Press releases
2 December 2016, Zwingenberg

The Future is uncertain. For the moment.

End of November 2016, BRAIN AG and the joint expert group biotransformations of the Dechema e.V. and the VAAM e.V. organized a novel format of a scientific SYMPosium and an exKURSION - the first SYMPKURSION.

Futurology affects many sectors and connects subjects like innovation, bioeconomy, and industrial value chains. Market forecasts, trend analyses, and determination of growth areas allow the identification of business opportunities in the areas of e.g. chemistry, trading, mobility, logistics, and also biotechnology. These forecasts enable companies and management boards to develop long-term strategic concepts and to design novel product ideas to sustainably position and strengthen their companies.

Kai Jannek studied business administration with a focus on strategic marketing and development economy. Since 2004 he has been working as Director of Foresight Consulting in the company Z-Punkt in Cologne. Jannek emphasizes: “Technological foresights go beyond the common planning cycles of companies. Who knows where to stay in 2030 must know where to be in 2020. However, identification of novel technological trends is not enough. In fact, to understand the corresponding consequences and to classify the innovation as well as the change potential is necessary for developing a sustainable business.” The focus of his talk was how new technologies, like robotics, will change our life and our working world in the future. Furthermore, he pointed out that trends have to be analyzed from the perspective of the specific infrastructure. Thereby companies should investigate future markets first and then establish new processes. “Seeing what is coming up and realizing what persists.” This is the main challenge from and for the entrepreneurs of our boardrooms.

The next day was shaped by the SYMPKURSION which took place on the technology campus of BRAIN. An interdisciplinary audience from science and economy listened to six lectures and discussed recent research in the fields of biocatalysis and biotransformation, enzyme cascades in microcompartments, optimization and tuning of enzymes for an industrial application, and de novo synthesis of natural compounds. Presenters were Dr. Rebecca Buller (ZHAW, Wädenswil), Dr. Mislav Oreb (Goethe Universität Frankfurt) and Dr. Anita Loeschcke (Forschungszentrum Jülich) from academia and Dr. René de Jong (DSM, Delft), Dr. Hans Iding (F. Hoffmann-La Roche Basel) and Dr. Steffen Schaffer (Evonik Creavis GmbH Marl) from industry.

The active foresight built the bridge between both event days. Keynote speaker Kai Jannek from Z-Punkt with his cross-discipline picture of our future, the scientists from academia and industry with a more distinct view on upcoming products deriving from biotechnology and a bio-based economy.

In a final excursion, Dr. Juergen Eck, CEO of BRAIN, presented the company. BRAIN is active in biotech-driven technologies based on bioeconomy and innovation. After the company presentation BRAIN opened its doors, enabled insights into laboratories, and answered the questions of interested participants.

Finally, in a concluding view into the future all participants of the first SYMPKURSION agreed: that was not the last event of its kind. This is for sure!

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