Cairns is one step closer to expanding its tropical health and medicine research, with the announcement of the successful tenderer to build the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) facilities on JCU’s Cairns campus.
Hutchinson Builders has won the construction contract for the development.
The Head of JCU’s Cairns campus, Professor Robyn McGuiggan said research facilities at the campus will be enhanced with the $24.5 M project, which includes the construction of the new AITHM building and a refit of some existing research facilities.
“AITHM is an important element of the growth of the Cairns campus and we are very excited that the construction contract has now been decided. The new facility will provide a tremendous boost to the campus’ research capacity.”
The new site, adjacent to existing AITHM space, will include two floors of research and office spaces including a Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) laboratory that will expand AITHMs capacity to conduct research and training in virology, viral diseases and vector control, and the development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases.
The project is jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland governments. The Federal Government has contributed $18M to the project via the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiative Scheme. The Queensland Government has provided funding of $6.5M.
Construction is expected to be completed by late 2017. Jackson Architecture and Fisher & Buttrose Architects are the project’s architects.
The Director of AITHM, Professor Louis Schofield said AITHM is tackling some of the biggest health challenges facing the Tropics, and the Cairns’ facility will play a crucial role in the expansion of the institute’s existing research infrastructure.
“As well as contributing to better health in the tropics, our objective is to establish Cairns as one of the centres of Queensland’s knowledge-based economy. Our plan is for AITHM Cairns to offer high-tech research facilities and continue to attract world-leading researchers to work here,” he said.
AITHM’s research programs aim to strengthen Australia's health security, improve health outcomes for northern Australia, and contribute to the development of northern Australia through research, knowledge infrastructure and commercialisation of research findings.
Research facilities are also being built in Townsville and the Torres Strait, with construction of the AITHM building in Townsville close to completion.
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Head of Media and Communications, JCU
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