Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute is a flagship University of Melbourne interdisciplinary institute focused on molecular life sciences.  Bio21 hosts more than 800 members with membership from all of the STEM faculties of the University.  Bio21 hosts some of the biggest and most successful platforms of scientific equipment in the nation.  It is also well known for its embedded industry tenant model that capitalises on the discoveries made at the University and its partners in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct.

The Bio21 Institute seeks to improve human health and the environment through innovation in biotechnology and related areas, driven by collaborative research and dynamic interactions with industry. 

The commitment to establish the Bio21 Institute was the University of Melbourne's original contribution to the Bio21 Cluster project, now known as Biomedical Research Victoria. 

Established in 2002, the Bio21 Institute was officially launched on June 8th 2005 by Victorian Premier Mr Steve Bracks, joined by University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis, Innovation Minister Mr John Brumby and Health Minister Ms Bronwyn Pike. In 2015, the Institute celebrated 10 years since its founding. 

A home of research and discovery

Read the Report: Bio21 - A Case Study in Multidisciplinary Research - June 2020

The Bio21 Institute was built on the premise that multidisciplinary ventures between life sciences, physical sciences and engineering disciplines, including the exploitation of genomics knowledge in medical and other biomedical areas of biotechnology, are fundamental to translating biological discoveries into biotech outcomes. The Institute also embraces commercialisation as a facilitator for scientific advancement, skills development and economic outcomes. The Institute's commitment to intellectual property protection, technology transfer and business incubation are key drivers of this innovation.

The Bio21 Institute now attracts outstanding scientists and technicians looking to utilise the purpose-built laboratories and state-of-the-art core platform technology facilities which are accessible to these diverse scientific and industry communities investigating various research themes. Included in this community are the start-up companies supported through business incubation and entrepreneurship skills development, as well as students and early-career researchers. 

Innovative from the outside-in

Designed by architects DesignInc and built by Baulderstone Hornibrook, the Bio21 Institute’s David Penington Building was the overall winner of the prestigious Property Council of Australia's Rider Hunt Award in its opening year of 2005. The award recognises the Institute as a showcase of excellence in property development, incorporating quality design, functionality and environmental sustainability. Providing a balance between function and form, the Institute creates a unique work environment mixing research, offices, technology and laboratories under one roof.

Additional features recognised by the judging panel include the building's high level of adaptability and the continuing contribution to the Victorian economy.

In its first year of operation, the Bio21 Institute's David Penington Building also received an additional three awards, including the Property Council of Australia's Category Award for Public Buildings, the Royal Australian Institute of Architect's Margaret Mahony Award for Interior Architecture, and the Science Industry Australia's Laboratory of the Year Award.

Contact Us

The Bio21 Institute is located at 30 Flemington Road (near corner of Park Drive) in Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria. Melways reference: 2A, K7.

Ph: (+61 3) 8344 2220

E: bio21-reception [at] unimelb.edu.au

Locate Us

Download a copy of our map or locate us using Google Maps.


No public parking is available on-site at Bio21. Limited street and meter parking is available in the surrounding streets. 

The closest all day public parking is at University Square Carpark (enter Berkeley St or Bouverie St, Carlton), which is approximately a 10 minute walk from the Bio21 Institute.

Alternative public parking is at the Royal Children's Hospital on Flemington Road (access from Gatehouse Road), the Royal Women's Hospital (access from Flemington Road) or the Royal Melbourne Hospital car park (off Royal Parade).

Public Transport

From the CBD, take the 59 tram (along Elizabeth Street) or the 58 tram (along William Street) to Park Drive. Tram Stop 15 is closest to the Bio21 Institute.