Project funding body

Projektträger Jülich

Federal ministry of Education and Research



Project Partners


GUB-LogoG.U.B. Ingenieur AG

The G.U.B. Ingenieur AG is an independent consultancy with more than 25 years of experience. It counts 10 offices located in different German regions. With our 180 engineers, scientists and technicians we are active throughout Germany and worldwide. The core competencies of G.U.B. are Geosciences (i.e. Geo), Environment (i.e. Umwelt) and Construction (i.e. Bau).

Our expertise is distributed over seven business segments that complement each other thematically and structurally. Planning services for the fields of Water Resource Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Infrastructure overlap in numerous aspects and also correspond to the fields of Geotechnics and Brownfield Investigations. The two fields of Mining and Geotechnics form part of joint projects. These competences are further supported by the field of Environmental and Spatial Planning that are essential components in each project phase.

The diversity of our business areas requires a constant interdisciplinary collaboration of engineers, scientists and experts within the company and beyond. In addition to the daily cooperation in the framework of our projects, G.U.B. also develops research projects and applied industry research. Our Research and Development department provides the company with an effective instrument for the coordination and implementation of our research activities.

GUB contribution to  SEM²:

  • Project management and coordination
  • Development of an in-situ channeling technique to improve soil permeability
  • Modeling and simulation of (bio)geochemical processes occuring during REE mobilization and retention
  • Economical and ecological assessment of the developed technology


IREHelmholtz-Zentrum Dresden – Rossendorf
Institute of Resource Ecology

The Institute of Resource Ecology (IRE) is integrated in the research within the Research Field Energy of the Helmholtz-Association. The IRE investigates the ecological risks exerted by radioactive and non-radioactive metals in the context of nuclear waste disposal, the production of energy in nuclear power plants and in processes along the value chain of metalliferous raw materials. At the IRE spectroscopic, microscopic, and biological methods are implemented in controlled areas allowing radiochemical studies that can be performed only at a few places in Europe. The Institute runs the XAS station for Radiochemistry of the Rossendorf Beamline, at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble (France).

IRE contribution to SEM²:

  • Establishment and Verification of a thermodynamic database for selected REE


Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology

Among the Research Cluster of the Helmholtz Association, the Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg for Ressource Technology (HIF) is concerned with the research and development of new technologies in order to secure long-term supply of mineral and metallic raw materials, with a focus on sustainability aspects. In particular competences in the field of bio-leaching and analytical equipment for quantitative and qualitative analysis of raw materials at HIF contribute to SEM².

HIF contribution to SEM²:

  • Development of a bio-leaching method for REE, including identification of suitable leaching agents and design of a biotechnological production process


IPKLeibniz-Institute for Plant Genetics
and Crop Plant Research

The Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) is a nonprofit research institute and a member of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Association. The central concern of the research at the IPK is to study the genetic diversity of wild and cultivated plants with the aim to make the scientific findings, methods and plant material available for more effective and expanded use of plants in the agricultural sector, but also to be a supplier of new and improved biomaterials especially for pharmacy. At IPK the expression platform Xplor®2, a genetic tool to transfer functional genes into yeast stems, has been developed and will be used in frame of SEM² to grow yeast for selective REE adsorption.

IPK contribution to SEM²:

  • Development of selective bio-sorbents for REE, including identification of REE-binding proteins and production of such using yeast cells


GMBUGesellschaft zur Förderung von Medizin-,
Bio- und Umwelttechnologien

The GMBU e.V. is a non-profit organization for industrial research and development. The Environmental Biotechnology department, Halle, practices application specific research and development in the areas of engineering, microbiology / biosensor technology and analytics. Key aspects are the development of measuring systems to the metabolic characterization of microorganisms in environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering as well as the development of methods in biological, environmental and chemical analytics.

GMBU contribution to SEM2:

  • Testing and optimization of chemical REE-extraction procedures (leaching and processing via ion-exchange on resin)
  • Development of an extraction process for REE based on biomaterials, including identification of suitable materials, physical and chemical enhancement of sorption properties and process design



Associate Partners





kapstadtUniversity of Cape Town

uni toronto
Universität Toronto

uitUIT Umwelt- und Ingeniertechnik GmbH





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