Innovation is driven not just by ideas, but also by collaboration, opportunity and spaces which allow innovation to develop and flourish.

James Cook University has Makerspaces on both our Cairns and Townsville campuses. The purpose of these spaces is to facilitate innovation in its varied forms. Each space is different not only in location but also in facilities, environment, and design.

Area 61 - Townsville

The ability to design, create, build and turn innovative ideas into reality is a critical component of any innovation ecosystem. JCU Townsville facilitates this vital stage of innovation through the production, testing, and demonstration of prototypes within Area 61.

At this Makerspace, innovators are able to design and manufacture items that require the combination of design and build skills and resource of software, electronics and advanced manufacturing. Formed from the demand to build unique and technically complex items to directly support research over a period of 30 years, Area 61 has been created to expand and provide this unique capability to cater to the needs of the wider Northern Australian innovation ecosystem.

IoT Lab - Cairns

The NarrowBand Internet of Things (NBIoT) research lab is the first of its kind in Australia and was established at JCU Cairns in 2017. The research facility, consisting of a teaching laboratory and workshops, features world-class technology provided by Huawei. The lab allows students to train using the very latest equipment that conforms to the IoT international standard.

The IoT lab assists IoT students, researchers and innovators in developing projects in a well-equipped space that supports learning and creating. The lab is also purposed to promote strong academic-industry collaboration by being the first NBIoT Lab connected to the nation's first Engineering in Electronic Systems and Internet of Things program. The research and development happening inside of this lab is one-of-a-kind and valued by industry.

The lab facilitates projects like the JCU Mosquito Trap Development project, which aims to design and validate traps that are low cost and sensitive enough for several species of mosquitoes. Other featured projects are more focused on technology, such as the Light Field Video Compression and Streaming project, which aims to propose an interactive 3D VR streaming system based upon the state-of-the-art LF video compression and transmission technology.

To encourage and assist further innovation, the NBIoT Lab will move into the new, state-of-the-art Cairns Innovation Centre (CIC) in mid-2020.