Swinburne opens door to innovation

Swinburne opens door to innovation article image

Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology has unveiled a new innovation precinct, with a strong focus on digital, IoT, data science and security.

The new precinct, launched last week includes a $7 million redevelopment of a heritage fire station to serve as an industry collaboration hub. 

The four-storey repurposed building, which was an operational fire station from 1910-1997, features 1000sqm of space dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial activity at the university, including eleven break out and prototyping spaces. 

Speaking at the launch, Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, said the Innovation Precinct would focus on research collaboration and a deep engagement with industry, business and the community.

“For many years, innovation has been part of Swinburne’s DNA and the launch of the Innovation Precinct is the latest chapter in Swinburne’s commitment to co-creating and translating innovative research outcomes into new technologies, products and services that will generate social and economic impact,” Professor Subic said.

VIC Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis said: “The Swinburne Innovation Precinct is putting Victoria's capabilities centre stage. By teaching an innovative mindset along with skills and critical thinking it will instil the key qualities that students need to succeed in the global market.”

Factory of the future

Work at the precinct will particularly focus on commercialising research around the digitisation of workforces, the Internet of Things, and data science to produce better outcomes across diverse economic areas.

The precinct also features a factory or the future, which Professor Subic claims is the “first fully immersed Industry 4.0 facility.”

The factory of the future is the result of a $135 million grant from global automation giant Siemens.

“By bringing together different people, from different walks of life, different disciplines and cultures, we are creating diverse teams that can tackle through collaboration the biggest problems facing our society today,” Professor Subic says.

The Innovation Precinct ecosystem includes:

Design Factory Melbourne 
Bringing together students, research leaders, industry partners and entrepreneurs to solve complex problems, generate innovative solutions and forecast future scenarios.

Factory of the Future
Equipped with advanced visualisation and design tools, this ground-breaking facility gives designers the resources to develop prototypes rapidly, create innovative products and research potential manufacturing methods.

Digital Innovation Lab
Integrating economy-wide digital technology and the internet of things, big data, data science and domain science to help enable people to make better decisions.

An entrepreneur-in-residence program
A mentoring program bringing leading experts together to support entrepreneurial teams of students at staff from across the university.

A business incubator program
Supporting at least 10 resident start-up companies each year from students to small start-ups, right through to established businesses and industry partners.

To join Swinburne’s innovation ecosystem email: or call 9214 3700.



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