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Three new hubs at Monash to boost COVID vax manufacturing

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Three new projects at Monash University are set to increase Victoria’s medicine manufacturing capability, including COVID-19 vaccines, through the support of the Victorian Government under its Higher Education State Investment Fund.

The funding will see the creation of an expanded Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), a new cancer therapy hub, and a digital smart manufacturing space for start-ups.

The MMIC will produce Australia’s first mRNA vaccine for clinical trials.

“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,” said Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney.

The trio of facilities will include more office space and laboratories to strengthen collaboration between scientists and medicine manufacturers.

“We’re serious about developing our mRNA manufacturing capacity and doing it quickly, because it will save lives,” said Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford.

“This support for an Australian-first clinical trial is another major step in a really important journey,” the minister said.

The project 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. It is the first component of the larger Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub project that will help drive increased research commercialisation and entrepreneurship.

“Monash University is pleased to receive funding through the VHESIF to drive commercial and entrepreneurial activity across the Monash Technology Precinct,” said Margaret Gardner, Vice-Chancellor of Monash University.

The project is designed to 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. Construction is due to be completed in 2022.

The state government contributed $16.1 million to the project in a joint effort by Monash University and its partners, and was one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.

The unprecedented $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund is supporting universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Victoria State Government media release

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