Lot Fourteen to sprout future investment opportunities

For South Australian IT consultancy firm Chamonix IT Solutions, moving to Lot Fourteen has paved the way for investment opportunities and greater collaboration with fellow businesses.

Lot Fourteen – the new name for the 7ha old Royal Adelaide Hospital site – is transforming into a growing innovation neighbourhood under the management of Renewal SA on behalf of the State Government. It has become home to a number of tech, cyber security, defence and space related businesses and industry organisations, with more than 1000 people expected to work there by September, 2019, and thousands more to join in coming years.

Chamonix, which also has three sister companies, Exposé: Data Exposed, SecMatters and Cortex, was one of Lot Fourteen’s first tenants.

The IT business was founded in Adelaide in 2010, specialising in end-to-end digital transformation and IT consulting. Exposé: Data Exposed focuses on data analysis and business intelligence, SecMatters in cyber security and Cortex Interactive in immersive learning and development, and on-boarding solutions using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

The Cortex team.

Since moving to Lot Fourteen, Chamonix has employed an extra 35 staff in total across its four tech businesses, bringing its total workforce to about 120 people. It’s also offered employment to a number of university graduates from the state’s three main universities who have gone through Chamonix’s graduate program.

Chamonix founders Geoff Rohrsheim and Scott Grigg say the energy in the building has “elevated to the next level” since the announcement that Lot Fourteen will become home to the Australian Space Agency.

In a massive coup for South Australia, Lot Fourteen will host the nation’s space HQ, set to transform and grow the country’s globally respected space industry and inspire the next generation of space entrepreneurs.

When the announcement was made public in December last year, it signalled a boost for the SA economy and potential engagement between other space, cyber security, defence and tech businesses not only within Lot Fourteen but across the state.

Geoff Rohrsheim is highly optimistic about potential investment opportunities the space agency could bring to Chamonix and its sister companies.

“The four businesses in our portfolio are still growing. That’s part of the interest in Lot Fourteen for us, being here we will see smaller companies and other companies will see us,” he says.

“The Defence Landing Pad and the space agency will attract companies from around the world and when they land here, they’ll need help … so there’s an opportunity to be able to help them with their IT needs, or partner with them in some way or form.”

State manager of Chamonix John Gray, Premier Steven Marshall and Exposé general manager Kelly Drewett.

Scott Grigg agrees, adding that smaller start-ups within the innovation precinct could benefit from mentoring and investment opportunities larger, more established tenants might be able to provide.

“(There are) opportunities for us to partner, to invest in and mentor up-and-coming organisations. People who have a great idea come in and want to market it, want to commercialise it, but don’t necessarily have the skills or the venture capital, so it was very attractive to go in (to Lot Fourteen) from that point of view,” he says.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway says Lot Fourteen is an attractor for local and global companies wanting to be at the cutting edge of technological development, bringing with them new products and ways of doing business.

“There is global interest to invest in Lot Fourteen from a variety of industries from space and defence to rapid growth start-ups and emerging entrepreneurs,” he says. “The site is specifically designed to inspire collaboration across the innovation ecosystem and is an ideal place to plant an office to reach out into the Asia Pacific market.”

An artist’s impression of Lot Fourteen, once fully redeveloped. Photo: Renewal SA.

Mr Ridgway says the start-up hub will also allow businesses to consider new partnerships with research institutions and other SMEs to develop new products and services, leading to further investment in SA. The space agency will also drive collaboration, he says.

“The SA space industry is a mixture of traditional aerospace companies and new tech start-ups with a space focus,” Mr Ridgway says. “As the doorway for other international space companies and agencies to enter Australia, I believe the National Space Agency will drive collaboration between established space companies  and new start-ups to grow and further develop our state’s thriving space industry.”

Lot Fourteen is already home to a number of businesses and organisations across the technology, cyber security, defence and space fields. Among them is highly successful satellite start-up Myriota, which specialises in low cost Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

Another is the Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML), aimed at supporting local businesses to develop new artificial intelligence (AI) products. The institute recently partnered with the world’s largest aerospace company, Lockheed Martin, who is moving a team of researchers from its STELaRLab (Science, Technology, Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory) to be co-located with AIML.

