Recently we’ve attended a number or really exciting, innovative and fun events at the Carlton Connect Initiative (CCI) in Melbourne. Being developed on the site of the former Royal Women’s Hospital, it is still in the initial stages of expansion, and is set to grow significantly over the next few years. Here we provide an initial introduction to the Carlton Connect Initiative, but we’ll also be featuring more in-depth stories over the coming weeks.
The Carlton Connect Initiative is essentially an innovation precinct or hub which is modelled on the MIT Innovation Initiative. Supported by the Univesity of Melbourne, the CCI is creating Australia’s premier innovation precinct. As an open platform, CCI is designed to bring different groups of people into contact with one another to extend and deepen the application of knowledge throughout the Australian economy.
This can, and does, happen in a multitude of ways… including the following:
- Actively bring together people from diverse disciplines to co-locate in one precinct
- Create and curate partnerships inside and outside our immediate environment – locally, nationally and globally
- Pursue new technologies as a means of harnessing the overlaps between research streams and industry sectors
- Provide the next generation of innovation leaders with a new way to navigate the challenges facing our region
- Invite communities of people through our front door to discover and connect
— Carlton Connect Initiative (website)
If Carlton Connect could be distilled down to its essential characteristics these would probably be: a vibrant and inspirational meeting place, and with a bias for collaborative impact.
This confluence aims to convert the talent and energy of people (from academia, business, and all levels of government) into dialogues, collaborations and outcomes that will improve people’s lives and create new career opportunities.
The themes of innovation is driven by the idea of place! Place in two senses: one, where different groups and organisations are located within the same place, and two, where the place fosters spontaneous cross-fertilisation by establishing an inter-crossing place for ideas.
One of the really exciting aspects of Carlton Connect is the extent to which it also incorporates public interaction, with many events and exhibitions being open to the public.
Photo credit: “www.carltonconnect.com.au/”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from the Carlton Connect Initiative.