Employment: New ‘Flinders at Tonsley’ facility to accelerate innovation

Tonsley’s potential as an innovation hub has been ignited today with the opening of Flinders at Tonsley – bringing vital research, development and academic expertise to the precinct.

The former site of Mitsubishi’s automotive manufacturing operation now brings together industry, training, research, the community and academia to the one location.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the impressive $120 million six-storey, 16,000 square metre structure – set to teach 2000 students per year – is a prominent feature on the rapidly developing site.

“I congratulate Flinders on their achievement, which is instrumental in the State Government’s $253 million investment in this innovation district, driving the industrial transformation of South Australia’s economy,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Tonsley is forecast to attract more than $1 billion in private investment through the attraction of businesses that will build new capabilities and create jobs.

“The ongoing redevelopment of Tonsley aligns with our economic priority of Growth through Innovation.”
The Flinders at Tonsley building will house the University’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, the Medical Device Research Institute, the Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology, Flinders Partners and the New Venture Institute.

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said Tonsley is a great example of the future of manufacturing in South Australia.

“Tonsley is changing how businesses interact with other businesses, researchers and training providers,” Mr Maher said.

“Collaboration will lead to innovation and commercialisation of new ideas, products and services.
“It is pleasing to see this magnificent building open and adding to the integration of industry, education, training, research, the community and soon, residential living, rejuvenating this former automotive manufacturing plant.

“Flinders University now joins TAFE SA as educational companions, sharing the district with industry such as global energy leader Siemens, Hills Innovation Centres, medical device company Signostics and smart energy company ZEN Energy Systems.”

Flinders Vice Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the investment – the largest in the University’s near 50 year history – is part of a major capital works program over four years.

“Flinders University is undergoing the most rapid expansion in its history,’’ Professor Stirling said.

“Our investment in Tonsley reflects our commitment to stimulating jobs growth, bringing our students together with the very best academics, researchers and entrepreneurs in a state-of- the-art facility that encourages innovation and drives new industry.

“The sharpest minds, the boldest researchers and proven business leaders all collaborating under the one roof.”
The opening of Flinders at Tonsley means the Government has now met the target set in the 20-year Tonsley master plan to have 8500 students on site yearly.

Source: News Release, Government of South Australia, 10 March, 2015

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