01 Sep Cairns Innovation Centre
James Cook University’s vision to fast-track innovation in northern Queensland has taken a big step forward, with the start of construction of the $30m Cairns Innovation Centre (CIC). The CIC is a critical component of JCU’s innovation strategy and will complement the roll out of a suite of programs over the next 18 months to support the innovation ecosystem.
Importantly, the CIC will be a central pillar in the broader innovation community of northern Queensland and will bring together business people, entrepreneurs, community organisations, researchers, educators and students from across different sectors and interest groups. The CIC will provide a platform for translating JCU’s teaching and research into innovation that generates jobs and economic growth for Cairns and the broader region.
A key aim of the Centre is to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and catalyse and accelerate the translation of research and new business ideas into products and services that are in high demand in northern Queensland and beyond.
The three-storey building will house JCU’s innovative Internet of Things program, and will nurture a new generation of students and young graduates who can engage deeply with the community, industry and business via work-integrated learning, and apply innovative technologies in established industries and drive start-up businesses in emerging industries.
The building has been designed to meet the highest environmental and sustainability standards. Spaces are organised around a central atrium featuring a full-height green wall and floating staircase. A mesh fabric screen will ‘wrap’ the façade, with images and colours projected onto the building’s exterior.
The CIC will open in July 2020 and is a $30m joint funding initiative of the Australian Government, Queensland Government and James Cook University. The investment demonstrates the strong commitment to growing northern Queensland through strengthening existing industries, building local capacity, preparing our region for jobs of the future, and extending our potential as a global innovation destination.