Groundbreaking ceremony for NIFE in Hanover

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Professor Dr. Erich Barke, Hans-Gerd Aper, Minister President David McAllister, Elke Breier, Professor Dr. Dieter Bitter-Suermann, Dr. Manfred Elff and Dr. Gerhard Greif

Minister President: New research center for 60 million euros is another milestone / Focus on biomedical technology and implants

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Lower Saxony Center for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development (NIFE) on Thursday (Dec. 20), Lower Saxony's Minister President David McAllister praised the cooperation between physicians and engineers for the benefit of patients. "With a total of 15 successful research buildings since 2007, Lower Saxony occupies a top position nationwide behind Baden-Württemberg and ahead of Bavaria," he continued. "The new building of the Lower Saxony Center for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development - NIFE - is also recognized and supported by the Science Council as a research building. This shows: Lower Saxony is successful in high-performance research. It is also proof of the good cooperation between our Ministry of Science and the universities. The new NIFE building is another milestone in this regard."

The cost of the new building is 60 million euros. The state of Lower Saxony and the federal government are each investing 27 million euros. The Minister President thanked the Brauckmann-Wittenberg-Herz Foundation, which is supporting the project with a further six million euros. In a laboratory area of 7,000 square meters, researchers from Hannover Medical School (MHH), Leibniz University Hannover, the Foundation of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover and the Laser Zentrum Hannover will develop innovative implants and strategies in the fight against implant-associated infections.

NIFE is the first major joint biomedical engineering project of the three Hanoverian universities. "It is the icing on the cake of a development that began more than ten years ago," said MHH President Professor Dr. Dieter Bitter-Suermann. Two collaborative research centers focusing on the development of biocompatible implants and the clusters of excellence "REBIRTH" on regenerative medicine and "Hearing4all" on hearing research are proof of the outstanding basic research expertise and collaboration in this field, he added. NIFE board spokesman Dr. Manfred Elff emphasized that the unique constellation of an internationally recognized profile of excellence in translational implant research will now also have its own address with the new building. "This will create - probably for the first time worldwide - the prerequisite here in Hannover for the development of innovative implants across many organ systems with significantly improved functionality and long-term compatibility," said Dr. Elff. 

The collaborative partners are pooling their research expertise in the new building, which has a total area of 13,200 square meters. The MHH is contributing its expertise in the research areas of biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology/infectiology, Leibniz Universität Hannover is contributing its expertise in the fields of engineering and material sciences, and there are also the biological test models of the Foundation of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover and the expertise of the Laser Zentrum Hannover. At present, the researchers are still spread across 18 institutes at eight locations throughout the Hannover region; from 2015, the 300 scientists - including 80 engineers and physicists - will then work under one roof at Stadtfelddamm. "This is unique in Germany, otherwise the Science Council would not have funded the project," Professor Dr. Bitter-Suermann emphasized. "This will give a new boost to application-oriented implant research."

V. i. S. d. P.: Press and Public Relations of the MHH