Proceedings of National RNA Science and Technology Roundtable released

The full proceedings of a national roundtable to identify Australia’s RNA science and technology priorities have been released.

The roundtable was held on Thursday, 29 July 2021, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australia and New Zealand RNA Production Consortium.

The proceedings, aimed at policymakers and science funders, detail the discussions about how Australia can play a leading role in the global ecosystem of RNA science and harness the opportunities for Australian industry to develop RNA-based products and services for global markets.

“This roundtable was a step forward in presenting a united voice on RNA science and technology in Australia: what we are capable of and what we have the potential to achieve,” said Professor John Shine, President of the Australian Academy of Science, in the foreword to the proceedings.

The group, comprising 38 experts in RNA biology and biotechnology from the Australian university and research sectors along with industry, has called on Australia to play a leading role in the global ecosystem of RNA science and harness the opportunities for Australian industry to develop RNA-based products and services for global markets.

Associate Professor Archa Fox from the University of Western Australia, co-chair of the the roundtable, said that “Now is the time to be bold.”

Professor John Mattick from UNSW Sydney and Professor Trent Munro from the University of Queensland were also co-chairs.

The agreed recommendations from the roundtable include:

  • a national mission for the whole RNA science and technology pipeline in Australia, driven by strategic investment and prioritisation across funding schemes, providing sustainable, long-term funding for projects from fundamental research to translation,
  • a local mixed RNA manufacturing ecosystem, including pilot facilities, production of pre-clinical trial components and sovereign manufacturing capability to support clinical trials, and
  • schemes to build capacity in entrepreneurial and translation expertise, including facilitating greater mobility between research and industry.

Read the full roundtable proceedings.

Read the full statement from the roundtable.

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