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Victorian Government funds university’s innovation precinct

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The University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Connect is set to turn into a world-class innovation precinct thanks to the collection of projects funded by the Victorian Government. 

The Victorian Government has provided a $15.2 million package to help establish the Zero Emissions Energy Lab, allowing students, researchers and start-ups to develop cheap, clean energy products. 

“This is exactly why we are supporting our local universities – Melbourne Connect will create jobs, great training opportunities for all Victorians, and of course, foster collaboration between researchers and industry,” Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney said. 

Other research programs that have been funded by the state government include the following: 

  • Digital Twin Data Visualisation Lab — a visual workspace for major infrastructure project collaboration 
  • Digital Health Validtron — a program that will replicate clinical and home environments for the development of medical devices. 
  • Opportunity Lab — a workspace that allows industry and students to collaborate with small businesses on new technology solutions 
  • Future of Work Lab — a workspace that will research the implications of digital technologies for work and upskill women, Indigenous, CALD and LGBTQ+ Victorians in STEM. 

University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell thanks the state government for providing the funding to further enhance Melbourne Connect’s reputation. 

Melbourne Connect is the city’s newest innovation precinct, bringing together the university and research community, industry, business and start-ups to work on new and emerging technologies.  

The precinct is located on the old Royal Women’s Hospital site adjacent to the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus and has recently opened last April. 

Its fit-out is expected to finish in 2022, creating around 165 research, PhD and intern positions and 12 jobs during construction. 

“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,” Member for Northern Metropolitan Sheena Watt said. 

Melbourne Connect is one of many pitches the state’s universities have made to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector. 

The Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund supports universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting the state’s productivity and the economy while recovering from the pandemic. 

SOURCE: VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT MEDIA RELEASE

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