The Margaret Graham Building. Photo: Renewal SA.

International defence companies looking to establish in SA will be increasingly supported through the State Government’s Defence Landing Pad, providing access to affordable and short-term office facilities co-located with similar companies and industry associations.

At the centre of Lot Fourteen’s efforts to attract investment from budding and established entrepreneurs is FIXE@Lot Fourteen, a model led by SA’s Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley and the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

FIXE is tasked with attracting start-ups by accommodating 650 workspaces, encouraging new and established businesses to develop their ideas, identify investment opportunities, and connect members of the entrepreneurial community.

Commenting in relation to SA’s Blockchain Innovation Challenge last month, Jim said “the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur is delivering a vision to put entrepreneurship at the heart of SA’s economic game plan through FIXE, a new approach to inspiring, equipping, enabling and celebrating entrepreneurs to ensure they have the skills to grow a business from concept through to creation”.

For more information on the wider redevelopment of Lot Fourteen click here.

Industry in focus: Trade and Investment

Throughout the months of January and February, the state’s trade and investment industry will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

South Australia is in a prime position for trade and investment opportunities as we have a 24-hour connection to international markets and a prime reputation for our premium products and services.  Read more trade and investment stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Adelaide wins the race to host the Australian Space Agency

South Australia has won the bid to host the Australian Space Agency, which will oversee the nation’s burgeoning space industry.

The agency will be established at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) site, now known as Lot 14, by mid-2019 and will initially employ 20 full-time equivalent staff.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement in Adelaide today (Wednesday, December 12) and says SA is a key hub for innovation and the technology industry, making it an ideal home for the new agency.

“Australia’s space industry is set to hit new heights,” he says.

“This agency is going to open doors for local businesses and Australian access to the US$345 billion global space industry.

“Our government’s $41 million investment into the agency will act as a launching pad to triple Australia’s space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 jobs by 2030.

“This agency is part of our plan for a stronger economy for SA and the country which is about delivering long-term, high-wage, high-skills jobs.”


SA Premier Steven Marshall says long-term investment in Adelaide and its space sector will drive entrepreneurship and innovation, and enhance the city’s liveability.

“SA is the ideal location for the Australian Space Agency with a range of local space industry businesses already established here as well as a rapidly growing defence industry sector,” he says.

“Establishing the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency in SA will launch our space and defence sectors to the next level.”

SA was up against strong competition from other states, with Adelaide astronaut Andy Thomas throwing his support behind SA’s bid to host the national space headquarters.

Italian aerospace engineer Flavia Tata Nardini runs Fleet Space Technologies from SA.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says Adelaide put forward the strongest case and is already home to more than 60 organisations and 800 employees in the space sector.

A number of space start-ups including Fleet Space Technologies and nano-satellites startup, Myriota, are based in SA.

The southern state also has a longstanding contribution to the nation’s space journey, with Australia’s first satellite launching from Woomera in the Far North in 1967.

The Australian Space Agency will be key to the new Adelaide City Deal, a scheme that aims to turbo charge the city’s economy and drive long-term investment.

Aside from the space agency, Lot 14 is also expected to include a start-up precinct and growth hub, an international centre for tourism, hospitality and food services, and a national Aboriginal art gallery.

The old RAH closed in September 2017 and has since undergone progressive demolition. The new $2.4 billion hospital is located further west along North Terrace.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Premier Steven Marshall on his vision for the old RAH’s future

The redevelopment of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (oRAH) is an “incredible opportunity” for South Australia to create new themes in innovation, entrepreneurship and high-value job creation, says Premier Steven Marshall.

Brand SA News recently sat down with Mr Marshall, South Australia’s 46th Premier, to discuss his vision for the redevelopment and to ask – what infrastructure opportunities does the 7ha site present?

The State Government’s ambition for the oRAH will see it transformed into an innovation and start-up precinct, an international centre for tourism, hospitality and food services, and a national Aboriginal art and culture gallery.

“I think this site itself is so special it will attract global companies that want to have an Australian presence,” Mr Marshall says.

