BASF launches white biotechnology research lab in US

Will develop more efficient biotechnological production processes and with material scientists develop antimicrobial products for medical technology, hygiene and healthcare

BASF dedicates its new biotechnology laboratory in Tarrytown, NY. From left are: Carsten Sieden, senior vp of BASF’s Fine Chemicals and Biocatalysis Research; Lauralynn Kourtz, BASF biotechnology chemist; Harald Lauke, president of Biological & Effect Systems Research; Richard Losick, Harvard professor and member of BASF-Harvard Research Initiative; Beate Ehle, president, Market & Business Development, BASF Corporation; Allison Guinta, BASF biotechnology scientist; Markus Pompejus, head of BASF’s Bioactive Materials Group; and Volker Schaedler, vp, Innovation/Technology, BASF Corporation

German chemicals giant BASF has opened a new white biotechnology (also known as industrial biotechnology) and microbiology research centre in Tarrytown, New York.

Here biologists and biotechnologists will use the lab to develop more efficient biotechnological production processes and with material researchers will develop antimicrobial products for medical technology, hygiene and healthcare.

‘The investment again demonstrates BASF’s commitment to white biotechnology, one of Germany’s key technologies with vast potential for innovation,’ said Harald Lauke, head of Biological & Effect Systems Research.

‘Furthermore the new lab is an important step on the way to even more globally organised research, and a very good base for successful new alliances in North America.’

BASF has more than 30 years’ experience in white biotechnology, using biotechnology to produce vitamins, enzymes, pharmaceutical intermediates and specialist products for the personal care, food and feed industries. One focus of the research laboratory work is to develop more efficient and resource-conserving production processes.

The use of metabolic engineering is set to enhance the efficiency of the micro-organisms used in these production processes, said BASF.

The lab also aims to gain a detailed understanding of the development of bacterial biofilms, which can cause of life-threatening infections in hospital patients. In cooperation with material researchers, new solutions are being developed to help prevent such infections.

‘In Tarrytown, we have created the foundations for all these research areas,’ commented Markus Pompejus, Head of BASF’s bioactive materials group and in charge of biotechnology research at the new lab. ‘Now it is all about turning our ideas into innovative products and solutions.’