BRAIN’s research programme, titled “Industrial Production Processes for Novel Enzymes and Bioactives from Natural Sources - MikroPro”, broke down into several clearly defined sub-projects and focussed on a total of three research and technology priorities. These included the development and application of alternative microbial expression systems, the identification of “performance proteins” from the metagenome, as well as bioactives or entire synthesis routes from non-culturable microbes.
Renowned chemical, pharmaceutical and food-processing companies joined forces under the umbrella of the IWBio Association for the first time in 2007 to promote microbial genome research as a technology platform for future industrial applications. BRAIN aimed here at re-designing yield-optimised microorganisms (designer minimal organisms) and at establishing and making available novel products and product lines from microbial sources in industry-compatible quantities and formats.
“The funds received from the BMBF covered part of the costs of these highly innovative research projects, which obviously also carried a certain risk. Thanks to them we had the rare opportunity to implement project ideas as a small and medium-sized corporation which we could not have pre-financed otherwise,” explains Dr Jürgen Eck, Chief Scientific Officer of BRAIN AG.
“The long-term public funding over five-years allowed us to reliably plan the entire project, which played a major role in making it such a success and broadens both, BRAINs technology platform as well as the amount of product candidates”, adds Dr Michael Krohn, BioActives Unit Head and Member of the Board of BRAIN AG.
The scientific and technical outcomes of the successful research programme were distilled into five patent families, including product patents and process patents. Moreover, the research results were published in ten peer-reviewed scientific articles and were also presented in plenary lectures and discussed by expert circles at a number of international symposia and trade shows.