[ASC-media] WA BIOTECHNOLOGY ON THE MOVE
brendon at iinet.net.au
Fri May 7 14:32:46 EST 2004
SABC Media Release May 7, 2004
WA BIOTECHNOLOGY ON THE MOVE
A Federal Government funding boost for science and innovation may help the
WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (SABC) meet increasing demand
from commercial researchers desperate for laboratory space.
Simply to meet current demand, SABC is planning a $5.5 million, 72
laboratory space extension using scarce university funds, said Director,
Professor Mike Jones.
Weve had to turn away potential researchers due to a shortage of
laboratory space, which shows funding for additional infrastructure is
desperately needed in WA.
The Government has allocated $542 million for a National Collaborative
Research Infrastructure Strategy to provide world-class infrastructure to
Australian researchers and $1 billion to help businesses access innovation
SABC has more than $8 million worth of agricultural biotechnology
infrastructure in its high quality laboratory facilities at Murdoch
University and encourages incubation and development of commercial
Its 225 resident and non-resident scientists conduct basic and applied
molecular research to underpin improved productivity and health in crop
plants and livestock.
Professor Jones said the Government funding would be a much needed boost for
research and development (R&D) and WAs biotechnology industry.
With a combination of researchers from universities, state government and
industry working together in one centre, the SABC is ideally placed to
provide maximum benefit to the community from such funding.
The Government wants to promote commercialisation of R&D and the SABC
exactly fits that criterion, having already supported the establishment of
several commercial ag-biotech companies, including Grain Biotech Australia,
Saturn Biotech and Proteomics International, he said.
WA has a strong biotechnology sector, but needs more facilities, like those
at SABC, which combine public and private research with a strong
Extra funds would be an advantage, not only by funding more high quality
research projects and laboratories, but also by supporting the purchase of
major equipment and platform technologies to give WA a competitive
advantage, Professor Jones said.
The funding could also support the cost of increasing our intellectual
property, by supporting the patenting of new ideas and technologies
developed by WA researchers.
Such patents are usually needed to commercialise results and enable the
community to benefit from research.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Professor Mike Jones, SABC, Tel 08 9360 6116
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