(Vienna, 04 November 2022) A unanimous decision taken yesterday by the Vienna Health Committee has paved the way for the building of the new Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine. This new research facility is to be built on more than 6,000 m² in the grounds of Vienna General Hospital by the end of 2026. The institute - financed by the Austrian government and EU subsidies - is expected to cost around €90 million and shall create ideal conditions for more than 200 researchers and enable the development of customised treatments based on the very latest diagnostic methods at the medical location of Vienna. The City of Vienna, and thus the Vienna Health Association, owns the site and will build the Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine. Once building work has been completed, ownership of the building will pass to the Medical University of Vienna in the form of a free 99-year lease with building rights.
The new research infrastructure on the University Hospital Vienna MedUni Campus will provide a modern framework for digital and personalised medicine. The goal is to develop and provide diagnostics, treatments and preventive measures that are tailored to the individual patient. The new research centre will be named after Nobel prize-winner Eric Kandel. "I am delighted that the Health Committee of Vienna City Council has unanimously approved the draft contract for the Center for Precision Medicine between the Federal Government and the City of Vienna. The creation of the institute will ensure that the medical location of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna continue to play a globally pioneering role in medicine going forward," emphasises Peter Hacker, City Councillor for Health.
"Precision medicine works in a targeted and personally tailored way. This area of research allows the development of state-of-the-art treatments that minimise any side-effects. The new Eric Kandel Institute on the MedUni Vienna campus will be dedicated to this future-oriented field of medical care. Together with EU funding provided by the European Reconstruction and Resilience Facility (EU RRF), the Federal Government is financing this new building on the grounds of University Hospital Vienna to the tune of around €90 million, thus creating the ideal infrastructure for more than 200 medical researchers. Now that the necessary decisions have been taken, construction work can now start, I am pleased to say. The research results will help towards ensuring the best possible healthcare in Austria and will further boost Austria's standing as a research and business location," says Martin Polaschek, Minister of Education, Science and Research.
"Personalised medicine is an approach that is already practiced on a daily basis in many disciplines in the departments of Vienna University Hospital," explains Markus Müller, Rector of MedUni Vienna. "The Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine on MedUni's Hospital Campus will provide an infrastructure for raising Vienna's international profile as a driving force in precision medicine, the dominant trend in 21st-century medicine. The Eric Kandel Institute will focus in particular on technologies that are important for the planning, implementation and realisation of precision medicine projects. There will also be a spin-off for the residents of Vienna, who will be assured of high-quality healthcare, and for the city itself in terms of its standing as a centre of innovation. In addition to innovation at the cutting edge of medical science, the institute also aims to translate research results into everyday medical care, to secure highly innovative jobs and, consequently, to reinforce Vienna's standing as a scientific, medical and commercial centre."
The terms Precision Medicine or Personalised Medicine describe what is potentially the most significant trend in 21st-century medical science, namely the use of customised treatments based on the very latest diagnostic methods. This centre is being built to create the necessary conditions for research into customised treatments. In particular, it will concentrate and expand all those medical technologies that are important for the planning, implementation and realisation of precision medicine projects. This is also directly linked to ensuring top-quality healthcare for the Viennese population.
The purpose of this facility is not only to use the research results to provide cutting-edge medical care for the population in future but also to translate them into everyday interventions and to encourage company start-ups in the sense of a knowledge economy, as well as to secure future employment opportunities and thereby generally reinforce Vienna's standing as a location for science and business.