March 29, 2010

IST Austria receives 10 Mio Euro donation

The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) in Klosterneuburg receives a donation of ten million Euros from the Invicta Foundation of Austria. For President Thomas A. Henzinger this donation is a confirmation of the ambitious project to build in Austria an internationally oriented institute for basic research in the natural sciences.

Thomas A. Henzinger, President of IST Austria in Klosterneuburg, is all the more delighted about the generous donation by the Invicta Foundation. “First of all I would like to express my gratitude to the donor. This donation shows that the opportunities for supporting world-class scientists, in addition to public funding and apart from economic interests, are increasingly recognized also in Austria,” says Henzinger. “If someone decides to donate such a large amount, for me this is primarily a sign that we are on the right track with the development of IST Austria and a confirmation of the principles on which it is based.” These principles include the international and interdisciplinary orientation of the Institute, its independent governance, as well as a firm commitment to curiosity-driven research and the transfer of research results.

First IST Austria laboratory building named “Bertalanffy Foundation Building”
Following international practice, IST Austria recognizes outstanding contributions to the Institute through the naming of buildings and other premises. The first laboratory building at the IST Austria Campus will be named “Bertalanffy Foundation Building” in honor of the grantor of the Invicta Foundation, Peter Bertalanffy. The building will open for research in the fall of 2010. IST Austria was identified by the Invicta Foundation as a potential beneficiary due to the efforts of Veit Sorger, President of the Austrian Federation of Industry, and with the help of the Board of Trustees of the Invicta Foundation.

Peter Bertalanffy summarizes his motivation for recommending a donation to IST Austria as follows: “I like the idea behind this institute: The aim to bring some of the best researchers in the world to Austria, the complete independence from all political and economic interests, and the professional exploitation of scientific discoveries; I think all of these are essential cornerstones for a world-class institute of basic research.” In the fall of 2010, the recently recruited professors and their research groups working in neuroscience, cell biology, and evolutionary biology, will move into the Bertalanffy Foundation Building. 


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