“I’m very optimistic about the potential for this site.”

Photo: Steven Marshall MP Twitter.

One of the global companies the State Government has its eye on is Google.

The government recently approached the US tech giant in a bid to bring Google’s Australian headquarters to Adelaide.

Some of the state’s top business leaders have also voiced their desires for the global household brand to set up in the city.

Mr Marshall says some aspects of the tech giant’s operations would be ideal for South Australia and the oRAH site.

“There are some aspects of the Google operation which I think will be ideally suited to South Australia and we’re having in-depth discussions with the Google organisation now,” he says.

“I don’t think they’re going to uproot themselves from New South Wales and transfer all employees here, but I think there are very real opportunities … to bring areas of specialisation here to South Australia and they would be ideally suited to the old Royal Adelaide Hospital innovation precinct.”

The new chapter of the oRAH site began on September 6, 2017, when an ambulance blared its siren as it transferred the last patient to the new, world-class facility.

It marked the end of an era for the North Terrace/Frome Road site and the beginning of a once-in-a-century opportunity to create another standout piece of infrastructure for Adelaide’s CBD.

Now plans are afoot to breathe new life into the location, with demolition already taking place and continuing into 2019.

By the nature of its size and central location, the oRAH site presents a ‘build it and they will come’ opportunity that Mr Marshall says is unlikely to present again.

“We are very lucky because when you survey Adelaide there is a lot of opportunity to go up,” he says.

“Seven hectares in the middle of one of the world’s most liveable cities is an incredible opportunity and we have to make sure we do this, but also do it in a timely way so the site doesn’t sit vacant for longer than it needs to.”

A number of Renewal SA-led activations have already occurred at the oRAH since it closed in 2017. These have included music festivals, interactive light installations and Fringe shows.

Under the State Government’s oRAH vision, the creation of the innovation and start-up hub will be overseen by a chief entrepreneur who is “independent of the government” and will lead the facility’s establishment and operation.

The hub would allow new and existing businesses and entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and explore new technologies across fast-growing industries of defence and space, cyber security, food and wine, medical technology, robotics, and media and film.

Other plans for the oRAH include a $60m international centre for tourism, hospitality and food studies, which would include the relocation of the International College of Hotel Management and the Le Cordon Bleu school from Regency Park TAFE.

Mr Marshall says he wants South Australia to host more international students as they contribute greatly to the economy.

“We think that this old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is precisely the type of location to encourage more and more international students to come and study here in Adelaide and maybe even start businesses in South Australia,” he says.

According to the oRAH vision, Adelaide also has the potential to become the gateway to Aboriginal Australia, by way of a national Aboriginal art and culture gallery.

Mr Marshall says the South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of SA and Tandanya (National Aboriginal Cultural Institute) would work together to create something of national and international significance.

Other elements of the proposed oRAH redevelopment include a contemporary art gallery, hotel accommodation, and integration with the botanic gardens.

It is understood the redevelopment will take decades to come to fruition, and that decisions on development partners are yet to be made.

A pop-up event unfolds at the oRAH. The building is partially covered in a printed shade cloth designed by local artist Vans the Omega.

In the meantime, Renewal SA – which is managing the oRAH redevelopment – has activated the site with a number of temporary installations including music festivals, interactive light installations and fringe shows.

Mr Marshall says the oRAH won’t be the only key piece of infrastructure to unfold in Adelaide’s CBD

He says the Adelaide Casino revamp, the Adelaide Festival Plaza works, and Charter Hall’s $250m office tower development for BHP are other major projects helping to transform the city.

Mr Marshall says the Women’s and Children’s Hospital also presents another future development opportunity, as the State Government intends to co-locate the facility to the new RAH site by 2024.

“The detailed planning is being done on that at the moment … but therefore there will be an opportunity for another redevelopment of similar magnitude (as the oRAH) maybe not in quite the same iconic location, but a similar magnitude,” he adds.

Visit I Choose SA for Industry to learn more stories about key industry leaders, why they’ve chosen SA as a base and how the state is enabling them to succeed.