TIC of approval: Technology Innovation Complex moves ahead

Construction of the landmark Technology Innovation Complex (TIC) is one step closer, with James Cook University and state and federal governments finalising arrangements for the NAIF loan that will fund the project.

Construction of the landmark Technology Innovation Complex (TIC) is one step closer, with James Cook University and state and federal governments finalising arrangements for the NAIF loan that will fund the project.

The Federal Government committed up to $98 million from its Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to develop the TIC.

The Queensland Government and JCU have signed a Facility Agreement for the NAIF loan, which signals the green light to complete detailed design work, with construction expected to commence in mid-2020.

The five level, 10,000m2 TIC will be the centrepiece of an innovation hub in which undergraduate and post-graduate engineering and IT students, industry partners and researchers will converge and collaborate.

The TIC is part of a bundle of projects totalling $174m that will modernise James Cook University’s Townsville campus.

JCU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said she’s delighted that crucial work to develop the TIC can begin.

“NAIF’s Investment Decision last year gave JCU the confidence to progress the work required to bring us to today’s point of signing the Facility Agreement with the Queensland Government.

“The Technology Innovation Complex will deliver leading-edge STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovation, research and educational facilities for northern Queensland.

“The TIC, and other projects planned and underway, will transform our Townsville campus and provide new and exciting opportunities for our region,” Prof. Harding said.

Site works for the project will start in the next few months and the detailed design of the building will also begin in coming months.

It’s estimated the TIC project will create about 270 construction and other jobs.

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies Professor Marcus Lane said the TIC will bring together research and innovation to support business and the community, involving STEM, big data and analytics, information technology and technology transformation.

“We expect the TIC will lead to a further boost in enrolment in STEM higher education degrees, and play an integral role in training the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs in STEM.”

“It will help build a workforce that will meet the needs of the future economy and help drive prosperity in the North for years to come,” Professor Lane said.

Professor Harding has paid tribute to all those at the University and beyond whose hard work and consideration has ensured the project can now get underway.

“The TIC is a crucial part of a broader series of projects that will modernise facilities at our Townsville campus (Townsville Campus Renewal) and reduce the existing footprint of the University around a new central core (Townsville Central Plaza). These facilities will ensure we continue to offer outstanding educational experiences for our students in the years to come,” Prof. Harding said.

The Director of Estate Hilary Kavanagh said construction of the Townsville Central Plaza is well advanced, with the project expected to be completed later this year.

“The Townsville Central Plaza is an open public space that will connect the TIC, The Science Place, and other areas of the campus. It will be the centrepiece of a network of public spaces transforming the Townsville Campus,” Mr Kavanagh said. The $5 million project is funded through the Queensland Government’s Catalyst Infrastructure Program.

The Townsville Campus Renewal is a five-year, targeted program of works affecting more than 50 buildings across the campus. Learning and Teaching buildings will be refurbished while other ageing buildings will be decommissioned, and University activities will be brought closer together creating a more vibrant campus heart.

Artist impressions of the Technology Innovation Complex can be found below (images sourced from Kirk Architects with i4 Architecture and Charles Wright Architects):


Artist impressions of the Townsville Central Plaza can be found below (images sourced from Cox Architecture and Counterpoint Architecture):


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