Tonsley is Australia’s first innovation district.
It is a project that is intrinsic to the State’s economic development as it transitions to a high value industrial base that is underpinned by innovation and collaboration.
The vision was to create an operating environment — a precinct — that would assist SA businesses in their move up the value chain and into global markets.
From project outset, the concept was to provide an environment for industry to innovate and grow through connection to research and education and through collaboration with each other.
Tonsley’s economic development objectives are highly aligned to the State’s Strategic priorities in particular: commercialisation of research and the student experience; growth through innovation; and showcasing South Australia as the best place to do business.
Another two of the state priorities talk directly to two of our four key target sectors: mining and energy services; as well as health, medical devices and assistive technologies.
David Pryke, Executive Vice President, Energy, Siemens
"Technology precincts have great potential for industry, government and research coming together .... This is what has attracted us to Tonsley… (It’s) the best example that we can see in Australia for such a technology precinct."
Entrepreneurs and start-ups are key to Tonsley’s future. From day one they benefit from the collaborative benefit and the guidance, mentorship and support of established businesses in their own sector and educational support from Flinders University and TAFE SA.
At Tonsley you will benefit from the innovation district’s culture of research, collaboration and entrepreneurship, working alongside a wide range of local and international partners.
When it comes to education, there is a balance on site between trade training, undergraduate tertiary education, a growing research community as well as access to professional development, business mentoring and acceleration programs.
There are more than 8,500 students annually at the Tonsley Innovation District.
South Australia’s renowned Flinders University has a campus at Tonsley housing the School of Computer Science Engineering and Mathematics, the Flinders Medical Device Research Institute and the Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology.
South Australia’s largest vocational and education trainer, TAFE SA, has built the Sustainable Industries Education Centre with advanced trade training for the building and construction sector.
Tonsley is more than the sum of the buildings, infrastructure and public places on site today. Much early attention was given to retail, amenities and public places at Tonsley.
Tonsley is a mixed use precinct designed to support businesses wanting to innovate, grow, go global and move up the value chain.
The Town Square under the Main Assembly Building roof is the heart of the precinct and the focus of retail activity.
The masterplan recognises the importance of the site in the regional urban fabric and respects the manufacturing past of the site. In fact, the adaptive re-use of the Main Assembly Building is one of the key ‘early moves’.
Tonsley has world-class meeting and working spaces to help take great ideas from concept to market. It is purpose-designed to attract investment and create jobs.
It’s unique because some of the smartest businesses in Australia share a precinct together with residential and community living aimed at the smartest and most ambitions entrepreneurs in Australia.