More people will study and work in Cairns with the federal government funding stage two of the Cairns Innovation Centre at James Cook University.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the $10 million commitment towards the $30 million project delivered on one of his 2016 election commitments.
Mr Entsch, who welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Cairns for the announcement, said the Cairns Innovation Centre was a game-changer for the region.
“It will be a place where business people, entrepreneurs, community organisations, researchers, educators and students can work and learn from each other,” Mr Entsch said.
“The Cairns Innovation Centre will nurture a new generation of students and young graduates
“Our region has certainly become one of the leading regional centres for educational excellence, something the entire community should be proud of.
“To build a new Northern Australia we need to generate new types of thinking and new skills and the Cairns Innovation Centre certainly will go a long way to ensuring this happens.
“This will further diversify the Cairns economy, boost its exports and attract innovators from around the world to the city.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said said the centre will further diversify the Cairns economy.
“It will boost exports and attract innovators from around the world to the city of Cairns. It will create more jobs and opportunities,” said the Prime Minister.
“Construction is expected to begin this month and end in February 2020, creating 100 construction jobs and 100 ongoing jobs, including seven indigenous positions.”
James Cook University vice-chancellor Professor Sandra Harding warmly thanked Mr Entsch for his ongoing support for the $30 million project.
“This is where we will translate JCU’s teaching and research into innovation that generates jobs and economic growth for Cairns and the broader region,” Professor Harding said.
“It will be a place where business people, entrepreneurs, community organisations, researchers, educators and students will work together, catalysing and accelerating the translation of new business ideas and research into products and services.
“This centre will nurture a new generation of students and young graduates who will learn from working closely with industry and business, and go on to apply innovative technologies in established industries and drive start-up businesses in emerging industries.”