Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) has formally opened its new, state-of-the art research center, located at the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, Iowa.

The 52,000-square-foot building is dedicated entirely for research and development. The unique design was created in consultation with the group of BIVI scientists who will work in the new laboratories.

 “This new building allows our scientists to continue to conduct the innovative research that has already resulted in groundbreaking medicines such as Bronchi-Shield ORAL, the first oral bordetella vaccine for dogs, and Ingelvac CircoFLEX, a revolutionary vaccine for the prevention of PCV2 in swine,” said Dr. Albrecht Kissel, president and CEO of BIVI. “We are pleased to continue our relationship with Iowa State University as well as local and state leadership, and to be part of this community, which is considered to be the epicenter for animal health research in the country.”

Created for collaboration

The $22 million research center features an open concept designed for collaboration and interaction among scientists. The first floor is composed of almost 30,000 square-feet of laboratory space, and the second floor houses work spaces and conference rooms. The labs are designed to facilitate a cohesive flow from one area to another. The scientists specifically requested natural light, and both floors accommodate this with large windows in the labs and glass walls in the office areas, allowing researchers to connect with each other while also bringing in sunlight for a more vibrant environment. The space has the potential to accommodate more than 100 scientists conducting research in the five target areas for BIVI: swine, cattle, equine, canine and feline. The second floor includes meeting spaces ranging from small conclave areas for one or two people to a videoconference area, a dining space and a large conference room cantilevered over the building’s lobby.


“This building is unique in that it was specifically designed with a natural flow of bio-containment. The design moves from the most clean area and through to the most contaminated areas,” said Dr. Mike Roof, executive director of biologics research and development and head of the research center. “We have designated molecular areas, designated areas for clean cells, virus and microbiology, as well as some very special pocket labs. The large labs at each end are very open. They are both functional in terms of shared equipment and communication, and also reflect the collaboration theme we have at this site.”

Leaders from government, academia and industry represented

During the facility’s opening ceremony on April 21, Dr. Kissel was joined by Phil Hayes, DVM, vice president of U.S. animal health research and development, and Dr. Roof as well as Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Debi Durham of the Iowa State Economic Development Authority and Mike Crum, Iowa State University vice president of economic development. The Ames Chamber of Commerce conducted a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the building.

“While we are pleased and excited to open this outstanding new building, it is important to recognize our team of world-class scientists who work here,” Roof said. “They now have an ideal environment in which to continue to address the medical needs of all animals, and they contributed greatly to the building’s creation.”