More people will study and work in Cairns with the Morrison Government funding stage two of the Cairns Innovation Centre at James Cook University (JCU).

The $10 million in funding delivers on a promise made by the Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, during the 2016 election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Centre will further diversify the Cairns economy.

“It will boost exports and attract innovators from around the world to the city of Cairns. It will create more jobs and opportunities,” said the Prime Minister.

Construction is expected to begin this month and end in February 2020, creating 100 construction jobs and 100 ongoing jobs, including seven indigenous positions.

Mr Entsch said it will help create a place where entrepreneurs, researchers, educators and students can learn from each other.

“Cairns is already one of the leading regional centres for educational excellence, and this funding will help build on that reputation. It’s something the entire community should be proud of.” Mr Entsch said.

“It will generate new skills and further diversify the economy.”

The facility will house JCU’s electronic engineering and internet of things capability workshop areas, innovation gallery, open works areas, start-up pads and space for commercial tenants.

James Cook University and the Queensland Government will contribute a combined $20 million towards this project.

James Cook University vice-chancellor Professor Sandra Harding thanked Mr Entsch for his ongoing support of the $30 million project.

“This centre will nurture a new generation of students and young graduates who will learn from working closely with industry and business and go on to apply innovative technologies in established industries and drive start-up businesses in emerging industries.”