Call for applications 2023/24 to the Fritz and Trude Fortmann Foundation


The non-profit Fritz and Trude Fortmann Foundation for Building Culture and Materials (Bochum/Berlin, Germany) deals with architecture and its materialization. It promotes the development of sustainable building materials and construction methods as well as research into the ecological, functional, and atmospheric properties of materials.

In this way, the foundation aims to support concepts, research, and designs in which the ability of biological organisms to develop a self-luminosity controlled by chemical processes is at the center of the debate and is used practically for applications.

Marine animals and insects, but also fungi, algae, and bacteria can exhibit a fascinating luminosity. Completely detached from any visible energy sources, they produce a bright, mild light in blue-green tones that is emitted completely without external light sources. Since it became possible to create transgenic organisms in the 1990s, bioluminescence has become an important subject of research in biotechnology – but increasingly also in the fine arts, design, and architecture. New research on the intensification and amplification of bioluminescent light has expanded the options for integration into design processes: In the future, for example, a clean, sustainable, and affordable plant-based alternative for light sources could be generated, which could significantly reduce the universally lamented urban "light pollution".

The selection process for the projects to be funded will take place in two stages. First, ideas are selected that are worthy of funding in principle (initial selection). After applicants’ participation in a workshop and further processing time, the foundation will then request more detailed project descriptions for these sketches. The projects chosen in the subsequent final selection are scheduled for a period of two years and can be funded by the foundation with up to EUR 200,000 (two hundred thousand euros) each.

The outlines of ideas for projects (max. two A4 pages) that focus on the topic of bioluminescence and its applications must be submitted together with the completed application form (available at by 15 May 2023. The selection will take place at the beginning of June 2023, and the creators of the selected idea sketches will be invited to a joint one-day workshop in Berlin that is intended to foster (professional) exchange and networking.

Submission of idea sketches: 15 May 2023

Invitation to a workshop in Berlin: 16 June 2023

Full-day workshop in Berlin: 14 July 2023


The call for proposals takes place every two years. The projects are selected by the foundation's Board of Trustees. Recourse to the courts is not permitted.

Contact / submissions to:

Ms Naciera Taounza 
Secretariat of the Fritz und Trude Fortmann-Foundation
Universitätsstraße 60 
44789 Bochum, Germany 

phone: +49 234 - 33 88 9 - 320

fax:  +49 234 - 33 88 9 - 321