Press releases
30 September 2008, Zwingenberg

Founder and CEO of German BRAIN AG, Dr. Holger Zinke, is awarded with the ”Deutschen Umweltpreis 200

“German biotech company pacemaker for sustainability“

BRAIN AG, founded in 1993 by Dr. Holger Zinke, is a pioneer of industrial biotechnology and until today has developed to one of the technologically leading companies within this growing segment. Based on strategic collaborations with established industrial companies within the chemical-, pharmaceutical-, cosmetics and nutrition sectors BRAIN identifies and develops e.g. micro-organisms and enzymes or biocatalysts for biochemical reactions yielding in an additional industrial benefit. In many segments of consumer goods also consumers and customers benefit from these developments. For example these active product components improve the washing performance of detergents or the skin tolerance of cosmetics products or reduce the sugar content in soft drinks. Besides that they also are the key for the identification of novel products for the future markets. BRAIN finds itself in the centre of the process of “biologisation” of the chemical industry.

Currently almost three fourth of all chemicals are produced using crude oil-based educts. Since 1998 the costs of these molecules increased more than ten times. Additionally the costs for energy within the chemical production processes permanently increase and in many processes stand for up to 50% of the cost of goods. Enzyme based production processes as they are identified and developed by BRAIN stand for a highly efficient substitute for petrol-based production. They decrease the emission of pollutants and significantly reduce the resources and energy input, yielding in a significant reduction of process costs.

”The award ”Deutscher Umweltpreis“ is a great honour for me as an entrepreneur but also for the company BRAIN AG with all its employees and supporter, who during the last years were engaged in many industrial biotechnology projects with the goal to move these technologies forward. Concurrently we understand this award as a confirmation of or business model of the industrial transformation and as a great motivation push for further product developments within sustainable economisation”, states Dr. Holger Zinke, CEO of BRAIN AG. ”We are proud that our contribution for a sustainable economic, ecologic and with this also social development-s, as they are achieved through the use of enzymes as biocatalysts in industrial processes or as low temperature detergent enzymes, are honoured with this striking award. Even more as the innovations achieved are a key task of our future.”


BRAIN AG is an industrial “white” biotech company which discovers and develops novel bioactive natural compounds and proprietary enzymes for its partners and customers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as the food and cosmetics industries. With its unique approach to the discovery and production of new biological compounds and biocatalysts, the company achieves creative solutions by harnessing 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. Since its foundation in 1993, BRAIN has entered over 50 strategic collaborations with nearly all relevant companies within the chemical industry. BRAIN has entered partnerships with BASF, Ciba, Clariant, Evonik Degussa, Genencor, Henkel, Nutrinova, Sandoz, Schering, Südzucker and Symrise, only to name a few. BRAIN

The „Deutsche Umweltpreis“

Delegates of some 130 institutions – as e.g German Max-Planck- and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, conservation-, employer- and inter-trade organisations, unions, churches and media – during the last few months nominated their favourite candidate for the 2008 award. The numerous nominations were carefully analysed and structured by a 16 members counting expert-jury consisting persons from academia, business and society. Finally the DBU-Kuratorium, headed by Hubert Weinzierl, president of the Deutsche Naturschutzring, comes to the annual decision. The idea behind the award is to induce people, companies or even organisations to identify ecological problems in time and to develop strategies to ease them right at the beginning. Since 1993, being the 16th time this year, the Deutsche Umweltpreis awards striking pioneers of ecology. Besides many others the ozone researcher and Nobel laureate in chemisty, Professor Dr. Paul J. Crutzen (1994), and the former director of the environment program of the United Nations, Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer (2002), as well as the entrepreneurs Dr. Georg Winter (1995), Dr. Michael Otto (1997), Dr. Franz Ehrensperger (2001) and Hans G. Huber (2006) received this prize. Please find further informations dealing with the Deutschen Umweltpreis

Portrait Dr. Holger Zinke
© BRAIN AG, Zwingenberg

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Porträt von Dr. Holger Zinke, Vorsitzender des Vorstands der BRAIN AG und Gewinner des Deutschen Umweltpreises 2008
Campus der BRAIN AG in Zwingenberg
© BRAIN AG, Zwingenberg

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Das BRAIN Biotechnologie-Unternehmen in Zwingenberg. Das 1934 im Bauhaus-Stil erbaute Hauptgebäude ist Teil des BRAIN Technologie-Campus am Standort und steht mittlerweile unter Kulturdenkmalschutz.

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