The University of Melbourne, in partnership with a consortium led by Lendlease, is developing Australia’s leading innovation precinct on the former site of the Royal Women’s Hospital, located on the corner of Swanston and Grattan streets in Carlton.
Industry, researchers, government and the community will co-locate within the new precinct and collaborate to develop innovative solutions to major societal challenges.
The precinct will provide an environment where great minds from different disciplines collide to turn big ideas into pioneering products or services, particularly in relation to changing technologies, sustainability and resilience.
Inspired by global examples such as MIT’s Kendall Square Initiative and Imperial College London’s White City Campus, the Melbourne based precinct will have the tools, platforms and services to facilitate a thriving and vibrant ecosystem that will enhance Australia’s productivity and sustainability.
An ecosystem-based approach to innovation
Innovation emerges from dynamic and collaborative environments where people are encouraged to share skills and ideas as they work and socialise together.
Anchored by the University of Melbourne, the new innovation precinct will combine the right mix of assets to create a prosperous environment:
- Excellence in research. The precinct will be located near the University of Melbourne’s main campus (#1 university in Australia) which hosts some of the world’s leading researchers. University research teams from Melbourne School of Engineering and the Faculty of Business and Economics will be based in the new precinct, with more to follow.
- Collaboration space. Dedicated co-working and collaboration spaces within the precinct will bring top researchers, start-ups and corporate partners together. Spread across two floors, the ‘superfloor’ will provide formal and informal meeting spaces, as well as food, beverage and event facilities that will foster the exchange of ideas.
- Practical application. The precinct will be equipped with a Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) enabling entrepreneurs to test ideas and manufacture prototypes before launching a new product or service. The Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) and the Translating Research at Melbourne program (TRaM) will also guide and accelerate start-ups to enhance Melbourne’s culture of entrepreneurship.
- Activation. Human interaction is key to innovation, and the precinct will offer a vast program of formal and informal events, including hackathons, pitch nights, workshops and social events to encourage people to connect. The precinct will attract hundred of thousands of visitors and community members to enjoy outdoor public spaces and visit Science Gallery Melbourne. Part of a global network, the Gallery will collaborate with artists, scientists, academics and industry to deliver a cutting-edge program of exhibitions, events and experiences.
- Practicality. The site is ideally located at the doorstep of the city centre and close to public transport. The precinct will host shops and cafes, accommodation for graduate students and visiting academics as well as a childcare centre.
- State-of-the-art design and sustainability. The precinct will respond to the highest standards of design and sustainability. It will be composed of a series of connecting buildings arranged around a central “Oculus” open space. The pedestrian experience will be enhanced around and through the site with laneways connecting Grattan, Swanston and Cardigan streets. The design has been imagined to blend into the neighbourhood by combining modernity and Carlton’s identity.