OFFERING ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS OF THE FUTURE
From Initial Investment to Top Research Performance
Moving the diversely located university departments and clinics to the completely new General Hospital, with over 3 million square meters of space at one location, was finished at the end of the 1990s and represented an investment in medical research for Vienna that is unprecedented in Europe. Utilizing almost 10,000 square meters of research space, 37 clinics and institutes have been able to achieve numerous international breakthroughs in medical research with state of the art medical equipment.
Consequently, for some time now Viennese medicine has led in allergy and thrombosis research, as well as in genetically engineered diagnostics and therapies for allergies. In addition, the first institute of immunology in Europe was founded in Vienna. Our transplantation medicine now boasts the best per capita transplantation rate worldwide and the highest rate for lung transplantation in Europe. For years the close link between the basic clinical and theoretical components in cancer research has led to high levels of research output. The same holds true for thrombosis research in Vienna, where for the first time important risk factors for its treatment were described.
Entrepreneurial Endeavors, Performance-Oriented Research and Support
The University Act of 2002 (UG 2002) also affords new opportunities for expanding top medical achievements at the Medical University of Vienna (one of the largest in Europe with approximately 5,000 staff members, almost two thirds of whom are directly or indirectly involved in research). The Act’s legal framework enables us to administer our various research budgets autonomously, as well as to think and act as entrepreneurs. This, too, is virtually unprecedented in Europe. Performance-oriented and continuously evaluated research will be a matter of course and an essential component of our new business culture. The principle of equitable seed funding will be tied to support for success. Setting research priorities and allocating resources will be influenced increasingly by our ability to secure external funding, initiate spin offs and industrial partnerships, and consequently by the success of individual researchers. With its innovative research concept the Medical University will become an attractive center for domestic and international research.
Investing in Our Own Strengths and in Cooperative Partnerships
In the future we will focus on our own strengths to continually increase our potential for first-class research. In order to conduct research projects efficiently and successfully, we increasingly will relieve outstanding researchers temporarily from teaching and patient care responsibilities. The aim of the Medical University’s new research policy will be to surpass its own expectations. The establishment of private-public partnership models will be of particular importance in creating a new and promising research landscape at the Medical University, as our high field magnetic resonance and PET radio tracer research programs exemplify. In the especially promising area of biological medicine, for example, concrete cooperation between the City and the Medical University will enhance Vienna’s reputation as an internationally attractive research center. In the process it will provide answers to questions of the future. The Medical University of Vienna now is ideally positioned to achieve these goals and, as in the past, to move again to the top in medical research.