Aarhus University Seal

AU Research Foundation supports new neurocenter with a 75 million grant

With a large grant from the Aarhus University Research Foundation, a crucial step has been taken towards realizing a new brain research center that will put Aarhus on the map.

The construction of a new headquarters for Danish NeuroscienceCenter is expected to be finished in 2027. Photo: Søren Kjeldgaard

Aarhus University and the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) have decided to contribute 75 million DKK to realize the new headquarters of the Danish Neuroscience Center (DNC), which will be located at Aarhus University Hospital.

In celebration of the grant, AU and AUFF invited initiators, invited guests, and the press to a joint event in Aarhus Kommunehospital's old gatekeeper building, Hejmdal, where the focus was on the framework for future neuro research.

Among the speakers were AU Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, Professor and Chairman of DNC Jens Christian Hedemann Sørensen, and Health Dean Anne-Mette Hvas.

"Many thanks to the Aarhus University Research Foundation for this crucial contribution to establishing a fantastic building that can accommodate world-class neuro research here in Aarhus," Anne-Mette Hvas said in her opening remarks.

Significant step towards realizing a vision

The construction that will house the DNC's new headquarters is designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group and will provide the framework for the next major breakthroughs in neuroscience in Aarhus.

The building will connect researchers across academic disciplines with a focus on neurology and psychiatry. The architecture is inspired by the folds of the brain and is intended to create new collaborations and connections between researchers, clinicians, patients, and caregivers.

The Salling Foundations have supported the project with a large three-digit million amount, and according to DNC chairman Jens Christian Hedemann Sørensen, with the contribution from AU and AUFF, a crucial step has been taken towards realizing a research center that will put Aarhus on the map.

"Thanks to the university and the research foundation, who have now dedicated themselves to this project. As humble researchers, we are delighted that this significant step has been taken towards realizing our vision," the chairman said from the podium.

Creating inspiration among people

The new neuroscience center will be approximately 19,000 square meters, and in addition to research activities, the building will also serve as a link to the general public.

For example, an experimental facility will be established where the research center will exhibit and present the latest in brain research.

Furthermore, the architecture is designed to encourage interdisciplinary meetings, explained architect and partner at Bjarke Ingels Group, David Zahle:

"We found that about half of the square meters in a hospital, such as Aarhus University Hospital, are used for corridors, storage rooms, stairwells, and the like. Only half of the area is actually used for research or patient care. We wanted to create a place that inspires the people who visit or work in the center. The main idea behind it all is that we wanted to open up the corridors to create a creative and inspiring meeting place."

Peter Frisgaard Lauridsen, CFO of AUFF, was the one to reveal the size of the million-dollar grant to the Danish Neuroscience Center at Monday's event.

"We are both proud of and excited about the collaboration with Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, as well as the other foundations that have contributed to the project, so that we can ensure the best conditions for neuroscience research here in Aarhus. The fact that it will happen in a beautiful and iconic building makes it even more fantastic," said the CFO.

Learn more about the Danish Neuroscience Center by clicking on the link here.