Cicada Innovations launches HealthTech Hub in Sydney’s 'hidden innovation ecosystem'

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A leading Australian technology incubator has officially opened the doors to the 'Cicada HealthTech Hub'.

The facility, supported by a grant from Investment NSW, will be situated in Sydney's Western Suburbs, within one of Australia's largest health and biomedical precincts, the Westmead Health and Innovation District.

The district has four major hospitals, four world-leading medical research institutions, two university campuses and NSW's largest research-intensive pathology service.

The hub is now open to pre-revenue stage startups, spinouts, research projects, and more established businesses looking for a landing pad in areas of medical technology and devices such as cell and gene therapy, cancer research, infectious diseases, immunology, and vaccines.

It includes affordable and flexible workspaces, dedicated facilities, critical connections, and curated support services, all aiming to rapidly commercialise life-changing research with tangible patient outcomes.

The first resident already on site is iiSheild, a healthtech startup whose groundbreaking 'kidney pyjamas' (Ischemic Injury Protective Jacket) aim to double the available time for kidney transplants by minimising the heat of the kidney during procedures.

Western Sydney, more broadly, also offers a rapidly growing population of 2.5 million people and over 1000 clinical trials, including some of Australia’s biggest, while Australia’s first commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing facility is currently being built in the precinct.

Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams Sally-Ann Williams said, “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.

“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.

“We’re excited to now be calling for many more iiShields to come and take advantage of these state-of-the art facilities and the many benefits the growing precinct has to offer.”

NSW Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong added, “The HealthTech Hub will play a vital role in driving biotech, medtech and pharmaceutical industry development in NSW by bringing our world class health researchers and entrepreneurs together. 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.”