Palaszczuk Government announces more than $4 million for science facility

Published Thursday, 15 August, 2019 at 12:23 PM

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government is investing in a scientific facility that will go a long way to improve the health of Queenslanders and continue the State’s international reputation for science and research.

Visiting the University of Queensland, Minister for Science and Environment Leeanne Enoch today announced the Palaszczuk Government was providing $4.59 million to the Queensland Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF-Q).

“This is the first recipient to receive funding as part of the $25 million Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF) established earlier this year.

“It’s fitting that this announcement comes at a time when Australia is celebrating the important work of our scientists for National Science Week.

“This funding will be used to employ four new highly-specialised staff as well upgrade critical high-end equipment and systems so that the facility remained at the forefront of scientific exploration,” Ms Enoch said.

“ANFF-Q operates as a contract facility, offering its expertise, services and equipment to other researchers and businesses developing new products and devices.

“They are experts in their field and the work they do helps save and improve people’s lives,” Ms Enoch said.

“ANFF-Q worked closely with Queensland biotechnology start-up Vaxxas to develop their now world-famous nanopatch – a needle-free way of delivering vaccines.

“This has caught the attention of international agencies such as the World Health Organisation for its potential in polio vaccination and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a measles rubella vaccine.”

ANFF-Q is based with the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnolgy and the Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics, both at the University of Queensland, and the Queensland Microtechnology Facility at Griffith University.

ANFF-Q Director Professor Justin Cooper-White said ANFF-Q was a critical enabler of cutting-edge research integral to Queensland’s advanced manufacturing sector.

“This funding is critical to the continued provision of not only world class fabrication facilities, but also world class expertise to work with our academic, public sector and industry clients to ensure that Queensland remains at the forefront of innovation,” Professor Cooper-White said.

“ANFF-Q provides not only access to the equipment in our facility, but we also train the next generation of researchers and industry staff, providing Queensland with competitive advantage in these rapidly developing sectors.”

Ms Enoch said that innovations such as those by ANFF-Q are why the Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund is so important to Queensland.

“Manufacturing is the sixth largest employer in Queensland, employing more than 165,000 people and contributing about $20 billion a year to the state’s economy.

“Rapid advances in technologies can impact industry and it’s very important that we make sure that we stay ahead of the game,” Ms Enoch said.

“To do that, we have to make sure we have the technologies and expertise we need. That’s exactly why our support of ANFF-Q is so important – it’s an investment in the state’s economic future and the creation of future jobs.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s committed to supporting an advanced manufacturing sector in the state.”

The Palaszczuk Government established the RICF earlier this year to complement the Federal Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

The key purpose of the RICF is to provide critical co-investment in NCRIS facilities in Queensland.

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