World-class scientific research facility now under construction in Melbourne, Australia
La Trobe University's $94m Institute of Molecular Science (LIMS) began construction on Friday with an official sod turning presided by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr. The Australian Government has invested $85.8m in the project through the Education Investment Fund.
LIMS will be a world-class facility for molecular science, biotechnology and nanotechnology research and research training. The Institute will align with the broader Northern Melbourne Science precinct and support growth in the burgeoning Australian biotechnology industry.
“When LIMS opens in late 2012 it will weave connections between existing and new buildings, and provide an entirely new approach and focus to critical biosciences work on human diseases including cancer, malaria and autoimmune diseases,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson.
LIMS will comprise three levels of teaching laboratories, support spaces, a ground-level lecture theatre and 'equipment barn'. The upper three levels will include research laboratories and office space. LIMS is projected to generate $15m in research income annually and up to 220 extra research positions will be available once the building is open.
Central to the LIMS mission is a program to stimulate interest in science among secondary students as future success in scientific research in the national interest is dependent on a strong pipeline of science students.
Last year plans by architectural group, Lyons, were unveiled at the Melbourne campus and earlier this month the University awarded a $66m building contract to Watpac, one of Australia's leading civil and mining construction and property development firms for the 6 level, 11,000 sq m design. Meinhardt are Structural, Civil and Facade engineers on the building.