Editorial October 19 2016

On Wednesday, October 19, a group of dignitaries from a variety of fields will gather in Canberra’s Parliament House.

They will gather in the nation’s capital to hear of a new development in the nation’s capital of innovation, Wollongong.

A new grand development from the University of Wollongong, which will truly look at life on the smallest scale.

While the national spotlight will again be on Wollongong, this new facility will be putting human life truly “under the microscope”.

The university will unveil plans for a new $80m facility to be built on campus starting next year and opening in 2019.

The Molecular Horizons building will put the university and Wollongong at the forefront of biomedical research.

It will house $25 million in equipment, the centrepiece of which will be a three-metre tall, one tonne Titan Krios – the world’s most powerful biological research microscope.

The microscope, worth $7 million alone, will allow researchers to analyze frozen protein molecules.

It will help continue the advancements in medical science and further the war against a range of diseases and medical problems.

It’s expected researchers and companies from around the world will travel to Wollongong to take advantage of the new facility.

It reinforces the reputation of this city and this region.

Professor Antoine van Oijen said it provided an opportunity for biotech start-up companies to take up residence in the city.

“I think having this hub for this exciting aspect of molecular life sciences will hopefully also act as a catalyst for other activity,” he said.

“If you think bigger picture about the economy of the Illawarra, I personally see biotechnology really as a potential future direction where new and exciting things can happen.”

What is also notable is this new university development is fully self funded.

The money which will build and develop the facility all comes from the university’s own coffers.

There is a lot to be excited about for this city and this region at the moment.

Apple founder Steve Jobs had a great quote about “innovation”.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,’’ he said.

If that’s the case then Wollongong is certainly leading the pack.

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