ANSTO bringing new hub of innovation to its Lucas Heights base

A upcoming project at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is set to position Sutherland Shire as an innovative hub.

Its new innovation precinct at Lucas Heights aims to connect Australian industry with the nation’s best and brightest researchers and engineers.

There will be three zones on one campus, where industry professionals will be able to access ANSTO’s infrastructure and research facilities. 

It will include a graduate institute that will train and develop the next generation of researchers and engineers.

There will be a technology incubator for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small to medium businesses, which will take products to market, and a technology park for its community.

ANSTO chief executive officer, Adi Paterson, says the precinct is an Australian-first.

“It will provide the private and academic sectors with unparalleled access to our best scientists and landmark infrastructure,” Dr Paterson said. 

“Collaboration in research and working closely with industry to deliver solutions for industry is a key priority for ANSTO, to ensure that cutting-edge innovations are translated into real advances across a range of research and industry sectors.

“The precinct will be a place in which research and industry meet, to ensure that what happens in the lab is developed into real outcomes that benefit all Australians.

“It will be a catalyst for business innovation, technology development and smart jobs for our community.

“This has been developed out of partnerships, most importantly, with our community including Shire Biz and Sutherland Shire Council.

“The key areas of focus for the innovation precinct will be health, advanced manufacturing, industry, agriculture, food and nutrition.”

A spokesman for ANSTO said costs of the project are “subject to a range of factors.”

“We are working with government and businesses in the area to deliver a facility that both adds value, and is good value,” he said.

“We are already working to develop our existing facilities and site, finalising our site masterplan and talking to multiple people about opportunities on the site.

“We will then work with businesses and government to move the development forward in coming years.”

International guest, Francine Papillon, visited ANSTO to share the success of a similar precinct in France – the Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies (GIANT).

She said the precinct was instrumental in driving collaboration among industry, research organisations and universities.

Dr Paterson says while the ANSTO precinct will be the first to be centred around nuclear capabilities in Australia, it has the advantage of building on the successes and learnings of overseas counterparts.

“Like ANSTO, GIANT is also home to a research reactor, and their innovation precinct hosts 200 start-ups, 40 companies on-site, 5000 new industry jobs and 10,000 students,” he said.

“The precinct is modelled after establishments like this, utilising the OPAL multipurpose reactor, accelerators and the Australian Synchrotron.”