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Boehringer Ingelheim has laid the foundation stone for its European Veterinary Research Center in Hanover.

The research-driven pharmaceutical company is investing more than €40 million in the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Research Center (BIVRC). In the first development phase, around 50 people will be involved in developing innovative vaccines. Further staff increases are planned later. Staff are due to move into the Veterinary Research Center at the end of 2011 when operations will go on stream; the scientific work is scheduled to begin in 2012.

"We are confident that Hanover is the right location in light of the scientific environment in which we as a research-driven company feel very comfortable; we also hope that our BIVRC will enrich it further," commented Dr Engelbert Günster, Country Manager Germany at Boehringer Ingelheim, justifying the decision in favour of Hanover as the new, fourth German site. Boehringer Ingelheim already has sites in Ingelheim am Rhein, Biberach an der Riss and Dortmund in Germany.

The key factor which swayed the decision in favour of this site was the closeness to the University of Veterinary Medicine, one of the leading veterinary research facilities in Europe.

"We hope that the short distances and direct contact between the staff of both facilities will encourage mutual research and an exchange of research results, thus generating productive synergies," stressed Dr Randolph Seidler, head of Animal Health Research and Development worldwide.

Following extensive site preparations, construction work was begun as soon as the approval was granted. In the last few months, most of the foundations have been completed and the first walls of the ground floor erected. With the help of three cranes, it proved possible to work at several places at once, thus ensuring that the tight deadline can be met.

"Both the municipal and regional authorities subjected our applications to intensive review and set extremely high standards," emphasised Friedolin Nöker, project leader. "The cooperation was always constructive and to the point. In this respect, too, we have certainly chosen the right site.

" Boehringer Ingelheim is building an ultra-modern research centre in Hanover which will house 50 laboratories with animal accommodation facilities. The family-owned company hopes this will help properly establish its research and development activities in animal vaccines for food-producing animals in Europe and boost its international profile. Worldwide, the company is developing drugs for animal health at four sites in the USA, Germany, Mexico and Japan. To this end, Boehringer Ingelheim continues to invest more than eleven percent of net sales of the Animal Health Division in Research & Development.