Newly-appointed NSW Innovation minister Kevin Anderson has unveiled a further $12.5 million investment toward the expansion of the deep tech-focused ANSTO Innovation Precinct at Lucas Heights.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation first received a funding commitment before the NSW state election. Mr Anderson reaffirmed this week the expansion of the Nandin deep technology incubator, a first of its kind incubator aimed squarely at highly technical ventures involving graduate students, industry partners and precinct tenants working together.
“Our commitment to ANSTO’s Innovation Precinct and the Nandin deep technology incubator is a reflection of the importance of technological advancements to improve human health and grow industry and jobs,” Mr Anderson said.
“The investment into a world-class precinct for business, students, scientists, and startups will ultimately end up delivering improved treatments for cancers and other diseases.”
“ANSTO is a world-leading nuclear research facility – the ground-breaking technology being developed here is amongst the best across the globe,” said ANSTO chief executive Adi Paterson.
“The support from the NSW Government will advance the development of nuclear medical technology and also boost the local economy, with the potential for 5,000 additional jobs to be created in the broader precinct over coming years,” Dr Paterson said.
“It will be a place where research and industry meet, to ensure that what happens in a lab or at a science facility is developed into real outcomes that benefit all Australians.”
The expansion of the Lucas Heights facility would include a next-generation nuclear medicine cluster, as well as a graduate centre, with 25 new scholarships for graduate students to develop advanced technology businesses at the innovation precinct.
At the original funding announcement, Dr Paterson pointed to the far reaching potential of the investment beyond the ANSTO innovation precinct itself.
“Creating a global centre of excellence in next-generation nuclear medicines would lead to more clinical trials of promising nuclear medicines, providing novel treatments currently not available to Australian patients,” Dr Paterson said.
“For example, a commercial partner of ANSTO is currently engaged in clinical trials of an implantable radiotherapy device containing nuclear medicine created in ANSTO’s OPAL reactor. It’s being tested in patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer.
“The hub could connect businesses with similar organisations here in southern Sydney,” he said.
“ANSTO is already a critical part of NSW’s economic, education and skills base. We look forward to significantly enhancing our contribution,” he said.