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Good Morning. And welcome to the new Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication.
This state-of-the-art building forms the centrepiece of the Australian National Fabrication Facility.
And it shows what can be done when we make a commitment to providing our scientist and researchers with the best facilities in the world.
The simple fact is that…
- if we want to conduct world class research;
- if we want to nurture and attract the best scientists; and
- if we want to achieve world class scientific outcomes
…then we need world class infrastructure.
By providing the best possible facilities:
- We are encouraging scientific endeavour;
- And we are harnessing the immense benefits that science offers to the nation.
Nanotechnology and the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication
When it comes to nanotechnology the possibilities and potential are boundless.
In fields as diverse as telecommunications, bionics, and pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionise our world and the way we live.
Here today, we have a state of the art facility.
It is a facility which recognises the importance of nanotechnology and puts Australia at the forefront of nanotechnology research and development.
It houses the largest purpose-built, clean room complex in the Southern Hemisphere.
These rooms will enable scientists to work with metal at the microscopic level to produce the next generation of technology such as hand-held analysers that will replace equipment that currently takes up an entire desk.
The building also provides the very latest fabrication capability for materials, sensors and technological devices in the nanoscale.
This will enable new opportunities to progress new technologies in areas such as telecommunications, clean energy solutions, and medical equipment for a healthier Australia.
Importantly, the centre will be open to researchers –from Australia and overseas – and to industry.
And I am confident it will become a focal point for scientific collaboration and for collaboration between the scientific and business communities.
This interaction and exchange of ideas will provide the sort of benefits that extend beyond mere bricks and mortar.
This centre will come to life because of the people in it and the things they achieve together.
Ultimately, collaboration is the key to scientific and commercial success.
Just to get to this point it has taken the vision, goodwill and collective effort of many parties.
The Victorian Government has contributed $15 million.
A consortium including comprising Monash, Swinburne, La Trobe University and Deakin Universities, RMIT, CSIRO and miniFab Aust has stumped up over $25 million.
And for its part, the Commonwealth’s contribution is near the $23 million mark.
Clearly, these sorts of infrastructure investments represent a major commitment by all parties.
For its part, the Australian Government is acutely aware that to get value for money we need to maintain a strategic approach.
We must ensure that the money we spend on science and science infrastructure is rigorously targeted, applied efficiently and delivers maximum benefit to the Australian taxpayer.
So when the Government announced under the Super Science initiative we were going to invest over $900 million in research infrastructure we established the National Research Infrastructure Council.
The council’s job is to ensure a strategic and considered approach to the construction of new scientific infrastructure – providing advice, direction and guidance on future priorities.
Scientific endeavour and scientific inquiry is of value in itself.
But the great beauty of science is that it generates benefits which extend across our society and across our economy.
Since coming into Government – we have consistently championed science - both in principle and in practice
We do this because:
- we want a prosperous Australia that harnesses the power of science to build a high wage and high skill economy; and because
- we want a just and fair society where science helps us embrace new ideas, to understand our world better and to push our potential as human beings to the very limit.
In essence our collective future depends on our ability to embrace science and to make the most of the possibilities it offers.
This facility and the entire Australian National Fabrication Facility will be an important part of Australia’s scientific future.
So, on that note, it is my pleasure to officially launch the Melbourne Centre of Nanofabrication.