JCU Cairns Enterprise Bundle

Project Description

Cairns, as a city on the verge of transition from large regional centre to an important global tropical city, is extremely well placed to capitalise on changing global dynamics. The JCU Cairns Enterprise Bundle empowers this transition through 3 projects:

  • Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre (CTEC) $50M. The CTEC will house a multi-disciplinary centre for applied technology and enterprise. The activities of CTEC will serve the needs of Far North Queensland and tropical populations throughout the world, underwritten by an emphasis on the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The power of CTEC is that it builds existing circumstances to create a virtuous cycle of growth and development:
  • Australia’s Firsts
    Cairns Hospital is Australia’s first large-scale regional digital hospital and JCU has Australia’s first degree program specialising in the Internet of Things.
  • Technical Prowess:
    Assembled by JCU via the IoT program, the Cairns Innovations Centre, other research centres and institutes as well as partnerships with leading technology companies such as Optus and Huawei.
  • Health and Knowledge Precincts:
    Combining universities and hospitals are being promoted by the State as important engines for economic growth.
  • Global Schools Initiative:
    Cairns presents as an ideal site for development of International Secondary Schooling as contemplated by this initiative from the State. CTEC in partnership with local schools will power a STEM, language and IoT intensive curriculum.
  • Tropical Sports Conditioning Centre (TSCC) $33M.
    The TSCC will provide a world class base for tropical sports science serving the local community and bringing elite athletes and occupational and tactical personnel to Cairns for tropical conditioning.
  • Cairns Innovation Lodge (CIL) $40M.
    For students and researchers visiting Cairns and to cater for the Global Schools Initiative.




JCU’s expertise in IoT provides the connective tissue for the activity across industry sectors proposed for CTEC and adds considerable value to the TSCC proposition. JCU is a leader in this field having established the first specialised degree course in Australia – the Bachelor of Electronic Systems and the IoT in 2016. The course has been well received by students and industry, and has been the catalyst for new partnerships with Huawei Technologies and Optus.

The CTEC will build on this momentum by facilitating IoT as an enabler of broad based enterprise growth necessary to the development of Cairns and the Cairns CBD. This momentum and opportunity must be realised now as the number of internet connected devices will rise by orders of magnitude over the next 10 years, and almost everything will become IP addressable and discoverable. New forms of commerce and economies are emerging as old models are disrupted. Start-up industries are forming that require a new type of graduate with the technical, design and entrepreneurial skills set needed to build firms in this economy.

IoT has applications across agriculture, health, tourism, retail and sustainable tropical living including water and energy management and distribution.

These projects build on JCU’s existing capacity and ‘first mover’ advantage and cements Cairns positioning as a Tropical World City.


JCU is seeking $123M in capital investment from public and private sources to fund development of the infrastructure components of the three projects in the period 2018-21.


The Cairns bundle requires foundation capital from Federal and State Governments, but thereafter the project will be self-sustaining.  Capital contributions for the CTEC is proposed as equal contributions from the Federal and State governments, the TSCC is proposed as a Federally funded initiative and JCU would fund and/or source investor funding for the CIL.

  • That the $50M Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre be jointly and equally funded by the Federal and Queensland State governments from 2018/19 FY.
  • That the $33M Tropical Sports Conditioning Centre be funded by the Federal Government from 2019/20 FY.
  • That the $40M investment for the Cairns Innovation Lodge be sought from the private sector.


CEO Advance Cairns
Ph: 07 4080 2900

PROPONENT: James Cook University
PRIORITY: Infrastructure
STATE ELECTORATE: Cairns, Barron River