Among the grand historical buildings of Vienna, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the city's best days are lost in history. But the Austrian capital is an important hub – it's the center of Europe's modern biotechnology and life sciences sector.
Austria has historically been known for innovation – from producing classical composers and great thinkers like Sigmund Freud – and over the last decade and a half the city has reinvented itself.
But as Vienna's life science companies continue to grow, the very sector that the city has worked so hard to build risks falling behind rivals across the Atlantic in the U.S.
"When the companies get larger they fall in a hole of financing and this is where we have to get better," Josef Penninger, head of Vienna's Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) and co-founder of Apeiron Biologics, told CNBC in an interview. The biotech company is based in Vienna and focuses on treating cancer.
"In America, investors have lots of money flowing in and those investors know they can invest in 10 companies with one or two making it. But we don't have people with deep enough pockets and it's not tradition in Europe for someone to finance 10 companies if eight of them are going down."