Discussion paper launched to help develop Australia’s RNA manufacturing industry

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The Australian Government has issued a discussion paper on Australia’s RNA technology industry to pinpoint opportunities for growth and help the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) gain a clearer understanding of the technologies currently under development in the country. 

The paper will also look into the challenges Australia faces in establishing an RNA industry as the sector continues to grow globally. 

The Victorian government recently bolstered Australia’s RNA capabilities with a 10-year strategic partnership with Moderna to build an onshore mRNA manufacturing facility in Melbourne. 

According to Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic, Australia is well-positioned to become a global player in the development and manufacturing of new RNA vaccine treatments for various conditions, including COVID-19, cardiovascular diseases, and influenza in humans. 

“Australia has an impressive track record, overseeing some of the key breakthroughs that led to the development of mRNA vaccines globally,” said Husic. “RNA technologies offer opportunities for Australia, from rebuilding onshore advanced manufacturing, boosting sovereign capability and creating highly skilled local jobs. 

The New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australian governments are also actively investing in the nation’s RNA sector. 

Furthermore, the government is allocating over $1.5 billion through the National Reconstruction Fund for medical manufacturing, $1 billion for advanced manufacturing, and a further $1 billion for critical technologies. 

“We’re also providing further support through the new $392 million Industry Growth Program to help start-ups and small-to-medium businesses commercialise their ideas,” Minister Husic added. 

Public consultation for the DISR paper will be open to responses until 16 October. The discussion paper is available at consult.industry.gov.au/rnaplan.