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Smart State gets smarter: QUT unveils new institute

24th October 2006

Queensland research has received a $70 million boost with the opening of QUT's new Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation in Brisbane.

The institute was opened by Premier Peter Beattie on October 24 at the booming Kelvin Grove Urban Village and is QUT's biggest research development.

It brings together 700 research brains from across the university who specialise in health, biomedical engineering and science.

They have in their sights the challenge of delivering better health in our lifetimes, with research projects tackling national problems including cancer, diabetes, depression, and Australia's fight against obesity.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake said it was an exciting time for the university - and for the community which would ultimately benefit from the work carried out by IHBI scientists and researchers.

"The strength of QUT's research is our multi-disciplinary approach to solving real-world problems," he said.

"The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation brings together 700 leading researchers - from different fields - to work together to improve the health and lives of people in Australia and around the world.

"These researchers are the face and brains of IHBI and the building itself provides the technology and facilities they need to achieve their goals."

The seven-storey IHBI building brings together QUT's leading researchers from health, biomedical engineering and science in a technology-driven, eco-friendly environment with world-class research facilities.

The research team is led by institute director Professor Ross Young - a psychology researcher whose fields include alcohol and drug abuse, and the genetics of addiction.

"Our IHBI team is focused on finding health solutions for all age groups, whether they are teens at risk of depression or the elderly coping with ageing joints," he said.

"The researchers working with the institute are also linked to the community through hospitals and health services.

"Our key research areas range from developing medical devices such as artificial limbs and organs, to injury prevention, such as helping elderly people at risk of falls and bone breakages.

"We also have road accident researchers working to reduce the road toll, vision researchers investigating short-sightedness and Indigenous eye care, and scientists using plant biotechnology to help improve health and nutrition.

"IHBI researchers are already experiencing success in cells and tissue research, including tissue bioregeneration to help burns victims and establishing a tissue bank to aid in the fight against prostate cancer."

The Queensland Government has contributed $22.5 million toward the new QUT institute, matching dollar-for-dollar a $22.5 million donation to QUT by US-based The Atlantic Philanthropies. The balance of the funding has come from QUT.

IHBI - fast facts

•Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation

•A $70 million research headquarters for the Queensland University of Technology

•Health, biomedical engineering and science research

•Located in the rapidly-growing Kelvin Grove Urban Village in inner Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

•Seven-level building funded by QUT, Queensland Government and The Atlantic Philanthropies

•700 IHBI research staff, including 400 in the main building

•Technologically advanced research laboratories across four levels

•400 workspaces, meeting rooms, conference venues and a call centre

•Designed by the architectural collaboration of PDT Donovan Hill

•Green initiatives include "chilled beam" air-conditioning for more efficient environment control, rain water re-use, and natural ventilation and daylight from a massive central atrium

•The two illuminated balls on the exterior are public artwork - seven-metre geodesic domes based on the structure of atoms - designed by QUT graduate Peter Alwast

•Visit www.ihbi.qut.edu.au and www.news.qut.edu.au

•IHBI address: 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane 4059, Australia

Media contact: Mechelle McMahon, QUT media unit, 07 3138 4494 or ml.mcmahon@qut.edu.au

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