Russell Advert
Pelgar old banner
Brandenburg

Company Profile…BioGenius – anything but nine to five

| October 3, 2014

BioGenius_CP_page1_image3 We are looking for wasp colonies with which to test insecticides, can you perhaps help us? On the campus of the Technology Park in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne, is the new specialist company BioGenius, which has been established to research, develop and test biocidal products. The products tested can be insecticides, such as in the preservation of timber and structures; agricultural and horticultural pesticides, including home gardening products for consumer use; or other life science products such as cleaners, air care and cosmetic products.

Building located in Bergisch Gladbach Germany

Building located in Bergisch Gladbach Germany

At closer glance, it soon becomes obvious that BioGenius, sitting like a spider in its web, is strategically positioned in the midst of GLP (Good Laboratory Practice), EU-regulations 528/2012 for biocides, 1107/2009/EC for plant protection products, and the global producers of such active ingredients and products.

The success of this company, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, is astounding. Should one characterise BioGenius; it is not so much the picture of a business venture in the classical sense but rather that of an ant colony: a superorganism with a hive-like mind and thousands of busy hands and feet which work to one goal – the survival of their colony. In BioGenius’s case, the focus of the hive-like mind is to achieve the highest quality service and the utmost customer satisfaction. The only flaw in this analogy lies in the  colony strength. BioGenius currently comprises a staff of 21, having started with 11 at its founding.

But let’s take it step by step:

Separation of clothes moth at BioGenius breeding department

Separation of clothes moth at BioGenius breeding department

The idea of BioGenius first arose when the chemical giant Bayer decided to spin off its domestic insecticide division. Long-serving specialists who were familiar with specific features of product development and registration procedures began to mull over their alternatives. The idea to establish a new company was born and to cut a long story short, the idea of founding this enterprise, specialising in biocidal product testing, spread rapidly. “The demand for a business venture with this exceptional expertise was extremely appealing and rather than follow the classical market research analysis route, it was from the demands of our customers, who dispelled the last doubts and encouraged, almost urged, our founding in 2004”, reports Ulrike Müllewitz, one of the two managing directors. “But honestly, isn’t such encouragement far more convincing than any, oh so positive market research analysis?”

Evaluation of residual efficacy against crawling insects ( Mr. K-H. Lüpkes)

Evaluation of residual efficacy against crawling insects ( Mr. K-H. Lüpkes)

The name BioGenius is a piece of personal history. Genius was the label of a product with which the founders were well acquainted. Together with the prefix Bio, the origin and the skill of the young enterprise were intertwined with their high standards. The company started in January 2005 with a staff of 11 at a 800m² laboratory space in Monheim. Today, at the campus of a technology park, they occupy 1600m² and employ 21 staff. The fields of activity encompass chemical analysis in the GLP test facility, application technology, biological product testing and the breeding of insects. Staff tasks and responsibilities, as the present structure of the company shows, are split between the two areas of biology/breeding and analysis/application technology but are linked to one another via the central management.

Determination of efficacy against flying insects in 20 m³ chambers

Determination of efficacy against flying insects in 20 m³ chambers

BioGenius cannot deny their Bayer heritage; being strictly targetorientated and aiming for the highest standards and perfection. On the other hand, that BioGenius has long progressed from their past, can be seen when dealing with the wishes of their customers in a comprehensive and co-operative fashion; which moves beyond the classical vertical and horizontal, to the more effective diagonal. They support, complement and consult one another in small teams, across all boundaries: indeed, the team’s only concern is the matter at hand. They are driven by the desire to provide perfect service to their global customer base – no matter whether they are individual entrepreneurs or large corporations – the service is very personal. BioGenius also are aware of their limitations. In light of their wide-ranging services, Mike Bublitz, the other one of the two managing directors, laughingly states: “Being open to all sides means you cannot quite be sealed” [= dicht, German pun where the word “sealed” can also mean “sane”.

Preparation of residual testing with cockroaches

Preparation of residual testing with cockroaches

The biology department breeds a wide range of insects which form the basis for product testing. Customer requests for species which are not kept, for example invasive species or wasps, are acquired from reliable sources without delay. An important factor in the breeding of insects is the maintenance of pure, disease free cultures. Tests are conducted both under laboratory as well as real conditions to gain reliable evidence about product properties. “We are able and prepared to do almost everything and if we can’t we will say so”, clarifies Karl-Heinz Lüpkes, head of the biology department, under whose responsibility the biological testing of aerosols, evaporators, baits and repellents occurs.

GC-FID preparation of analysis

GC-FID preparation of analysis

“The greatest assets I have are my staff”, stresses the head of the analysis and application department, Hans-Jörg Kroh. Every one of his study directors is personally liable for their results, no matter if the study is GLP-relevant or not, and can include identifying ingredients in a formulation, performing storage stability tests or generating product data. For this reason, peace and quiet reign at work, to ensure that tests can be achieved to the highest possible standards. This wisdom is the basis by which BioGenius fulfils the most diverse of requirements.

Is it also one of BioGenius’ little secrets to success? Focus and diligence, quality, flat hierarchies, mutual trust and customer support; these qualities must seem overwhelming, almost daunting…and all that at a high through-put rate? That rivals, in the face of such a competitor, keep a watchful eye on BioGenius is understandable, isn’t it?

For more information contact mike.bublitz@biogenius.de ; www.biogenius.de

Published in International Pest Control – September/October 2014 issue

Tags:

Category: Company news, Special features