Press releases
27 September 2007, Zwingenberg

Award for BRAIN

Expert commission selects BRAIN-Henkel product development as „100 groundbreaking products of the 21st century“

An accompanying book entitled „100 products of the future – ground-breaking ideas which will change our life“, today has been published by ECON, Berlin. In this book, edited by Professor Hänsch, the most innovative 100 products identified by the commission during in the contest, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), are summarised and illustrated. The book allows comprehensive insights into the „most promising ideas which will change our life“, and can be seen as a „studio report on the products of tomorrow“. Also on the commission, consisting of 17 leading scientists of various disciplines, was Professor Hans-Jörg Bullinger, President of the German Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and well known as a leading expert for technology- and innovation management.

In the October-issue of the German journal „manager magazin“, the BMBF-initiative as well as selected projects, one of it the BRAIN-Henkel development, are exclusively presented. Also in this journal the motivation of the jury and of the BMBF is reflected by Theodor W. Hänsch: „We want to pave the way for technological progress. If, with this presentation, we can make young people more interested in technology and to study respective disciplines at the universities and afterwards market their inven-tions and discoveries as entrepreneurs, then we really achieved a lot!“

Within this awarded collaboration the gentled team worked on the improvement of detergent enzymes. BRAIN gave its partner Henkel access to novel enzymes from yet uncultivated microorganisms, using its Metagenome® technology. Early this year the project was successfully com-pleted. BRAIN-CEO, Dr. Holger Zinke, had the honour to present this product development to the international press during the supporting climate protection program of the G8 summit on June 06, 2007. The program was organised by the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas” of which German President Horst Köhler is the patron.

During the last years the performance of detergents continuously was improved leading to an enormous reduction of resource wastage. A reduction of the average washing temperature from 60 °C down to 40 °C leads to energy savings of some 50%. Reflecting Germany alone, these energy savings correlate to C02 savings of more than 1 million tons of the green-house gas per year.

Taking that cooperation as an example, it is impressively documented that through the application of high-tech methods biotech-companies in partnership with industry can achieve enormous resource savings through in the first view unspectacular improvements of small parts. Thus “white bio-technology”, the „application of nature`s toolset for industrial products and processes“, turns out to be the key to a cleaner and environmentally sound future.

„The award given to the interdisciplinary BRAIN-Henkel project team is a great honour for all participants and also is a motivation for further innova-tive product developments within the area of industrial biotechnology“, states Dr. Holger Zinke, CEO of BRAIN. „We are proud that our trustful and long lasting co-operation with our partner Henkel has been gentled in this way. In particular because the innovations acquired anticipate a core task of the future”.


BRAIN is a research and development company which discovers and develops novel bioactive natural compounds and proprietary enzymes for its partners and customers in the chemical and pharmaceutical as well as the food and cosmetics industries. In a unique approach to the discovery and production of new biological compounds and biocatalysts, the company harnesses creative solutions from nature’s untapped biodiversity. Its success is built on its proprietary BioArchive comprising millions of genes, proteins and metabolic pathways from microbial isolates and metagenome libraries. BRAIN was founded in 1993, currently employs 60 highly qualified people and has developed into one of Europe’s leading industrial biotech companies.


Gruppenbild Projektteam
© BRAIN AG, Zwingenberg

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BRAIN & Henkel – Projektteam. Vlnr: Dr. Karl-Heinz Maurer, Henkel KGaA, Projektkoordinator; Dr. Patrick Lorenz, BRAIN AG; Dr. Susanne Wieland, Henkel KGaA; Dr. Esther Gabor, BRAIN AG; Dr. Holger Zinke, Vorstand BRAIN AG; Dr: Petra Siegert, Henkel KGaA; Dr. Jürgen Eck, Vorstand BRAIN AG, Dr. Frank Niehaus, BRAIN AG.
© BRAIN AG, Zwingenberg -

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Die Suche nach interessanten mikrobiellen Enzymen aus dem Lebensraum Tropfstein-höhle. Aus einem Lebensraum fallen mehr als 250.000 sogenannte Metagenom-Klone an, welche dann auf „Anti-Fleck-Aktivität“ geprüft werden.
Buch „100 Produkte der Zukunft"
© BRAIN AG, Zwingenberg

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Mitarbeiterin der BRAIN AG mit dem von Professor Theodor W. Hänsch herausgege-benen Buch „100 Produkte der Zukunft“. Das Buch ist im September 2007 im Econ Verlag erschienen. ISBN-10: 3430200350; ISBN-13: 9783430200356.

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