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New Medical Discovery Centre Powering Ahead In Parkville

27 June 2022

Australia’s first collaborative, hospital-based biomedical engineering research centre is beginning to take shape thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today visited the site of the new Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD) at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy – part of the Parkville precinct as demolition gets underway.

Much like the original Aikenhead building served as a home for future nurses, the ACMD will accommodate a dedicated teaching facility to nurture future clinical, nursing, allied health and biomedical research innovators and leaders.

After Hours Assistant Director of Nursing Barbara Stevens has worked for St Vincent’s for 35 years and lived in the Aikenhead building in the 1970s while she trained as a nurse – and will soon return to train the next generation of nurses.

The old wing, first opened in 1960, will be taken down floor by floor over a series of weeks, starting from July, and is expected to be fully demolished by mid-November.

Backed by $60 million from the Victorian Government and $30 million from the Commonwealth Government, the new centre will support more than 300 jobs and will include 3D printing laboratories, a kinetics lab and rooms for sensitive hearing and vision technologies.

It will also be home to engineering workshops to produce medical device prototypes and robotics for fast-tracked clinical trials and attract global research talent to Victoria.

ACMD will see St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, the Bionics Institute, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne University of Technology, Australian Catholic University and the University of Wollongong Australia all under the one roof for collaborative research.

Set to open in 2024 in the Parkville precinct, the $206 million facility will foster collaboration and enhance Victoria’s bioengineering research capabilities.

The Labor Government has invested $1.3 billion in medical research since 2014, including up to $400 million for the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease.

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

“This new facility will deliver scientific discoveries, create jobs, attract investment and support scientific breakthroughs right here in Victoria.”

Quote attributable to Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler

“The new Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery is beginning to take shape and will be an asset for Victorian healthcare innovators and leaders. It will support hundreds of jobs and showcase the latest technologies.”

Quote attributable to St Vincent’s Hospital CEO Angela Nolan

“ACMD will be a landmark building of global significance that will place us at the forefront of biomedical research.”

Quote attributable to St Vincent’s After Hours Assistant Director of Nursing Barbara Stevens

“I can still clearly remember the first day I arrived at Aikenhead. Walking down the corridor to my room, we were all so excited but a little nervous too, as it was our first time living away from home.”

Reviewed 28 June 2022

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