The Government has committed up to $96 million to develop a Technology Innovation Complex at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville.
The funding is the first investment from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) commitment in Queensland, according to a joint statement by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and Townsville-based Senator Ian Macdonald.
“The Technology Innovation Complex (TIC) will provide contemporary facilities as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) offering, targeted at engineering students,” Minister Canavan said.
“JCU is establishing a focus of engineering for the tropics and the Technology Innovation Complex will be the centrepiece of an ‘innovation hub’ in which undergraduate students, industry partners, post-graduate researchers and start-up businesses will collaborate.
“This is part of a broader plan by JCU to modernise its facilities across the Townsville campus over seven years from now till 2025, and it’s great that a NAIF loan can help facilitate this process and attract more students.
“We also need to attract more young Australians into engineering to support our strong resources sector. We have built our mining sector by harnessing the efforts of some of the world’s best engineers trained here in Australia. This new facility will help us repeat that success in the future.”
The proposed financial assistance is subject to the finalisation of the Queensland Government’s consideration and agreement for the approved funds to be advanced.
Northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald said he was pleased to see NAIF making a loan commitment that would significantly benefit the economy of North Queensland.
“The TIC is part of a broader modernisation and building program that JCU tells me will potentially return a public benefit of some $700 million over 30 years, driven by increased participation in higher education and collaboration with industry, so it is terrific the NAIF funding can help generate that sort of benefit,”Macdonald said.