Australia is set to get a “global first” $100 million innovation precinct that will foster innovation, support local startups and drive commercialisation.
Malcolm Turnbull announced the partnership between the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the University of New South Wales during his first trip to China as prime minister.
The deal will see a $100 million Torch Precinct established on the university’s campus.
The Torch precincts have been operating in China for nearly 20 years and now generate 7% of the country’s GDP.
The UNSW precinct, the first of its kind outside of China, could contribute $1 billion to Australia’s GDP in its first ten years, according to a Deloitte study.
UNSW president Ian Jacobs says the precinct is a “global first”.
“[It] has the potential to reset the Australia-China bilateral relationship and boost the nation’s innovation system,” Jacobs says in a statement.
“This is about future-proofing our national competitiveness by strategically positioning Australia as China becomes the world’s largest investor in R&D and the 21st century’s science and technology superpower.
“The Torch partnership is an important milestone in the further development of Sydney as Australia’s global innovation city.”
A group of eight Chinese companies have already committed $30 million to the program, with an aim to build investment to $100 million.
The industry partners will establish incubator spaces on the Kensington campus before the precinct is constructed by 2025.
During his trip to China, Turnbull also officially unveiled the startup landing pad in Shanghai, joining other locations in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv.
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