JCU’s Townsville campus set to be transformed
James Cook University has welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment of up to $96 million from its Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to develop the landmark Technology Innovation Complex (TIC) at JCU’s Townsville campus.
The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and North Queensland-based Senator Ian Macdonald made the announcement today at the campus. The funding is the NAIF’s first investment commitment in Queensland.
JCU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said she’s delighted by the announcement, which is part of an integrated set of projects to modernise the University’s facilities across the Townsville campus.
“These projects will transform the Townsville campus and will usher in a new era for JCU in the region – a transformation of the campus that sets it up to be a university of the future. These projects will deliver a campus that will be as important to the future of our region, as the establishment of JCU was almost 60 years ago.”
“The Technology Innovation Complex will deliver leading-edge STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovation, research and educational facilities for northern Queensland,” Professor Harding said.
The $90m, three level, 10,000m2 TIC will be the centrepiece of an innovation hub in which undergraduate engineering students, industry partners, post-graduate researchers and start-up businesses will converge and collaborate. It’s estimated the project will create about 270 construction and other jobs.
Research and innovation will support business and the community, involving STEM, big data and analytics, information technology and technology transformation.
“The TIC is expected to lead to a further boost in enrolment in STEM higher education degrees and will be integral to training the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs in STEM.
“It will help build a workforce for the future economy and position northern Queensland and Australia as a global leader in the tropics and help drive prosperity in the North for years to come.”
The TIC is part of a broader series of projects to modernise facilities at the campus (Townsville Campus Renewal) and reduce the existing footprint of the University around a new central core (Townsville Central Plaza).
The Townsville Campus Renewal is a seven-year, targeted program of works affecting more than 50 buildings across the campus. Learning and Teaching buildings will be refurbished while other ageing buildings will be demolished, and University activities will be brought closer together creating a more vibrant campus heart.
The Townsville Central Plaza is an open public space that will connect the TIC, the Science Place, and other areas of the campus. The $5 million project is funded through the Queensland Government’s Catalyst Infrastructure Program.
“JCU is the north’s own University. We need to continue to upgrade our facilities so we can offer outstanding educational experiences for students from the north and from across the world as well as some of the best teaching and research facilities for staff. The innovation hub will be of tremendous benefit to industry partners as well as students and researchers, and will transform regional businesses and industry,” Professor Harding said.
Link to high-resolution artist impressions of the Technology Innovation Complex.