Movement at the old trade fair: The city of Leipzig receives around 14,7 million euros in funding from the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport (SMWA) for the construction of the new innovation center in the former exhibition hall 12 (»Soviet Pavilion«). Economics Minister Martin Dulig today handed over the funding notice to Leipzig's Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung, Economic Mayor Clemens Schülke and Kai Thalmann, Managing Director of LGH Leipziger Gewerbehof GmbH & Co. KG.
The subsidy from GRW funds (joint task »Improvement of the regional economic structure«) will be used for the reconstruction of the southern, third part of the former exhibition hall. In doing so, both the historical building as a whole and the cubature are to be preserved in essential parts.
Hall 12 is divided into three sections. First: the completed city archive, second: the Office for Youth and Family and Office for Schools – currently under construction – and now third: the new BioTech Innovation Center. Attractive rental, office and laboratory space as well as co-working and conference rooms will be built there on around 10.000 square meters of usable space by 2026. There will also be a founders' meeting point as a contact and meeting place for rented companies and surrounding research institutions.
Leipziger Gewerbehof GmbH & Co. KG (LGH), a subsidiary of the City of Leipzig, is investing a total of more than 62 million euros in the innovation center. In order to make this investment possible at all, it needs funding from the Free State and also from the city of Leipzig: On December 14, 2022, the council decided to strengthen the company with a capital contribution of 7,39 million euros. LGH is financing the rest of the investment with equity and debt.
Economics Minister Martin Dulig: »As an up-and-coming biotechnology and life science location, Leipzig is attractive for science, research and companies. An innovative cluster with enormous appeal has established itself here. Therefore, the promotion of the innovation center on the site of the old trade fair is very important in terms of industrial and technology policy. It shows that the Free State is continuing the success story of biotechnology and investing in the life sciences. This secures the jobs of the future. The center is another important building block for Leipzig on the way to becoming Europe's leading research and development location in the field of life sciences and biotechnology.«
Mayor Burkhard Jung: »With the support of the state of Saxony and our contribution, we can complete Hall 12 as a whole. I am particularly pleased that the urban project development can be brought to a conclusion. This is how we succeed in developing the city archive, a modern administration location and an innovation center under the roof of a listed former exhibition hall. The transformation of the old Hall 12 is therefore an important building block in the transformation of the old trade fair center into a lively quarter in the heart of our city.«
Economic Mayor and Chairman of the LGH Supervisory Board, Clemens Schülke: »After hardware stores and car dealerships, with this investment we are focusing on the core idea of the city council: converting the old trade fair center into a biotope for life sciences, the BioCity Campus. At the doorstep of cell therapy and biodiversity research centers, we are implanting a place where knowledge can grow into life-changing business models. True to our vision: 'Leipzig for LifeChangers'.
Our municipal industrial estate company provides practical business support for getting started in the life science business, which often takes a lot of staying power before products are developed and approved. Our accelerator program Medical Forge from biosaxony alone attracts eight start-ups every year, many of which would like to stay. But, Leipzig is sold out: free laboratory space is scarce.
In the Innovation Center we offer flexible office and laboratory space at a reasonable budget for start-ups. Private investment is also still important to enable successful companies to grow.«
LGH Managing Director Kai Thalmann: »The high, unserviceable demand for laboratory and office space that has persisted for years can be countered in the future by an attractive offer right next to BIO CITY and BioCube. In addition to the SMWA, our thanks also go to the city council, which has expanded the necessary equity base of LGH with the decision to make a cash contribution. This means that the revitalization of the listed hall, which started in 2016 with the city archive, can now be completed as the new heart of the old trade fair.”
The innovation center will later be managed by LGH in the same way as BIO CITY (core of the campus) and BioCube (laboratory and office building).
The life sciences (»Life Sciences«) form an important pillar of the high-tech location Saxony and are of great strategic importance. Also thanks to the significant support of the Free State as part of the biotechnology offensive over the past 20 years, Saxony is now one of the most dynamic regions in Germany in the field of biotechnology. Beginning in 2000, the Free State of Saxony invested almost one billion euros in the development of the life science cluster until 2020. The core sector of life science (biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceuticals) has a total of 15.500 employees in Bavaria and generates a total annual turnover of 1,9 billion euros.
The BIO CITY LEIPZIG building complex, a technology center and incubator close to the inner city, was opened 20 years ago. From this, an entire city district (BioCity Campus) has developed in the vicinity of Deutscher Platz and Zwickauer Strasse, in which research, industry and innovation drivers cooperate closely.
On a total area of 20.000 square meters, companies research and work together with six biotechnologically oriented professorships in the BIO CITY LEIPZIG. On the surrounding BioCity Campus, non-university institutions (including Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), other university institutions (Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv) and buildings constructed for companies (BioCube) enrich the innovative climate. There is a high demand for laboratory space for spin-offs and start-ups as well as settlements, especially in the areas of healthcare, biotechnology and medical technology.
"Leipzig for LifeChangers" is the brand of the city of Leipzig for its biotech and life science industry. It was presented for the first time as part of Europe's largest partnering event in the pharmaceutical sector, BIO-Europe in autumn 2022. As a top life science cluster, Leipzig is a dynamic location for research and start-ups and offers efficient networks, fast approval procedures and a comprehensive research and transfer landscape.
Source: Press release from the SMWA from February 12.07.2023th, XNUMX