JCU welcomes Cairns Innovation Centre commitment
The $50M CIC will translate JCU’s teaching and research into innovation that generates jobs and economic growth for Cairns and the broader region.
It will lead to the creation of products and processes with real commercial application that can drive economic growth and diversity for Northern Australia.
James Cook University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the announcement is wonderful news for Cairns, northern Queensland and northern Australia more broadly.
“The Cairns Innovation Centre will tap into JCU and the region’s tropical knowledge and expertise, and catalyse and accelerate the translation of research and new business ideas into products and services that are in high demand in the North and beyond.”
“It will be a place where business people, entrepreneurs, community organisations, researchers, educators and students can work and learn from each other,” she said.
Professor Harding said the Centre will foster a culture of entrepreneurship and enable the university to produce graduates who are innovative and business-savvy, with the skills, understanding and drive to power Northern Australia.
“The CIC will nurture a new generation of students and young graduates who can engage deeply with industry and business via work-integrated learning, and apply innovative technologies in established industries and drive start-up businesses in emerging industries.
“This will further diversify the Cairns economy, boost its exports and attract innovators from around the world to the city,” she said.
Professor Harding has thanked the Cairns community, including Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, for its support for the project.
James Cook University envisions the $50m facility will be funded via $10m from the Queensland Government (already committed), $10m from the Australian Government and the balance to be sourced by JCU.
It’s expected that the CIC will create 155 full-time construction jobs and 200 operational positions.