EUR 1.6 million to promote Mainz as a biotechnology hub

Rhineland-Palatinate's Minister for Science and Health, Clemens Hoch, hands over state grant funding approval to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

15 November 2021

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has received a Rhineland-Palatinate state grant to support the implementation of its Integrated Core Facility Concept (IRIC). The funding will go towards establishing and upgrading key technical research infrastructures. These core facilities are intended not only to enhance the reputation of Mainz and JGU as an international excellence center for life sciences, but also to promote the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate as a national and international biotechnology hub. These core facilities provide researchers with easy access to the technology and equipment available at the university. Minister for Science and Health Clemens Hoch now presented the EUR 1.6 million state grant to the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Georg Krausch.

"One of the state government's primary goals is to develop Mainz into a leading location and research center in the field of biotechnology. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz plays a significant role in this endeavor as, for example, it offers access to key technologies in the field of life sciences by providing the necessary equipment and instrumentation – to name just one example," said Minister of Science Clemens Hoch. "The new core facilities are intended to make access to these facilities even more attainable. Enhancing the accessibility and availability of equipment-based research infrastructures will enable further synergies in the field of research beyond the borders of the Gutenberg campus. This will benefit not only the science hub of Rhineland-Palatinate but also young researchers due to the improved academic environment."

The President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Georg Krausch, emphasized the significance of this initiative: "We would like to thank the state government for supporting our integrated research infrastructure concept. JGU as a renowned research university and its neighboring non-university partners will benefit considerably from the establishment of various core facilities, which will provide access to state-of-the-art equipment and new technologies in a high-quality research environment. The establishment and central operation of core facilities provides major advantages for the researchers who want to use them. Furthermore, we also see clear economic benefits – the key word here being cost-efficiency, for example, in the acquisition and maintenance of equipment, while facilitating optimum collaboration and machine usage. Last but not least, there are also new career opportunities for the staff responsible for these facilities with their sophisticated equipment,” the President continued.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz already operates a number of core facilities that are widely recognized within the international research landscape: the Mogon II high-performance computer, the MAMI accelerator, and the TRIGA research reactor, to be joined by the MESA accelerator in the future. The university will use the new state funding to purchase important equipment which will go towards establishing three core facilities in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences: RNAnalytics, the Chemistry Analysis Center (Zentrale Analytik Chemie – ZAC), and Light Microscopy (LMCF). These core facilities will contribute to making even more efficient use of existing research potentials and to accelerating the transfer of knowledge, particularly in the dynamic field of biotechnology. As part of the IRIC concept, JGU will also offer research services to neighboring research institutions. It is also planned to make scientific and technical services available to private-sector companies, so that they can also benefit from the Mainz science hub. This makes Mainz an even more attractive location for biotechnology companies.

The Rhineland-Palatinate state government intends to systematically expand the biotechnology hub in the coming years and to significantly enhance its national and international visibility. Therefore, it has continued its firm support for the life sciences in the past years and will invest at least EUR 100 million over the next decade. This amount shall be doubled by additional federal and private funds. A further EUR 10 million will follow in the form of new priority investments over the current legislature period. With JGU President Professor Georg Krausch as the State Coordinator for Biotechnology, Rhineland-Palatinate can build on a valuable expert of the state's research landscape with an excellent international network.