Funding Boost for COVID-19 Research

13 Aug 2020


Researchers at the National Biologics Facility (NBF) at The University of Queensland will benefit from a substantial funding boost for COVID-19 research.

The NBF specialises in the production of high-quality proteins with potential therapeutic or commercial uses, and its state-of-the-art laboratories housed in UQ’s AIBN are playing a central role in the development of vaccines and other therapeutics to fight COVID-19. [link to UQ vaccine story]

The NBF, which has previously benefitted from Queensland and Federal governments funding, welcomed the news that the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (NCRIS) had awarded $1.2 million to the not-for-profit research infrastructure organisation Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA). 

The TIA said the funds will support research infrastructure at the NBF, and will also support critical staff positions in technical and operational roles.

Professor Trent Munro, Director of the National Biologics Facility’s Queensland Node, saidthe NCRIS TIA Biologics infrastructure had been a key enabler in moving the UQ COVID-19 vaccine program at speed into the clinic.

“This additional investment will allow us to onboard critical additional staff to enhance the facility and our capabilities,” Professor Munro said.

The Honorable Dan Tehan MP said Australian researchers were at the forefront in areas such as diagnostics, treatments and vaccine development.

“[They] are leading the way as part of a global effort to find a vaccine for COVID-19 that will save lives and get us firmly on the road to recovery,” he said.

AIBN Director, Professor Alan Rowan, also welcomed the funding news.

“We are delighted by the funding announced by Minister Tehan, which has further supported our endeavour to fight COVID-19 and underpin future vaccine manufacturing in Australia,” he said.