Cicada takes charge of Sydney’s next biomedical incubator

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Cicada Innovations will run a new biomedical incubator at the Westmead Health and Innovation District after landing a $7.8 million grant from the New South Wales government.

The long-running deep tech incubator beat out 15 other applicants for the competitive grant and will work to help health and medtech startups translate their research with programs and links to institutional capital, mentoring, and support.

Brandon BioCatalyst, a partnership of  medical research institutes governments and investors, will also be involved by participating in Cicada’s commercialisation programs at the incubator.

Cicada Innovations chief executive Sally-Ann Williams. Image: LinkedIn

“With more than 20 years’ experience, Cicada Innovations was the best choice to lead this effort,” Investment NSW chief executive Katie Knight said.

“With the right incentives, NSW startups can deliver real-world patient outcomes to the market sooner, and that means everyone in NSW wins.”

The Westmead Health and Innovation District includes four major hospitals, four medical research institutes, two university campuses and the largest research-intensive pathology service in the state.

It is one of four precincts being targeted by the state government, alongside the inner city Tech Central, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and the Meadowbank Education and Employment Precinct.

The CSIRO this week released a map of the nation’s digital industries, reaffirming firms inside “clusters” tend to grow faster, innovate more, compete and build wealth globally at the national scale.

Cicada Innovations’ $7.8 million grant is for four years and comes from a competitive process to find an operator that began more than a year ago.

The company’s chief executive Sally-Ann Williams said the new incubator will offer services from early-stage incubation and capacity building programs to links to institutional capital, mentoring, expertise, and support.

“New South Wales, and in particular Western Sydney, has all the elements of a world leading innovation precinct already in place. We are incredibly proud and grateful to extend our expertise and knowledge to startups seeking to improve global health,” Ms Williams said.

“We have nurtured deep tech startups for the past two decades, including successfully delivering NSW Health’s largest Commercialisation Training Program for the past nine years to over 2,500 researchers and innovators.”

Cicada also operates the Jumar Bioincubator in Melbourne.

This article was updated to include the involvement of Brandon BioCatalyst in the incubator.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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