Bioplatforms Australia Press Release

Environomics Project

Partnerships critical for transformative environment protection

The health of Australia’s ecosystems and biodiversity is essential to our nation’s well-being and economy. Typical approaches to environment protection in the past have taken a piecemeal approach, with a narrow focus on specific areas, using fragmented funding. The new discipline of Environomics is capable of transforming our ability to understand the origins, diversity and dynamics of complex biological systems, using a whole-of-environment approach. It is a frontier science, which brings together advances in DNA sequencing, evolutionary biology, big-data and environmental modelling.

Bioplatforms Australia through the Commonwealth Government NCRIS programme has co-invested $1 million in an Environomics project together with CSIRO and partners to benefit the protection of Australia’s environment.

“This project will provide the key genomic methods for biodiversity data acquisition, data management and foster a collaborative culture from which a number of environmental outcomes – scientific, management, policy – will be fostered,” said Bioplatforms General Manager, Andrew Gilbert. “For the first time, we have the potential to measure, monitor and potentially manipulate species, communities and ecosystems based on genetic and evolutionary information.”

This new discipline facilitates and significantly enhances a coordinated effort in Australia to deliver outcomes across fields such as biodiversity, biosecurity, bio-inspiration, agriculture and fisheries, environmental monitoring and ecosystem remediation.

“BPA’s investment catalyses researcher access to BPA facilities and ensures meaningful scientific collaboration between the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) network and CSIRO’s Future Science Platform partners,” said Gilbert.

To achieve the aims of this project, collaboration will be fostered among research leaders (e.g. Australian National University), capability providers (e.g. Bioplatforms, the Atlas of Living Australia), international collaboration networks (e.g. 1KITE, B10K, Earth Microbiome Project) and research users (e.g. Department of Environment). Methodologies, analysis frameworks and visualisation techniques will be invented and organised to provide the Australian innovation system with a new genomics-based science platform to meet the 21st Century’s environmental and bio-based industry challenges.

“Over the past decade, there has been a shift away from single species studies and solutions to systems level analyses and actions, using the new ‘omics approaches. We have realised efficiencies in cost, effort and outcomes,” said Gilbert. “The partners on this project are committed to a community-based effort, sharing approaches, outputs and learnings, and extending specific activities to applied uses beyond the scope of the initial activity.Environomics 01-08-2016 The Australian public and industry will be the ultimate beneficiaries for years to come.”

For more information visit: http://www.bioplatforms.com/environomics/

This press release can be downloaded here: Environomics Framework Data Initiative – Press Release

Contact:

Andrew Gilbert | T: 02 9850 8281 | agilbert@bioplatforms.com

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