Copenhagen keen on bio centre

July 26, 1996

The University of Copenhagen has unveiled plans to create a large bio-technological research centre to open at the start of the next millenniium.

To be located next to the University Hospital, the centre requires financial support of some DKr1 billion (Pounds 110 million),which must come from the Danish government, county authorities and private companies. The university itself expects to employ 13 scientists in new positions and use several million Danish kroner on post-graduate students, information and associated investments.

"All we need is for someone to pay for the bricks and mortar," says Kjeld Mollgaard, the university's rector. "The centre will be in a strong position in both research and education, bringing Denmark on a par with the best in Europe - Berlin and Holland."

Minister of Research Frank Jensen says he has great respect for the university's plans. "I'm quite certain that there are funds for this project in the research councils under the Ministry of Research and elsewhere," he adds.

Most of the funding must come from the Ministry of Education. Mr Mollgaard says: "I believe that the Ministry of Education will give its support. Our existing bio-technological institute is too small. Now it has the opportunity to improve Danish research, education and business community at the same time."

There is also support from the Copenhagen hospitals directorate which runs the University Hospital: the directorate is providing funds as well as the grounds where the planned bio-technological centre will be built.

"If we want foreign businesses to invest in Denmark and support our own bio-technological companies, then this bio-tech centre is the right thing," says Rolf Larssen, director of Copenhagen Capacity, a group established by the counties in greater Copenhagen to promote investment in the area.

Researchers will look into all forms of micro-organisms; cells and molecules that can fight diseases; environmental improvements; energy production and industrial production; and softer bio-technological subjects. The first scientists are expected to specialise in ethics and law in bio-technology.

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