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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Westmead becomes home to new biomedical hub

Health Industry Hub | March 27, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Australia’s flagship deep tech incubator, Cicada Innovations, announced the inauguration of the Cicada HealthTech Hub. The unveiling ceremony was officiated by the Hon. Anoulack Chanthivong, Minister for Innovation, Science, and Technology.

Supported by a grant from Investment NSW, this world-class incubation facility finds its home within the Westmead Health and Innovation District, located in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. The Cicada HealthTech Hub is now open for aspiring ventures at the pre-revenue stage, including startups, spinouts, and research projects, as well as more established enterprises seeking a robust launching pad in medical technology and devices.

Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations, remarked “Western Sydney may not be the first location that springs to mind when we think ‘innovation’. But when you look at the groundbreaking work coming from the precinct, it really could be considered one of Australia’s most exciting hidden innovation gems.”

Focusing on critical areas such as cell and gene therapy, cancer research, infectious diseases, immunology, and vaccines, the Hub aims to accelerate the translation of research into tangible solutions with profound patient outcomes. Among the numerous benefits offered are affordable and flexible workspaces, purpose-built facilities, invaluable networking opportunities, and tailored support services, all designed to expedite the commercialisation process of life-changing innovations.

Stepping into this pioneering space as the inaugural resident is iiShield, a healthtech startup known for its “kidney pyjamas” (ischemic injury protective jacket), designed to extend the viability window for kidney transplants by mitigating heat stress during procedures.

“Companies like iiShield, originating in Westmead, offer a perfect case study of the journey Australia’s most critical medtech companies take from research lab to commercialisation to the homes and industries where they will positively impact the largest number of people,” Ms Williams said.

Boasting an impressive array of assets including four major hospitals, four world-renowned medical research institutions, two university campuses, and the largest research-intensive pathology service in NSW, residents like iiShield stand to gain immensely from the strategic location.

Moreover, the broader landscape of Western Sydney offers a burgeoning populace of 2.5 million individuals, alongside over 1000 ongoing clinical trials. Notably, the precinct is also witnessing the construction of Australia’s first commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing facility.

Minister Chanthivong emphasised the pivotal role of the HealthTech Hub in propelling the biotech, medtech, and pharmaceutical industries in NSW “by bringing our world class health researchers and entrepreneurs together.”

He added “It will support early-stage startups to build capability, fast-tracking commercialisation and helping to grow our state’s future skills pipeline. The Hub is a great example of how the NSW Government is working with organisations like Cicada to build a collaborative, inclusive and more supportive innovation ecosystem.”

Cicada Innovations now extends an open invitation to aspiring medtech pioneers and innovators to explore residency opportunities at the HealthTech Hub, encouraging interested individuals to express their interest here.

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