A new co-working space will be established at the University of Melbourne’s new innovation precinct, Melbourne Connect in partnership with tech hub experts, YBF.

Launched by the University of Melbourne in March 2021, the Melbourne Connect Precinct is located on the site of the former Royal Women’s Hospital, and aims to bring together world-class researchers, startups, SMEs, government, industry, higher-degree students, artists and the Science Gallery Melbourne.

The new co-working tech hub will offer 2,200 square metres of space spread over two levels of the precinct, and provide a selection of flexible private offices, dedicated desks, meeting rooms, project spaces, media studios and event spaces. Modelled on YBF’s premium co-working spaces in the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs, the newest world-class tech hub is located in the heart of Carlton and in close proximity to the University’s Parkville campus and Medical Precinct.

The location of the co-working tech hub amongst researchers, startups, SMEs, and many other partners within the precinct would be important to achieving the vision of creating a vibrant innovation ecosystem, University of Melbourne acting deputy vice-chancellor (research) Mark Hargreaves observed.

“We know how critical co-location is to innovation and equally important is our ability to create a diverse community and culture of collaboration. We see this space playing a key role in helping achieve these objectives and ensuring Melbourne Connect becomes a leading precinct in this country.

“Our vision is for Melbourne Connect to create a digital and data powerhouse with an emerging tech focus and this needs to extend to every corner of this precinct, which is why we’ve chosen to partner with YBF who have a proven track-record of building tech hubs for startups, scaleups and corporates at the forefront of innovation and are a renowned leader in this space.”

YBF CEO Farley Blackman said, “As Melbourne rebuilds in a post-pandemic economy, YBF will continue to play a vital role in providing a platform for tech entrepreneurs, startups and scaling companies, and innovative corporates. We’re thrilled to be working with Australia’s top-ranked university and look forward to building out YBF Melbourne Connect as a thriving tech-focused community offering YBF’s unique suite of values-based capabilities and services in the Melbourne Connect innovation precinct.”

“Partnerships like this that bring together Victoria’s world-class operators, who deeply understand the challenges and opportunities that exist, are core to ongoing performance and will underpin Melbourne’s and Victoria’s innovation agenda, solidifying the state’s position as a centre of technology,” Blackman added.

With the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) and Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM) moving their renowned startup programs to Melbourne Connect, the occupants of the precinct will be surrounded by some of Australia’s most outstanding emerging entrepreneurial talents.

Telstra Creator Space, which will also take up residence in the precinct, will offer two floors filled with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines and power tools with expert machinists providing guidance on use of equipment. The precinct will additionally house retail and childcare facilities as well as a 3,000-square-metre superfloor offering shared meeting and events spaces, which will be activated by a dedicated events and engagement team.

Featuring a smart and sustainable design, Melbourne Connect has a 6-star Green Star rating, a 4.5-star NABRS water rating and a 5-star NABRS energy rating, in addition to on-site rainwater harvesting as well as solar and geothermal energy generation capabilities.

The co-working tech hub will open its doors in late-2021.