The Victorian Government has announced $21.65 million in funding for three projects at Monash University’s Clayton campus, including a project that will increase Victoria’s medicine manufacturing capability, including COVID-19 vaccines.
The first project involves a $13.8 million expansion of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), which will produce Australia’s first mRNA vaccine for clinical trials.
According to the statement released by Victoria’s Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney, MMIC’s new facilities will include more office space and laboratories to strengthen collaboration between scientists and medicine manufacturers.
The second project, valued at $4.63 million, will help create the oNKo-innate hub, which will drive innovation in the development of cancer therapies, and the creation and commercialisation of treatments.
The funding will also support the $3.21 million UP-LINK University Partner Collaboration Space, which will be a home for start-ups to digitally streamline smart manufacturing.
According to Ms Tierney, it will be the first component of the larger Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub project that will help drive increased research commercialisation and entrepreneurship.
Minister Tierney said the trio of project would create opportunities for about 1,000 students, and more than 350 jobs direct research positions and secondary jobs as well as 100 jobs in construction.
“This is a huge scientific development putting Monash and local Victorian experts at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19 – and we’re so proud to be supporting this groundbreaking research,” Ms Tierney added.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said the investment would further cement Victoria as a leader in medicine manufacturing.
“We’re serious about developing our mRNA manufacturing capacity and doing it quickly, because it will save lives,” Ms Pulford said.
“This support for an Australian-first clinical trial is another major step in a really important journey.”
Monash University Vice-Chancellor Margaret Gardner added: “Monash University is pleased to receive funding through the VHESIF to drive commercial and entrepreneurial activity across the Monash Technology Precinct.”