Release type: Media Release


Investment supporting synthetic biology research


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education

The Morrison Government is investing $8.3 million in a cutting-edge synthetic biology research facility to lead the development of new products, create new jobs and businesses and grow the economy.

The Government will establish a synthetic biology BioFoundry to accelerate research in areas such as biofuels, drought resistant crops, improved nutrition and human therapeutics.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the BioFoundry was part of the Morrison Government’s $157 million investment in research infrastructure in this year’s Budget.

“The research conducted at the BioFoundry will generate new knowledge and products in energy, food production, health care and environmental production,” Mr Tehan said.

“This investment will help Australian researchers gain access to new global markets and fill critical gaps in Australian synthetic biology research.

“Our investment in synthetic biology research will complement the additional $1 billion for university research in this year’s Budget and the $5.8 million to design a scheme to accelerate turning research into new products, job creation, productivity gains and economic growth.

“The $900 million Industry Linkage Fund, created as part of the Job-ready Graduates package, will incentivise university engagement with industry and focus on creating more STEM-skilled and job-ready graduates in areas of industry and community priority.

“The synthetic biology BioFoundry will be a boon for the sector. This funding will increase the number of concurrent biological development research activities that can be undertaken with synthetic biology through automation, robotic, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“The Government’s investment will help address national challenges, such as the production of drought tolerant plants and crops. It will also contribute to broader impacts such as manufacturing new vaccines including possibly one for COVID-19, and enabling the complex engineering of bacteria to convert sugar to hydrogen gas with the aim of powering remote communities.”