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UC extends research and innovation opportunities with Poplars Developments

Danielle Meddemmen

4 May 2021: The University of Canberra is extending its footprint beyond ACT borders, becoming the first educational institution to partner with Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) and Poplars Developments at the Poplars estate in Jerrabomberra.

The multifaceted Poplars development comprises four precincts connecting industry, research, learning and retail, and will see the University engage in a range of educational partnership opportunities.

Representatives from the University, Poplars and QPRC gathered at the building site on Friday, celebrating the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in February, and the trilateral partnership.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Leigh Sullivan said the collaboration was another example of the University’s commitment to being a civic university.

“This partnership enhances the University’s offerings to our students and staff and will contribute extensively to our research capabilities. At the same time, those living within the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council area with have better access to our services on their doorstep,” he said.

“It provides new linkages for our students and researchers with the global businesses to be located in the Poplars Innovation Precinct, who are looking to engage skilled staff.

“Supporting initiatives that lead to jobs, income and opportunities for students in the region, reinstates our mission to be the university of and for Canberra.”

Other partnership opportunities include co-funded PhD and academic research, potential student study spaces and provision of Allied Health and rehab opportunities.

The precinct is strongly supported by QPRC, with Mayor Tim Overall saying its partnership with the University will provide mutual benefits for people in both the Canberra and QPRC areas.

“This precinct is a boost for employment opportunities in the region, and having the University involved as part of this MOU to support internships and research scholarships is an added benefit,” he said.

“It’s an ideal location for a partnership of this nature to flourish and deliver fantastic educational outcomes.”

The development is set to employ 5,000 people, and includes a future Jerrabomberra high school, the QPRC innovation centre and an array of local and national businesses.

Poplars co-owner David Maxwell said he was excited to see the partnership continue to grow and provide more opportunities to people in the ACT region.

“Since 2013, it has been our vision to see Poplars bring together community, business, research and education to support innovation and job creation within the Capital Region,” he said.

“We are thrilled to announce this trilateral memorandum of understanding among between Poplars, QPRC and the University of Canberra. Not only will it strengthen educational and research outcomes for the region, it will provide unique connections and access for businesses within the Poplars Innovation Precinct.”