Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences

The Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences at Mount Annan will be a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility created to protect the Gardens’ nationally and internationally significant collection of more than 1.4 plant million specimens dating back to those collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on Cook’s voyage in 1770.

The herbarium collection has recently been valued at $200 million so it is imperative we have a facility that protects and safeguards this collection for our future generations.

It is appropriate that as we acknowledge the 250th anniversary voyage of Captain Cook, we provide world class facilities to showcase our collection, such as the Banks & Solander specimens, and even more recent discoveries such as the Wollemi Pine.

Our scientists are driving vital research not only here in NSW, but across Australia and internationally. The new Herbarium will become the nation’s premier international botanic research facility for our scientists, and contribute to Western Sydney’s emergence as an important scientific hub and Australia’s fastest growing economy!

The Herbarium has been located within the Robert Brown Building since it was constructed in 1982, with no change to the facility or the operations since that time. The building now has a lack of effective environmental controls placing the collection at risk.

Additionally, the storage capacity in the Robert Brown Building will be exhausted by 2022 so it is now time critical that we create a centre that fixes these deficiencies as well as allow our collection to grow and continue to work closely with other Herbaria around the world.

In total the project will run for four years from shovel in the ground to the centre opening in 2021 with the revitalised Brown Building completing in 2022. 

Design

Detailed planning is currently underway to define the requirements for the new Centre and the procurement will commence shortly.

The successful design and contractor team will then work with the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to develop the design for the Western Sydney Centre, with the final concept design to be unveiled later in the year.

Funding

The NSW Government has committed the full $60 million to the project as part of the Western Sydney City Deal, which is a partnership between the Australian Government, NSW Government, and local governments.

The building itself is being funded by the NSW Government but the focus is building a world class innovation hub. For that to be realised additional funding is needed. To fund enhancements to the facility, a fundraising strategy will be developed following the completion of the design process.

Public Exhibition and Consultation

A public exhibition for the design will be unveiled later this year and an opportunity for consultation will be announced shortly after.

Construction

Construction of the Centre will commence in 2019. Planning for the rejuvenation of the current Herbarium at the Sydney Garden will also commence this year.

Project Team

  • Project Sponsor – BGCP Executive Director
  • Project Director - BGCP Director, Strategy, Planning and Projects
  • Program Manager – Manager BGCP Program Management Office – Trish Ferreira
  • Project Manager - Root Projects Australia