Josef G. Knoll -
European Science Award
The Foundation fiat panis supports young scientists whose work focuses on helping to reduce hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. From 1986 to 2009, the Eiselen Foundation awarded the science prize every two years, since 2010 the Foundation fiat panis succeeded with awarding the prize. It is named after Professor Dr. Josef G. Knoll the pioneer of agricultural research in Germany with regard to developing countries.
The objective of the award is to encourage young academics whose research concentrates on solutions to mitigate hunger in countries with food deficit. The research findings must be user-oriented and suitable to contribute towards
- improving the status of food and nutrition security of a certain local population,
- reducing the impact of hunger (undernutrition and malnutrition).
Eligible are individuals under the age of 40 and teams whose members have not reached their 40th birthday by the application deadline, providing they have successfully completed a doctorate at an European university. The award will be issued throughout Europe and is endowed with 30,000 Euros.
Since 1986, 59 award winners have received a total of 360,000 Euros.
The award is named after Professor Dr. Josef G. Knoll. He was born in Ulm on June 26, 1899 and studied agriculture in Hohenheim and Munich. In his dissertation he dealt with the plant societies of permanent grassland and devoted his scientific work to pasture management and forage production. An area with very little research activities so that he became the inventor of the first pasture map of Germany.
From 1937 to 1945 he was a professor at the University of Leipzig. In 1946 he was instructed to set up a state teaching and research department for pasture and feeding stuff cultivation in Wehrda (State of Hessen). Three years later he became the director of the research and advisory institute for mountain farming of the former state of South Baden in Donaueschingen.
In 1954 Prof. Knoll was assigned department director at the FAO (Food- and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) in Rome. He became the first German department director and was responsible for plant production and plant protection. During his work in Rome he was an important contributor to the world seeds campaign of Dr. F. T. Wahlen which aimed to provide sufficient high quality seeds for developing countries with food deficits to increase crop yields. Furthermore he devoted his work in fighting against desert grasshoppers. Egypt was one of the major working areas of Prof. Knoll, which became under his advice a rice exporting country instead of a rice importing country.
In 1961 he was appointed by the University of Hohenheim on the newly established chair for tropical agriculture. Until his retirement in 1966, he formed the institute which became the nucleus of today’s Centre for Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics at the University of Hohenheim. He was a pioneer of agricultural research in developing countries in Germany.
After his retirement Professor Knoll returned to his birthplace Ulm.
Between Prof. Knoll and the Eiselen family existed a long-lasting and close friendship. In order to preserve his memory, the Eiselen-Foundation decided in 1989 to name its science award after Prof. Knoll.
Prof. Knoll died on September 12, 1976.