A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hamburg Advanced Research Centre for Bioorganic Chemistry (HARBOR) was held Thursday (December 21, 2017) at the Bahrenfeld research campus. The building will provide the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences at the University of Hamburg with infrastructure for experiments with ultra-short time resolution on molecular biological systems. The aim is to develop methods for triggering and controlling processes in individual molecules using light and to make them transparent. The research complex is due to be handed over to the University of Hamburg in mid 2020.
Focus on molecular biology
HARBOR has emerged from the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) at the University of Hamburg. HARBOR will bring researchers in physics, physical chemistry and biochemistry together to examine the temporal behaviour of molecular biological systems. The long-term goal is to achieve a scientifically accurate model of live cells. Nine groups of 130 employees including 120 scientists in the departments of spectroscopy/imaging, structural molecular biology, synthetic chemistry and theory will work at HARBOR.
Strengthening Hamburg as a centre of knowledge
Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality, said: “The new HARBOR building is an important part of our strategy to push the development of the Bahrenfeld research campus as an international science park. Scientists can find the best conditions and infrastructure here. That means we learn more about mechanisms in human cells and gain a better understanding of the origin and procedure of illnesses.”
Sprinkenhof GmbH has been tasked with constructing HARBOR as a tenant-lessor model at a cost of around EUR 32 million. The German government is providing EUR 13.75 million for the building and EUR 2.6 million for large equipment and the initial setup.