The state secretary of the Baden-Württemberg Science Ministry, Dr. Dietrich Birk, brought good news when he visited the University of Hohenheim: the Baden-Württemberg Impulse programme will provide an additional 16.5 million euros for the rehabilitation of the biology building and the State Institute of Agricultural Chemistry at the University of Hohenheim – both of which are central buildings required by the life science priorities within the food chain framework.
Funding from the BW Impulse programme will relieve the pressure on the necessary renovation works at the state’s universities and represent additional funding to the 2007/2008 budget. In comparison with the original biennial budget, the nine state universities will have an additional 60 million euros at their disposal for building work. “With this programme, we hope to boost building works that will strengthen the science location of Baden-Württemberg,” said State Secretary Dr. Birk speaking to journalists this morning. Dr. Birk had previously spoken with the rector of Hohenheim University, Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Liebig. The Baden-Württemberg Research Council had already evaluated the life sciences and given its recommendation to strengthen the life sciences as well as reinforcing collaboration with the field of medicine. The rector reacted positively to the news. “Thanks to the historical setting of Hohenheim Castle, which houses the University of Hohenheim, we have one of the most beautiful university campuses in Germany, but we also face the problems associated with historical buildings, which means that we are only able to meet the requirements of modern science by constantly renovating and modernizing the existing buildings,” said Liebig.The extra funds have been earmarked for the renovation of the biology building and the State Institute of Agricultural Chemistry. “This will particularly strengthen the Hohenheim life sciences, which depend hugely on the research laboratories in these buildings,” said the rector. The Hohenheim life sciences focus in particular on nutrition sciences within the framework of the food chain, in which agricultural scientists, food technologists and nutrition experts are studying nutrition and health, including aspects of food production, food processes and medical effects. The State Secretary’s visit also focused on Hohenheim University’s increasing networking activities with other universities in the region, in particular in the area of nutrition medicine, in which scientists from the University of Hohenheim are working in close cooperation with the University and University Hospital of Tübingen. Last year, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the University of Hohenheim expanded this particular area with the establishment of a specific research fund with a purse of three million euros in cooperation with the University of Tübingen and Tübingen’s University Hospital. State Secretary Dr. Birk was delighted that the Impulse funding will soon bear fruit: “It seems that we will shortly be able to declare a successful outcome to a research project emanating from a political impulse,” remarked Prof. Dr. Liebig without giving too much away. “With this in mind, it becomes clear that the Impulse programme is useful and necessary in order to achieve success in other areas.