The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME conducts research in the field of applied life sciences, from a molecular level to entire ecosystems. The interdisciplinary organization allows a wide spectrum of research and development services in the areas of molecular biology, biotechnology, microbiology, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology and ecology.
The Division of Molecular Biology at the Fraunhofer IME provides solutions for research and developmentrelated problems as well as services in molecular biology and biotechnology for the pharmaceutical, agricultural and food processing industries. The aim is to develop and implement new cutting edge enabling technologies to assist the diagnosis and treatment of human and animal diseases and to protect and improve crop plants and foodstuffs. Examples include the production of active drug ingredients in plants or the engineering of nutritionally optimized rice. With the opening of the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) in Delaware in 2001, the Fraunhofer IME has secured a direct presence in the American market.
Safety aspects of genetically modified organisms are treated by an interdisciplinary working group composed of molecular biologists and ecologists.
The activities of the Applied Ecology division focus on the identification and assessment of risks of synthetic or biological substances to the consumer and the environment, and the development of protective strategies. Industry and mediumsized companies are supported in the development of environmentally compatible processes and products. An example is the support of chemical industry in the registration and notification of chemical substances and products by investigating fate and effects of chemicals in the environment. Through the handling of projects and consultation work on behalf of public authorities, the Institute contributes to basic scientific knowledge needed for decisions relating to environmental policy. The Fraunhofer IME is one of the major participants in the German Environmental Specimen Bank.
Over 140 people are employed at the institute´s locations in Aachen and Schmallenberg.
The Fraunhofer IME is a member of the Fraunhofer Alliance Life Sciences, created in September 2001.
Fraunhofer-Institut Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologie
Further information: http://www.ime.fraunhofer.de/