BiotenzThursday, 2nd May, 2002
Biotechnology Expanding at Double in AustraliaBiotechnology, the hot sector of science as perceived by the community, is attracting headlines and recognition as Australia leads global stem cell research and attracts increased government funding.
Monash University's Institute of Reproduction and Development is one of four institutes short-listed for a federally funded $46 million grant to establish a centre for biotechnology excellence.
Institute director Professor Alan Trounson said the grant reflected the importance the government gave to biotechnology ``Investment today will reap financial rewards and jobs for the future,'' he said.
The CSIRO employs about 15 per cent of biotechnology's scientists in Australia. Jennifer North, coordinator of CSIRO's Gene Technology Information Program, said: ``Biotechnology is such a diverse field, with new companies and new research, the employment opportunities are expanding and the potential is huge; agriculture, medicine, human health, the environment and new fields such as bioinfomatics - the marriage of IT and biotechnology.''
Anthony Coulepis, the executive director of the Australian Biotechnology Association, recently re-named Ausbiotech, said: ``Ausbiotech is gaining two or three new members a day. In the last 18 months we have gone from 400 to 1000 members and we now have over 150 corporate members.''
According to Dr Coulepis, the Australia-wide biotechnology breakdown for sector employment is as follows: human health 38 per cent; agriculture/food 14 per cent; genetic diagnostics 7 per cent; and veterinary 6 per cent.
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