November 28, 2012
New lab building opened
State-of-the-art laboratory with 7’000 sqm completed • Work on next construction phase started • Minister Töchterle: „International signal effect of IST Austria enhanced“ • Governor Pröll: „Proof of change of Lower Austria towards scientific landscape“
In a ceremonial act this afternoon, the new laboratory building on the campus of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) in Klosterneuburg was inaugurated in the presence of the Federal Minister for Science and Research, Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle, and the Governor of Lower Austria, Dr. Erwin Pröll. With the Lab Building East, a further 7’000 sqm are available for the experimental research of up to twelve research groups. The first scientists will take up their work in the new building within the next weeks.
In his opening words, the president of IST Austria, Prof. Thomas Henzinger, underlined the importance of basic research for the long-term successful development of a country. “Particularly small nations can achieve top performances in science and research, which go far beyond their geographic or demographic size. Switzerland, Sweden and Israel are outstanding examples for the fruitful impact that support for basic research can have on the entire national economy. In the Lab Building East, up to twelve research groups will take up their work, which will develop new approaches and methods in the neurosciences and – a first for IST Austria – in physics. Until 2026, a total of 90 to 100 professors with 1’000 scientists should work at IST Austria. As of fall 2012, 26 professors have been recruited.
In his remarks, Minister for Science and Research Karlheinz Töchterle recognized, amongst others, the successes of IST Austria in raising third-party funds: “In its four years of operations, IST Austria has in exemplary fashion managed to acquire public and private third-party funds. Besides successfully obtaining funds by sponsors, the ERC Grants, of which so far eleven have been won, underline the scientific excellence at IST Austria; likewise all other distinctions and awards, exemplified by this year’s Wittgenstein Prize for Thomas Henzinger. With this building, the excellent conditions for research at IST Austria are further improved, and the attractivity of IST Austria enhanced. This leads to a strengthening of the international signal effect of IST Austria and so benefits all science and research in Austria.”
Governor Erwin Pröll put the new building in context with structural change in Lower Austria: “IST Austria is at the heart of this change, but is by no means the only investment in the future of people and of this country. In the past years, we have invested a total of 600 Million Euro in science and research. And we will continue this path towards the scientific landscape Lower Austria.” The province of Lower Austria has borne the costs for the new lab building of 25 Million Euro, in accordance with the 15a-Agreement between the Province and the Federal Republic from the year 2006. The end of the opening ceremony was marked by the filling of a foundation tube by Töchterle, Pröll and the Chair of the Executive Committee, Prof. Haim Harari, for Lab and Office Building West. This building, which has a floor area of 11’500 sqm, will be constructed to the requirements of up to 300 researchers in the fields of mathematics, physics and chemistry, and should be completed by 2015.
Since the beginning of construction works on the campus in Klosterneuburg in 2007, the following construction measures have been realized: building of the Raiffeisen Lecture Hall with 200 seats, complete renovation of the Central Building for theoretical research and central service facilities, modernization of the voestalpine Building for the administration, building of the Bertalanffy Foundation Building for experimental research in the life sciences and conversion of apartments for employees. The masterplan for future developments on campus provides for further buildings on sites of the former state hospital, as well as a technology park.