Wirtschaftsförderung Salzlandkreis


Success stories from the district of Salzland

for plant genetics and crop plant research

In Gatersleben since 1945
Employees: approx. 550
Managing Directors: Prof. Dr. Andreas Graner and
Dr. Johannes Heilmann
Production capacity: N/A, the research institute is a public law foundation



Why did you choose the district of Salzland as your business location?

The IPK’s predecessor institute, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Crop Plant Research, was founded in Tuttenhof (Vienna) in 1943. Following the war in 1945, the institute relocated to Gatersleben, where it was set up and developed further. In 1992, it was newly established as the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research on the recommendation of an expert group from the Scientific Council.  



In your opinion, what is the region’s best asset?

The area around Nordharz and the Magdeburg Börde is the ‘cradle of German plant breeding’.  Since the middle of the 19th century, the area has been intensively farmed, largely because of the dry climate which is perfect for breeding and the fantastic quality of the soil. The IPK, home to the national ex-situ gene bank for agricultural and horticultural crops, is therefore located in the perfect place for its preservation and research activities centred around ‘biodiversity and crop performance’. 

In a region known for its agriculture, plant breeding and research, the IPK brings together scientific excellence, innovation and societal relevance in order to develop solutions that tackle the issues of food security and sustainable agriculture.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Graner

What steps did you take to establish yourself as an employer within the district of Salzland?

Around the world the IPK is considered one of the most important research institutes in the field of crop plant research. As one of the region’s largest employers, the institute offers a broad spectrum of attractive jobs and training places. The IPK’s modern infrastructure, national and international scientific collaborations, opportunities for further training, external funding of over EUR 10 million p.a. and certification as a family-friendly employer provide the perfect conditions for work and further development, both for researchers and technical personnel from over 30 nations.

What are your plans for the future?

To further establish the IPK as:

  • the leading digital biological research centre for the preservation and knowledge-based use of biodiversity
  • an innovation centre for the development of plant breeding technologies for wheat and barley
  • an international beacon for explaining the molecular and physiological processes behind the expression of agronomic traits in crop plants