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SCU Secures $500, 000 for Plant Research Funding


Kate Benecke
2 August 2005
Southern Cross University has received around half a million dollars in federal government funding to enhance crucial infrastructure at the University's Natural Plant Products Research Institute.

The Sustainable Regions funding will be used to implement a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMs), enabling the Natural Plant Products Research Institute to more effectively manage new projects and resources.

The Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Mr Warren Truss, and the Federal Member for Page, Mr Ian Causley, announced the funding initiative.

Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University, Professor Paul Clark, welcomed the announcement, and said the University aimed to be the most research intensive regional university in Australia within five years.

"Projects of this nature are crucial to the University achieving this objective, and also help Lismore develop as an agricultural biotechnology hub," Professor Clark said.

The Natural Plant Products Research Institute is the collective of the agricultural biotechnology capability of the University, and includes the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research and the Centre for Phytochemistry and Phtyopharmacology. Activities range from pure research to applied research.

The Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, Professor Robert Henry, said the funding would enable the entire laboratory operation to be computerised, from receipt of a biological sample to finalisation of a report on its analysis.

"This initiative will link to sophisticated instruments and robots we already have in the laboratories," Professor Henry said.

"It will increase our capacity, both in the volume and the quality of work we do. We will be in a position to expand our client base and take on new commercial opportunities."