(Vienna, 19 September 2017) Austria is on its way to becoming the innovation leader. In order to do this, it needs to further expand its basic research, promote tech-savvy start-ups and accelerate its patent applications. An optimum infrastructure plays an important part in this. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economic Affairs, Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) [which manages publicly-owned real estate in Austria] and MedUni Vienna plan to consolidate large parts of the preclinical facilities, so that they are all together on 35,000 m2 of floor space on MedUni Campus Mariannengasse by Winter semester 2025.
It is hoped that by pooling resources in a centre of excellence for basic research and teaching in direct proximity to clinical research on the Vienna General Hospital MedUni Campus better use can be made of synergies and infrastructure, so that patients can benefit from basic research even more quickly. It is planned to launch this campaign of investment in research and teaching with a competition being held in 2017. The Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economic Affairs is investing a total of 339.4 million euros. This amount breaks down as follows: 283.9 million will be invested in research, teaching and preclinical studies, 55.5 million in basic equipment and installation. This was announced today at a press conference held in Vienna.
"MedUni Campus Mariannengasse will raise Vienna's status as a Life Science location and make a valuable contribution to the quality of medical care. In future we will be able to exploit any existing synergies and create state-of-the-art conditions for teaching and research. The Federal Government is investing a total of around 340 million euros to strengthen our innovative capability," says Science and Research Minister Harald Mahrer.
A total of 744 scientists from the Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Center for Pathobiochemistry and Genetics, Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and the Institute of Cancer Research will be moved from their existing workplaces at Währingerstraße 10, 13 and 13a and Borschkegasse 8a and at Schwarzspanierstraße 15 and 17 to the MedUni Campus Mariannengasse by the Winter semester of 2025. "Our next step in creating the MED CAMPUS Mariannengasse is to launch an architectural competition. The winning project will be chosen by late summer 2018. This will be followed by detailed design work. If everything goes to plan, building will start at the end of 2020. The new campus will become operational in the Winter semester 2025/26," says Hans-Peter Weiss, CEO of Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft.
The floor area of approximately 35,000 m2 that will be created will not only solve current space shortages but also bring the scientific workspace up to the latest technical standards.
As well as providing lecture theatres, seminar rooms, course rooms and skillslab for students, it will mean that the available equipment can be used more efficiently to create a new, central research infrastructure for large items of equipment, which will be available to all participating Centers, and will include inter alia Patch Clamp (electrophysiology measurement technique), mass spectrometry (method for measuring the mass of atoms and molecules), DNA cytometry (method for early diagnosis of malignant tumours by measuring the amount of hereditary material in their cells) and scanning electron microscopy as well as tissue sampling facilities. It is expected that the University will start to make full use of the facility in the Winter semester of 2025.
Patients should benefit from basic research even more quickly
"Our overriding aim is to enable patients to benefit from basic research as quickly as possible," explains MedUni Vienna Rector Markus Müller. "Pooling our resources on MedUni Campus Mariannengasse will take us a gigantic step closer to achieving our goal. For one thing, researchers will be gathered together in one location and will be able to communicate with each other easily in an interdisciplinary way, and for another, the preclinical area will be closer than ever to the Departments of Vienna General Hospital."