History

1988 marked the beginning of the Vienna BioCenter. Over more than thirty years, the Vienna BioCenter has developed into the premier location for life sciences in Austria and into one of the leading multi-disciplinary biomedical research centers in Europe.

The grounds where the Vienna BioCenter is located have an interesting history...

From quarantine house to slaughterhouse

In the Middle Ages, pests represented an enormous problem for public health. To prevent the spread of disease, infected people were quarantined and treated in this very area, which at that time was far outside the city. The quarantine house of the Order of Saint Lazarus dedicated a chapel to Saint Marcus, which subsequently gave the hospital and the area its name. Over the centuries, Marc became Marx.

In the 18th century, a meat market developed in the area, but in 1850 it was transformed by another public health measure: the creation of a central slaughterhouse for Vienna.

Turning point: life science cluster

Since 1988, the Vienna BioCenter has been developing into one of the most outstanding and prominent life sciences hubs, not only in Austria but also in the Central European Region. With the founding of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in 1985, the nucleus for the Vienna BioCenter was established. Very quickly, a University building went up next door and five departments were relocated there. In 1998, Vienna BioCenter spin-off company Intercell (now Valneva) was founded. Subsequently, the Austrian Academy of Sciences founded two new research institutes, IMBA and GMI, situated next to the IMP.

The Vienna BioCenter has continued to rapidly develop and now includes more than 30 complementary players in the life sciences. Since access to state-of-the-art infrastructure has become an important and decisive element for cutting-edge research, the Vienna BioCenter developed a vision for communal use of infrastructure. As a result, in 2010, the new Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF), with a comprehensive range of new technologies, was set up with substantial financial support from the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research and the City of Vienna.

The Vienna BioCenter continues the Viennese tradition of diversity and will strive to continue its impressive development by building on its most prized assets: the ingenuity of its people, by providing them with an attractive work place.

Milestones

  • New biotech companies joined the Vienna BioCenter Association: Aelian, Allcyte, OEGMBTPhagoMed and The Antibody Lab.
  • Vienna BioCenter and VBCF launched a new and integrated website.
  • Inaugural Keystone Symposium at the Vienna BioCenter.
  • The Health Pioneers Event 2018 was held at the Vienna BioCenter.
  • Josef Penninger officially stepped down from his position as Scientific Director at IMBA. Juergen Knoblich became interim Director.
  • The Austrian Association for Stem Cell Research was founded at the Vienna BioCenter.
  • The Vienna BioCenter became a succesful location at the Long Night of Research.
  • The EMBO YIP Meeting 2018 took place at the Vienna BioCenter.
  • 30th anniversary of the IMP.
  • 15th anniversary of IMBA.
  • Arndt von Haeseler becomes director of MFPL
  • Opening Ceremony of the new IMP building by President Van der Bellen and Emmanuelle Charpentier
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific acquires Affymetrix eBioscience
  • Founding of the Vienna Doctoral School “Molecules of Life” at MFPL
  • 5th anniversary of VBCF
  • 15th anniversary of GMI
  • Completion of the new IMP building
  • Groundbreaking for new IMP building
  • US-based Horizon Discovery acquires Haplogen Genomics
  • Relocation of INiTS Business Incubator to Vienna BioCenter
  • Apeiron Biologicals enters cooperation with Evotec and Sanofi to develop cancer immunotherapies
  • MFPL Symposium on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Nobel Laureate Max F. Perutz
  • Intercell and Vivalis fuse to form Valneva
  • Jan-Michael Peters becomes director of the IMP
  • 10th anniversaries of AFFiRiSFH Campus WienIMBA, and MFPL
  • Completion of the Marx Box building
  • US-based Affymetrix acquires eBioscience
  • Successful participation of the Vienna BioCenter in the nation-wide “Long Night of Research”
  • VBCF – Child Care service expands to include the Media Quartier
  • Relocation of the University of Applied Sciences (FH Campus Wien) to the Marx Box
  • 10th anniversary of GMI
  • Founding of the Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF – formerly Campus Support Facilities) with public funding from the federal government and City of Vienna of up to €52 million until 2020
  • Establishment of Vienna BioCenter Summer School for talented undergraduates
  • Apeiron Biologics concludes deal with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
  • Establishment of the daycare center for campus children
  • Magnus Nordborg joins GMI as scientific director
  • Organization of the EU-project “European Researchers Night” in the Marx Halle (formerly Rinderhalle)
  • US-based eBioscience establishes its center of excellence for immunoassays by acquisition of Bender Med Systems
  • Completion of the Solaris building (lab and office area of 9,000 m2) and start of construction work of the Marx Box
  • 20th anniversary of the IMP celebrated with scientific conference at Hofburg Conference Center
  • AFFiRiS concluded business-deal with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
  • Start of construction work for laboratory building Vienna BioCenter 3
  • Graham Warren joins MFPL as director
  • Barry Dickson becomes director of the IMP
  • Austrian Academy of Sciences opens the Life Sciences Centre Vienna, hosting IMBA and GMI
  • Opening of the Vienna Open Lab at IMBA as a joint initiative of Open Science and IMBA
  • Founding of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) as joint-venture of the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna
  • IPO of Intercell on the Viennese stock exchange
  • Diagnostics company Bender MedSystems opens an office in the US
  • Completion of laboratory building Vienna BioCenter 2
  • Establishment of two institutes of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at Vienna BioCenter: IMBA, with founding director Josef Penninger, and GMI, with founding director Dieter Schweizer
  • Founding of AFFiRiS
  • Founding of University of Applied Sciences (FH Campus Wien) in Biotechnology at Vienna BioCenter
  • Relocation of six biotech companies to the Campus (e.g., Genosense, VBC Genomics)
  • Founding of the Campus Vienna BioCenter Association
  • Relocation of Bender MedSystems to Vienna BioCenter
  • Founding of Intercell as a spin-off of the University of Vienna and IMP
  • Kim Nasmyth becomes director of IMP
  • Founding of the initiative „Gentechnik & Wir“ (now Open Science)
  • Founding of the VBC PhD Programme

  • Relocation of five university departments (now MFPL) to the Vienna BioCenter
  • Opening of the IMP with founding director Max Birnstiel