Albanese government consulting on Australia's RNA potential

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The Albanese Government has released a Department of Industry, Science and Resources discussion paper on Australia’s RNA (or RiboNucleic Acid) technology industry.

Industry and science minister Ed Husic said the 'Understanding our RNA potential' discussion paper and stakeholder survey will help the department understand the opportunities for growth and understand the technologies currently under development in Australia.

The discussion paper also outlines Australia's challenges in developing an RNA industry.

The Australian-based sector was recently bolstered by the federal government's ten-year strategic partnership with Moderna and the Victorian Government to establish an onshore mRNA manufacturing facility in Melbourne.

Other state governments are also actively investing in the RNA sector.

Minister Husic said the government is also targeting $1.5 billion through the National Reconstruction Fund for medical manufacturing, $1 billion for advanced manufacturing and a further $1 billion for critical technologies – sectors that can include biotechnologies.

Biotechnologies are among the seven key enabling technologies in the Australian Government’s Critical Technologies List.

“Australia has an impressive track record, overseeing some of the key breakthroughs that led to the development of mRNA vaccines globally," said Minister Husic.

“RNA technologies offer opportunities for Australia, from rebuilding onshore advanced manufacturing, boosting sovereign capability and creating highly skilled local jobs.

“Australia could be a global producer of new RNA vaccine treatments for conditions ranging from COVID-19 to cardiovascular disease and influenza in humans, as well as vaccines for animal illnesses.

“We’re backing the development of RNA technology with billions of dollars of support for medical manufacturing and critical technologies through the National Reconstruction Fund.

“We’re also providing further support through the new $392 million Industry Growth Program to help start-ups and small-to-medium businesses commercialise their ideas."