Cairns Could Become Australia’s Innovation Capital

May 30th, 2017

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James Cook University is expanding towards the city centre with the development of a tropical innovation hub. The Cairns Innovation Centre (CIC) project will consist of a $40 million Innovation Lodge, a $50 million Tropical Enterprise Centre and a $33 million Tropical Sports Conditioning Centre. To help drive collaborations in health and education, it will be placed close to Cairns Hospital and Cairns State High School.

While capital cities are known as knowledge economies, they are expensive places to live. The CIC will provide better infrastructure outside of the capitals in order to attract young people to the region. The Cairns Innovation Lodge will house 1,000 beds for students, participants and researchers and will include studios, hotel-style rooms and serviced apartments.

Advance Cairns stated that “The Cairns Innovation Centre will be a powerful demonstration that the capital cities are not the only repositories of innovation – the regions too can be smart, strong and independent.”

The Enterprise Centre will feature a multidisciplinary area for applied technology and enterprise related to tropical issues, including areas for research and development, start-up spaces, innovation, incubation, commercialisation and learning. In addition, the sports centre will attract top athletes from around the world for tropical conditioning and create increased spending in the region.

The bundle will secure Cairns’ place as a major innovation leader and will diversify the city away from a dependence on the tourism industry, which makes Cairns susceptible as a boom and bust economy. Cairns currently lacks in economic innovation and has a higher unemployment rate than average. The CIC will potentially bring great commercial value to Cairns by opening it up to the international marketplace.

Cairns appears to be taking the role of innovation leader seriously. In October 2016, the city hosted Australia’s first Innovation Weekend, designed to assist in the growth of small businesses by teaching them the fundamentals of innovation. Attendees found the skills acquired to be invaluable. Events like these, along with innovation hubs and government incentives, can really help to boost economic growth. For instance, small businesses can use R&D tax credits to further expand their business. Applying doesn’t need to be a difficult process. The experts at

Events like these, along with innovation hubs and government incentives, can really help to boost economic growth. For instance, small businesses can use R&D tax credits to expand their business or undertake further R&D. Applying doesn’t need to be a difficult process. The experts at Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisors can assess your eligibility and maximise your claim. Contact us today to find out more.

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