Agribio Expansion Boosts Innovation And Ag Tech

The Victorian Government is backing a multi-million dollar expansion of Agribio, Australia’s premier bioscience facility in Bundoora, with a new incubation hub for innovative startups as well as boosting biosecurity research.

Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas announced the Victorian Government is providing $7.5 million funding towards the project that will support a new fit out including a start-of-the-art labaoratory and office facilities for up to 90 staff and startup businesses.

Spanning more than 1600 square metres, the space is based at the Victorian Government and La Trobe University joint AgriBio Centre for AgriBioscience – with the new funding allowing the site to operate at full capacity.

Up to four startups will be given access to fast-track research and innovation outcomes from Agriculture Victoria to industry.

In a major development for Victoria’s agtech industry, the first startup to be established will be Smartsense AgTech — a digital sensing agtech business that will focus on rapidly improving technologies used across a range of key agricultural sectors including dairy, horticulture and grains.

Dedicated laboratories within the new area will also significantly boost the state’s biosecurity research and emergency response capabilities — allowing up to 60 researchers at Agriculture Victoria to respond to biosecurity emergencies relating to pests and diseases.

Two education laboratories have also been designed in the expansion and will be used for student learning – hosting workshops through Agriculture Victoria’s free Get into AgSTEM program for schools.

Each laboratory will be able to fit 32 students and up to four demonstrators involved in every workshop – providing students with valuable hands on experience with the latest real-life technology used by researchers at Agriculture Victoria.

Located at the La Trobe University Bundoora campus, the AgriBio Centre for AgriBioscience has been in operation since 2012 and accomodates almost 450 staff and students.

The new expansion aligns with the Victorian Government’s 10-year Agriculture Strategy to recover, grow, modernise, protect and promote agriculture in Victoria.

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Source: Vic Government