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New medical discovery centre forges ahead

Posted: 30th June 2022

Victorian Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford, this week visited the site of the future Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD), in which
St Vincent’s Institute is a proud partner.

Set to open in 2024, the $206 million ACMD facility will foster collaboration and enhance Victoria’s bioengineering research capabilities.

The new Centre will bring together under the one roof scientists, clinicians and related researchers from the nine ACMD partners: St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, the Bionics Institute, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne University of Technology, Australian Catholic University and the University of Wollongong.

“This new facility will deliver scientific discoveries, create jobs, attract investment and support scientific breakthroughs right here in Victoria,” said Minister Pulford.

“It is very exciting to witness works on the site now underway,” said Professor Tom Kay, SVI Director. “We look forward to working closely with all the ACMD partners to develop the life-blood of the centre – cutting-edge collaborative medical research programs – as construction progresses.”

The new building will offer specialised research, development and engineering capabilities, including: 3D printing laboratories, a human kinetics lab, special insulated rooms that enable the development of sensitive hearing and vision technologies, engineering workshops to produce medical device prototypes and robotics that can be used to fast-track clinical trials, along with collaborative spaces for students and researchers.

Another unique element is the embedded education centre, accommodating a dedicated teaching facility to nurture future clinical, nursing, allied health and biomedical research innovators and leaders. The space will incorporate multiple seminar and tutorial rooms, a clinical simulation laboratory, and a large lecture theatre extending over two levels with scope to host national and international conferences and major events.

Existing buildings on the ACMD site, including the main Aikenhead Wing that originally housed trainee nurses for St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, are expected to be demolished by mid-November.

About ACMD

ACMD is Australia’s first hospital-based biomedical engineering research centre. Its collaborative approach brings together leading universities, research institutes and a tertiary hospital to take on today’s toughest healthcare challenges using mechanical, electronic, robotic and digital and data engineering to create smart devices, implantables and technology that will improve the quality of life for people living with serious illness.

ACMD is a collaboration of nine partner organisations – St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, the Bionics Institute, the Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, Australian Catholic University and the University of Wollongong Australia.

IMAGE: Minister Pulford (right) with St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne CEO, Angela Nolan, at the ACMD construction site.