New infectious disease institute set for Victoria

Construction of a new Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) facility in Victoria is slated to commence next year, with the appointment of an early works contractor anticipated in December 2023.

The facility will serve as a hub, bringing together the expertise of scientific and medical researchers to enable a swift and coordinated response to both existing and future pandemics.

The AIID is an initiative to accelerate and bolster pandemic detection, prevention and response to help protect Australia and the local region. Leveraging cutting-edge technology and adopting a modern design, it aims to attract and retain top-tier global talent in Melbourne’s Biomedical Precinct.

The AIID is led by three Foundation Partners – the University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute and Doherty Institute – and backed by the Victorian Government as the Major Supporting Partner through a commitment of $400 million to the project.

Jacqueline Gava, University of Melbourne associate director commercial services and AIID project procurement lead, said the AIID development will create and support hundreds of jobs each year, giving contractors the opportunity to be involved in a build that will ultimately save lives.

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New infectious disease institute set for Victoria
Artist’s impression: Australian Institute for Infectious Disease laboratory.

“The Australian Institute for Infectious Disease is looking for talent across a range of industries to build its world class facility, supporting Australia’s response to current and future pandemics, said Gava. “Our funding is secured, and early works are commencing soon.”

“An estimated 308 construction jobs will be created by the project each year of the design and construction, with an additional 66 jobs providing professional services such as engineering, design and architecture for the project.

“We know that procurement can be an enabler of inclusion and diversity, and one of our objectives during construction is to facilitate workforce participation and the economic development of disadvantaged and under-represented groups.

“These priorities are reflected in our approach to tenders to ensure the best outcomes for the project and the industry.”

The facility will house one of the largest high containment laboratory facilities in the southern hemisphere, a human infection challenge unit and robotic biobanking, and dedicated workspace for the three Foundation Partners and industry partners.

“The purpose-built facility will be constructed on the prominent Haymarket Intersection in Melbourne’s world-leading Biomedical Precinct and will give local workers and businesses the opportunity to be involved in building a state-of-the-art facility that will have resounding impacts on important infectious disease work in Australia and the world,” Gava added.

The invitation for tenders for the primary construction phase of the AIID facility, designed by Australian architectural firm Wardle and engineered by Aurecon, is anticipated in late 2024.

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