New ARC funding for industrial transformation training in cell and tissue engineering

Professor Jordan Nash, Professor Rebekah Brown, Senator David Van, Dr Laura Bray Professor Laurence Meagher and Professor George Simon

Professor Jordan Nash, Professor Rebekah Brown, Senator David Van, Dr Laura Bray, Professor Laurence Meagher and Professor George Simon

Led by Professor Laurence Meagher of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the $5 million centre will fund new research into tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that will lead to better medical outcomes for patients through progressive new treatments for diseases. The Centre will train a highly-skilled workforce for the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine sector, and foster Australian research performance and innovation through fundamental and applied research carried out in industry-led PhD projects. “The Centre provides a fantastic opportunity to provide industry-centric training for this growing field, “ said Professor Meagher. “The training program provided will cover all the key elements necessary to develop a highly skilled, entrepreneurial, industry-ready workforce ready to translate innovative new technologies into real health outcomes for patients.”

Dr Laura Bray, Professor Laurence Meagher and Professor George Simon

Dr Laura Bray, Professor Laurence Meagher and Professor George Simon

Professor Laurence Meagher

Professor Laurence Meagher

Senator David Van

Senator David Van

Professor Laurence Meagher and Senator David Van

Professor Laurence Meagher and Senator David Van

Queensland University of Technology is a significant partner in the new initiative, with Dr Laura Bray of the university’s Centre in Regenerative Medicine appointed as the ARC Centre’s Deputy Director. Along with 26 additional organisations and contributions from Monash University’s faculties of Engineering; Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Business and Economics; the Centre will drive innovation in Australia’s growing biotechnology industry, including addressing major aspects of the manufacturing and commercialisation pathway, enabling early-stage scale-up and development of the sector's supply chain.

“Every economy is facing a large health burden associated with ageing and chronic disease, and hundreds of thousands of patients are facing debilitating disease for which there is sometimes no cure,” Professor Meagher continued. “Regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and cell therapies are promising new technologies, yet often remain in early development phases or early clinical trials due to lack of investment. Our new Centre will assist commercialisation of these new treatments through novel approaches to manufacturing, sensing and automation, and will help provide the technological and business base for Australian companies to become more competitive internationally.”

Located within the Monash Innovation Precinct, research staff will collaborate with nearby CSIRO Manufacturing, the Melbourne Centre for Fabrication, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), the Monash Health Translational Precinct and other key Monash Technology Platforms. The Centre will also have strong international links with the Canadian Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the UK-based Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research, as well as many Australian and international companies.

Dean of Engineering Professor Elizabeth Croft said that the new ARC Training Centre will advance Australia as a strategic, interdisciplinary leader in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, with future patients benefiting from today’s investment in workforce training and sector development. “Under the leadership of Professor Meagher, this new Centre will generate life-changing innovations in disease treatment with significant and tangible benefits for health and quality of life,” she said.

Also launched at Monash University today was the ARC Training Centre for Green Chemistry in Manufacturing ($3.6m funding), led by Professor Antonio Patti from the Faculty of Science. This initiative will create environmentally-friendly products and processes with strong export potential. Today's announcement brings the total number of ARC-funded Research Hubs and Training Centres under the Industrial Transformational Research Program at Monash to 10.