Carlton Connect Initiative (CCI) has laid the foundations for Australia’s leading innovation precinct, anchored by the University of Melbourne.

The University is transforming the former Royal Women’s Hospital site into a globally recognized innovation precinct – working in partnership with the State Government of Victoria, the City of Melbourne and the private sector.

Innovation precincts are environments where people from different disciplines and different organisations work closely together in a creative and entrepreneurial way. Carlton Connect positions world-class talent with 21st century technologies in the heart of Melbourne.

LAB-14 is operating now as the highly successful prototype. On one street corner, LAB-14 is home to the Melbourne Accelerator program (MAP), the EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, several research centres, the Australian German College and the City of Melbourne’s Creative Spaces studio.


Our Campus in the 21st century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future, and to developing high-quality campus-based experiences for diverse communities.

The Carlton Connect Initiative will support our campus in the 21st century through the following:

Spaces and Places

At LAB-14 people come together to work, network, bump and mingle in a central location. The environment is purpose built to encourage both structured and spontaneous opportunities for interaction.

By 2022 the precinct will have a village atmosphere with shops and cafes and be enlivened by day and night with people living, working and visiting all year round.


LAB-14 events are a way for communities and thought leaders to get involved in the generation of ideas through Hackathons, exhibitions and ThoughtLabs. Science Gallery Melbourne will be a signature destination within the precinct, inviting young learners into the Australian node of Science Gallery International Network.


The Royal Women’s Hospital site has a strong social heritage and a narrative of pioneering medical procedures and care provided by women and health professionals. This history will continue to inspire future leaders.

Over the next six years, the University of Melbourne is transforming the development of the Royal Women’s hospital site into a light filled, vibrant innovation precinct with a six-star green star rating – one of a kind in Australia.