Maximilian Biedermann, Crop Protection Researcher, BASF

In the film adaptation of the book, "The Martian," the hero faces a seemingly impossible task when he has to find a way to feed himself for an extended period of time on Mars without having sufficient supplies on hand. This Herculean task in Maximilian Biedermann's favorite film is science fiction. But the 33-year-old BASF employee, who works for the Crop Protection division in the global research unit, Early Fungicide Biology, is convinced that sooner or later, mankind will have to deal with the same sort of challenge. That's why this avid reader of science fiction and fantasy is lending a hand with the V3PO project. As a biologist, Biedermann oversees and assists with all the practical aspects of the project and also conducts additional experiments that the students do not have time for. The thing that intrigues him most is that the goal of the project and the question being addressed are so different to anything else he has worked on. Not only that, but the challenge gives rise to an entirely new set of problems that also will need to be solved. He is equally impressed by how far-sighted the project is; V3PO is already looking ahead to the future of agriculture in space, an issue that concerns him both personally and professionally: "The only thing worse than hunger is thirst. Agricultural efficiency can tackle both, which is why I'm working for BASF."