Greater Springfield IDEA City Market Validation Study
Greater Springfield is one of Australia’s largest master planned cities, already home to over 52,000 which is set to grow to approximately 100,000 by the end of the decade.

The Challenge

The Knowledge Precinct is a key component of the city centre and is adjacent to the central commercial hub, known as Parkside. The Knowledge Precinct is 119 hectares in land area and comprises of three key areas: Health City, Education City and IDEA City.


Whilst there is development within Health and Education Cities, IDEA City remains a greenfield site of approximately 42 ha. Springfield City Group (SCG) required assistance with a development strategy to position the site and to attract investors and prospective occupants to the Knowledge Precinct and more specifically IDEA City.


SCG engaged SMEC to lead the delivery of a two-phased study, namely an industry positioning study and a market validation / delivery strategy study. SMEC was appointed alongside parent company Surbana Jurong who mobilised their CityGlobal and Energy and Industrial teams as subject matter experts.


The Solution

Phase one – Industry Positioning

During the industry positioning phase, SMEC and Surbana Jurong initiated a process to determine the type of industries and economic activities that would flourish in IDEA City, based on the location’s relative competitive advantage.


The team identified five target sectors which included Defence, Healthcare/Biomedical, Industry 4.0 Solutions, Energy and Business Services. Companies that could potentially locate themselves in IDEA City based on their stage of development and expansion plans were also shortlisted.


An analysis was then conducted to leverage current intellectual assets and synergies between potential anchor end-users, with the intent of developing ‘Lighthouse Projects’ to kickstart an innovation ecosystem that will draw in more companies.


Phase two – Market Validation

In the second phase of the study, the team engaged shortlisted companies from the industry sectors identified. The team undertook research to understand the growth plans of these companies in Australia, potential interest in establishing a base of operations at Greater Springfield and their feedback on how IDEA City should be developed to meet their business needs.


The team then developed a delivery and implementation strategy that leveraged existing developments within the adjacent Parkside precinct. Throughout the project, experiences were drawn upon from Singapore on the formation of successful and vibrant industry clusters.  The following themes were presented as part of the development strategy:

  • Adaptive reuse of existing buildings focusing on serving incubator and accelerator companies within Parkside,
  • Development of construct-to-sell (CTS) and multi-tenanted building (MTB) solutions for start-ups with the potential to become medium-sized enterprises
  • Provision of Build to Suit (BTS) solutions for start-ups, medium sized companies and multinational corporations that could develop into ‘queen bees’ in their respective industries.
contacted from 400 organisations
invited to participate in further research (23 companies and 8 government entities)
Lighthouse concepts
developed with leading industry players

The Impact

Our overall impact for the client, was the ability to provide a clear and concise roadmap with viable strategies for potential development of IDEA City.

The project enabled pathways for SCG to continue conversations and build synergies between existing anchor organisations and encourage them to drive “Lighthouse Projects” building on Greater Springfield’s identity as a destination for innovation. The engagement of potential end-users during the market validation phase also aided with increasing market awareness and positioning of Greater Springfield to an international audience.

IDEA City Market Validation study is an example of successful collaboration with colleagues at Surbana Jurong and synergy between multiple specialists across different geographies. The project is also aligned with the groups global strategy to invest in an advisory consulting model which provides upstream value to clients right across the project and asset management life cycle.


Talk to one of our specialists about the Greater Springfield IDEA City project.