The University of Newcastle’s (UoN) Q Building will deliver a “new hub for a booming city centre economy”, according to Rob Stokes.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport was on hand to officially open the Honeysuckle Drive premises – regional NSW’s first 6 Star Green Star Design – on Friday 7 October.
The new facility also houses the UoN’s School of Creative Industries, Social Sciences and School of Humanities.
“This is another step in the transformation of Newcastle as a globally-facing city with education at its heart,” Mr Stokes said.
“We’re reshaping the CBD, making it an easier place to visit and spend time.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the Q Building continued the UoN’s commitment to students and the Hunter.
“As an anchor institution and a partner in the growth of our regions, we are dedicated to creating opportunities to support our local economy and take special pride in joining the city in advancing the creative industries,” he explained.
“I am proud that we have officially opened the Q Building.
“This new space offers our students many opportunities for hands-on learning.
“And, it is wonderful to see a number of new start-ups already calling the Q Building home.
“We are committed to providing an unparalleled learning experience for our pupils and by offering industry-leading facilities like a media production studio, and animation and audio-visual studios, it means they are graduating with the industry skills they need to be work ready and highly employable.”
University of Newcastle student Samuel Edwards, who is studying a Bachelor of Communications at Q Building, said the space provided him with facilities to get practical experience.
“Q Building itself feels almost like a start-up environment, in that it feels cutting edge but grounded and accessible at the same time,” he stated.
“The nature of my course is very practical and because of the learning I’ve been doing, it’s helpful to have the dedicated space where we can get hands-on experience.
“There’s a whole bunch of student accessible sound production technology, suites for video production editing, and some amazing industry level equipment that we can use.
“The beauty of the communications course and the breadth of the facilities that are available means I can try out various areas of the field where I might be interested in pursuing a career.”
Q Building is also the base for the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N), which supports start-ups and entrepreneurs in the region to get new ideas and businesses off the ground.
To date, it has helped 60 start-up and innovation teams, creating almost 100 new jobs in the region.
Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the City of Newcastle worked closely with the University of Newcastle on supporting the local innovation ecosystem out of the new Q Building.
“City projects like New Move, which enticed start-ups and skilled professionals to Newcastle, and others which have supported entrepreneurs to get their projects off the ground, have made early use of the fantastic facilities at I2N and helped create the spark we see here today,” he added.
Abid Khan, an alumnus of the University of Newcastle, is one local innovator who has utilised I2N to bring his temperature monitoring technology, Thermalog, to life.
“You thrive better in likeminded communities and when you bring entrepreneurs together and they start networking, like we do at I2N, you can come up with solutions,” he said.
“My colleagues joke that I’m the power-user because I’m here nearly every day.
“I’ve met some people here who have helped me in different areas, pointing me in different directions and giving me advice on how to solve a certain problem.”