They will deliver strong social, environmental and economic benefits. Local health and education facilities, such as local hospitals, local health services, TAFEs and schools play an important role in the community as places where people work, learn and access services.
Local health and education facilities, such as local hospitals, local health services, TAFEs and schools play an important role in the community as places where people work, learn and access services.
From health and education cluster to innovation district
The most successful health and education precincts are internationally competitive and more accurately described as innovation districts32. Innovation districts are transit-accessible precincts with an active ecosystem that includes health and education assets, surrounded by a network of medical research institutions, a mix of complementary industry tenants, housing, ancillary facilities and services. Economic productivity is created by the agglomeration benefits flowing from an active innovation ecosystem.
A benchmarking study indicates that the evolution of health and education precincts follow a Maturity Pathway. As precincts evolve, the economic productivity of the precinct increases substantially. This corresponds to three general models, which become progressively more complex: Clusters, Precincts and Innovation Districts. This Maturity Pathway and the corresponding models are shown in Figure 38.
The identified health and education precincts are at different points along the Maturity Pathway and therefore need differing responses (refer to Figure 39). It is not expected that all precincts will achieve sufficient critical mass to develop into an Innovation District.
There are three key stakeholders in the development of health and education precincts – government, academia and industry. The role of these key stakeholders changes over time:
- Government: heavy initial investment in hospitals and infrastructure, with ongoing planning and policy support as precincts mature
- Academia: initial research collaboration or satellite training campus, expanding to a multi-disciplinary university campus which is co-located with the hospital and supports specialisation and innovation
- Industry: (anchor institutions) initial establishment of medical research institute with organic ‘medtech’ growth, supported by accelerators and venture capital firms; establishment of a new institute in a precinct will occur after consideration of the facilities necessary to accelerate the evolution of a cluster into an innovation precinct.
There are benefits from involvement of all three stakeholders to progress health and education precincts along the Maturity Pathway. It is recognised that health and education precincts each have relative competitive advantages influencing their capacity to progress along the Maturity Pathway, which can impact on investment.
The governance of health and education precincts may involve a Collaboration Areas approach. Collaboration Areas provide a governance and a policy framework to coordinate placed-based innovation and investment.
Governance arrangements for Collaboration Areas will vary from precinct to precinct but will usually be formed around the following principles:
- Government: strategy setting and infrastructure coordination
- Anchors: asset owners and operators with longterm investment plans
- Precinct-shaping projects: projects involving one or more of the anchors aligned to deliver against broader precinct objectives.