The University of Newcastle, Australia

A new partnership working towards education in innovation-led renewal in Newcastle

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

UrbanGrowth NSW and the University of Newcastle today signed a formal agreement committing them to working together to identify and advance potential opportunities that will make education and innovation a centrepiece of the city's renewal program.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement between UrbanGrowth NSW and University of Newcastle will strengthen the CBD renewal as part of a growing business, education and innovation precinct and bring benefits to the main Callaghan campus.

"The MoU between UrbanGrowth NSW and the University of Newcastle is an important step towards driving the best outcomes for the people of Newcastle and the broader Hunter Region," said UrbanGrowth NSW Chief Executive, David Pitchford.

"UrbanGrowth NSW recognises that to ensure the best outcomes, the revitalisation demands a united effort with the community, business and other stakeholders, including the University.

"The partnership with the University of Newcastle is a perfect fit because we know from recent engagement activities, that the community wants more educational opportunities in the city, and the University of Newcastle is committed to transformation through NeW Space, with plans to develop an Innovation Hub in the city."

The University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen said the MoU signing marked another significant milestone in the University's commitment to regional transformation and driving global impact through the city's renewal.

"The economy of Newcastle and regions across New South Wales is in transition, and our University has a fundamental role in shaping the future of our region by building the best infrastructure ecosystems for education, research, innovation and industry collaboration," Professor McMillen said.

"Our partnership with UrbanGrowth NSW will be a foundation stone for the future as we continue to grow and attract talented students, academic and professional staff, entrepreneurs and industry partnerships to the region to build the jobs, businesses and research breakthroughs of the future.

"The University's new $95m facility, NeW Space has been a cornerstone step towards supporting regional transformation and Newcastle's emergence as a truly engaged global city that will deliver high-quality education, research and innovation outcomes for its community, region and world."

Professor McMillen said the announcement aligned with the University's NeW Futures 10-year strategic plan, due to be released this week.

A number of potential opportunities for further discussion for university-led urban revitalisation are outlined in the MoU. These are subject to more detailed scoping and include: 
  •   An expanded university presence in the city.
  •   Opportunities to optimise facilities for research and innovation at the Callaghan Campus to complement its research-intensive focus.
  •   The facilitation and delivery of world- class facilities and amenities to the University's students. The Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport Program is a $460 million revitalisation effort that aims to bring people back to the city centre by strengthening connections between the city and the waterfront, creating employment opportunities, providing more public space and amenity as well as delivering better transport.

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