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Harald Isemann: Building an Optimal Framework for World-Class Biotechnology Research

by Eleonora Windisch

Administrative Director
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)
Vienna, Austria

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Harald Isemann was named Administrative Director of the privately-funded Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna in February 2004. IMP is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Headed by Prof. Kim Nasmyth, the Institute is a basic biomedical research center and is located within the Campus Vienna BioCenter, a center for molecular biology and genetic research. "My experience working with Technologie Impulse Ltd. (TIG), enabled me to acquire the necessary expertise for my current position at IMP," Mr. Isemann said, adding, "IMP's reputation as one of Europe's leading research institutions made the job offer particularly attractive for me."

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick - all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} Together with the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), founded in 2003, IMP forms the 'IMP-IMBA Genome Research Center,' an initiative launched by Boehringer Ingelheim and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. IMP's primary goal is to conduct innovative basic research in a highly intellectual and international environment. Mr. Isemann's main duties comprise the entire commercial and administrative management of IMP. In addition, he advises the Institute in legal matters. "To create the best possible conditions for an institute that conducts world-class research, that is where I see my role," Mr. Isemann stated. He emphasized that "forging a close cooperation with IMBA will be among my primary tasks."

r. Isemann brings extensive experience in science and research to IMP. From 1998 until February 2004, he was the managing director of TIG, a state-owned science and technology funding agency that works as an interface between public research and the private sector. "By working for TIG I got to know the Austrian Science scene very well," Mr. Isemann said. At TIG, Mr. Isemann helped develop and oversee programs aimed at funding research and technology and at intensifying scientific cooperation.

Mr. Isemann was instrumental in promoting and designating so-called competence, or K-plus-centers, throughout Austria. Scientists interact directly with members from private industries at these centers thereby creating innovative, transferable and realizable projects. Managing these programs required a high degree of flexibility and management skills, skills which Mr. Isemann will be able to translate directly to IMP.

rom the very start of the program, he said he realized that quality was the key issue. "Austria's position on the international innovation scale is not remarkable," Mr. Isemann said recently, "and a lot of catching up is needed." According to Mr. Isemann, universities possess a tremendous potential of knowledge, which has not been yet translated sufficiently into commercial opportunities in the Austrian economy. At a recent interview for the GEWINN-Jungunternehmer-Wettbewerb 2003, Mr. Isemann underlined that "permanent innovation was the key to gaining a competitive edge." However, forging cooperation and building networks were just as essential.

efore joining TIG, Harald Isemann held positions in the cabinet of the Minister for Science and Transportation, the State Secretariat for European Affairs in the Federal Chancellery, the Austrian National Bank, and at the Directorate General for Economics and Finance at the European Commission in Brussels.

Harald Isemann was born in Vienna in 1969. He studied Economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Related links
Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) http://www.imp.univie.ac.at/
Campus Vienna BioCenter http://www.at.embnet.org/vbc/
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) http://www.imba.oeaw.ac.at/
Technologie Impulse Ltd. (TIG) http://www.tig.or.at/
Austrian Academy of Sciences http://www.oeaw.ac.at/{/access}

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