Interdisciplinary thinking, networks and creativity – BRAIN steps off the beaten track to find path-breaking solutions.

The more innovative a company and the more inventive its employees, the better equipped it is to tackle the continuing changes of the future. But renewal calls for creativity, which is neither logical nor linear. Only unconventional and independent thinking makes it possible to break out of established patterns and find novel solutions.

BRAIN’s innovative core

People who stay on the beaten track renounce the chance to make discoveries. For BRAIN, barrier-free thinking that always goes one step further is a creative problem-solving strategy. This allows for differentiated thoughts and perceptions and fosters surprising new perspectives. As the chemical industry’s think tank, BRAIN’s research and development department is the innovative core of the company, which maintains open and creative dialogue in all directions and sets the tone for the future.

Networking academia and industry

BRAIN’s interdisciplinary nature is reflected in a closely knit network. In the Biotechnology Research And Information Network, multilateral connectivity is a prominent feature of corporate culture. The diversity of people, knowledge and talents promotes fresh new ideas that are taken up and further refined in all directions and at an interdisciplinary level. This helps the company to recognise opportunities before they become part of the mainstream.

The alumni platform that has been maintained for a number of years unites trainees, students, current and former employees with the aim of promoting reciprocal exchanges at the personal and professional level. Networking at its best! Young academics are integrated into all of the company’s processes. These are creative minds with the passion and hunger it takes to trigger innovations and shape them proactively.

Innovation alliances

Scientific and technical challenges can best be tackled by interdisciplinary teams, as is shown by the NatLifE 2020 and ZeroCarbFP alliances which BRAIN coordinates.

The Natural Life Excellence Network 2020 that is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been working since 2013 to develop sustainable production processes and new test systems for innovative bioactive ingredients, proteins and small molecules for the food and cosmetics industries. Both NatLifE 2020 and ZeroCarbFP are subdivided into a research, a development and a pilot phase of three years each.

The ZeroCarbonFootPrint alliance supported by BMBF aims to transform residual and waste streams into new valuable materials that can be put to industrial use. These are bio-based additives for manufacturing high-tech oils or functional biomass for sustainable ore processing and metal recycling processes. The aim is to establish intelligent material cycles that keep the utilized resources within value chains after their primary use.

Insights Related topics

Networks of thought

Interwoven skeins of thought lead to knowledge, although this process is initially unseen. Often, ideas, thought processes and aids to memory are made clearer and more tangible if they take the visual form of mind maps. These mental sketches, which appear arcane to most outsiders, also show the complexity of the creative processes and the diversity of tasks handled by BRAIN.