UQ establishes Australian Institute of Bio-Engineering and Nanotechnology

from the World-Watch dept.
According to a University of Queensland (Australia) news release (11 December 2001), the Queensland Government and the University of Queensland have formally announced the establishment a $50 million Australian Institute of Bio-Engineering and Nanotechnology at the UQ St. Lucia campus in Brisbane. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said the Institute was the first project to be funded through the $A 100 million Smart State Research Facilities Fund established in this yearís State Budget. Although the new institute will initially focus on biotechnology-related research and development, Beattie said, ìNanotechnology will provide the building blocks of the future. Itís the ëSmart Stateí technologies that will drive employment opportunities in Queensland in the years ahead.î

The announcement said the Queensland Government, the University of Queensland and "an overseas philanthropic organization" are funding the new institute. Beattie said the Australian national Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) would also be a key contributor to the institute. Beattie had announced plans to establish the center at a biotechnology conference in June 2001. The St. Lucia campus is already home to the University of Queensland NanoMaterials Centre (NanoMac) and Nanotechnology and Biomaterials Centre.

In a related development, on 18 December 2001 Premier Beattie also invited the collaboration of researchers in New Zealand with the new University of Queensland institute. "The NEST group (the Nanostructure Engineering, Science and Technology group) at the University of Canterbury [in New Zealand] is highly regarded by their colleagues in Queensland. . . . Links with the new Australian Institute would be a natural fit and could be beneficial to both parties," Beattie said.

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