Phenomics Australia included in $15 Million NSW Infrastructure Funding Boost

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A new cutting-edge bioreactor to scale up stem cells and stem cell-derived disease models is one of 10 projects sharing in a multimillion-dollar funding injection into the state’s strategic research infrastructure.

The $575,000 grant will support the purchase of a bioreactor system as part of an overall $1.6 million investment towards the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s Innovation Centre’s Stem Cell Production Facility, a partner site of Phenomics Australia.

This initiative will enhance the scale and production of stem cells, facilitate the creation of more complex disease models, provide staff training, and support the development and optimisation of induced pluripotent stem cell production.

The new bioreactor is funded through the NCRIS Support Program, which is a competitive program to enable the delivery of, and equitable access to, NSW-based essential research and innovation infrastructure that is funded under the Commonwealth Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

A total of $15.2 million over two years from the NSW Government’s NCRIS Support Program has been invested in cutting-edge research and development facilities.

The Commonwealth Government announced $650 million over four years to fund 80 projects across 15 NCRIS facilities. All projects align to the Commonwealth Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. Eight of these facilities will also receive funding from the NSW Government under the NCRIS Support Program to support 10 projects. Together, this increases the scale of infrastructure investment and capability in NSW.

Since the Commonwealth Government established the NCRIS Program in 2006-07, the NSW Government has now provided more than $65 million to NSW-based NCRIS facilities through the Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer.

A recent return-on-investment analysis by Lateral Economics estimated the benefits derived from NCRIS at $7.50 for every dollar of investment.

Further details of the 10 NSW NCRIS projects receiving funding can be found on the NCRIS Support Program webpage.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Hugh Durrant-Whyte said:

“We recognise the vital role NCRIS facilities play in supporting the state’s research and development sector. These facilities enable the most advanced research and commercialisation opportunities to happen right here in NSW. These activities are a critical driver for innovation in the state’s economy.”

Head of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre, Dr Jacek Kolanowski said:

“The expansion of our capabilities and capacity in the Stem Cell Production Facility will allow us to broaden our service delivery. This will benefit not just researchers, but start-ups and industry.”

Phenomics Australia provides a national centre of expertise and service provision to deploy a more comprehensive and sophisticated range of in vitro Genome Engineering and Disease Modelling capabilities to understand the functional consequences of DNA sequence variation in the human genome for health and disease while maintaining the expertise for in vivo disease modelling and genome engineering. To meet the high demand for adaptable and scalable disease-modelling platforms for improved diagnosis, Precision Medicine for genetic disorders, and therapeutic development by both academia and the biopharmaceutical industry, Phenomics Australia offers In Vitro services through a collaborative consortium of ten laboratories and facilities across Australia, operating at ANU (ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery), Perkins (Translational Cancer Research Program in Oncology), Monash (Monash Organoid Program & Monash Genome Modification Platform), MCRI (iPSC derivation & Gene Editing Facility), Peter Mac (Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics), UMelb (Centre for Stem Cell Systems & Stem Cell Disease Modelling Laboratory), UQ (In vitro Genome Engineering and Disease Modelling Service), and VCCRI (Stem Cell Production Facility iPSC Reprogramming Service)

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