Melbourne Connect: Australia’s newest innovation precinct comes to life

Melbourne Connect is completed
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell and Ms Kylie Rampa, Chief Executive Officer Property, Australia Lend Lease.

The recently completed Melbourne Connect brings together the digital expertise of industry leaders and the University of Melbourne under one roof.

Powered by the University of Melbourne in partnership with a consortium led by Lendlease, Melbourne Connect is Australia’s newest purpose-built innovation precinct.

The people, place and programs at Melbourne Connect are designed to help researchers, start-ups, industry, government, corporates, higher degree students, and the community unlock digitally driven, data-enabled and socially responsible solutions to our most pressing challenges.

Formerly occupied by the Royal Women’s Hospital, the Carlton site has been transformed into a modern innovation, research and entrepreneurial precinct aimed at boosting Melbourne’s economy and spurring collaboration.

Designed by internationally acclaimed architectural firms Woods Bagot and Hayball, with landscape design by Aspect Studios, the 75,800sqm precinct features a series of interconnecting buildings arranged around a central landscaped open space known as Womin Djerring (Come Together). The University’s fit-outs within the precinct were designed by Hassell, Architectus and Smart Design Studio.

The heart of this extraordinary project is the 3,600sqm Superfloor, a generous meeting and event space designed to give partners an immersive environment to explore new ideas, showcase their work and collaborate with the best minds in innovation.

The precinct will draw upon the University’s expertise in emerging technologies including robotics, computer science, and cyber security.

Melbourne Connect will accommodate parts of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) including the Computing and Information Systems (CIS) School, as well as a number of research centres from the faculties of Law, Science, and Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Other partners based at the precinct include the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), SANE Australia, Clarke-Hopkins-Clarke, and MAXONIQ. Partners will be surrounded by some of Australia’s most outstanding emerging entrepreneurial talents with the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre (comprising the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) and Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM)) moving to Melbourne Connect.

Science Gallery Melbourne which is part of the acclaimed Global Science Gallery Network is located at Melbourne Connect. Science Gallery Melbourne will be a bold addition to Melbourne, exploring the collisions of art and science, and playing a vital role in shifting our understanding of science, art and innovation. The Gallery will welcome the new STEM Centre of Excellence which will train Victorian secondary students for the jobs of tomorrow in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Also, the new state-of-the-art Telstra Creator Space will give students, start-ups and industry access to a world-leading fabrication and prototyping laboratory. It will also help foster collaboration through workshops, industry-based projects and events.

Purpose-built graduate accommodation at The Lofts @ Melbourne Connect will enable more than 500 postgraduate researchers and visiting academic residents to stay at the precinct.

Located close to the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and as part of the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Connect is also part of the Melbourne Innovation District, a joint initiative of the University, RMIT University and the City of Melbourne.

For more information about Melbourne Connect please visit the Melbourne Connect website.

Quotes attributable to Professor Mark Hargreaves, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), University of Melbourne: “A strategic priority for the University of Melbourne is to develop precincts and campuses that contribute to social, economic and cultural wealth. This is precisely what Melbourne Connect will do. Our aspiration is for Melbourne Connect to become one of the world’s great innovation precincts. A place which has education and research at its core and is surrounded by intermediaries such as accelerators and incubators as well as corporates, government and industry. Melbourne Connect represents a once in a generation opportunity to shape the future of Melbourne and leave a legacy for years to come.”

Quotes attributable to Tom Trevaskis, Head of Development - Victoria, Lendlease: “The completion of Melbourne Connect is such a significant milestone. There’s never been a more important time to foster research and innovation and Melbourne Connect has been created with that purpose. While innovation precincts like Melbourne Connect thrive on the connectivity between economic, physical and networking assets, we also understand the need to weave social and partnership enablers into the fabric of the precinct. We look forward to continuing to work with partners to identify and develop the precinct’s strengths and enhance the collaboration between industry, science and research.”