Breakthroughs in biotechnology, health diagnostics and therapeutics and industrial biocatalysts will be the focus of a new research collaboration announced today between the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBioFSP), and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
This new alliance will leverage the capabilities of the two institutions to create a world-class collaborative research capability in synthetic biology between QUT and CSIRO.
“This capability will play a fundamental role in fostering the Australian SynBio community and promoting synthetic biology to Australian industries,” said Professor Ian O’Hara, Deputy Director Bioprocessing of QUT’s Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities.
“It will bring together a unique capability involving both University and CSIRO scientists to deliver a collaboration precinct where the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.”
Synthetic biology (SynBio) is a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary science with the potential to deliver remarkable solutions to many global challenges.
SynBio can make industrial chemicals and fuels, cure diseases, monitor and remediate our bodies and our environment, and control invasive species, amongst myriad more applications. However, Australia has been slow to cultivate this field, and risks being left behind in the global move towards a bio-economy.
“This will massively accelerate our ability to innovate in SynBio projects and build on the existing strength of Australian science,” says Associate Profession Claudia Vickers, Director of CSIRO’s Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform.
“The alliance is the perfect vehicle for rapidly accelerating Australia’s synthetic biology capability, and is a part of our Collaboration Hub: an effort to deepen partner relationships with universities and other research organisations to access a broader pool of external capability.”
This collaborative research program will be physically located in the unique research and translational environment of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at QUT.
The initiative is being led by Professor Kirill Alexandrov, who will be recruited through QUT and will bridge the two organisations to provide a collaborative, intellectually stimulating, and translational environment.