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Australian Stem Cell Centre Release: $1 Million Awarded To Innovative And Clinically Focused Australian Stem Cell Projects

11/12/2009 1:50:14 PM

Six projects have been selected for support from the Australian Stem Cell Centre’s (ASCC) Strategic Development Fund which aims to develop and accelerate stem cell projects towards a well-defined commercial, medical or academic goal. The ASCC received more than 60 high quality applications from investigators from over 50 organisations, in six states, reflecting the diversity and depth of Australian stem cell research. The successful applications were chosen by a panel of scientific and commercial experts led by Professor Patrick Tam, Chair of the ASCC’s independent Scientific Advisory Board.

Professor Joe Sambrook, Scientific Director of the ASCC said “The quality of applications was very high and number of applicants was far greater than anticipated so the reviewing committee was faced with a difficult task.” He went on to say that “The ASCC is delighted with the choices made by the reviewers and we anticipate great things will result from the support provided by the Strategic Development Fund.”

About the ASCC

The Australian Stem Cell Centre was founded to capitalise on Australia’s significant strengths in the field of stem cell research. The ASCC was selected in 2002, in a competitive bid process, as Australia’s Biotechnology Centre of Excellence, an initiative of the Australian Government. The Centre provides a unique national resource for stem cell researchers to deliver outcomes that benefit the wider Australian biotechnology industry and will ultimately contribute innovative solutions to human health challenges.

The Centre was established with the financial and in-kind support of a number of institutions of which the current voting Members, who retain ultimate oversight of the Centre, are: Monash University, University of Queensland, Howard Florey Institute and University of Adelaide. The additional Stakeholder institutes are: University of Melbourne, Baker IDI, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Mater Medical Research Institute. The ASCC is governed by a Board of Directors with independent scientific oversight and support from an eminent Scientific Advisory Board.

Total funding of $100 million has been awarded to the ASCC by the Australian Government and is administered by the Australian Research Council and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. The funding is provided in instalments from 2002 to 2011. To complement Australian Government funding, the State Government of Victoria's Science Technology and Innovation program awarded the Australian Stem Cell Centre a further $11 million to support key infrastructure in Victoria.

Together the ASCC and partnering organisations support a critical mass of Australian stem cell research that is internationally competitive. The ASCC currently funds research at leading institutes and universities in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales with the major hubs of activity centred in Victoria and Queensland.

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