The wheels are beginning to turn at Sydney’s third CBD as global science agency CSIRO outlines plans for a state-of-the-art facility at the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
The proposed carbon-neutral facility will house up to 450 CSIRO employees across 18,000 square metres.
The commercial building, to be known as the Urban Living Lab, will feature collaborative workshops and modern, flexible laboratories to support the delivery of cutting-edge science and technology.
“This is a huge day for Western Sydney and opportunities for young people as they start to think about careers in advanced manufacturing, and careers in new technologies,” Aerotropolis Authority chair Jennifer Westacott said.
“[CSIRO] is going to be a magnet for growth, a magnet for new jobs, a magnet for new technologies and a magnet for new investment.”
CSIRO will form a $25 million partnership with the NSW government to support science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education.
As well as this, CSIRO has also agreed to a new 10-year lease agreement in the $350 million “Innovation Quarter” precinct that will co-locate a team of CSIRO digital health and nutrition researchers at Westmead.
“The Aerotropolis reflects the new generation of CSIRO, agile and diverse, while building on a great 100-year legacy of innovation through collaboration,” CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said.
“Sydney is where CSIRO invented fast wi-fi and where we will invent the next innovations for our future prosperity and sustainability.”
The Aerotropolis, a multi-billion-dollar, 11,200-hectare city is being built around the new Nancy-Bird Walton International Airport.
The Aerotropolis Authority expects to have the agribusiness and manufacturing precincts up and running by the time the airport opens in December 2026.
The CSIRO facility will be central to the Aerotropolis Advanced Manufacturing and Research Precinct, which will bring together research institutes and commercial organisations across advanced manufacturing, quantum technologies, aerospace, defence and agribusiness.
Several businesses have already committed to build facilities in the area, including advanced 3D-printing company GE Additive, Australian vitamin and pharmaceutical maker Vitex, along with the Australian Space Agency and 18 SMEs in aerospace.
Japanese company Hitachi also has plans in the works for a new centre in Western Sydney, set to be based on its Kyoso-no-mori initiative in Japan, which invites customers and business partners to “share visions for resolving challenges in society”.
Additionally, a $50 million investment from defence contractor Northrop Grumman, and commitments from Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and bank Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group have also been made.