What is AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience?
AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience, is a major new research facility for agricultural biosciences research.
It is a joint initiative between the Victorian Government, through the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and La Trobe University (La Trobe).
What is the aim of AgriBio?
AgriBio aims to deliver internationally recognised agricultural research and development outcomes for the benefit of Victoria and Australia.
What are the objectives of AgriBio?
- attract world-leading scientists
- foster collaboration across scientific disciplines to provide solutions to industry problems
- enable the sharing of leading-edge technology, high-cost equipment and facilities required for advanced research and development
- provide a flexible facility capable of rapidly adapting to future requirements
- achieve energy efficiency and be environmentally and ecologically sustainable.
Who won the tender?
Plenary Research – comprising Plenary Group, Grocon and Honeywell Limited – was the successful tenderer. Plenary Research has entered into an agreement with the Joint Venture parties to have the exclusive right to design, construct, finance and provide facility management services required for the operation of AgriBio for a period of 25-years.
What are the anticipated construction timelines?
Construction commenced in May 2009. AgriBio is expected to be fully operational in 2013.
What Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) principles will be incorporated into the new facility?
The facility is aiming to gain certification under the Green Star Education tool as a five-star-rated building. Some ESD initiatives include:
- integration with the existing surrounding native trees, including a well established old-growth red gum which will become the focus of the main entry to AgriBio
- incorporation of a tri-generation system to facilitate reduced carbon emissions and greater energy efficiency
- water reclamation and storm water harvesting
- usage of environmentally responsible building materials.
What does Public Private Partnership mean?
Public Private Partnership (PPP) is a method of Government procurement for public infrastructure-based services.
Victoria's PPP policy, Partnerships Victoria (PV), seeks to draw upon the best available skills, knowledge and resources, whether they are in the public or the private sector. The PV approach has a demonstrated ability to deliver strong value-for-money results, driven by appropriate risk transfer, whole-of-life costing, innovation and asset utilisation, allowing the Government to focus on service delivery and achieve certainty of costs and funding.
In the case of AgriBio, the Government (the Department of Primary Industries) and La Trobe University, through a Joint Venture (JV) arrangement, have engaged Plenary Research, a private sector consortium, to be responsible for the design, construction, financing and provision of facility management services required for the operation of AgriBio for a period of 25-years.
In return, the JV will pay Plenary Research periodic service-fee payments throughout the 25-year concession period, but only if the output specifications determined by the JV are met by Plenary Research.