Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher, today announced that another significant scientific conference has been won for Melbourne, further establishing the city as the intellectual and business events capital of Australia.
The International Conference on Systems Biology 2014 will bring 750 of the world’s leading experts in the field to Melbourne over five days, and is expected to generate $3.6 million in economic impact for the state of Victoria.
“Systems biology is an emerging area in Australia which has been recognised by the Victorian government as an area of focus,” Ms Asher said.
Systems biology is the multidisciplinary science of studying, mapping and modelling organic structures and processes. Instead of breaking cells, organs, genomes or whole organisms into their component parts, systems biology studies them as a whole.
“Hosting this conference will give Victorian researchers international exposure and offer opportunities for engagement and collaboration with research leaders and centres of excellence overseas.”
“The Victorian Coalition Government provides support, leadership, and investment assistance to drive the development of a dynamic, internationally competitive life sciences sector and recently released Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future – Biotechnology, a $55 million plan to support the Victorian biotechnology industry and biotechnology-enabled innovation.
“I would also like to acknowledge the vital role played by the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) in bringing this conference to Melbourne, the first time it has been held in the Southern Hemisphere, and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for hosting the event.”
Chief Executive Officer of MCVB, Karen Bolinger, said securing the bid is a major coup for Victoria’s systems biology community.
“MCVB partnered with a number of key groups for the bid process including the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Australia, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Bioplatforms Australia,” Ms Bolinger said.
“The International Conference on Systems Biology is the premier international conference for this scientific discipline and hosting the event in Melbourne will give the state a significant boost in publicity and standing in this field, offering local researchers the opportunity to showcase their research on a global stage.”
Professor Hiroaki Kitano, Director of the Systems Biology Institute in Tokyo and Executive Board Member of the International Society for Systems Biology, said he looks forward to bringing the conference to the Asia-Pacific region and is interested in the work that is being done in Melbourne.
“Systems biology is a multidisciplinary science that tackles the big questions. It can’t be done by just one person or one laboratory—it needs bioscientists of many specialties to collect the data and bioinformaticians to mine the data for answers,” Professor Kitano said.
“Holding the conference in Australia will help drive further collaboration between Australian laboratories and researchers in Asia, Europe and America.”
Peter King, Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre says they look forward to welcoming the conference delegates in two years’ time.
“2014 is shaping up to be quite a year for science and medical business events in Melbourne with the International Conference on Systems Biology, The World Congress of Cardiology, the World Cancer Congress and the International AIDS Conference all scheduled to take place at the MCEC during that year.”