New innovation precinct Melbourne Connect launched

The University of Melbourne today officially launched Melbourne Connect, a major new purpose-built innovation precinct. Spotless is the facilities manager for a 42-year period in the consortium led by Lendlease as developer, builder, co-investor and investment manager of the commercial space, with GIC the major co-investor in the commercial space and Urbanest as investor and manager of the student accommodation.

Melbourne Connect brings together the creativity, cross-disciplinary expertise and talent of the University of Melbourne research community and its diverse partners to help drive innovation. Through the connection of multiple players in the innovation system, Melbourne Connect will generate economic, environmental and social benefits.

Melbourne Connect will be located on the former Royal Women’s Hospital site in Carlton. Plans for the project were initially revealed in November last year, and construction is now underway, with completion expected in late 2020.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell welcomed the launch of the precinct which will “set a new benchmark in University, industry and government collaboration”.

“Melbourne Connect is a project that will make a significant contribution to the city’s reputation as an international research and innovation leader,” Professor Maskell said.

“The precinct will make a real difference, delivering innovative solutions to major societal challenges.”

The Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre and Science Gallery Melbourne will each be located at Melbourne Connect, with the Melbourne School of Engineering co-located in the precinct.

John Burton, Lendlease’s Managing Director Urban Regeneration, praised the vision for the transformational project.

“Melbourne Connect brings together university-led research, industry and elite thinking in a purpose-built innovation precinct, and demonstrates how the combined expertise of industry and academia can be harnessed to achieve great outcomes,” he said.

Curation of tenant partners – expected to be innovation-focused, visionary and complementary to the project – is underway. Co-location stands to offer tenant partners deep connections into the university’s research and resources, to bright minds and purpose driven talent, and to influential and effective peers. Connections will be facilitated and nurtured by the precinct in various ways, including specialised relationship services and a vibrant event program.