Funding the future
A significant government cash injection into Tech Central will support UTS research and innovation infrastructure.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers have won $4.4 million in government funding to establish the Advanced Prototype Packaging Facility (APPF) and the Vaccine & RNA Design Centre (VRDC).
UTS is a key partner, and a major anchor, of the Tech Central innovation precinct, with significant infrastructure, education and research activities powering innovation for future economic and social growth of New South Wales.
The APPF, a partnership between UTS and the University of Sydney, will be a unique, open-access prototyping facility offering transformative small-to-medium scale manufacturing capabilities. The facility will enhance Australia’s semi-conductor, photonics and deep-tech advanced manufacturing ecosystem.
Associate Professor Nathan Langford, Director of the new facility, says the APPF will give industry and academics across Australia access to a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art commercial-grade device processing and packaging tools for prototype-scale production volumes.
“These capabilities will boost local innovation in a broad range of high-tech industries, including quantum computing and other quantum technologies, robotics and AI, advanced communications and smart devices, energy, bio- and med-tech,” said Associate Professor Langford.
The APPF and VRDC will complement important initiatives already taking place within Tech Central... and will drive growth and skills training in local industries, creating new jobs and opportunities for Australians.
Professor Andrew Parfitt
UTS Vice-Chancellor and President
The Vaccine & RNA Design Centre (VRDC) will provide a uniquely Australian mRNA vaccine and RNA therapeutic design capability with the opportunity to bring RNA molecules to market.
UTS is partnering with UNSW, ANU, CSIRO and the NSW Department of Primary Industries on the project.
Professor Garry Myers, Director of the UTS Australian Institute of Microbiology & Infection, says synthetic RNA molecules have immense potential for critical vaccines and therapeutics in healthcare and conditions impacting animals, including cancer and inherited diseases.
“In contrast to the protracted development timelines of traditional vaccines, mRNAs can be rapidly redesigned in silico and then manufactured as needed in response to emerging threats, for example, novel combination vaccines could be targeted to regions with distinct infectious disease profiles,” said Professor Myers.
The Tech Central Research and Innovation Infrastructure funding, provided by the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, represents a significant investment in UTS research, innovation and industry partnership.
“Tech Central is a critical part of NSW’s innovation ecosystem, and investments by the Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer and the NSW Government are essential to the further development of our local research, industry talent and sovereign capabilities,” said Professor Andrew Parfitt, UTS Vice-Chancellor and President.
“I would like to acknowledge the important role of the Honourable Alister Henskens SC MP, Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology; and thank Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, as key advocates for research innovation in Tech Central.
“The APPF and VRDC will complement important initiatives already taking place within Tech Central, as well as the new advanced manufacturing hub being developed in Western Parklands. These facilities will also drive growth and skills training in local industries, creating new jobs and opportunities for Australians,” said Professor Parfitt.