Why will a new home be built for the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)?

Science Policy Background

ZMT has been a member of the Leibniz Association (WGL) since 2009 and is funded by the federal government, the state of Bremen and the state community. When the Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) evaluated ZMT in 2006, which led to its admission to the Leibniz Association, it recommended a new building for the institute as a long-term goal.

In the evaluation of ZMT by the Leibniz Senate in 2013, the recommendation to build a new building was upheld.

The Scientific Advisory Board of ZMT has also repeatedly spoken out in favour of a new ZMT building in its annual evaluations of the institute.

(Current) Situation

The number of employees at ZMT has more than doubled since 2009 and most recently came to 160 (as of April 2023).

ZMT is currently spread across four rented buildings (Fahrenheitstr. 6 with annexe, 8, 10 and Wiener Straße 7) and also has a warehouse (Hochschulring 40), which in many respects means a lot of administrative and organisational work, as well as costs for travel and transport.

Communication, cooperation and creativity suffer from the spatial separation of departments and working groups, and business processes are impaired.

How does the new building benefit the State of Bremen and ZMT?

In the implementation agreement for the Joint Sceince Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz GWK) agreement on the joint funding of the member institutions of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Science Association, the Joint Science Conference assumes that a Leibniz institution will be housed in a property owned by the host state.

The new building will not only improve the ZMT's spatial situation, but the institute will also be housed in a state-owned property in the future.

For ZMT, the new building is essential for its further scientific and personnel development (we envision a growth to up to 250 employees) and thus for securing its future viability.

The new building not only represents a spatial improvement by covering space requirements, but will also be the basis for the expansion and intensification of inter- and transdisciplinary projects. Under one roof processes and procedures are optimised for efficient collaboration and the promotion of cooperation and creativity.

What does the planned new building comprise?

ZMT is planning the construction of a new functional building to cover urgently needed additional office, laboratory and storage capacities and to bring together the employees at one site since they are currently spread across a total of five locations.

  • Accommodation of all ZMT employees in one building
  • Adequate infrastructure, equipment, supplies and technology as well as fully functional security, warning and fallback systems
  • Expansion of the gross floor area to about 9,000 sqm
  • Room standards: changeable, barrier-free, expandable
  • Rooms that...
  • ...do justice to the interdisciplinary and cooperative approach of ZMT,
  • ...make the values (transparency, openness, commitment, reliability, appreciation) tangible
  • ...support the role as a central platform for the exchange of stakeholders.
  • Ensure that ZMT is housed in a state-owned property free of charge (in accordance with the statutes of the Leibniz Association).

Where is the new ZMT building located?

The new ZMT home is to be built on the corner of Otto-Hahn-Allee / Ecke Konrad-Zuse-Straße in the district Horn-Lehe (Technology Park)

 Grundstück Otto Hahn Allee

View of the site at the corner of Otto-Hahn-Allee / Konrad-Zuse-Straße

How high are the costs for the new building?

According to a feasibility study commissioned by the Ministry of Science from HIS-Hochschulentwicklung in 2014 and the cost benchmark for university buildings of the Conference of Ministers of Construction, the total costs amount to 34.8 million euros.

Who carries the costs for the new building?

Half of the costs of 34.8 million euros are borne by the federal government and the other half by the state of Bremen, thus meeting the request of the federal government and the other states for free accommodation of ZMT. According to current plans, the building is to be handed over to ZMT in April 2027. 

Who is involved in the ZMT New Building project?

ZMT is the principal builder (Bauherr) and is being supported in the new building by the Bremen law firm Ganten Hünecke Bieniek & Partner, which specialises in building and tenancy law, and by the experienced architectural firm Schwanewedel | Bollmann | Frenz | Ehm.

The company Drees & Sommer is responsible for project management and control. The object planning was entrusted to the architectural design firm SWAP Architekten, which specialises in climate-friendly construction. In the science policy context of the State of Bremen, the two units responsible in Department 2 (Universities and Research) - are Referat 21 - Universities and Higher Education Policy - and Referat 22 - Science Planning and Research Funding.

Within the ZMT there is also a project group New Building ZMT, consisting of the management (Nicolas Dittert and Raimund Bleischwitz), which is competently accompanied and actively supported by experienced colleagues:

Christian Brandt (Head of Technical Services), Elke Kasper (Communications and Public Spaces), Silvia Hardenberg and Donata Monien (MAREE and Laboratories), Janine Reinhard ("Future Work"), Andrea Daschner (Press and Public Relations), Bernd Görtler (Operational Safety), Fabian Hüge (Works Council).

The project group meets regularly for two hours every fortnight on Fridays for its jour fixe.