New funding to boost innovation. Images – Canva
  • The newly opened 'Melbourne Connect' is to be fitted
  • The project is co-funded by the Victorian government and the University of Melbourne
  • 2022 is the expected completion time

The old Royal Women’s Hospital site is to be further transformed into an innovation precinct by a new batch of projects.

The developments are jointly funded by the Victorian government (contributing $10.7 million) and the University of Melbourne.

Having opened in April, Melbourne Connect is currently located on the old hospital site is The innovation precinct is adjacent to the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus.

The project was one of several to pitch for funding from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. The $350 million was established to help boost Victoria’s economy in its recovery from the pandemic.

“…Melbourne Connect will create jobs, great training opportunities for all Victorians, and of course, foster collaboration between researchers and industry.”

Gayle Tierney, Minister for Higher Education

The new contributions will provide funding to establish a Zero Emissions Energy Lab at Melbourne Connect. The lab will supply a place for researchers and startups to work towards developing cheap and clean energy products. These could include vehicles and solutions for energy storage and distribution.

A Digital Twin Data Visualisation Lab will also be developed on the site. This is designed to be a visual workplace encouraging major infrastructure project collaboration.

The planned Digital Health Validtron is to be established on the site, aimed at replicating clinical and home environments to aid the development of medical devices.

Several other research programs will be supported as a part of the innovation-focused program including an Opportunity Lab and the Future of Work Lab.

“The Melbourne Connect precinct will invigorate the heart of the CBD while helping support the creation of innovative products and initiatives that will shape Victoria’s future,” said Sheena Watt, a Member for Northern Metropolitan.

With completion expected in 2022, the fit-out of Melbourne Connect is expected to create 12 jobs during construction. Once complete the innovation precinct will supply 165 research, PhD and intern positions.

“On behalf of the University of Melbourne, I thank the State Government for providing significant funding for these two projects which will enhance Melbourne Connect’s growing reputation as a world-class innovation precinct.”

Professor Duncan Maskell, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor

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