… from the quarantine house to the high class biocluster

A connection between the area of St. Marx and the life sciences can be traced far back in history.

In the Middle Ages, pests represented an enormous problem for public health. To prevent imminent danger, infected people were quarantined and treated in this very area, which at that time was far outside the city. The quarantine house of the Order of Saint Lazarus dedicated a chapel to Saint Marcus, which subsequently gave the hospital and the area its name. Over the centuries Marc became Marx.

In the 18th century a meat market developed in the area, but in 1850 it was transformed by another public health measure, the creation of a central slaughterhouse for Vienna.

Since 1988, the Vienna Biocenter (VBC) has been developing into one of the most outstanding and prominent life sciences hubs not only in Austria but also in the Central European Region. With the founding of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in 1985 the nucleus for the VBC was established. Very quickly a University building went up next door and five departments were relocated there. In 1998, the VBC spin-off company Intercell (now Valneva) was founded. Subsequently, the Austrian Academy of Sciences founded two new research institutes, IMBA and GMI, situated next door to the IMP.

The VBC has continued to rapidly develop and now includes more than 30 complementary players in the life sciences. Since access to state of the art infrastructure has become an important and decisive element for cutting edge research, the VBC developed a vision for communal use of infrastructure. As a result, in 2010, the new Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF) with a comprehensive range of new technologies was set up with substantial financial support from the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research and the City of Vienna.

The VBC continues the Viennese tradition of diversity and will strive to continue its impressive development by building on its most prized assets: the ingenuity of its people by providing them with an attractive work place.

VBC milestones


Arndt von Haeseler becomes director of MFPL

Opening Ceremony new IMP building by President Van der Bellen and Emanuelle Charpentier


Thermo Fisher Scientific acquires Affymetrix eBioscience

Founding of the Vienna Doctoral School “Molecules of Life” at MFPL

5 years anniversary VBCF

15 years anniversary GMI

Completion of new IMP building


Groundbreaking for new IMP building

US-based Horizon Discovery acquires Haplogen Genomics

Relocation of INITS Business Incubator to VBC

Apeiron Biologicals enters cooperation with Evotec and Sanofi to develop cancer immunotherapies


MFPL Symposium on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Nobel Laureate Max F. Perutz


Intercell and Vivalis fuse to form Valneva

Jan-Michael Peters becomes director of IMP

10 years anniversary of AFFiRiSFH Campus WienIMBA and MFPL


Completion of the Marx Box

US-based Affymetrix acquires eBioscience

Successful participation of the VBC in the nation-wide “Long Night of Research”

VBCF – Child Care service expands to include the Media Quartier


Relocation of the University of Applied Sciences (FH Campus Wien) to the Marx Box

10 years anniversary of GMI


Founding of the Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF – formerly Campus Support Facilities) with public funding by federal government and city of Vienna of up to 52 Mio € by 2020

Vienna Biocenter Summer School for talented undergraduates established

Apeiron Biologics concluded deal with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals


Establishment of the day care center for campus children

Magnus Nordborg joins GMI as scientific director

Organisation of the EU-project “European Researchers Night” in the Marx Halle (formerly Rinderhalle)

US-based eBioscience establishes its center of excellence for immunoassays by acquisition of Bender Med Systems


Completion of the Solaris building (lab and office area of 9,000 sqm) and start of construction work of the Marx Box

20 years anniversary of IMP celebrated with scientific conference at Hofburg Conference Center

AFFiRiS concluded business-deal with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals


Start of construction work for laboratory building CVBC 3

Graham Warren joins MFPL as director


Barry Dickson becomes director of IMP

Austrian Academy of Sciences opens the Life Sciences Centre Vienna hosting IMBA and GMI

Opening of the Vienna Open Lab at IMBA as a joint initiative of Open Science and IMBA


Founding of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) as joint venture of Medical University of Vienna and University of Vienna

IPO of Intercell at the Viennese stock exchange

Diagnostics company Bender MedSystems opened an office in the US


Completion of laboratory building CVBC 2


Establishment of two institutes of the Austrian Academy of Sciences on the Campus (IMBA with founding director Josef Penninger and GMI with founding director Dieter Schweizer)

Founding of AFFiRiS


Founding of University of Applied Sciences (FH Campus Wien) in Biotechnology at the Campus


Relocation of six biotech companies to the Campus (e.g. Genosense, VBC Genomics)

Founding of the Campus Vienna Biocenter Association


Relocation of Bender MedSystems to the Campus


Founding of Intercell as a spin-off of the University of Vienna and IMP


Kim Nasmyth becomes director of IMP

Founding of the initiative „Gentechnik & Wir“ (now Open Science)


Founding of VBC PhD Programme


Relocation of five university departments to the Campus (now MFPL)


Opening of IMP with founding director Max Birnstiel