Cicada Innovations opens HealthTech Hub in Western Sydney

Thursday, 28 March, 2024

Cicada Innovations opens HealthTech Hub in Western Sydney

Australia’s flagship deep tech incubator, Cicada Innovations, opened the doors to the Cicada HealthTech Hub this week, in a ceremony officiated by NSW Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong. Supported by a grant from Investment NSW, the incubation facility is situated within one of Australia’s largest health and biomedical precincts, the Westmead Health and Innovation District, in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Incubation is now open to pre-revenue stage startups, spinouts, research projects and other 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. Benefits include affordable and flexible workspaces, dedicated facilities, critical connections and curated support services, all aimed at facilitating the rapid commercialisation of life-changing research with real patient outcomes.

The first resident onsite is iiShield, a healthtech startup whose so-called ‘kidney pyjamas’ (Ischemic Injury Protective Jacket) aim to double the available time for kidney transplants by minimising the heat of the kidney during procedures. iiShield originated in Westmead then moved into Cicada Innovations’ Eveleigh site as it completed the Cicada-run NSW Health Commercialisation Training Program, then moved back to Westmead to be closer to precinct, progress clinical trials and raise its next round of capital.

Residents like iiShield will benefit from being located in a district that boasts four major hospitals, four leading medical research institutions, two university campuses and the largest research-intensive pathology service in NSW. Western Sydney more broadly offers 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.

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

“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.”

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.”

Cicada Innovations will deliver the new health-focused program alongside life science VC firm Brandon Capital, which will also play a role in supporting commercial outcomes through participation in Cicada’s commercialisation programs, mentoring and support for innovators in the precinct. Cicada Innovations is urging all aspiring medtech founders and innovators to explore residency opportunities at the HealthTech Hub by leaving their details as an expression of interest here.

Image caption: The Hon Anoulack Chanthivong, NSW Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, and Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations. Source: Cicada Innovations.

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