Major new funding helps secure the future of SA genomics research

17 Nov 2023
Major new funding helps secure the future of SA genomics research

The South Australian Genomics Centre (SAGC) will receive up to $5.7 million in new funding thanks to substantial co-investment under the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) program; a collaboration involving the State Government, Bioplatforms Australia and the SAGC’s institutional and university partners SAHMRI, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University.

The State Government co-funding announcement was made by Deputy Premier and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon. Dr Susan Close MP.

“The South Australian Government is proud to continue its long-standing partnership with the Australian Government to co-invest in South Australian based NCRIS,” Dr Close said.

“Our state is home to six NCRIS-supported projects across 12 facilities, each established to provide local researchers and industry with access to globally competitive, cutting-edge research equipment and technical support.”

SAGC Centre Manager, Dr Sen Wang, says these funds will ensure that the SAGC can continue to provide access to the latest in genomic technology and expertise to researchers, clinicians, industry clients and government agencies across the State and across the country.

“The SAGC provides world-class genomic services and equipment and to date has supported hundreds of different projects and clients across many areas from cancer research and Indigenous genomics, to plant and agriculture research” Dr Wang said.

"This crucial investment in our centre will ensure that we can continue to support all the excellent work by researchers and businesses in South Australia who rely on SAGC’s services.”

SAGC Scientific Director, Professor David Lynn says that this funding exemplifies what can be achieved through collaboration.

“The SAGC is extremely grateful for the ongoing collaborative support of our partners the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, Bioplatforms Australia and SAHMRI, which have supported and strategically guided the SAGC since its formation in 2020,” Prof Lynn said.

“We are also thrilled by this new investment by the South Australian Government and look forward to working with our colleagues at the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science to grow our support for industry in the State.”

The global genomics market is forecasted to reach US$60.3 billion by 2027 and is central to the major areas of growth in biopharma, healthcare and agriculture.

The SAGC will ensure that SA-based small to medium enterprises (SME) have access to world-class genomics infrastructure and know-how, de-risking commercial development of products and services that rely on genomics technologies.

“Genomics infrastructure is complex and expensive; it would be beyond the capacity of many SMEs to afford individually,” Prof Lynn said.

“The latest funding will support our team of a dozen highly-skilled SAGC staff to continue providing subsidised genomics services and technical expertise to SAGC clients.”

“Our staff work with researchers and students at our institutional and university partners through a variety of education and workshop programs, supporting their publications and grant applications.”

At the release of the State Budget earlier in the year, Dr Close announced $25 million over five years to support the operations of all NCRIS projects in South Australia, showing the State Government’s on-going commitment to partnering with the Australian Government for the betterment of South Australian-based scientific research.

“This investment will further enable South Australian research institutes and businesses to translate research into innovative products and services for broad community benefit,” Dr Close said.

The collaboration between state and federal entities, along with key institutional partners, demonstrates an innovative approach to advancing genomic research, fostering innovation and contributing to the scientific and economic growth of the state.

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