Tonsley Innovation District
Tonsley is an ever-evolving hub of education, research, commercialisation and business activity. The impressive 61-hectare site hosts businesses from the energy, med-tech, mining and automation sectors.
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On Tuesday, 5 February 2008, during a meeting held at Mitsubishi’s Tonsley Park car manufacturing plant, 1,000 Mitsubishi employees were told they would be losing their jobs.
Mitsubishi had just announced the closure of their manufacturing arm in Australia. This was the beginning of a nationwide decline of car manufacturing and a signal that traditional Australian manufacturing was no longer able to compete on a global scale. A new approach was required.
In 2010, the Government of South Australia purchased the former car manufacturing plant at Tonsley and set about delivering a new vision for the site that would see it become a sustainable economic base for future industries.
Manufacturing is recognised as an essential element in a resilient and prosperous South Australian economy. The redevelopment of Tonsley is providing the opportunity for the manufacturing industry in South Australia to adapt and better utilise its strengths, transitioning from traditional to high-value manufacturing.
Today, Tonsley is home to over 1,700 employees, 70% more than when Mitsubishi announced their closure, working across co-working spaces, smaller and larger tenancies under the Main Assembly Building (MAB), or larger allotments such as Siemens Energy or Hydrogen Park SA. Add to that some 8,000 students going through the site each year within TAFE SA and Flinders University, and there is a lot of activity and innovation within the district.
Under the umbrella of high-value manufacturing, Tonsley Innovation District targets four focus sectors that reflect South Australia’s economic strengths and opportunities.