Tender shortlist for Biosciences Research Centre

The final tender shortlist for the $230 million Biosciences Research Centre (BRC) was announced today by the Victorian Treasurer, John Lenders.

Mr Lenders said three groups, Research Environments, Plenary Research and InfraNova had been asked to submit detailed proposals to deliver the new research centre at La Trobe University as a Public Private Partnership.

"By working in partnership with the private sector we are delivering facilities at a lower cost to the Victorian taxpayer," Mr Lenders said.

"This important facility will deliver research to boost productivity, fight diseases such as Equine Influenza and make Victoria's farms even more sustainable. It will also help to protect our $8.4 billion agricultural sector by allowing us to rapidly detect and eradicate plant and animal pest and disease outbreaks."

The three consortia are:

  • Research Environments — Brookfield Multiplex group companies and Hooker Cockram
  • Plenary Research — comprising Plenary Group, Grocon Constructors, Kane Construction and Honeywell Services
  • InfraNova — comprising ABN Amro, Leighton Contractors and ISS Facility Services

Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous said there was a good response to the call for registrations followed by a rigorous evaluation process leading to the short-listed consortiums.

"The Biosciences Research Centre will strengthen Victoria's international reputation in biosciences and bioprotection research and diagnostics and will stimulate economic activity in Victoria through investment in biosciences and biotechnology," Mr Theophanous said.

"This is a well-planned and defined project where the clients really understand what is required and know what they want. I am looking forward to seeing what the short-listed groups come up with to deliver this landmark facility for Victoria's agricultural sector."

Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said the BRC project would enhance Victoria's capacity to produce the highest quality agricultural research and development outcomes possible.

"Collaborative research at the BRC will significantly contribute to the protection of agriculture from disease threats, improve primary industries competitiveness and sustainability, and focus efforts on addressing challenges including climate change and drought," Mr Helper said.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said the BRC was in line with the university's strategic vision of producing high-quality and high-impact research that benefited the community.

"This major initiative will enable the university to create critical mass for existing biosciences activities, enhance its educational, science and research profile, and provide staff and students with an opportunity to work on research of international importance," Professor Johnson said.