ACT News

ANU and CSIRO launch new science precinct in Canberra

A new scientific hub to be built in Canberra aims to bring together the brightest minds from the CSIRO and Australian National University and foster innovative research into food security and sustainability.
 
Science hub: An artist's impression of the planned Black Mountain facility.
Science hub: An artist's impression of the planned Black Mountain facility.  Photo: Supplied
The National Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Precinct, which is being constructed on the CSIRO's redeveloped $200 million Black Mountain site, was launched on Friday.
 
Canberra launch: From left, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, ANU Chancellor Gareth Evans,  incoming CSIRO chief ...
Canberra launch: From left, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, ANU Chancellor Gareth Evans, incoming CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall, and CSIRO flagship director John Manners. Photo: Supplied
ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young said researchers would focus on innovative solutions to food security and environmental stewardship in response to climate change, population growth and land degradation.
 
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"Food security and natural resource management are among the greatest challenges facing humankind," Professor Young said.
 
 
"Ensuring populations around the world have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food will only become more critical as the world's population continues to grow."
 
CSIRO board chair Simon McKeon said the centre had the ability to "transform agriculture". 
 
The facility will include a new Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics to support agriculture research. 
 
It will also feature an automated greenhouse system and crop analysis equipment.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the precinct would help turn Australia's scientific research and innovation into practical solutions. 

"Creating stronger relationships between science and industry and boosting the rate of collaboration between business and research will be essential to maximise our productivity and economic growth in the decades ahead."

He said it would make Australia more competitive on a global scale and particularly in Asia, where demand for food was growing rapidly. 

The Science and Industry Endowment Fund will provide $18 million for the project from its research infrastructure program. 
 
That funding will go towards upgrades to the existing Black Mountain premises and provide access to the National Computational Infrastructure facility.