Interview with Jürgen Bertling

Participation and enthusiasm

Interview of 23.06.2020

 Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Bertling | Business Development Environment
© Fraunhofer UMSICHT/PR-Fotografie Köhring
Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Bertling | Business Development Environment

What concrete tasks have you planned for yourself as a Business Developer in the anniversary year and for next year?

Jürgen Bertling: The most important environmental issue – apart from climate change and energy system transition, which I currently see as UMSICHT – is the implementation of a circular economy. This is particularly true against the background of the experiences in the Corona crisis, which clearly showed the weaknesses of global, linear value chains. I see it as my task to develop strategies together with my colleagues that will enable industry to switch from a linear to a circular economy. The material focus at UMSICHT is of course on plastics.

What I would like to work on in the near future is that we at UMSICHT position ourselves more strongly in the area of the interactions between plastics and micro- or enzyme biology and develop solutions suitable for medium-sized companies. To this end, we must position ourselves even better in terms of new concepts for degradable materials and perhaps biotechnological recycling.

What are the current characteristics of the market for which you are responsible?

Jürgen Bertling: The environmental sector is by its very nature strongly influenced by civil society interests, so it is important to integrate participatory formats in projects. In addition to industry, I also see environmental protection associations and environmental agencies as important partners. We have therefore expanded the scope of our cooperation accordingly in recent years. In the environmental sector, committees in which environmental standards and labels are developed also play a major role, and we must be even more strongly represented here.

The EU is an important driver in the environmental sector. The Green Deal and the European plastics strategy have set a lot of useful things in motion. But many companies are also irritated or unsettled by the developments and see potential for conflict. From the point of view of a research institute, this is of course primarily linked to a need for innovation – in other words, good framework conditions for us.

What does UMSICHT bring to the table?

Jürgen Bertling: There are probably only a few institutes that can combine technological expertise for new processes and products and a holistic technology assessment taking into account ecological and social aspects as well as Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The institute has a highly interdisciplinary composition and in recent years has repeatedly helped to shape exciting paths on the path to sustainable development.

What expertise do you bring to the job?

Jürgen Bertling: The most important thing seems to me is that my enthusiasm for the topics I am allowed to work on is still unbroken. Building on this, I have actually always been able to develop exciting topics and approaches to solutions as a basis for public projects or industrial cooperation.