Cicada-run biomedical incubator opens in Western Sydney

Brandon How

A new biomedical incubator run by Cicada Innovations has opened in New South Wales, offering a workspace and support services for research projects, pre-revenue startups, and established businesses.

The hub was officially opened on Monday evening by NSW Minister for Innovation, Science, and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong, seven months after it was first announced by the deep tech incubator.

iiShield is the first tenant at the hub, moving its operations from Cicada Innovations’ Eveleigh innovation hub. The startup is developing technology that minimises the exposure of kidneys to heat, almost doubling the time doctors have to perform transplants.

Dubbed the HealthTech hub, the facility offers access to masterclass seminars, short 1:1 meetings with mentors, and a complimentary two-day workshop, networking opportunities, and links to capital.

NSW Minister for Innovation, Science, and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong and Cicada Innovations chief Sally-Ann Williams

Incubator programs run through the hub will be delivered in partnership with Brandon BioCatalyst, a biomedical research commercialisation initiative managed by Brandon Capital, which will also provide mentoring and other support.

The hub is located in the Westmead Health and Innovation District and is backed by a four-year $7.8 million grant from Investment NSW. Cicada was selected to run the hub over 15 other applicants.

The Westmead Health and Innovation District encompasses four major hospitals, four world-leading medical research institutions, two university campuses, and the state’s largest research-intensive pathology service.

It also includes a viral vector manufacturing facility, which is being expanded from a current production capacity of 25L to 500L by the end of 2025. This will be Australia’s first commercial-scale facility and has been backed by $134.5 million of state government funding.

Mr Chanthivong said the hub would be an important driver of development in the BioTech, MedTech, and pharmaceutical industries.

“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,” he said.

Cicada Innovations chief executive Sally-Ann Williams said that while you may not immediately think of Western Sydney when you think innovation, it is “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,” she said.

Those interested in becoming a resident at the hub can enquire here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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