RMIT: Victorian government announces $44.6million investment in RMIT

The development of a social innovation precinct, bordered by Lygon, Victoria, Swanston and Queensberry Streets, will be home to research, ideas, skills and new technology.

Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education the Hon. Gayle Tierney announced the project would be funded through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on universities.

The funding will cover a raft of individual research projects and capital works, all with a unique focus on community-based renewal.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Martin Bean CBE said the facilities and activities funded by the government would help RMIT contribute to Victoria’s social and economic response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and create jobs, enterprises and opportunities for the future.

“RMIT has been proudly working together with the Victorian Government to develop new ways of creating skills, offering educational pathways, partnering with industry, and solving shared community problems, Professor Bean said.

“Activating this unique precinct and strengthening its connections with other parts of this great city will create long-lasting benefit for the Victorian economy and community.

“It is a wonderful milestone for the future of a 20-year vision.”

Key activities include:

A Multifaith and Wellbeing Centre to better serve the needs of RMIT’s diverse community;
An Asia Trade and Innovation Hub designed to support local businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific;
A Social Innovation Hub to foster collaborative and industry-focused research on social and economic challenges, including gender equality, cultural diversity, and crime prevention;
A Digital Infrastructure and the Digital CBD project focused on the ways COVID-19 has accelerated adoption of digital technology and reshaped Victoria’s geography;
PlaceLab Research Centres that will link with the community to create a more sustainable, liveable and people-focused Victoria;
A Space Industry Hub to connect Victorian businesses with global space technology opportunities.
The partnership builds on RMIT’s commitment to creating fit-for-purpose spaces that allow students, staff and industry to connect and collaborate; and on existing work with government to renew the University’s CBD North precinct.

The Victorian Government’s two-year investment will extend and activate programs in sectors ranging from engineering, computing and advanced manufacturing to healthcare, social services and justice innovation.

The partnership will deliver on RMIT’s four project areas:

CBD North Precinct Activation & Innovation Spine for Social & Economic Renewal;
Social Innovation: Health, Justice & Community Services;
Digital & Business; Digital and Business Transformation;
Future Industry Transformation.
A masterplan for a shared city innovation spine and public open space, including a ‘green spine’ connecting the CBD, Carlton, Parkville and Queen Victoria Market is a key element of the next steps.

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