late 1980s / early 1990s

In the late 1980s / early 1990s the “BioIndustrial Pilot Plant” was built at the Institute of Applied Microbiology in cooperation with Chemie Linz. The plant was designed as a semi-industrial facility for education, training and development of biotechnological processes.


In 2000 the Pilot Plant as a fermentation facility was adapted to full GMP compliance by Polymun Scientific, founded by Prof. Hermann Katinger. Until 2011 the Pilot Plant was continuously used under certain GMP regulations. With the relocation of Polymun Scientific to Klosterneuburg, the facility of 950 m2 with installation costs of approx. € 4 Million was delivered to the BOKU/DBT.

The implementation and adaptation for teaching, training and research activities was enabled by significant funding of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research of the Republic of Austria (BMBWF) by the so-called MINT-initiative (federal initiative to strengthen education in technical disciplines). With this funding the infrastructure was modernized to provide technical equipment for profound teaching and practical courses for our students in semi-industrial scale and additional capacity for industrial trainings for the industry and start-ups.


In 2013 the existing facility with its infrastructure – bioreactors and media vessels for microbials and mammalian cell culture in the scale from 30 to 200 L - was modernized by upgrading to an industrial standard process control system (Siemens PCS7) as well as modern process sensors and analyzers. This GAMP 5 conform process control system allows flexibility in different process operation, feed strategies, cultivation strategies, and the batch program is based on the ISA-88 standard with an integrated audit trail system.


In 2016 the facility was expanded by two cell culture bioreactors, 15 and 100 L culture volume, as part of a research project together with a European company specialized in civil and industrial construction, engineering and services.


In 2021 the “BioIndustrial Pilot Plant” was detached from the Department of Biotechnology and incorporated into the BOKU Core Facilities. Nevertheless, there is a close connection with the Department of Biotechnology and especially with the Institute of Bioprocess Science and Engineering.