Study Biotechnology in Australia
Biotechnology in the Sun
Professor James Dale, QUT
Queensland, long recognised as the Sunshine State because of its wonderful climate and abundant natural resources, is now becoming the new force in biotechnology education, research and business.
Biotechnology is set to have a massive impact on virtually all aspects of life in the 21st century, through agriculture, health, manufacturing and the Biotechnology is set to have a massive impact on virtually all aspects of life in the 21st century, through agriculture, health, manufacturing and the environment. Underlying research, particularly in molecular biotechnology and genetics, is progressing at an amazing pace and increasingly, the outcomes of this research are being developed and commercialised as new, innovative products and business opportunities, both in biotechnology itself as well as allied industries.
Queensland has positioned itself as a key centre for biotechnology, with innovative education pro- grams, world-class research, and a business environment conducive to the establishment and expansion of new bio-industries. One of the major drivers, the Government of Queensland, has made biotechnology a central priority, and has supported this through funded initiatives in education, research and business development.
The south-east Queensland biotechnology cluster, based around Brisbane (the state capital), encompasses three of Australia's largest universities, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the University of Queensland (UQ) and Griffith University (GU), many intemationally-recognised research institutes and centres, divisions of CSIRO (the national research organisation), established biotechnology companies such as Progen and PanBio, and a growing number of start- up biotechnology companies.
The range of undergraduate bio- technology degrees offered by Brisbane's universities is impressive. These universities offer dedicated biotechnology degrees as well as biotechnology as a major within a science degree. Government Support Significantly, the Australian Federal Government has recently recognised the quality of these programs with multi- million dollar support for further curriculum development. For instance, the University of Queensland received sup- port to enhance and expand its offerings in bio-informatics, and QUT was supported to develop its new Bachelor of Biotechnology Innovation degree, which integrates the science of biotechnology with the business of biotechnology.
Graduates from each of these programs have a variety of employment opportunities in industry, research institutes and universities. But many choose to continue into postgraduate study through one of the world-class university research programs, or through other research centres and institutes that have affiliations with one or more of the Brisbane universities.