James Cook University Architectural Visualisation of exterior

James Cook University

Two NAIF Investment Decisions (Technology Innovation Complex – June 2018) and Student Accommodation (March 2020).

About the Projects

NAIF has provided over $140m in funding, through two Investment Decisions, to support James Cook University in Townsville. The first will finance the Technology Innovation Complex as part of JCU’s long-term strategy to modernise the Townsville campus, to accelerate JCU Enterprise Bundle (the TIC, Townsville Campus Renewal and Townsville Central Plaza). The second NAIF loan will help develop new student accommodation on the JCU Townsville Campus. The project consists of a seven storey facility to house 425 students.

Technology Innovation Complex

Kirk 3D render of Technology Innovation Centre

The  TIC will be the centrepiece of an innovation hub in which undergraduate and post-graduate engineering and IT students, industry partners and researchers will converge and collaborate. Work on site is underway and the TIC is expected to open in Semester One, 2023.

The TIC is part of a bundle of projects totalling $174m that will modernise James Cook University’s Townsville campus. It will bring together research and innovation to support business and the community, involving STEM, big data and analytics, information technology and technology transformation.

The TIC is a crucial part of a broader series of projects that will modernise facilities at JCU’s Townsville campus (Townsville Campus Renewal) and reduce the existing footprint of the University around a new central core (Townsville Central Plaza). The Townsville Campus Renewal is a five-year, targeted program of works affecting more than 50 buildings across the campus. Learning and Teaching buildings will be refurbished while other ageing buildings will be decommissioned, and University activities will be brought closer together creating a more vibrant campus heart.

It is expected the TIC project will create a forecast 270 jobs, with at least 80% of subcontractors and suppliers locally sourced.

The complex is adjacent to the new Student Accommodation Facility, which is also being built and supported by NAIF through a separate loan of up to $46 million.


Student Accommodation

JCU Student Accommodation 3D Render

Construction works at the JCU Student Accommodation

The seven storey, 10,000m2 ,building will house more than 400 students and provide contemporary and affordable student accommodation, featuring study bedrooms in group share accommodation, high-quality communal facilities, and a centralised, self-catered kitchen and dining space.

It will be located on Mount Stuart Street, adjacent to the Technology Innovation Complex. The university expects the building will open to students in Semester One, 2022.

Indigenous engagement

JCU’s Indigenous Engagement Strategy includes target of 3% Indigenous employment during the combined design, construction and operation phases; with tenders to outline employment strategies for on the job training, inductions, mentoring and upskilling, and a 3% Indigenous employment target for JCU staff.


Public Benefit – Technology Innovation Complex

  • Townsville to attract industry to the region, generate jobs and retain graduates in the region
  • JCU to attract more regional and international students in engineering
  • A cost/benefit analysis estimates public benefits from the Enterprise Bundle will be about $700m over 30 years

Public Benefit – Student Accommodation

  • Forecast $140m public benefit over 30 years. This includes the benefit of retaining students that may otherwise leave the region and attracting new students into the region with the contemporary on-campus accommodation
  • Estimated 348 jobs during construction and 221 jobs in operations

Proponent website

JCU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding: “NAIF’s Investment Decision… gave JCU the confidence to progress the work required…

“The Technology Innovation Complex will deliver leading-edge STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovation, research and educational facilities for northern Queensland.

“The TIC, and other projects planned and underway, will transform our Townsville campus and provide new and exciting opportunities for our region,”