Picture of Chief Executive Jim McDowell

There’s always something exciting happening at Lot Fourteen – the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site is transforming into a world-class innovation neighbourhood for work, study and exploration.

Repurposing a seven hectare hospital site presented the South Australian Government with the perfect opportunity to innovate and deliver what I believe will be the epitome of the state’s ingenuity.

To say I’m enthused by this project is an understatement!

Our vision is to create a globally recognised hub of inspiration, creation and entrepreneurship in South Australia that integrates our strong industry sectors, international education and cultural offerings to create an ideas neighbourhood for all our community to engage, work, create, discover and grow in.

My department has the privilege of leading this endeavour in collaboration with the Department for Innovation and Skills, Defence SA, Department for Trade and Investment, Department of Treasury and Finance, Renewal SA and the Chief Entrepreneur.

Together, our objectives are to:

  • grow strong and emerging industry strengths in defence, space, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and creative industries
  • drive job creation, entrepreneurialism and innovation
  • create a global business location
  • create an environment that attracts, grows, nurtures and retains talent
  • create an exciting place for the community, workers, students and tourists alike
  • stimulate the growth of our economy and population
  • attract private investment and collaborative partnerships

The investment is massive.

Last year, the Adelaide City Deal was signed, a ten‑year partnership between the Australian Government, the Government of South Australia and the City of Adelaide to grow Adelaide as an innovative and vibrant city. Lot Fourteen is the centrepiece, delivering $672 million in joint investment; with $527 million from the South Australian Government.

More than $100 million in construction contracts has been awarded and four of the six Heritage listed buildings have been refurbished as modern workplaces for entrepreneurs and businesses focused on future industries.

Work on an extensive public realm program has also begun, which will open the neighbourhood up to the community and connect it with nearby cultural institutions, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and Adelaide’s East End entertainment district.

The neighbourhood is connected to the GigCity network and has been awarded a 6-Star Green Star - Communities rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, acknowledging Lot Fourteen as a world leading urban redevelopment.

Lot Fourteen is also the first registered WELL Communities Pilot Project in the southern hemisphere and is being developed as a place that promotes wellbeing for businesses, employees, students and visitors.

Now, we have more than 700 business people, start-up founders, employees and students calling Lot Fourteen home, including the Stone & Chalk start up hub, Australian Institute for Machine Learning, Australian Space Agency, SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre, Defence and Space Landing Pad and MIT bigdata Living Lab.

Soon, we’ll welcome the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre, and the Australian Space Discovery Centre and Mission Control Centre.

We are already making excellent progress for:

  • the Entrepreneur & Innovation Centre and Innovation Hub that will connect research with industry to create and commercialise internationally significant technologies of the future
  • the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre, a new cultural destination for an inspiring, informative and important insight into the world’s oldest living culture
  • the International Centre for Food, Hospitality and Tourism Studies that will support and drive international education, research and training facilities while showcasing our region's strengths in these sectors to the world.

We are undertaking extensive consultation, developing business cases and turning our attention to architectural designs with the next wave of construction to start in 2021.

Once fully built, more than 6,000 people will work in the neighbourhood plus 1,000 students and researchers will be exploring solutions to tomorrow’s problems.

I am certain that Lot Fourteen will be another jewel in South Australia’s crown, enjoyed by future generations and a lasting legacy of intergovernmental collaboration.

Stay tuned for the many opportunities that lie ahead at Lot Fourteen.

Jim McDowell