The NSW Government will accelerate the translation of local RNA research into new products, services and jobs through a historic $119 million investment over 10 years in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the funding would support R&D initiatives to be undertaken, including at the recently announced $96 million RNA Pilot Manufacturing Facility, ensuring the establishment of a globally significant RNA R&D ecosystem in NSW.
“This funding provides strategic support to strengthen NSW’s sovereign capability in designing and manufacturing RNA therapeutics to combat everything from pandemics to cancer and genetic diseases,” Mr Kean said.
“It will continue to build NSW’s globally competitive innovation ecosystem by attracting global investment and international businesses, and creating a stronger and more skilled workforce.”
Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said that the NSW Government was working in partnership with the NSW RNA Bioscience Alliance, an unprecedented collaboration between all 14 NSW and ACT universities.
“We want to create a brighter future for the people of NSW and turbocharging R&D opportunities is an essential mechanism to achieve that goal,” Mr Henskens said.
“The value of RNA technology has been proven throughout the pandemic through the use of mRNA vaccines, but we know that vaccines are just the tip of the iceberg.
“By bringing together our world-leading universities and industry leaders, we can deliver innovative solutions to some of the most important and complex challenges facing the world.”
Head of the NSW RNA Bioscience Alliance Professor Pall Thordarson from UNSW Sydney welcomed the announcement.
“This investment is crucial to our shared vision to advance NSW as a global leader in the RNA ecosystem,” Professor Thordarson said.
“With the State government’s investment, the NSW research community will be able to address a range of current health challenges and attract a number of national and international industry collaborators and jobs to the state.”