La Trobe University Announces $23M Innovation Hub in Bundoora


Image: La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science

La Trobe University has announced plans for new Digital and Bio Innovation Hubs at its Bundoora campus. 

Construction of the $23 million precinct is expected to create 170 new jobs.

A significant portion of the project’s budget is being subsidised by the state government’s Higher Education State Investment Fund, with the Bio Innovation Hub to receive a $17 million boost.

The project is part of a wider plan by La Trobe to create a ‘University City of the Future,’ which would see improved education, work and living facilities on and around the Bundoora campus.

The plan for the Bundoora campus proposes to create 20,000 new jobs, with 3,000 construction jobs per annum.

The new hubs will accommodate up to 10 companies and 40 research and business staff, with purpose-built facilities including wetlabs, temperature-controlled storage facilities, offices and high-end digital equipment.

The Bio Innovation Hub is designed to support the research and development of a range of products including antiviral drugs and medicinal agriculture products. 

In a statement, the university said its aim in creating the Hub is to support “the commercialisation of breakthrough research in Victoria by businesses [who are] currently limited by a lack of access to specialist facilities.”

Construction of the hubs is set to commence in May, with an expected completion scheduled for 2022.

Expected to tender for the project are Kane, Icon and Hansen Yuncken.

Kane’s current pipeline of work includes the $160 million New Student Precinct at the University of Melbourne.

Kane is also currently delivering the Bendigo TAFE Revitalisation Project, a $50 million joint venture with Nicholson Construction.

arete Australia, a subsidiary of Kane, has an established relationship with La Trobe, having recently been awarded two contracts, for upgrades to the university’s Nursing faculty and the fitout of the SEMS Lab Hub. 

Icon’s recently completed projects in the tertiary sector include Stage 2 of the $39 million Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Melbourne. 

Prior to that, Icon also delivered the Deakin University Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering and Training, a $34 million precinct, in 2015.

Hansen Yuncken specialise in education construction and commercial developments. In Melbourne, they have developed Monash University’s Caulfield and Clayton Libraries, Deakin University’s highway frontage and Victoria University’s Learning Commons.

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