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Featured News Cairns Innovation Centre breaks new ground

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Thu, 30 May 2019

Cairns Innovation Centre breaks new ground

artist's impression of Cairns Innovation Centre

James Cook University’s vision to turbocharge innovation in northern Queensland has taken a big step forward, with construction set to begin on the landmark $30m Cairns Innovation Centre (CIC).

James Cook University’s vision to turbocharge innovation in northern Queensland has taken a big step forward, with construction set to begin on the landmark $30m Cairns Innovation Centre (CIC).

The CIC will translate JCU’s teaching and research into innovation that generates jobs and economic growth for Cairns and the broader region.

It will lead to the creation of products and processes with real commercial application that can drive economic growth and diversity for northern Australia.

Watpac has won a tender to build the ground-breaking CIC, with construction expected to be completed by Semester Two 2020.  The project is expected to create 75 jobs in the construction phase.

Cairns Campus Director David Craig said he’s delighted to announce construction of the CIC will begin shortly.

“The Cairns Innovation Centre will be a place where businesspeople, entrepreneurs, community organisations, researchers, educators and students can work and learn from each other,” Mr Craig said.

“It will foster a culture of entrepreneurship and catalyse and accelerate the translation of research and new business ideas into products and services that are in high demand in northern Queensland and beyond.”

“The three-storey building will house JCU’s innovative Internet of Things program, and will nurture a new generation of students and young graduates who can engage deeply with industry and business via work-integrated learning, and apply innovative technologies in established industries and drive start-up businesses in emerging industries,” Mr Craig said.

The Director of JCU Connect Rochelle Finlay said the development of the CIC is a critical component of JCU’s innovation strategy.

“JCU is committed to building and supporting a vibrant innovation ecosystem, which expands on existing activities and deepens the University’s relationships with regional, national and international innovation partners.

“JCU will work with key partners to foster innovation and growth for small and medium sized enterprises, as well as develop technology solutions in areas of importance for the region.

“The University is developing a suite of programs to be rolled out over the next 18 months to support the innovation ecosystem,” Ms Finlay said.

Watpac Construction Northern Area Manager Bryan Glancy said the Group was delighted to be delivering the multi-functional education facility, which has been designed to enhance innovation and scientific activities.

“Watpac has extensive experience in the northern Queensland region and we’re delighted to be delivering another great project for our valued client James Cook University,” Mr Glancy said.

“Our local knowledge and industry expertise will ensure we not only deliver an exceptional building for the university but provide opportunities for local trades and businesses to be a part of this construction journey.”

The $30m Centre is funded by $10m from the Australian Government and $10m from the Queensland Government, with the balance contributed by JCU.

The building has been designed to meet the highest environmental and sustainability standards. Spaces are organised around a central atrium featuring a full-height green wall and floating staircase. A mesh fabric screen will ‘wrap’ the façade, with images and colours projected onto the building’s exterior.

The building’s design has been led by Wilson Architects and Clarke and Prince Architects along with a sub-consultant team.

Contacts

Media enquiries linden.woodward@jcu.edu.au