Austria banks on clusters

Small country hopes to punch above its weight in bioscience by promoting cooperation

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.com)
May 19, 2004

Austria may be a small European country, but it hopes to make big scientific and economic gains in biotechnology by promoting the cooperation of basic and applied research in regional clusters.

Following in the footsteps of the successful Vienna Region Biotech Cluster—which links leading institutes of four of Vienna's universities with the research-orientated Institute of Molecular Pathology—the southern Austrian province of Styria has set out ambitious plans to establish a human technology cluster.

Klaus Groschner, associate professor at Graz University's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Styria, said that he was convinced the formation of a human technology cluster could generate breakthroughs in fields such as tissue engineering and biomembrane and biocatalysis research.

“I have noticed a huge improvement in the quality of research in biomembranes since scientists from different disciplines began working together, and I would expect the creation of a cluster to lead to a similar...

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