Melbourne Innovation Districts launched

Three of Melbourne’s biggest institutions are partnering to create an “urban innovation district” which is set to drive investment in the knowledge economy and shape the city’s future.

Located in the university area north of the CBD, the urban innovation district is part of the Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID) initiative, a collaboration between the City of Melbourne, RMIT University and the University 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, Royal Exhibition Building, Trades Hall and the Melbourne Museum.

The three institutions will work together to attract more small businesses, startups and social enterprises to the area.

The program of work is focused around five essential components of future cities, stimulating and connecting new ideas and practices to project and partnerships which can prototype and apply them across the urban landscape.

The five components are:

  • Public realm

  • Enterprise activation

  • Social innovation

  • Digitally-enabled technology

  • Institutional design

Through community events and improved public spaces, MID will provide more opportunities for Melbourne’s knowledge workers, researchers, students, business and community organisations to connect and collaborate, creating innovative ideas essential for the city to continue to thrive and prosper.

Planning considerations for the area will 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 will increase collaborative and engaging green spaces, encourage walking and cycling and incorporate greater use of sensors, apps and other networking technologies, such as WiFi.

Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University, Martin Bean CBE, said MID will forge new links between industry sectors and urban clusters, helping new solutions and entrepreneurship to grow and thrive.

“Melbourne is a great education city. New jobs and services are being created where diverse communities come together with technology innovation and world-leading expertise,” Martin said.

“This partnership will focus and amplify what we are doing together to help design and shape the future.

“We want to inspire students, staff, alumni, companies, investors, community partners and governments to get involved in creating new knowledge and city experiences.”

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