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Shortlist of four in bid for biotechnology centre of excellence.

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Joint Media Release Notification

The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP

Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training

The Hon Ian McFarlane MP

Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources


After an exhaustive assessment process, four applicants from a field of eleven have been short listed for Australia’s Biotechnology Centre of Excellence. 

The Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane, and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, today congratulated the impressive quality of all the applicants bidding for the Centre. 

“Dr Peter Jonson, chair of the Panel of Experts overseeing the selection process, has advised me that the Panel was most impressed by the high quality of the research proposed by each application. Four proposals stood out as being best positioned to give Australia a strong competitive advantage in biotechnology,” said Mr Macfarlane. 

The short-listed applications are:

The Australian Centre for Biotechnology and Biodiversity; ●

The Neuroscience Biotechnology Centre of Excellence; ●

Centre for Stem Cell and Tissue Repair; and ●

The Australian Biotechnology Centre of Excellence for Control of Infectious Diseases. ●

These applicants will be subjected to a rigorous interview process before the Panel of Experts recommends one or more for funding to the Board of the Australian Research Council and the Commonwealth Biotechnology Ministerial Council. The final decision will be made by Mr Macfarlane and Dr Nelson in mid 2002. 

“This Biotechnology Centre of Excellence is important because it will attract world class research and investment, as well as generating new Australian biotechnology companies. It will act as a powerful stimulus for growth in this rapidly emerging sector, “ said Dr Nelson. 

The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP - Media Centre (1 of 2) [15/04/2002 2:27:30]

More than $46 million, over five years, has been assigned to the Biotechnology Centre of Excellence under the Commonwealth Government’s Backing Australia’s Ability initiative. 

The members of the Expert Panel are:

Dr Peter Jonson (Chairperson) ●

Professor Merilyn Sleigh (Vice Chairperson) ●

Professor Grant Sutherland AO ●

Professor Denis Wade AM ●

Professor Vicki Sara ●

Dr Ian Pitman ●

John Stonier ●

More detail about the Biotechnology Centre of Excellence initiative, background on the short-listed applicants and biographies of the Expert Panel are available on the Biotechnology Australia website

For further information:

Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095

Mr Macfarlane's Office Kirsty Boazman (02) 6277 7580 or

0412 171 444

DITR Contact: Kerri Hartland (02) 6213 6058



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