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Vienna Biocenter

The Vienna Biocenter (VBC) is a life science cluster comprising 4 research institutes, 14 biotech companies, 3 universities and a total of 1400 scientists. Concentrated in a well-connected location in central Vienna, the VBC community guarantees that scientists are embedded into a stimulating, dynamic and sizable community of biologists, creating synergies and opportunities for cooperation. Evidence for the high scientific standards at the VBC are, among other indicators, 39 ERC grants and 11 Wittgenstein Awards that went to VBC scientists.

Aerial view on the Vienna Biocenter, IMP at the centre. (c) IMP/airpix

When the IMP moved to Vienna’s St. Marx neighbourhood in 1986, there was little reference to life sciences to be found here. The closest thing to biology were the municipal slaughterhouses directly next to the old IMP.

Since then, St. Marx has changed dramatically as the IMP seeded the development of one of Europe’s biggest and most dynamic life science hubs (and the slaughterhouses are long closed).

The VBC: a community of excellence

The Vienna Biocenter (VBC) comprises several different entities that employ 1400 scientists from over 40 nations organised into over 100 research groups. English is the working language.

These scientists include more than 200 postdocs, 120 students in the international VBC PhD Programme as well as many more students enrolled in other academic programmes. The VBC hosts the very popular international VBC Summer School for two months every year, attracting outstanding undergraduates from all over the world.

In short, scientists at the VBC are not alone: they work at the centre of one of Europe’s busiest and most successful life science hubs with high academic standards – as evidenced by publications, awards and grants received.

"One of the great things about this campus is that we represent a broad diversity of research topics, while also having a critical mass for specific areas of research. For us, the strong RNA biology community is extremely important, but so is the possibility of unexpected connections and inspiration from people asking different questions and using different approaches."

Luisa Cochella, IMP Group Leader

Structure of the Vienna Biocenter

The organisations that jointly form the VBC include four basic research institutes, three universities and 14 biotech companies. Companies more generally related to life sciences such as conference organisers have also moved to the area.

The four basic research institutes at the VBC cooperate particularly closely: the IMP; the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) of University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna; the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW); and the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI), also of the ÖAW - links are given below.

Another entity of key importance for the basic research work at the VBC are the “VBC Core Facilities” (VBCF) which offer services to the research groups of all four institutes named above. These services are elaborated in detail in the “support” section; the VBCF also operates the VBC Child Care Center.

Location and Further Reading

The VBC is conveniently located between Vienna’s city centre and airport, with its own regional railway link and access to subway and trams. For further information on the Vienna Biocenter, please see the links below.