Blümel: Planning phase begins for 'Graz Center of Physics'– Federal government investing EUR 354 million Agreement reached on long-term plans between Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, as well as the University of Graz and the Graz University of Technology - lease to start at the beginning of 2030, with space for 3 400 students
Mega project GCP
The Finance Ministry and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research have come to an agreement with the University of Graz as well as the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) on the financial outline of major construction project 'Graz Center of Physics'. As a result, the planning phase can begin, and leasing of the building is scheduled to commence in 2030. "Through this project, we are creating a cluster of excellence in the centre of Graz which will create both scientific and economic synergy effects. In past years, we have rarely had such a long lead time for the realisation of university building projects. However, the Graz Center of Physics is no ordinary university project in terms of its scale. The federal government will bear the total construction costs of EUR 313 million, which are being refinanced through rental payments, as well as the costs of equipping the building, totalling EUR 41 million," explains Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.
The Governor of Styria, Hermann Schützenhofer, is also extremely gratified at the outcome of negotiations: "The Graz Center of Physics is not only an important project for this university city, but also for Styria as a centre of research activity. I am especially pleased that the federal government is making such an impressive sum of money available for this development. On the new shared site, the University of Graz and the Graz University of Technology will in future be able to make better use of synergies. This will increase opportunities for both students and teaching staff, and offer new openings in the collaboration between the scientific community and business. Styria is Austria's top federal state for research, and with the Graz Center of Physics, this position will be further reinforced."
Construction by BIG
The plan is for the Institutes of Physics at the University of Graz and the Graz University of Technology to be combined on a single site in Graz at the beginning of 2030. The Graz Center of Physics is being built by developer BIG, which will also remain the owner of the site. The University of Graz and the Graz University of Technology will use the building from 2029/2030. The costs of construction, totalling around EUR 41 million gross, will be 50% funded by the two universities using their existing global budgets, with the federal government funding the other 50% of costs. Heinz Faßmann, Minister of Education, Science and Research, declares, "The new Center of Physics is an expression of the lived partnership between the Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz. It also reflects a response by federal government to the emphatically science-friendly stance of the Styrian state government, which invests a great deal in science and research."
Federal government to bear long-term additional rental and operating costs
The Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the universities had to secure agreement from the Ministry of Finance for the long-term plans concerning rent and operating costs from 2029. Jointly with the universities and the Education Ministry, extensive long-term plans have been drawn up, and the additional requirement for rent and operating costs for the performance agreement period 2028-2030 has already been set out.
"With the Graz Center of Physics, thanks to the collaboration between federal government, federal state and the universities, a further beacon is being created for the state of Styria as a centre of science and research. The bundling of all physics activities in one location will further strengthen the cooperation between the two biggest universities in Styria. In addition, Graz will become even more visible internationally as a centre of outstanding research," explains Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, Styrian Regional Minister for Science and Research.
The new campus, with a gross surface area of just under 50 000m², will accommodate approximately 3 400 students, thereby making advantages of scale and synergies achievable.