Originally posted in The Advertiser on December 13, 2018. Written by Valerina Changarathil, Deputy Business Editor, The Advertiser.
ADELAIDE’S City Deal is a once-in-100-year opportunity that has the potential to transform it into “a City of Entrepreneurs to the world” to rival the likes of Paris as a global start-up hub, according to SA’s chief business leader.
Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride described it as an “opportunity once in a 100 years”.
“To create a convergence of science, ideas, art, technology and culture at Lot Fourteen, in the middle of the CBD on what is already our scientific and cultural boulevard is something unique to Adelaide,” he said.“We don’t want to be Melbourne or Sydney, we’ll be a City of Entrepreneurs to the world.” Lot Fourteen could be Australia’s Station F, he said, referring to the world’s biggest start-up campus in Paris, France.
About 1000 people are expected to be working at the CBD site by next year – half that number are already on site, including SA Pathology and new tenants Chamonix IT Solutions and Myriota.
Chamonix co-founder Geoff Rohrsheim said being located at Lot Fourteen had already enabled great collaboration between the foundation businesses and he was excited about the latest developments. “The space agency itself will open up opportunities but probably more importantly, the agency will attract space and defence companies from all over the world,” he said. “That will help make Lot Fourteen the place to be and provide incredible opportunities for the companies co-located here.”
Early next year, a further 300 people will join the site with the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning.
Another 40 businesses are looking at establishing business operations at the old RAH site soon.Undoubtedly, universities and business leaders will be brainstorming ideas with SA chief entrepreneur Jim Whalley, who brings in his decidedly “non-government flavour” to the running of Lot Fourteen.
SA’s three major universities, led by University of Adelaide vice-chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen, have called for the City Deal to link innovation activity at the Tonsley and Mawson Lakes precincts to plans for Lot Fourteen. While those plans take shape, existing businesses in Adelaide will draw on the confidence and vibrancy created by the announcement to push forward with their own ideas.