In June 2015 the leading scientists in the project entitled "RUBIN – Industrial Emergence of Natural Rubber from Dandelion" have been awarded the prestigious Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for their research on the Russian dandelion and the development of car tire prototypes based on dandelion rubber. In this project the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME, Münster branch), the Institute for Plant Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Münster, and the Tire Division of Continental in Hanover are successfully collaborating.
The award was presented in Wiesbaden, Germany, to Prof. Dirk Prüfer and Dr. Christian Schulze Gronover (IME and Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology), and Dr. Carla Recker (Continental). "We are honored to receive this prestigious award for our joint project," says Dr. Carla Recker. "It will make tire production even more environmentally friendly, without compromising our high quality standards or losing out on performance."
Fraunhofer has been presenting annual awards for outstanding scientific achievements since 1978. The Joseph von Fraunhofer Prizes go to researchers who solve application related problems. It commemorates Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787 – 1824), an optician and physicist, who used the results of precise scientific work to develop innovative products.