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New facility an important step to bionano products

Queensland 's emergence as a leading centre for bio and nanotechnology has received a boost with $6.5 million from the Smart State Innovation Building Fund to establish the Bionano-products Development Facility (BnDF) at The University of Queensland's (UQ) Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).

Professor Peter Gray, Director of AIBN, said the Facility would help establish and grow pioneering research and innovation involving institutes and facilities across the State.

“It is widely accepted that bio-nanotechnology will be one of the main drivers of economic growth for the 21st Century,” Professor Gray said.

“The impact will be felt across a wide range of endeavours, from therapeutic and tissue regeneration products, through to bioderived consumer products and environmental applications.

“The BnDF will strengthen and advance the development of bioproducts in Queensland by providing access to an integrated research facility with cutting-edge technology that does not currently exist in Australia.”

Professor Gray said the BnDF would also contribute to BioPharmaceuticals Australia, a Queensland Government initiative established to fill the identified gap in Australia's ability to produce GMP grade biopharmaceuticals for human clinical trials, as well as potentially attract funding from Federal initiatives, particularly the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

“The BnDF focuses on three interrelated research themes - biopharmaceuticals, biomicrodevices and biocommodities,” he said.

“Potentially tapping into a market value of more than $50 billion per year, biopharmaceuticals is developing improved drugs based on large complex proteins produced by mammalian cells.

“Biomicrodevices includes the development of lab-on-a-chip devices utilised as diagnostic tools and kits for animal and human diseases, as well as bioengineered scaffolds and microenvironments to grow cells to be used in replacing lost tissue function.

“Finally biocommodities refers to the conversion of low cost raw material such as sugarcane to commodity products, instead of relying on oil as the base material for polymers, solvents coatings and surfactants.”

Professor Gray acknowledged the partner organisations involved in the BnDF namely the CRC for Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology, the Mater Medical Research Institute and Brisbane based biotech company PanBio Ltd.

“This Facility will underpin Queensland's recent and future investment in a growing number of biotechnology, medical and health research institutes and the emerging biotechnology and nanotechnology industries,” Professor Gray said.



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