Plans to turn the former Royal Adelaide Hospital into South Australia's premier innovation hub are off to a healthy start following the allocation of over $400 million in last week’s state budget.
Industry and Skills minister David Pisoni said the site, now known as Lot Fourteen, will host up to 650 workspaces, conference and collaboration facilities, and the office of the state’s chief entrepreneur Jim Whalley.
Whalley said in a statement his office’s involvement at Lot Fourteen will help South Australians overcome their "fundamental issue in turning innovation into business".
To achieve this, the office will guide and complement "a unique concierge service connecting businesses with the most relevant services, from patent to business registration advice," said Pisoni.
"South Australians already have the imagination and initiative to succeed, Lot Fourteen will provide a supportive space to bring their ideas to market and support them with access to meaningful scale and high-value customers without leaving the state."
He added that existing incubators, accelerators and professional service providers are invited to express their interest in the site to form a one-stop shop for the full spectrum of business development.
"The expression of interest process itself is designed to provide a privately-led and commercially operated hub, as recommended through extensive research and industry engagement."
Whalley said that more people need to have "courage to take risks, to create the future, and make mistakes along the way".
"We need to inspire more people to embark on this journey."
The state government would particularly like that journey to involve space industries, especially as it competes with other regions to play home to the fledgling Australian Space Agency.
Last week’s budget also included "seed funding" to lure the fledgling space agency into settling in Adelaide, sweetened by the prospect of having a nascent startup community to mould to its needs.