University of Melbourne Magazine

Turbo-charging city innovations hub

  • The University of Melbourne is working with two other key Melbourne institutions to create an ‘urban innovation district’ that is set to drive investment in the knowledge economy and shape the city’s future.

    Located north of the CBD, the urban innovation district is part of the Melbourne Innovation Districts initiative, a collaboration between the University of Melbourne, RMIT University and the City of Melbourne.

    Home to 21 per cent (60,260) of all knowledge sector jobs in Melbourne, the urban innovation district features the central campuses of RMIT and the University of Melbourne, State Library Victoria, Queen Victoria Market, the Royal Exhibition Building, Trades Hall and the Melbourne Museum.

    The three institutions will work together to draw more small businesses, start-ups and social enterprises to the area. Through community events and improved public spaces, the Melbourne Innovation Districts initiative will provide more opportunities for Melbourne’s knowledge workers, researchers, students, business and community organisations to connect and collaborate.

    Planning considerations for the area are intended to help innovation flourish and will include upgrades to streets, parks and other public spaces, while at the same time protecting the district’s suburban character. This is expected to increase collaborative and engaging green spaces, encourage walking and cycling and incorporate greater use of sensors, apps and other networking technologies, such as wifi.

    University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis AC, said: “Precincts and hubs that bring together government and researchers, established industry and start-up companies to address global problems will become important for research and contribute to prosperity in our city and our nation.”