University and Research Center Opened in Tulln – Lower Austrian Soil Plate Awarded!


Tulln as a platform for soil protection in Europe
On September 29, 2011, Governor Dr. Erwin Proell handed over the  Lower Austrian soil plate (see head photo) to the Rector of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Martin Gerzabek, in the presence of Mayor Peter Eisenschenk, Federal Minister Karlheinz Toechterle and Director of Institute Walter Wenzel.

The soil plate is a two-meters' „Lower Austria" board, in which a soil profile taken from the Tulln meadow was engraved.

The Department of Rural Development of the Office of the Lower Austrian Government has successfully stood for qualitative and quantitative soil protection for years. The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences is a strategic counselor of the Lower Austrian Government, and currently plays a crucial part with its expert opinion within the framework of the ETC (European Territorial Cooperation) projects.
Within the framework of the SONDAR projects (Soil Strategy Network in the Danube Region), together with a large number of international partners best-practice examples are implemented, and efforts are made to increase awareness of soil. (
Tulln as an urban municipality displays the largest number of members of the Soil and Land Alliance in all of Europe. For further information on the European Land and Soil Alliance, please click here:
Below you will find some impressions from the opening of the University and Research Center.
(Photo gallery under progress)
The relocation to the Tulln University and Research Center (UFT) offers new perspectives of interdisciplinary cooperation in a chain of research and processes to the concerned working group of the BOKU. Functionally planned high-tech labs, a modern, energy-efficient building, and an attractive environment are distinctive features of the location in Tulln. 
The installation of the Tulln University and Research Center (UFT) is a milestone for the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU). Since 1994, it has been active and successful at the location in Tulln together with the Vienna University of Technology and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna in the Interuniversity Department of Agrobiotechnology (Interuniversity Research Institute for Agrobiotechnology, IFA Tulln).

Research benefits from synergies
The UFT opens up a further dimension of cooperation with additional approx. 150 BOKU scientists at the location of Tulln. Up to now the cooperation of the Tulln IFA (approx. 130 co-workers) with the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt and the Technology Center Tulln within the framework of the "Tulln Technopol" has increasingly been a matter of course, now in addition a reinforced networking with the AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) is achieved on account of spatial proximity.

On a total of approx. 15,000 m² of space, scientific working groups of the BOKU Vienna and the AIT deal with the fields of bioresources, regrowing raw materials and bio-based technologies, namely in a building with low energy standard and many technical innovations, which "invites for research, but also for communication", states Rector of the BOKU, Martin Gerzabek.
The expansion of research resources and future-oriented research conditions, as well as the installation of two Christian Doppler labs (modern chemistry and analytics of cellulose and analytics of allergenic food) provide for increased synergies between the research groups of BOKU, IFA, and AIT, as well as close scientific interactions with company partners. The UFT will focus on research; the modern labs, however, can also be used for lectures, especially for master and PhD courses.

Scientific aims of the UFT
Martin Gerzabek is convinced that "the UFT represents an institution with international impact leading in Central Europe, which makes an essential contribution to the development of highly qualified research with attractive partners of research and industry". The expansion of cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, and the Interuniversity Department of Agrobiotechnology (IFA), and the continuation of the Center of Excellence Wood (Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH, Wood K+) are guarantors for achieving this ambitious aim.

As is known, central topics of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, the university of life, are safeguarding life quality and saving resources. The main points of research at the UFT comprise the development of resource-oriented technologies on the basis of renewable raw materials, as well as the exploration of the basic bio-resources (soil, plants, micro-organisms). Renewable raw materials are a perspective for the future of economy, and facilitate the development of regional cycles with short transport distances. Also the master course in sustainable raw materials, which is implemented together with the Technical University Munich and the University of Life Weihenstephan (G), focuses on this topic.

The establishment of the UFT has been subsidized by the Province of Lower Austria and the town of Tulln; the federal government supports the project by means of financing from the basic financing (service agreement) of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).