• Martina Bellasio, PhD, Marketing Manager at CEBINA

Danube (Labs): connecting Central and Eastern Europe


CEBINA has recently launched Danube Labs, a partnership with Evotec to accelerate academic life science research projects sourced from Universities and Research Institutes in Central and Eastern Europe towards commercialization.


Why “Danube” Labs? To answer this question, in this post we would like to take a brief journey through the economic and cultural significance of the Danube River in the history of Europe, which inspired the name of CEBINA’s latest initiative for advancing biotech entrepreneurship.


Panoramic view over the Danube in Vienna


With its 2888 km, the Danube is the river running through the largest number of countries in the world: ten states (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine) and four capitals (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade) lie on its banks. The Danube River Basin is shared by nineteen countries, covering approximately 801,400 square kilometers from the origination of the Danube River in Germany to the Romanian and Ukrainian shores along the Danube Delta and the Black Sea.

Along its course from west to east, the Danube has served as a communication route and a cost-effective mode of transport for centuries for the wide variety of peoples and cultures settled along its banks. These centuries-long exchanges have left behind traces that can still be experienced today in the imposing monasteries and magnificent castles and palaces that can be found along this river.


Danvbivs et Ister: cum Dominio Turcico in Europa, Mihael Kaufer, National Library of Serbia



In the 19th century, the Habsburg Monarchy set itself the task of taming the river and opened up a huge economic and cultural area. In 1870, the regulation work of the Danube began in Vienna and since then, the river soon became a major waterway connecting the various countries of the multi-ethnic empire (1). Waterways have been for centuries not only the most efficient ways to transport for people and goods, but also sources of artistic inspiration, and the Danube has been the subject of numerous songs, legends, poems, and novels. In the Central European culture, the Danube has assumed many historical and mythical forms (2), eventually becoming symbol for Europe itself in the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Rome (3).



Fountain of the Four Rivers, Rome, Italy. To the right, the representation of the Danube



The Danube remains an important international waterway connecting and uniting Central and Eastern Europe countries. Since CEBINA, together with its partner Evotec, is focusing its scouting activities on Central and Eastern to turn high-quality life academic research projects into innovative therapies, we believe it is an ideal name to describe this exciting project.



For more information about Danube Labs, the partnership between CEBINA and Evotec, please visit www.danubelabs.eu



To know more about the history and significance of the Danube River, you can visit the exhibition “The Danube. A journey into the past”, held at the Austrian National Library until the 11th November 2021

https://www.onb.ac.at/en/museums/state-hall/current-exhibition/the-danube-a-journey-into-the-past



(1): Looking at half a millennium of co-existence: the Danube in Vienna as a socio-natural site, Winiwarter et al, 2013 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12685-013-0079-x

(2): The Danube - Symbol for an integrating Europe, Plassnik, 2007 https://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/the-ministry/press/news/2007/plassnik-the-danube-symbol-for-an-integrating-europe/

(3): https://www.europeana.eu/de/exhibitions/the-danube-connecting-europe/the-danube-through-time