Disseminating research and knowledge: IAPN

An ever-increasing world population, changing dietary habits and climate change currently impose great demands on agricultural research. All over the world, a more efficient use of cropland and of pastures, of water and of nutrients in agriculture play increasingly important roles. One of the central issues is how to use intelligent nutrient management in order to raise the efficiency of limited resources such as water and soil. Another important challenge within this context is to increase productivity and yield security, while at the same time improving the quality of the harvested products. The Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition – IAPN, a public-private partnership between K+S KALI GmbH and the Georg-August-University of Goettingen, is devoted to finding answers to these and to other questions.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Gransee, Director of Applied Research and Advisory Service Agro of K+S KALI GmbH and Managing Director of the IAPN.

An Important Contribution to International Food Security

“With the IAPN we provide a boost to application-oriented research in the field of plant nutrition and fertilisation”, is how Prof. Dr. Andreas Gransee, Director of Applied Research and Advisory Service Agro of K+S KALI GmbH and Managing Director of the IAPN, explains his company’s commitment. In doing so the manufacturer of potash and magnesium fertilisers contributes considerably to meeting the challenges agricultural research is facing today. Agriculture is called upon to ensure its ability to feed the future population of the world, and to efficiently use the existing resources.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Dittert, Scientific Director of the IAPN.

Current research focus of the IAPN

“In the future, limiting factors such as water scarcity or heat stress will increasingly need to be taken into consideration in plant nutrition. This is currently the one of the greatest challenge our scientific discipline is facing.“ This is how Prof. Dr. Klaus Dittert describes the most important demands placed on agricultural research at the moment. He was appointed Scientific Director of the Institute in May 2011. “An important research focus of the institute is the question of how to use optimum nutrient supply to raise the water use efficiency of plants in order to ensure excellent yields even when water is scarce.” Junior Professor Dr. Mehmet Senbayram and several PhD-students have meanwhile joined Prof. Dr. Dittert in his search for answers to these questions.

The IAPN: Quickly gaining size and profile

Partnership for a constructive dialogue between research and practice

K+S KALI GmbH has gathered a wealth of knowledge on plant nutrition, and has already set up a number of international research co-operations. This joint project of the University of Goettingen and K+S KALI GmbH is meant to bundle the available resources of both organisations and to integrate the numerous individual projects into an international network. The IAPN will serve as an interface between the industry and university research. The institute’s scientists will pick up on topical issues raised by practice, and will implement these in concrete research projects.

The IAPN serves as an interface between research and practice (left).
It is organised as a private-public-partnership between K+S KALI GmbH and the Georg-August-University Goettingen (right).


The IAPN is a so-called public-private-partnership between the Georg-August-University Goettingen and K+S KALI GmbH. In terms of organisation and location, the new institute is closely tied to the Department of Crop Sciences of the University of Goettingen, and will conduct its international research projects in accordance with German scientific standards.

Knowledge transfer presents a challenge

In addition to research, the dissemination of new and also of already-existing knowledge on plant nutrition is one of the IAPN’s core tasks. The target group mainly consists of students of the University of Goettingen as well as visiting scientists, who may later become multipliers. The lively exchange between IAPN and K+S KALI GmbH serves to strengthen the expertise of our company’s agronomists, who will use this knowledge in their international advisory activities. The 1st International Symposium on Magnesium in 2012 opened the doors for an interdisciplinary exchange of leading scientists on magnesium. In November 2014 this exchange will be continued and intensified at the 2nd International Symposium on Magnesium in Brazil. This conference will also be hosted by the IAPN.

More information on the IAPN available at

IAPN organises 2nd International Symposium on Magnesium in Brazil (24 March 2014)

A Thriving Research Partnership (22 May 2013)

The Rediscovery of the Mineral Magnesium (13 June 2012)

International Research on Plant Nutrition Takes Off (4 May 2012)

Interview with Prof. Dr. Gransee, on the foundation of the Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition – IAPN (18 November 2010)


To the website of the Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition – IAPN


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