News 284 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Degussa opens bio science centre

Degussa has formally opened its Bio Science-to-Business Center in Marl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In this innovative centre for white biotechnology, 60 highly qualified employees will collaborate with academia and industry to develop new biotechnological products and processes based on renewable raw materials.

"White biotechnology" is the term applied to industrial manufacturing processes that are based primarily on natural biological resources. These biotechnologically based production processes, in addition to consuming smaller amounts of raw materials and energy, also produce less waste and fewer by-products; they therefore offer alternatives, which are highly promising from both the ecological and economic viewpoints, to conventional chemical and physical processes.

"White biotechnology is one of the most important key technologies for the chemical industry. We can use its toolbox not only to replace the classical petrochemical methods but also to develop products with entirely new properties. This opens the door for Degussa to develop innovative products with high added value and new businesses in attractive markets," says Dr. Alfred Oberholz, deputy chairman of Degussa's Management Board.

Research focus
The Science-to-Business Center will focus on, among other things, research for surface coatings and drug delivery systems that, in addition to other advantageous properties, are very well tolerated by the body. Research is also being carried out on pharmaceutical active ingredients and protective ingredients for creams and lotions. Degussa is already well advanced in using bioprocesses to manufacture pharmaceutical amino acids for infusion solutions, amino acids for animal nutrition, and specialty building blocks for drugs.

Degussa will invest about €50 million in the Science-to-Business Centre over a period of five years. The state of NRW will support the future-oriented technologies to be developed there with a grant of €11.3 million, co-financed by the European Union. The German government will also support the Centre to the tune of €7 million.

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