Chief Commissioner Roberts acknowledges Macquarie as world-class university while committing to accelerating MPID; great news for collaborative research and development with local businesses.
The University received a welcome announcement recently from the Greater Sydney Commission’s Chief Commissioner, Geoff Roberts AM, that the Macquarie Park Innovation District (MPID) has been selected by the Premier as one of four regions in Greater Sydney to be accelerated as a key economic and innovation precinct.
The other three are Technology Precinct, from Central to Eveleigh (including Tech Central); Westmead Innovation Precinct (including Parramatta North); and Meadowbank Education and Employment Precinct.
This is a long-awaited reward for many people across the University who have invested massive amounts of time and energy to start the precinct with key corporate partners.
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Professor David Wilkinson says, “The government now sees it as something worth investing in, which is a great endorsement and payoff for all that work.
“This is a celebration of our efforts being validated; we are excited for the future of the precinct, with the University and our partners sure to benefit from increased government focus.”
Experience with other precincts shows that government focus leads to further commitment to transformative public and private investment. This could address some of the challenges and opportunities in the precinct, such as:
- Night-time economy – generating more after-5pm and weekend activity.
- Internal transport connections – we’re well connected outside the Park but getting around it is still difficult without driving.
- Attracting new knowledge-intensive companies – we have a good pedigree of corporates and are the most innovative postcode with the highest number of Intellectual Property registrations by postcode in Australia.
- Greening the precinct – we have good natural assets that need to be connected to be more pedestrian- and wildlife-friendly.
These precincts are the foundation for growing Greater Sydney’s capacity as a centre for innovation, attracting top businesses from around the world and creating new jobs and opportunities.
Macquarie Park already has a world-class university, startups, tech leaders and the community creating innovation ecosystems, with Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes saying, “This provides us with an exciting opportunity to coordinate projects and collaborate with the private sector.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres says the jobs created by the acceleration of these economic precincts are a key part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
“These precincts will be the engine rooms for job creation, helping to train and attract the best and brightest talent who will be at the forefront of our economic recovery,” he says.
Work on economic and innovation precincts will shape the updates of the Greater Sydney Region Plan and the District Plan, as stakeholders are drawn together from across government, industry and, of course, engagement with the community, which will no doubt create unique opportunities for Macquarie. For the University, MPID provides a gateway to like-minded partners for collaboration.
The Commissioner noted that Greater Sydney must not only survive COVID-19, it must emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world. We must grab every opportunity to re-shape Greater Sydney in a way that delivers good economic, liveability and sustainability outcomes.
Macquarie will soon announce the first of three district challenges for local businesses to receive coronavirus-related research and development funding, as part of fostering ties between the University and the local business community.