Opening the front door to innovation at Swinburne

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Innovation Precinct Fire Station LS

The $7 million redeveloped Hawthorn fire station is the front door of the Innovation Precinct, which extends across Swinburne’s entire Hawthorn campus.

In summary

  • Swinburne officially opens the Innovation Precinct at Hawthorn campus
  • The restored Hawthorn fire station on William Street is the front door of the Innovation Precinct
  • The Innovation Hub will be a central point for connecting the university’s research and innovation capabilities and a place for staff and students to collaborate with industry

Swinburne University of Technology has continued its commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, officially opening the Innovation Precinct at its Hawthorn campus.

Speaking at the launch, Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, said the Innovation Precinct will unleash the Swinburne innovation ecosystem focused on interdisciplinary research collaboration and deep engagement with industry, business and society.

Aleks Subic delivers a speech at the Innovation Precinct launch
Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development)

“For many years, innovation has been part of Swinburne’s DNA and the launch of the Innovation Precinct is the latest chapter in Swinburne’s commitment to co-creating and translating innovative research outcomes into new technologies, products and services that will generate social and economic impact,” Professor Subic said.

Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis said: “The Swinburne Innovation Precinct is putting Victoria's capabilities centre stage. By teaching an innovative mindset along with skills and critical thinking it will instil the key qualities that students need to succeed in the global market.”

Fire station redevelopment on Williams St, Hawthorn

The $7 million redeveloped Hawthorn fire station on William Street is the front door of the Innovation Precinct, which extends across Swinburne’s entire Hawthorn campus.

An exterior shot of the fire station building
The exterior of the fire station building

The four-storey repurposed building, which was an operational fire station from  1910 – 1997, features one thousand square metres of space dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial activity at the university, including eleven break out and prototyping spaces.

The redevelopment has been led by Melbourne firm H2O Architects — the designers of Swinburne’s Advanced Technologies Centre, the first education building in Australia to be awarded a 5-star green star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

A multi-purpose space with unlimited potential

The Innovation Hub will be a central point for connecting the university’s research and innovation capabilities and a place for staff and students to collaborate with industry, solve challenges, and produce commercial outcomes.

A co-working space within the innovation precinct
One of the co-working spaces in the fire station building

“This building is just one part of the innovation ecosystem at Swinburne. We view this building as a place for hot-housing of innovation and connecting the rest of the university. By bringing together different people, from different walks of life, different disciplines and cultures, we are creating diverse teams that can tackle through collaboration the biggest problems facing our society today,” Professor Subic says.

Other vital parts of the Innovation Precinct ecosystem include:

Design Factory Melbourne
Bringing together students, research leaders, industry partners and entrepreneurs to solve complex problems, generate innovative solutions and forecast future scenarios.

Factory of the Future
Equipped with advanced visualisation and design tools, this ground-breaking facility gives designers the resources to develop prototypes rapidly, create innovative products and research potential manufacturing methods.

Digital Innovation Lab
Integrating economy-wide digital technology and the internet of things, big data, data science and domain science to help enable people to make better decisions.

An entrepreneur-in-residence program
A mentoring program bringing leading experts together to support entrepreneurial teams of students at staff from across the university.

A business incubator program
Supporting at least 10 resident start-up companies each year from students to small start-ups, right through to established businesses and industry partners.

Join the innovation ecosystem

To join Swinburne’s innovation ecosystem email: innovationprecinct@swinburne.edu.au or call 9214 3700.

Read Professor Aleksandar Subic’s keynote address delivered at the official launch of Swinburne’s Innovation Precinct.