Victoria to build Institute of Infectious Disease to fight pandemics

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Photo by Jaime Moreno on Unsplash

The Andrews Labor Government will deliver the funding needed to secure the development of a new Australian Institute of Infectious Disease in Victoria to lead the fight against future pandemics.

Building on $155 million in funding announced last year, the Labor Government will deliver up to an additional $245 million to get the project off the ground and build the Institute in the heart of the Parkville biomedical precinct, an official press release said.

The $650 million project will also be supported with $250 million from the University of Melbourne and partnering organisations.

It is set to deliver 350 jobs during construction, 850 ongoing jobs at the Institute and has the potential to support up to 5,000 jobs in the biomedical sector.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of backing science and research in getting ahead of outbreaks and keeping people safe—with the Institute designed to deliver everything researchers need to detect, analyse, manage and treat infectious diseases.

The Institute will be the largest centre of expertise in the Southern Hemisphere region and will supercharge the ongoing efforts of the world-leading researchers at Victoria’s universities and medical research institutes. It will also accelerate research into the prevention of future pandemics and rapidly developing treatments.

It will be the new home of the Burnet Institute and, being located next to the Doherty Institute, will also allow the Doherty to expand its research operations.

It will bring together experts from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, the University of Melbourne, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Melbourne-headquartered global biotechnology company CSL, to ensure Victoria and Australia are prepared for future challenges.

The Institute will include next-generation laboratories and high-containment facilities that will help researchers improve our understanding of infectious diseases.

A robotic biobank facility will ensure international best practice for specimen storage in large-scale clinical trials.

The investment adds to the $50 million the Government has put towards building mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability in Melbourne—bolstering the state’s capacity for rapid development of coronavirus vaccines.

Victoria’s medical research institutes support more than 30,000 jobs across institutes, universities and industry and every dollar invested into the sector brings in more than $4.50 in economic activity.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said, “This facility will enable us to protect Victoria and the country against future pandemics—that’s why we’re delivering the funding needed to get it off the ground.”

Minister for Health Martin Foley said, “Victorian scientists and researchers are making a huge contribution to fighting this pandemic—this will give them the world leading facility they need to build on that work and protect us into the future.”


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