The University is transforming the former Royal Women’s Hospital site into a globally recognised 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. The precinct will tackle major societal challenges, such as food security, changing technologies and urbanisation.

The innovation precinct builds on the achievements of LAB-14, the highly successful prototype which operated for two-and-a-half years (2015 - 2017). It will provide a home for technology focused organisations, cutting edge research and next-generation startups that will significantly benefit the Australian economy and society.

In addition, the precinct will include retail, indoor and outdoor public spaces, student accommodation, offices and a childcare centre. Science Gallery Melbourne will also be a signature destination, inviting young learners to creatively explore the collisions between art and science.



Lendlease has been engaged to undertake early works in preparation for the development of the University of Melbourne’s innovation precinct, located at the site of the former Royal Women’s Hospital. Site enabling and early works will commence from Tuesday 21 November 2017, with hoarding to be installed around the perimeter of the building site.

There will be temporary footpath closures on Grattan and Swanston streets, to enable the installation of overhead gantries. Works are planned to commence on Saturday 25 November and Saturday 2 December, from 8am to 3pm. Pedestrians will be diverted to an alternate pathway during these times.

A NEW PARTNERSHIP for the precinct - november 2017

In 2016 the University of Melbourne announced a shortlist of three respondents to its Expression of Interest (EOI) for the development of the next stage of the innovation precinct. In November 2017, the University announced a partnership with a consortium led by Lendlease to develop the precinct.


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:


The general public will be invited to a vast program of public events, including festivals, talks and exhibitions at the precinct. Over the last two-and-a-half years, LAB-14 – which has served as the highly successfully prototype of the precinct – hosted hundreds of events, seminars, hackathons, exhibitions and meetings, bringing over 40,000 visitors to the precinct.

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 few years, the University of Melbourne will be transforming the development of the Royal Women’s hospital site into a light filled, vibrant innovation precinct to meet the highest standards in design and sustainability – one of a kind in Australia.