Funding boost for Melbourne Connect projects

Funding for Melbourne Connect
Funding for two projects has boosted Melbourne Connect's world-class reputation.

The University of Melbourne has welcomed State Government funding for a collection of projects at Australia’s newest innovation precinct, Melbourne Connect.

The $15.2 million package will help establish the Zero Emissions Energy Lab and the Digital Twin Data Visualisation Lab - a visual workspace for major infrastructure project collaboration, and the Digital Health Validtron that will replicate clinical and home environments for the development of medical devices.

Several other research programs will be created as part of the project, including an industry-led, student supported program that collaborates with small business on new technology solutions called Opportunity Lab. Another is the Future of Work Lab which will research the implications of digital technologies for work and upskill women, Indigenous, CALD and LGBTQ+ Victorians in STEM.

Melbourne Connect was opened in April this year. It is located on the old Royal Women’s Hospital site adjacent to the Parkville campus and brings together the University and research community, industry, business and start-ups to work on new and emerging technologies.

The fit-out of Melbourne Connect is expected to finish in 2022 and will create about 165 research, PhD and intern positions and 12 jobs during construction.

The Labor Government contributed $10.7 million to the project in a joint effort with the University of Melbourne.

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

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

Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney said: “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.”

Member for Northern Metropolitan Sheena Watt said: “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.”