Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today officially opened Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI), an internationally unique facility which expands Victoria’s capabilities in biomedical imaging and research.
Ms Asher said the opening of MBI also marked the establishment of the Monash link of the Victorian Biomedical Imaging Capability (VBIC) – a collaboration between Monash University, Swinburne University, The University of Melbourne and the Florey Neuroscience Institutes.
“VBIC is the type of collaborative effort that the Victorian Coalition Government is seeking to encourage to help drive our agenda to improve productivity, innovation and jobs creation across the economy,” Ms Asher said.
The Victorian Government has provided $8.5 million towards the establishment of the VBIC, which is supported by a $9 million cash investment and $7.3 million in-kind contributions from VBIC collaborating partners.
This investment has enabled the acquisition of high quality equipment, including pre-clinical and clinical scanners, enhancing Victoria’s ability to attract and retain the very best biomedical researchers and clinicians.
Ms Asher said VBIC positioned Victoria as one of the world’s leading locations for biomedical imaging and research.
“Supported by a full suite of biomedical imaging expertise and infrastructure, MBI increases Victoria’s capabilities within a key industry precinct and important clinical catchment area,” Ms Asher said.
“This facility builds on Victoria’s strong research infrastructure base and brings together partners to undertake research that will ultimately lead to the better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of major diseases and degenerative conditions such as neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“The facility is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration between universities and research and medical institutes.
“The co-location of these imaging modalities next to the Australian Synchrotron’s medical and imaging beamline provides Victoria with a collective capability that is unique internationally,” Ms Asher said.
MBI will provide co-ordinated access and operational support for its core imaging infrastructure, as well as research training and technological development, in close collaboration with researchers and industry partners.
Ms Asher said imaging remained a vital aspect of medical research, and the capabilities available at MBI, and more broadly VBIC, positioned local researchers to remain at the leading edge in fields such as neurosciences, neurodevelopment, respiratory medicine and oncology.
The Coalition Government recently announced $26 million in new operational funding for the Australian Synchrotron.
The 2012-13 Budget included $35 million for innovation (including the Synchrotron funding) and an ongoing commitment of $26 million for Victoria’s prestigious medical research institutes.