Lower Saxony Center for Biomedical Engineering celebrates topping-out ceremony

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Science Minister: New 61 million euro research center is another milestone / Focus on biomedical technology and implants

At the topping-out ceremony of the Lower Saxony Center for Biomedical Engineering, Implant Research and Development (NIFE), Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić, Minister for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, emphasized the international importance of the state capital Hannover as one of the leading locations for biomedical research and development. "Biomedical engineering and implant research has been a focus of Hannover's universities and the Hannover Laser Center for more than ten years. The ambitious program of the Lower Saxony Center for Biomedical Engineering makes Hannover an international heavyweight in the promising research field of implant research," the minister said at the topping-out ceremony on Thursday.

The construction and initial equipping of the new research center will cost around 61 million euros, of which 53.8 million euros will be financed in equal parts by the state of Lower Saxony and the federal government, and a further 6.5 million euros by the Braukmann-Wittenberg Foundation. The new building is being constructed in the Medical Park on Stadtfelddamm, not far from the MHH. In a laboratory space of 7,000 square meters, researchers from Hannover Medical School (MHH), Leibniz Universität 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 a first-class focal point of interdisciplinary science and offers excellent opportunities for cross-university collaborations in a significant field of research. We are extremely pleased to soon be able to work in this new ambience," said Professor Dr. Christopher Baum, MHH President and Chief Scientific Officer.

NIFE is the first major joint biomedical engineering project of the three Hanover universities, which will offer researchers and developers from all scientific fields an excellently equipped laboratory environment in the new building. Collaborative research centers, the two clusters of excellence REBIRTH and Heraring4all, as well as new research projects, such as the Biofabrication for NIFE project funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, already demonstrate the excellent cooperation in implant research across disciplinary and university boundaries.

"Hannover and Lower Saxony can be proud to be able to launch such a lighthouse project of implant research as an important scientific and subsequently also economic factor here in the Medical Park," emphasized NIFE board spokesman Dr. Manfred Elff.

The collaborative partners are pooling their research expertise in the new building. The MHH is contributing its expertise in the main research areas of biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology/infectiology, Leibniz Universität Hannover is contributing its expertise in the fields of engineering and materials science, 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.