2021 MIC wrap-up
Federation University officially opened the Morwell Innovation Centre (MIC) in January 2021 and in only 11 months and with several lockdowns, a flood and an earthquake(!) we've been able to make significant progress towards the development of a regional innovation ecosystem.
The Innovation Centre is located in the Hi-Tech Precinct in Morwell and includes a coworking space, meeting rooms and commercial tenancies. The tenancies are full and home to Alinta Energy, Opal Australia and Committee for Gippsland.
There are currently 192 people working from the Innovation Centre.
Tenants have been active participants in the innovation centre, with Opal showcasing its Energy from Waste and the Latrobe Aquaculture Project. Opal also presented on occasion to other programs on innovation.
Committee for Gippsland has hosted the Gippsland Community Leadership Program at the centre and taken on mentoring roles in a number of programs.
Loy Yang B has worked directly with MIC on a significant project and used the centre to host an internal innovation program for workers and leadership programs to develop senior leaders.
In addition to the commercial tenancies, a number of business and individuals have made MIC their base or a place to host meetings and network, including Gippsland Climate Change Network, Gippsland Hydrogen Cluster, Kindred Spirits Foundation, GLaWAC, Regional Development Australia, AGL, Marinus Link, Star of the South, Latrobe Health Assembly and Gippsland Forestry Hub, just to name a few.
MIC has also hosted several innovation programs with partner organisations to build capability in innovation and entrepreneurship including:
- Runway, focusing on growth in small to medium enterprises
- Rocket Seeder (food and fibre sector)
- One10 (social enterprise)
- Young Change Agents (innovation at high school level)
- Food Futures (Indigenous women)
- Green Lab Futures (design sprint – social enterprise, renewable energy)
- GippsTech (Star-ups and transition)
We saw many local businesses across Gippsland, including our tenant organisations, participate in these programs to understand how to embed innovation and design thinking into their respective organisations.
MIC has hosted over 180 meetings across all industry sectors throughout the year. These industries represent the sectors identified as growth industries for the region and include health, new energy, food and fibre, and advanced manufacturing.
Our government stakeholders have been frequent users of the centre and we have been able to host Regional Development Victoria, Latrobe Valley Authority, Latrobe City Council and Energy Resources on a number of occasions.
Finally, Federation University and our education partners have been an integral part of MIC, connecting education with industry through events such as Breakfast with Fed, the Regional Skills Committees, TAFE Gippsland and Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) meetings and events.
We hope to continue building on the momentum generated throughout 2021 and have a number of exciting initiatives, partnerships and events planned that will continue to support the economic development of the region.