The NSW Minister for Science and Medical Research has opened the inaugural Stem Cell Symposium at UNSW, announcing that half a million dollars will be given to stem cell research.

Verity Firth said the funding will help create Australia's first stem cell lines derived from therapeutic cloning. The technique was banned until two months ago, when the NSW Parliament passed legislation allowing it to occur.

"This investment clearly demonstrates the Iemma Government's determination to keep NSW at the cutting edge of this relatively new field of scientific endeavour," she said to an audience of leading researchers.

The final allocation will depend on a NSW research group receiving a licence from the Commonwealth Government's NHMRC Embryo Licensing Committee.

UNSW researchers ( A/Prof Dr Kuldip Sidhu and Prof Bernie Tuch) from the Diabetes Transplant Unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital will apply for such a licence.

The presentations at the one-day symposium included:

For further information, go to the symposium website