Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is tasked with planning and implementation of joint research and development projects and with applying for and raising the necessary resources. Further, the Committee also agrees on the strategic direction of the collaboration, possible invitation of new members, and the use and further development of Campus Klein-Altendorf. There are eight members in the Steering Committee, three are delegated from the State of Rhineland Palatinum, three from Bonn University (of which at least two are members of the Faculty of Agriculture) and one each from Jülich Research Centre and from the Chamber of Agriculture North Rhine-Westphalia. The coordinator is an ex officio member of the Committee.

Mr. M. Balmer (DLR-RP)

Martin Balmer is the Group Leader of Fruit Research and Technical Advisory Services of the Service Centre for Rural Areas (DLR) in Rhineland-Palatinate. His main tasks include personnel and financial administration of the experimental fruit farms and a team of advisors. He is Special Advisor for sweet cherries and teaches at the vocational training centre. His own research focuses on rain-sheltered production, cultivar and rootstock selection, growth regulation and tree training. Since 2007, Martin Balmer is the leader of the national stone fruit working group of the German Fruit Growers’ Association.

Dr. J. Ellenberger (Coordinator KoGa)

Jan Ellenberger has been coordinator of the KoGa since January 2023.
Mr. Ellenberger studied agricultural sciences in Bonn and received his PhD in 2022 for his work in the horticultural sciences group of the University of Bonn on topics related to sensor-based phenotyping of vegetables. In addition to his coordinator activities for the KoGa, he works as a research assistant at the Horticultural Institute of the University of Bonn, as well as a program coordinator of an international agricultural master program.

Dr. rer. hort. T. Kraska (Uni Bonn)

Thorsten Kraska is a senior scientist at the Institute for Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES) at the University of Bonn both at INRES-Horticultural Science and INRES-Renewable Raw Materials. He did his doctorate in phytomedicine at the University of Hanover and has been working in research and teaching at the Faculty of Agriculture since 2010. His topics include sustainable plant substrates in horticulture, alternative methods in plant protection or uses of ornamental plants. A special interest lies in the cascading use of renewable raw materials, innovative cultivation methods and the possibilities of urban horticulture. Methodologically, there is also a focus on the use of non-invasive methods for phenotyping plants.


Mr. M. Kohl (LWK NRW)

Head of the Department for Horticulture, Chamber of Agriculture, North-Rhine-Westphalia.

Dr. N. Laun (DLR-RP; Chair)

Dr. Norbert Laun is the Head of the Horticulture Department at the Service Centre for Rural Areas Rheinpfalz in Neustadt / Weinstrasse, which is responsible for vegetable production, ornamental plant cultivation, public and private greenery and fruit production in Rhineland-Palatinate. The team’s responsibilities include knowledge generation in experimental activities and several projects, knowledge transfer into the professional practice as well as professional training. Dr. Laun brings broad experience to all these areas, especially from experimental and project work. After completing his horticultural studies at the Technical University of Munich-Weihenstephan, he did his doctorate there on a phytopathological topic on raspberries.

Prof. E. Lüdeling (Uni Bonn)

Prof. Dr. Eike Lüdeling, Director of INRES-Gartenbauwissenschaft at the Faculty of Agriculture at Bonn University.

Dr. M. Petgen (MWVLW)

Dr. Matthias Petgen is responsible for horticulture, garden shows and climate protection in agriculture at the Ministry of Economics, Transport, Agriculture and Winbau Rheinland-Pfalz (MWVLW) in Mainz. Prior to that, since 2002, Dr. Petgen was head of Viticultural Testing at the Institute for Viticulture & Enology at DLR Rheinpfalz in Neustadt where his responsibilities included research and teaching at the Neustadt Wine Campus. He continues his teaching engagement as lecturer in the dual study course in Viticulture and Enology where he is responsible for the module “General Viticulture”.

Prof. R. Pude (Uni Bonn)

Managing Director of the Field Labs of the University of Bonn and Scientific Director of Campus Klein-Altendorf ( Head of the INRES-Renewable Raw Materials professorship, also located on Campus Klein-Altendorf ( The professorship works on broad plant science, agricultural and horticultural topics ranging from medicinal plants to sugar beet. In addition, product development (substrates, packaging materials or building and other materials) is a focus of the professorship, which has already led to two spin-offs and two patents.

Prof. U. Schurr (FZ Jülich)

Prof. Schurr is a plant physiologist and heads the Institute for Plant Sciences at the Jülich Research Center ( The institute is a world leader in plant phenotyping, develops quantitative methods for the analysis of architecture and function of plants in controlled environmental conditions and in the field, and implements these methods with partners in the practice of horticulture, agriculture and breeding. Since 10 years, Ulrich Schurr leads the Bioeconomy Science Center (, the largest European research association on sustainable bioeconomy based on the cooperation between the Universities of Bonn, Aachen, Düsseldorf and the Research Center Jülich. He launched the BioökonomieREVIER initiative ( in order to develop a model region for sustainable bioeconomy as part of the structural change in the coal region Rheinisches Revier.