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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
iStock The Australian Government has moved to simplify and improve communications with Chinese and Japanese investors by instructing its Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to issue an easy-to-read version of the foreign investment framework. In a major attempt to clarify policy on foreign investment, Treasurer Wayne Swan said the guidelines for foreign investment in Australia will be published in Chinese and Japanese. He also said FIRB would engage directly with Australian embassies overseas to ensure that Australian trade officials are well briefed to explain the government's policy on potential foreign investors. The powerful FIRB advisory board will now comprise newly appointed former Lazard and Citigroup executive Brian Wilson and Magellan Asset Management managing director Hamish Douglass. They will join chairman John Phillips and board member Lyn Wood. Mr Swan said there would be no fixed shareholder thresholds or fixed caps on foreign ownership of companies. He acknowledged that the global investment environment had altered and that state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds had become a growing source of international capital. He said that the CLEARING THE WAY A MELBOURNE PROJECT IS FAST TRACKING MEDICAL RESEARCH. BY JANE LEE inbound investment 78 SUPER COMPUTER Global technology company IBM has chosen Australia to launch its rst international collaborative laboratory -- known as a collaborator -- at the University of Melbourne. e research facility will use IBM's Blue Gene Supercomputer, which can perform approximately 800 trillion calculations per second, and will tap into the university's life science precinct of more than 10,000 scientists to produce groundbreaking medical research into major health conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and cancer. " e collaboratory will use data and high-performance computing to model biological systems in order to accelerate research and treatments for conditions such as cancer and neurological disease," says Ajay Royyuru, the head of IBM's Computational Biology Center in New York. IBM and the University of Melbourne, research partners since 2007, launched the AU$100 million Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI) and its IBM Research Collaboratory with Victorian Premier John Brumby in February. "We've decided to do this in Melbourne, based on the strength of the life sciences precinct and the willingness of the Victorian government to support the investment and of the University of Melbourne to partner with us," says Royyuru, who is also a chair on the partnership's governance commi ee. " e aggregate research capability in life sciences of Parkville Precinct is quite compelling, in excess of 10,000 scientists, and so are the strong collaborations between the institutions that have partnered to form VLSCI, with the leadership of University of Melbourne." Over the next ve years, six IBM sta will work in the collaboratory with local scientists and an additional US team of over 60 researchers at IBM's omas J. Watson Research Center. Other research institutions, including the Parkville Precinct and Monash University, will also have access to the supercomputer, which is expected to fast-track ongoing medical research into the prediction of individuals' risk factors and new treatments for a range of diseases. "A whole new phase of technologies is now available, such as DNA sequencing instruments which can produce terabytes of data in a single experiment. However, projects now need massive computing capability to analyse this sort of data," says Associate Professor Melissa Southey, of the University's Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory. " e IBM collaboratory provides a unique opportunity for scientists. It is fantastic to get all the infrastructure and expertise together from industry as well, to address some of these big health issues such as cancer," says Southey. ❝A whole new phase of technologies is now available.❞