AUSTRALIA – Neogen Australasia, a leader in genomics services, is transforming a former University of Queensland site at Bundamba into a state-of-the-art AU$ 11 million (US$ 7903885) genomics centre that will help local primary producers grow and breed the best produce and livestock for the market.
The laboratory which is being built in Ipswich with funding from the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund (AQIAF), is set to become the country’s most advanced animal genomics facility.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said Neogen will consolidate its Australian operations in Queensland, creating 25 new high-skilled local jobs over the next five years and potentially more than 40 jobs over the next decade.
He noted that Neogen has become a genuine Queensland success story and a great example of a world-leading company investing in their future here in the Sunshine State.
“In 2017 our government worked with the University of Queensland to attract US food safety giant Neogen Corporation to our state to set up a new Australian office at UQ’s Gatton campus. Neogen went on to establish the largest livestock DNA testing lab in the country, backed by our Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund, and they currently employ 48 staff locally,” Mr. Dick said.
According to the Minister, Neogen has become the most trusted name in Australia for animal genomics, conducting more than 35,000 tests a month so producers can get the most out of their livestock.
“This new facility will allow Neogen to perform up to one million tests annually, more than double Neogen’s current capacity, generating more Queensland employment, which is core to our economic recovery and growth as a state,” he said.
In addition to their genomics work, Neogen also provides food diagnostic and biosecurity services for the agribusiness sector, testing for bacteria, allergens, toxins, diseases and more.
Lance McCallum, the State Member for Bundamba said Ipswich offers everything companies like Neogen need.
“We have a skilled local workforce and strong industry supply chains in place, not to mention easy access to extensive local markets. It’s easy to understand why Neogen and other successful businesses like it are choosing Ipswich, which means more jobs in more industries as we continue our safe and strong recovery,” Mr. McCallum said.
Neogen Australasia Senior Director Bobby Creasman said the company is looking forward to integrating its Gatton lab operations with its food safety team, which has been operating out of Victoria, and expanding its export presence.
“New technologies such as skim-sequencing and expanded food diagnostic testing will now be able to be offered across Australasia thanks to this new facility and the support of the Queensland Government. Our future Bundamba facility will be at the forefront of ensuring greater accessibility of genomic tools at improved value to the cattle and sheep producer, while providing more information across the livestock production value chain,” Mr. Creasman said.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the announcement was fantastic news for Queensland’s valuable food production and processing sector.
“This facility will be a real asset for Queensland ag, particularly our prized beef industry. Our state offers some of the best produce and livestock in the world, and if we can take that quality even higher then it’s only going to deliver positives for the sector and our state,” he voiced.
Neogen Australasia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neogen Corporation, a publicly listed food and animal safety company based in the United States that employs more than 1800 staff globally.