BRAIN AG is Europe’s leading industrial “white” biotech company and both 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. BRAIN’s BioArchives contain more than 20.000 pre-characterized microbial strains, including strains that produce or exhibit biological structures that are able to interact with metals (e.g. siderophores, extracellular polymeric substances –EPS, metal-binding peptides). This resource can be used to identify strains that are useful in bioleaching and/or recovery of copper from Kupferschiefer.
Furthermore, BRAIN has developed a biological lab-scale process for the recovery of gold and other precious metals from solutions and suspensions containing particulate material such as finely ground ore (WO2009/13006, EP2271781, MX291911, ZA2010/07794). This experience can be used and extended in the scope of developing a process for the biomining of Kupferschiefer. Since its foundation in 1993, BRAIN has entered into over 80 strategic partnerships and alliances with nearly all the relevant companies within the chemical industry, for example BASF, Ciba, Clariant, Evonik, DSM, Genencor, Henkel, Nutrinova, RWE, Sandoz, Schering, Südzucker and Symrise, to name but a few. BRAIN currently employs 114 highly skilled personnel. For their groundbreaking industrial biotechnology activities for a sustainable „biologisation of the chemical industry“ using nature`s toolbox for industrial processes, BRAIN and its CEO Dr. Holger Zinke received the “Deutschen Umweltpreis 2008” of the “Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt”, DBU.