Flinders University’s role as a major contributor to the economic and social development of the southern part of Adelaide was underscored yesterday (July 14) with the start of construction of the University’s $120 million building at Tonsley.
Just days after the University Council formally approved the project that will define the University’s future, the Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade, Mr Tom Kenyon, joined Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, in turning the first sod at the former Mitsubishi site.
Professor Barber said the six storey, 18,000 square metres facility will be a focus for the University’s teaching of computer science, engineering and mathematics and related research, entrepreneurship, research commercialisation, and business collaborations.
“Flinders commitment of $120 million to Tonsley – the largest single capital outlay since the University was founded almost 50 years ago – shows our confidence in Tonsley and its potential to be the catalyst for developing the skills and jobs that will shape an innovative and productive economy for South Australia,” Professor Barber said.
“We share the SA Government’s vision for Tonsley to become the lynchpin of the state’s high-value manufacturing future and look forward to seeing the precinct attract the private and public sector support required to achieve that goal,” he said.
Mr Kenyon said the sod turning “endorses Flinders University’s commitment to world-class teaching and research and confirms that Tonsley is open for business”.
“A high-value and innovative manufacturing hub in Adelaide’s south will pay dividends for the whole state and having some of the best and brightest Flinders University researchers and students at Tonsley will help attract other high-tech businesses to the redevelopment,” Mr Kenyon said.
Professor Barber said collaboration and entrepreneurship will be at the heart of the University’s activities at Tonsley and the University’s recently launched New Venture Institute will focus and intensify Flinders’ entrepreneurial activities and education to the mutual benefit of business and community partners and the University’s staff and students.
The New Venture Institute, headed by Mr Matt Salier, will tap the skills and entrepreneurial experience of:
- Flinders academic and research staff, particularly the Flinders Business School,
- The University’s commercialisation arm, Flinders Partners,
- Flinders Partners’ programs and company spin-outs including Venture Dorm, Strategiize and Clevertar,
Further information (including a virtual tour): Flinders at Tonsley