A revolution is underway in research into the molecular basis of life. Advances in our understanding of genes, proteins and metabolites are producing a wealth of applications in areas as diverse as the development of new drugs, novel crop varieties and biofuels.
The Australian Government has committed over $50 million through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) for facilities to support biomolecular research.
Managed through a co-ordinating body – Bioplatforms Australia – this investment is delivering services in the specialist areas of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics through networks of collaborating organisations.
NCRIS has provided funding to support gene discovery and genome analysis in the Australian Genome Research Facility, universities and specialist centres around Australia.
The investment in proteomics - research into protein structure and function – builds on the existing Australian Proteome Analysis Facility with collaborating partners.
Metabolomics – the investigation of metabolic products in cells, tissues, fluids, organs and organisms – is supported by a network of nodes based in four states, while NCRIS support for bioinformatics enables the effective data management required for biomolecular research.
In May 2009, the Australian Government committed a further $50 million through the Super Science Initiative to enhance and extend the Evolving Biomolecular Platforms and Informatics capability.
Bioplatforms Australia is providing us with access to technologies that we could never have accessed previously because the infrastructure is expensive and the expertise is difficult to find. It means I can now talk to world leaders in proteomics and genomics and tap into the knowledge of people with international expertise.
Dr Paul Chambers, Research Manager, Australian Wine Research Institute
Bioplatforms Australia Limited (BPA) is the governing body established to oversee all elements of the Project. BPA comprises four platforms: Genomics Australia, Proteomics Australia, Metabolomics Australia, and The Australian Bioinfomatics Facility.
Genomics Australia (GA) has nodes in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia which:
enhance the utilisation of genome science in Australian research projects; deliver access to state-of-the-art genomics technologies
increase the knowledge of the capabilities of genome science; encourage collaboration and better utilisation of the vast array of biological resources available in Australia, and
develop effective and efficient service delivery that reduces duplication and maximises integration of distributed capabilities.
Proteomics Australia (PA) is a national, critical mass consortium of expert proteomics practitioners based on a hub-and-spokes organisational model that develops Australia’s synergistic and complementary proteomics capabilities by providing both world-class infrastructure and services. The consortium consists of leading Australian universities, a leading medical research institution and a biotechnology company. PA also includes a Monoclonal Antibody Technology Facility (MATF) at Monash University. The MATF provides high quality monoclonal antibodies and support services using proprietary high-throughput technology.
Metabolomics Australia (MA) is also based on a hub-and-spokes organisational model, with nodes in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland and focuses on:
establishing and maintaining a sustainable state-of-the-art metabolomics service with a supporting computational data storage and analysis capacity
working with genomics and proteomics NCRIS platforms and other groups to develop an integrated approach to defining the molecular profile of living systems
providing open access for academia and industry
training in skills necessary to use MA’s advanced metabolomics technologies
promoting the dissemination and uptake of the technology through workshops and conferences, and
leveraging other relevant science, technology and innovation infrastructure to achieve strong socio/economic benefits in relevant National Research Priority areas.
Metabolomics Australia is the entity established to oversee and coordinate the individual nodes within the platform.
The Australian Bioinformatics Facility (ABF) delivers leading edge bioinformatics infrastructure, services and support to the other ‘omics’ platforms (genomics, proteomics and metabolomics) via the coordinated use of shared resources. Specifically, the ABF:
jointly coordinates, with platform convenors, bioinformatics capabilities embedded in the ‘omics’ platforms
develops and provides high-level bioinformatics capabilities and services, including the storage, management, curation, integration and collaborative annotation of ‘omic’ data
ensures best practice in bioinformatics and statistical analysis of ‘omic’ data, and the transfer of technology and skills into ‘omic’ bioinformatics, and
establishes and consolidates links with major international bioinformatics centres and programs, including the hosting of mirrors of international databases and data sets.
The Bioinformatics Management Group oversees the operation of this platform.
A key principle of NCRIS is that the facilities funded by the program are accessible to researchers on the basis of merit at reasonable prices, wherever they are located in Australia.
For enquiries about Bioplatforms Australia Limited, please contact:
Mr Andrew Gilbert
General Manager and Company Secretary
Bioplatforms Australia Limited
Level 4 Building F7B
Research Park Drive
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY NSW 2109
Tel: +61 2 9850 6201
Mobile: +61 410 538 648
For matters related to management of the NCRIS program, please contact the NCRIS Team by email or by telephone on 02 6276 1998.
For further information, please see the homepage of BioPlatforms Australia Limited at http://www.bioplatforms.com/