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Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) announces early works contractor

  • 07 Mar 2024
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The Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) is thrilled to appoint Kane Constructions as the enabling and early works contractor in the development of its state-of-the-art research facility.

The AIID is a $650 million project led by Foundation Partners the University of Melbourne, Doherty Institute and Burnet Institute, with $400 million contributed by the Victorian State Government, to vastly enhance and accelerate effective infectious disease and pandemic prevention, preparation and response.

Kane Constructions will play a crucial role in preparing the AIID's building site, including the safe and considered demolition of four existing buildings, while minimising disruptions to building site neighbours and the local community.

This will deliver a greenfield site to construct a world-class research facility on the prominent Haymarket intersection in Melbourne’s iconic Biomedical Precinct.

The early and enabling works will have a strong focus on sustainability, including diverting at least 90% of materials from landfill.

Kane has also committed to directing a minimum 2% of the total contract value to underrepresented groups to support the construction works.

The AIID will be perfectly positioned in the nation’s beating heart of biomedical research and innovation, nestled amongst distinguished companies, institutes and hospitals such as CSL, WEHI, Illumina, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and more.

The AIID is ambitious in its goal to protect Australia, the region and the world from the impacts of infectious disease and pandemics through groundbreaking research and innovation.

This will be enabled by high-tech facilities within the new building, including a human infection challenge unit, robotic biobanking, one of the largest high-containment laboratory facilities in the Southern Hemisphere and dedicated space for industry engagement and partnerships.

The facility’s enabling and early works are expected to be completed by late 2024, paving the way for subsequent construction phases to be completed by 2027.

University of Melbourne Chief Operating Officer Paul Axup said:

"It has taken considerable work over several years to bring the AIID project to this point. Now in 2024, we are thrilled to engage Kane Constructions to lead the enabling and early works that will kick-off on-site activity and really bring this project to life.”

University of Melbourne Assistant Vice Chancellor and AIID Co-Chair James McCluskey said:

“The AIID will equip the brightest minds with the best technology and resources available to deliver a unique, sovereign infectious disease capability for Australia. This critical mass of expertise will vastly improve the speed, equity and innovation with which we prevent, prepare and respond to future pandemics.”

Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC said:

“It is exciting to reach this milestone in the delivery of a new state-of-the-art building for the AIID and the new home of Burnet Institute. With early works beginning soon, we are one step closer to realising the AIID vision of eliminating the public health impact of major infectious diseases. This centres around being better prepared for future pandemics, but also addresses the wider health issues of the communities most affected by these infectious disease challenges, especially mothers, children and adolescents in lower income regions.”

Doherty Institute Director Professor Sharon Lewin said:

“The Doherty Institute is looking forward to work commencing on the AIID facility. As an immediate neighbour to the building site, we are reassured by the considered and thorough enabling and early works program proposed by Kane Constructions.”


Australian Institute for Infectious Disease building plans unveiled

20 Jun 2023

The Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) – of which Burnet Institute is a Foundation Partner – is one step closer to having a world-class home as its leaders joined with the Victorian Minister for Medical Research to unveil the building design and location today.

The AIID is a visionary $650 million project supported by the Victorian State Government to bring some of the nation’s greatest scientific and medical research minds together to provide a rapid, coordinated response to current and future pandemics and infectious diseases.  

The AIID building, designed by leading Australian architectural firm Wardle and engineered by international engineering firm Aurecon, has been specifically designed to foster collaboration and innovation between the Foundation Partners – the University of Melbourne, Doherty Institute and Burnet – industry, and an alliance of Victorian infectious disease organisations.

Also announced today was the location of the AIID’s new home – occupying the area of 766–780 Elizabeth Street and 213–223 Berkely Street in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and physically connecting to the Doherty Institute across multiple storeys.


The new building will allow the University of Melbourne and the Doherty Institute to expand and Burnet Institute to relocate its headquarters.

Burnet Institute Deputy Director Professor Margaret Hellard AM said this is an exciting phase in the project, bringing to life the vision of a new state-of-the-art facility and the new home for Burnet Institute.  

“The relocation of Burnet to the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct as a Foundation Partner of the AIID will strengthen collaborations across laboratory-based research and public and global health, and build our capacity to respond to significant global health challenges,” Professor Hellard said.

The AIID will focus on genomics, diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccine research, clinical trials and data and public health research to inform decision making. These focus areas will be supported and enabled by high-tech facilities within the new building, including:

  • A human infection challenge unit designed to accelerate the development of new medicines and vaccines for key partners and industry clients, through high-quality and ethical clinical research.
  • Robotic biobanking, allowing remote treatment and storage of biomedical samples from large clinical trials, enabling more efficient and safer storage and retrieval than traditional methods.
  • One of the largest high-containment PC3 (Physical Containment level 3) laboratory facilities in the Southern Hemisphere, enabling identification, isolation and characterisation of new viruses and other infectious disease agents.
  • A combination of specialist and flexible PC2 (Physical Containment level 2) laboratories, allowing the development of new vaccine technologies such as mRNA.
  • Industry engagement spaces to create an innovation-focused entrepreneurial environment that supports the translation of promising discoveries into the successful commercialisation of medical products and services to deliver patient benefit.
  • Convergence zones, enabling collaboration between the Foundation Partner organisations through meetings, shared amenities, training, workshops and incidental conversations in social areas.
  • Purpose designed spaces to support public health research including dry laboratories, interview rooms and spaces for community engagement and co-design work.

Demolition of the existing buildings on the site will be undertaken in 2024, with construction to commence in 2025.

University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said today’s announcement is a significant step forward in the AIID’s development.

“We are thrilled to reveal the plans for the new AIID building. It will be an iconic addition to the world-leading Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and will equip us with the facilities and resources we need to get ahead of the next pandemic,” Professor Maskell said.

Doherty Institute Director Professor Sharon Lewin said the unveiling of the concept design will see the AIID project gain momentum and will inspire people who will be working in the facility.

“The AIID will allow for expansion of activities across all aspects of the Doherty Institute’s work, as well as strengthen partnerships with Foundation Partners to tackle the challenges in infectious diseases now and into the future,” Professor Lewin said.

Images of the building and more information can be found at