12 October 2017

Inauguration of Copenhagen Plant Science Centre


The large-scale research initiative Copenhagen Plant Science Centre is inaugurated Thursday 12 October 2017. The centre will ensure Danish plant research a place in the international league of plant sciences.

On Thursday 12 October 2017, the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre opens its doors in Frederiksberg – a building that seen from above resembles a plant cell. The research centre is part of a major initiative from the University of Copenhagen to create new knowledge within plant research.

“On the strength of plant research, we have the opportunity to create knowledge and a basis for solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges – for example, food safety and food production, medicines and new, green sources of energy," says Prorector for Research and Innovation at the University of Copenhagen Thomas Bjørnholm, who is also one of the initiators of the centre.

The Copenhagen Plant Science Centre will be leading in laboratories and new technologies which can analyse and identify the constituents of plants. It shows an ambition to bring the University of Copenhagen's plant research in league with international top research centres such as the John Innes Centre in England and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

“We must strengthen the environment around plant research and be a one point of entry that is deeply specialised in plant biology research. In the future, plant-based foods will only become more important, and we must improve plants’ properties by making crops healthier and better at exploiting natural resources. This requires more knowledge about how plants' genes work,” says Svend Christensen, Head of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen Plant Science Centre has already hired a number of international scientists specialised in, among other things, photosynthesis, plant RNA, food traceability, plant development and constituents; the scientists are to uncover new knowledge about plants' lives and function.

The building was designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, who have also designed, for example, Axel Towers and the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen. The atrium inside the cell is built to ensure close ties between education and research.
The University of Copenhagen has invested DKK 220 million in the construction of the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre.