Located on the former site of a car manufacturing plant, The Tonsley Innovation District is a great example of an initiative that is driving change in Australia. As Australia’s first innovation district, Tonsley is bringing together leading-edge institutions and companies to connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators in a high-value industry, research, education and residential precinct.
“Tonsley is a remarkable precinct, and the government’s foresight in creating it was truly remarkable. I don’t think the Australian population understands yet what’s happening here,” Innovyz chairman, Philip VafiadisVafiadis, said.
The redeveloped site has four main focus sectors:
- Health, Medical Devices & Assistive Technologies
- Cleantech & Renewable Energy
- Software & Simulation
- Mining & Energy Services
The precinct has already attracted the attention of numerous major companies, including Siemens, Microsoft, Cisco, Simulation Australasia, ZEN Energy Systems and Signostics.
Alongside these are a number of start-up and technology focused organisations, including:
Innovyz Accelerator Programme: It aims to commercialise innovation and rapidly scale companies. Innovyz provides end-to-end support to help innovators build and grow companies that bring their innovations to market. This is done via its Nine Month Programmes.
CoHAB Coworking Centre: Innovyz, working with the South Australian state government have established and manage a not-for-profit startup coworking space called CoHAB.
eNVIsion Incubator Programme: eNVIsion is a collaborative co-working space connecting local business owners and entrepreneurs with a wide range of resources within Flinders University.
Hills Innovation Centre: Hills is a publicly listed company and is a value-added distributor of integrated technology and communication solutions that inspire, protect and improve people’s daily lives such as in their homes, schools, hospitals, aged care facilities, educational institutions, workplaces and governments.
Flinders University’s Innovation Centre New Venture Institute (NVI): is the centre of innovation and entrepreneurship at Flinders University. It aims to inspire, connect and educate future generations of entrepreneurs and innovators. By linking business, government and the community sector via the university it showcases the R&D innovations of the future and ensures robust industry–university linkages.
Finally, Siemens who is a global strategic partner, has opened a new service facility in the Tonsley precinct. The new maintenance centre services turbines and heavy equipment and contributes to South Australia becoming a national centre for technology and engineering.
“Precincts like Tonsley offer great potential for innovation and industry collaboration, bringing together complimentary businesses with leading academic institutions,” said Jeff Connolly, CEO.