Biotechnology Research and Information Network (BRAIN)

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. 

Work packages

  • Work package 2: Bioprospecting: isolation of aerobic bacteria from solid samples, characterization of isolated bacteria/consortia, assay-development for acidophilic bacteria

Biotechnology Research And Information Network AG
Darmstädter Straße 34-36
64673 Zwingenberg

Dr. Guido Meurer

+49 6251 9331-0

Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie

Halsbrücker Str. 34
09599 Freiberg, Germany

BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières

avenue Claude Guillemin, BP 36009
45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France

EcoMetals is a transnational research project aiming at the development of innovative biohydrometallurgical processes for the extraction of copper and other (associated) metals from coppershale.. The project receives funding from the French ANR (L’Agence nationale de la recherche) and the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) under the reference number 033RF001.

In total, 17 partners from science and industry collaborate in this project. Start of the project was in February 2014 and it will run until June 2017. 

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