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Research focus

Our research focus is on the quantitative analysis of questions related to sustainability of and provision of eco-systems services by agri-food systems from farm to global scale. 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.

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

Title Co-definition and evaluation of SUSTAINable BEEF farming systems based on resources non edible by humans (SUSTAINBEEF)
Coordinator: Dr. Didier Stilmant, Wallon Agricultural Research Center
WP3 Systems performance (modeling) and evaluation through indicators
WP Lead: Dr. Wolfgang Britz
Project Execution: Christoph Pahmeyer, Lennart Kokemohr
Time: 9/2017 - 8/2020
Funding: EU-Era-Net: Co-funded by the EU DG-Rsrch and the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture

Title Modeling structural change and agricultural nutrient flows across scales in regions of North Rhine-Westphalia
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
Sub-Project Lead: Dr. Wolfgang Britz
Project Execution: David Schaefer
Start: Juli 2016
Funding: Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Title 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
Project Lead: Dr. Wolfgang Britz
Project Execution: Claudia Seidel
Start: June 2015
Funding: German Science Foundation

Title BioEconFor : Forests in the global bioeconomy: developing multi-scale policy scenarios
Coordinator: Jun-Prof. Dr. Jan Boerner
Sub-Project Lead: Dr. Wolfgang Britz
Project Execution: Salwa Haddad
Start: June 2015
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (Beratungsgruppe Entwicklungsorientierte Agrarforschung - BEAF).

Last Updated:Wednesday, February 06, 2019