The push to enhance Australia's sovereign capability to manufacture vaccines and medicines just got busier with the Queensland government announcing $20 million for a new facility at the Woolloongabba medical precinct in Brisbane.
It has followed Victoria and the federal government in announcing plans to encourage the construction of new manufacturing capability with the goal of reducing Australia's reliance on imported vaccines and medicines.
Queensland's Translational Research Institute (TRI) was announced as part of a $1.84 billion jobs fund.
Announcing the new fund, deputy premier Steven Miles said, "Our researchers are inventing new products, treatments and vaccines through the TRI.
“With the Translational Manufacturing Institute we can make sure they don’t just invent those innovations here, but they can manufacture them and push them through clinical trials.” He said the TRI could support 500 jobs over ten years.
Mr Miles said the state could not wait for the federal government on “sovereign manufacturing capability”.
The federal government is currently running an 'approach to market' for companies or organisations to construct an mRNA manufacturing facility. In November last year, it also signed a $1.8 billion deal with CSL for the construction of a cell-based pandemic vaccine construction facility in Melbourne.
Mr Miles said the $20 million in support could lead Queensland to become a vaccine manufacturing location for the whole country.
“We want to keep growing the state’s biomedical sector, which already employs more than 10,000 people across more than 1200 companies,” he said. “From the very start of the pandemic, Queenslanders have shown the world the capability of our biomedical research and development.”