JUST Australia’s third Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab), helping new businesses, has taken off at Federation University.
Originally established in Geelong, Runway Ballarat has become the most influential business accelerators in regional Australia with bases in Warrnambool, Casey and Dandenong.
Runway Ballarat will be is housed in the re-purposed Flecknoe Building, which has undergone a $9 million refurbishment and was officially opened by Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford on Wednesday.
The space has 40 desks, with six walled offices and two boardrooms.
The (FabLab) includes a swarm of 3D printers for additive manufacturing, a laser cutter that makes 2D and 3D structures, a high-resolution milling machine for precision parts and printed circuit board development and a sign cutter that plots in copper to make flex circuits and antennas.
The lab will also be equipped with an industrial sewing machine for textiles and wearable development.
Runway founder Nick Stanley said the organisation empowers people with good ideas by bringing them together with entrepreneurs who can help them either get their business started or take it to the next level.
“It is particularly powerful in regional centres looking to kickstart entrepreneurial ecosystems.”
Federation University Vice Chancellor Helen Bartlett said the university was proud to be involved in the program.
“It’s a space that’s going to be so important for our students, not just the IT and tech students, but business students, science students and even the students from health, sport and so on,” she said.
“We see this space as providing opportunities for our students to work in the interface of business and industry, to work and transform ideas into very exciting innovations and develop them further.
“Our university rates very high for employability. In fact 65 per cent of our students are employed in the region of where they study and work, compared to 23 per cent nation wide.
“It will add to the whole jobs and innovation and investment scene in Ballarat and the region and we are very proud to be part of that.”
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