolfgang Britz, Julia Heinrichs
Funding: Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme (Logo)

Coordinator: Dr. Didier Stilmant, Wallon Agricultural Research Center
Team: Dr. Wolfgang Britz, Christoph Pahmeyer, Lennart Kokemohr
Funding: EU-Era-Net: Co-funded by the EU DG-Rsrch and the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (Logo)

BioEconFor : Forests in the global bioeconomy: developing multi-scale policy scenarios, 6/2015-7/2019
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Jan Boerner
Team: Dr. Wolfgang Britz, Salwa Haddad
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (Beratungsgruppe Entwicklungsorientierte Agrarforschung - BEAF).

Past projects
Modeling structural change and agricultural nutrient flows across scales in regions of North Rhine-Westphalia, 6/2016 - 7/2019
Coordinator: Dr. Wolfgang Britz
Sub-Project: Regional modeling of structural change in agriculture with an agent based approach under consideration of nutrient exchanges between farms
Team: Dr. Wolfgang Britz, David Schaefer
Funding: Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

DairyStruct: Understanding spatial interactions and structural change in the dairy production chain with a dynamic regional Agent Based Model covering dairy farms and dairy processing, 6/2015 - 12/2018
Team: Dr. Wolfgang Britz, Claudia Seidel
Funding: German Science Foundation

Last Updated:Wednesday, July 10, 2019