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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-04-01 - 2022-04-30

The project serves to further develop the core competencies of the participating research groups in the field of research into innovative concepts/control mechanisms for sustainable agricultural production, taking into account climate and soil protection. In particular, the project investigates how improved climate and soil protection can be implemented via result-oriented control mechanisms. The project will develop feasible concepts for the potential design of such approaches. Following this objective, the research questions are: Which result-oriented approaches exist and how can these approaches be transferred to the protected goods under investigation? Which target indicators can represent outcome-based provision and which area targets are potentially achievable? How can indicators be operationalized, captured, and measured on farms? The purpose of the assignment is to gain new insights into outcome-based approaches to the provision of soil and climate public goods by agriculture. The research questions will be addressed in a generally valid and reproducible manner through the application of scientific methods (e.g., literature review, farm manager/expert interviews). It is planned to publish the results of the work scientifically; this ensures that the knowledge generated within the framework of this contract is made available to the scientific community in the best possible way for the purposes of teaching and research and, if necessary, to the public (third mission), as long as there are no reasons worthy of consideration in individual contracts that prevent this.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-03-01 - 2022-12-31

This project aims to develop a wet storage concept for Vorarlberg with the following objectives and results: - Survey of the urgent need for additional wet storage capacities for small forest owners and small enterprises. - Strategic evaluation of the spatial distribution of additional wet storage capacities - Analysis of the required size of individual wet storage sites and the required number of new wet storage sites - Site search in the proposed regions and examination of the concrete availability of sites as well as the availability conditions - Calculation of the required investment costs for available and suitable sites - Survey of the willingness of landowners, municipalities, regional planning communities and other potential developers to actually construct wet storage sites and to bear the investment costs after deduction of the subsidy or to pre-finance the projects. - Concrete operator models for the operation of the wet storage facilities and possible operators - Calculation of the wet storage and operator costs as well as the logistical effort required to operate the wet storage facilities. - Derivation of suitable framework conditions, acceptance modalities and costs for potential suppliers and buyers of the wet storage facilities.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-03-01 - 2027-02-28

Several aspects of dairy and beef supply are perceived as unsustainable, such as impacts on climate change, loss of land and biodiversity for feed production, animal and human welfare problems on farms and in abattoirs, health risks due to excessive meat consumption or antibiotic resistance. While the problems are attracting considerable public attention, there is no agreement on reasonable targets and we lack information on transition paths to achieve them. Actors from farm to fork are caught in lock-ins and there is a culture of mutual blame. Based on transition management, we aim to break the blame game by initializing a co-learning process that combines expertise from social, environmental, agricultural, and veterinary sciences with the knowledge of practitioners in farming, processing, retail and gastronomy, and of citizen-consumers. The project aims to identify transition paths to a more sustainable beef and dairy supply and to understand whether and how scenarios and serious games can support learning and transition management. We address three questions: 1. What has driven past changes in the cattle system and why have sustainability innovations (not) been implemented? 2. How do alternative dairy/beef chains compare in terms of animal and human welfare, the environment, socio-economic characteristics, and potential for up-scaling? 3. What are broadly acceptable and future-proof transition paths? We will analyse innovations (e.g. cow-calf contact systems, pasture-based feeding, mobile abattoirs, cow-sharing, nose-to-tail gastronomy, milk/beef substitutes) in a farm-to-fork assessment, considering sustainability and potential for up-scaling. We will complement this assessment with scenarios (visions, targets, trade-offs) and serious games, which create playful learning spaces for experimenting with transition paths. An integrated farm-to-fork assessment of real-life innovations, scenarios, and serious gaming are woven into an innovative transdisciplinary research design. This will generate outstanding knowledge on transitions in beef/dairy supply and on scaling of food sustainability innovations as well as methodological advances for transition management.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations