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Illuminating Investment In Medical Research And Jobs

03 December 2020

Melbourne’s reputation as the capital of innovation and medical research will take another giant leap forward with an Australian-first Genomics Hub to be established at the University of Melbourne.

The Illumina–University of Melbourne Genomics Hub will be the first in the Asia Pacific region and bring together the best genomic expertise and technology in Australia to drive better health research and diagnostics, in areas including infectious diseases such as coronavirus. 

The Hub will give local researchers and innovative businesses access to world-class genomics, bioinformatics and health economics technologies and support analysis of vast amounts of data to better understand the human genome and translate this to new commercial applications.

Located in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, it will benefit from being in the presence of more than 40 world-class biomedical organisations, leading hospitals and clinical research leaders.  It will be a win for jobs with hundreds of medical research staff and interns to be employed, boosting links between industry, research and education. 

The Andrews Labor Government has worked closely with the University of Melbourne and Illumina to secure the $60 million project, which aligns with the State’s International Investment Strategy.

The project is the first of many proposals from universities to secure funding from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund developed in response to the significant impact of the pandemic on Victorian universities.

The Fund will support universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure projects focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the pandemic.  Illumina is a global leader in DNA sequencing and microarray-based solutions based in San Diego – with 22 offices and approximately 7,300 employees across the globe.

Quote attributable to Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas 

“This Australian-first genomics hub will future-proof our position as a national leader in genomic research – harnessing our highly skilled talent, a culture of innovation and our world class universities.” 

Quote attributable to Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney

“This partnership will put Victoria at the forefront of medical research, create jobs and opportunities for businesses, and give students and researchers access to technology and resources not available in any other state.”   

Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford

“Innovation and excellence in research is in Melbourne’s DNA - this complements our recent investments in the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and Australian Institute for Infectious Diseases which will undertake groundbreaking research.”  

Quote attributable to Illumina Chief Executive Officer Francis de Souza

“The University of Melbourne has long been at the forefront of genomics education, and together, we will work to bridge the gap between research innovation and healthcare reality.”

Quote attributable to University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell

“Our partnership with Illumina is bridging the gap between the genomics industry and research, placing Victoria at the forefront of the global genomics revolution to drive workforce development, research translation and the implementation of genomics into routine clinical care.”

Reviewed 03 December 2020

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