The future of innovation, business, culture and community are converging at an incomparable location in Adelaide, one of the world’s most liveable cities, bringing to vivid reality a vision that leverages South Australia’s inherent strengths and fosters creativity, collaboration and opportunities for future generations.
At the Lot Fourteen innovation neighbourhood, newly minted startups mingle with leading innovators and creative artists to tell stories using the latest tech, while researchers and business leaders push the boundaries of the brave new worlds of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity and the vast frontiers of space.
Already there are 35 tenant businesses and 490 employees at Lot Fourteen, 70 higher degree research students, and 40 startups, involving 144 residents in the startup hub.
All of this business and research activity is being carried out while up to 500 contractors and tradespeople are refurbishing heritage listed buildings to create new workplaces with character, demolishing obsolete buildings and creating inviting and accessible public spaces to draw people into Lot Fourteen and through to its next door neighbours – Adelaide’s enticing East End, campuses of the University of Adelaide and UniSA, our cultural institutions and the gorgeous Adelaide Botanic Garden.
“The state government’s vision to create a globally recognised hub of inspiration, entrepreneurship and culture is coming to life here in front of our eyes,” says Di Dixon, State Project Lead in the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
“It’s emerging at such a pace you can literally see changes every day at the moment.
“The response we get from interstate and international visitors is that they can’t believe that this was a major public hospital just over two years ago with the exciting transformation of historical buildings into the home of high tech companies and activities.
“Now we’ve got an impressive array of businesses and organisations embedded and we’re on track to have 700 ongoing people working at Lot Fourteen by the end of the year.
“The start-up hub, which is operated by the not-for-profit Stone and Chalk, was a key action in the Future Industries Exchange for Entrepreneurs (FIXE) Strategy launched by the state government in June, so its great to see that realised and thriving so quickly.
“This week we have had the official openings at Lot Fourteen of the new Australian Space Agency, the SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre, the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning and Italian space industry company SITAEL.”
“These impressive organisations have all chosen Lot Fourteen because they recognise the unique opportunities it offers to collaborate and innovate with their neighbours and its unbeatable, high-profile location.”
As the physical redevelopment work and investment attraction continues, the state government is also working on the next wave of development at Lot Fourteen. This comprises the iconic Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre (AACC) fronting North Terrace, the landmark Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre in the heart of the neighbourhood, and the International Centre for Food, Hospitality and Tourism Studies. These major projects, along with the Mission Control Centre, the Australian Space Discovery Centre and the Aboriginal Entrepreneurial Hub, have attracted Federal Government funding of $150m through the Adelaide City Deal.
The AACC is seen as a once-in-a generation opportunity to create an internationally renowned cultural attraction which will showcase South Australia’s extensive collection of artworks, artefacts and rich cultural heritage
“The centre will offer an extraordinary, immersive experience, combining traditional storytelling with modern technology,” Di says.
“As the world learns more about the unique cultures of Australia's First Peoples, the centre will become a source of pride for all South Australians, and it will create opportunities for Aboriginal employment and development through its operations and related commercial, educational and retail activities.”
Following completion of the initial stakeholder engagement study, project and curatorial working groups for the AACC are being established, with representation from SA’s leading cultural institutions and Aboriginal groups to create a world class, creative vision for the new centre and to support the development of a business case and operating model.
The Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre will be an inspiring environment connecting research with industry to create and commercialise internationally significant technologies of the future. It will include an Innovation Hub, which will enable joint research between the public sector, business and universities and provide secure environments for government and industry including the defence and space sectors.
The International Centre for Food, Hospitality and Tourism Studies will help to support and drive international education, research and training facilities while showcasing our regions strengths in these sectors to the world.
Since Renewal SA began redeveloping the Lot Fourteen site on behalf of the state government, four heritage listed buildings have been refurbished, with work underway on the final two.
The creation of the public realm in front of and between the heritage listed buildings on North Terrace is gathering pace, with some significant features expected to be completed mid-year.
Major milestones have been achieved in the $150m total program of demolition work on obsolete hospital buildings, which started 18 months ago. Six of the ten major buildings earmarked for demolition have been removed, along with many smaller buildings and linking structures, with some of these making way for the Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre and Innovation Hub.
Last week the International WELL Building Institute announced that Lot Fourteen was the first development in Australia to pre-certify for a WELL Communities rating and is on track to achieve a Platinum Standard in this category, in recognition of its initiatives to offer tenants, employees and visitors an environment that promotes wellbeing.
And in December 2019, the Green Building Council of Australia acknowledged Lot Fourteen as a world-leading urban redevelopment and one of the most sustainable precincts in the nation by awarding it a 6-Star Green Star - Communities rating.
“The fact that we have been able to achieve so much in such a short time at Lot Fourteen and to attract a very impressive list of businesses and organisations is proof to the world that we are serious about innovation and entrepreneurship here in South Australia and we do it very well,” Di says.
“We are creating the future now at Lot Fourteen and it is one that will offer plenty of opportunities for everyone to engage, work, discover, prosper and enjoy.”