LIMS construction begins at La Trobe

LIMS construction begins at La Trobe

30 Aug 2011

La Trobe University’s $94 million Institute of Molecular Science (LIMS) will begin construction today with an official sod turning presided by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr.

lims-sodLIMS will be a world-class facility for molecular science, biotechnology and nanotechnology research and research training. The Institute will align with the broader Northern Melbourne Science precinct and support growth in the burgeoning Australian biotechnology industry.

The Australian Government has invested $64 million in the project through the Education Investment Fund.

‘Biotechnology offers new weapons to fight disease, protect the environment, and improve industry productivity. Our investments in that vital research will support high-wage, high-tech jobs for Australians in our emerging biotechnology sector. The Government is proud to give the researchers of La Trobe the kit they need to remain at the forefront of their field,’ Senator Carr said.

LIMS will comprise three levels of teaching laboratories, support spaces, a ground-level lecture theatre and ‘equipment barn’. The upper three levels will include research laboratories and office space. LIMS is projected to generate $15 million in research income annually and up to 220 extra research positions will be available once the building is open.

‘When LIMS opens in late 2012 it will weave connections between existing and new buildings, and provide an entirely new approach and focus to critical biosciences work on human diseases including cancer, malaria and autoimmune diseases,’ says La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson.

Central to the LIMS mission is a program to stimulate interest in science among secondary students as future success in scientific research in the national interest is dependent on a strong pipeline of science students.

‘La Trobe University will take a leadership role in promoting science to students at all levels of education through an expanded program involving more than 2,500 secondary school students across the Northern Melbourne region,’ added Professor Johnson.

‘The world-class research being done at La Trobe has been the impetus for the establishment of LIMS,’ says Professor Nick Hoogenraad, Head of the School of Molecular Sciences.

‘It is going to be a tremendously exciting prospect to integrate the teaching activities of the School of Molecular Sciences with this outstanding new research activity.’
 
Last year plans by architectural group, Lyons, were unveiled at the Melbourne campus and earlier this month the University awarded a $66 million building contract to Watpac, one of Australia’s leading civil and mining construction and property development firms for the 6 level, 11,000 square metre design.

‘I am very pleased Watpac will be a major part of realising La Trobe University’s vision of becoming a world leader in molecular science research. We are looking forward to delivering this world-class facility for the next generation of leading scientists, says Greg Kempton, Watpac Managing Director.


For more information contact:

Meghan Lodwick
La Trobe University Communications Officer
T: 03 9479 5353 E: M.Lodwick@latrobe.edu.au

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