$350m home for research and development at Westmead

Westmead Health Precinct took a major step forward yesterday with the launch of a new project delivering over 1,000 jobs and 28,000 square metres of health, research, education and commercial space.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres said the $350 million development, a joint venture between Western Sydney University and Charter Hall to be known as Innovation Quarter or iQ, would house some of the university’s leading research institutes and Australia’s national science agency CSIRO.

“Commencement of ground works for this new complex will help strengthen Westmead Health and Innovation District as a leading global centre for health care, medical research and commercialisation, education and training,” Mr Ayres said.

“It’s another sign of confidence in the NSW economy and demonstrates more progress out west in the Central City, supporting the NSW Government’s focus on technology and innovation as key drivers of growth.”

Western Sydney University will base its MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, NICM Health Research Institute and Translational Health Research Institute (THRI) at the complex when it opens in 2021.

CSIRO will bring world-leading research staff from its e-Health and Nutrition & Health programs.

Western Sydney University vice-president, Peter Pickering, said the Innovation Quarter at Westmead is part of the university’s ‘Western Growth’ strategy – an ambitious program that is reshaping the university’s campus network and co-creating cities and transformative educational infrastructure across western Sydney, in partnership with industry and government.

Mr Pickering said it will build upon the university’s existing footprint in Westmead to integrate first-class health and medical research into policy and practice.

“The university’s presence within the Innovation Quarter will enable researchers, industry partners and clinicians to come together and address the nation’s most pressing health challenges.

“During these challenging times, the Innovation Quarter will also make important economic contributions to the region, creating over 1,000 jobs and generating $150 million to the regional economy.”

Charter Hall Group CEO and Managing Director David Harrison said there had never been a more important time to focus on health research and innovation.

“Our project collaboration with Western Sydney University will deliver a state-of-the-art innovation centre to support the work of both the Western Sydney University and CSIRO’s medical research facilities.”

“iQ will create a truly visionary precinct that brings together the most forward-thinking research, health education and commercial sectors in the Southern Hemisphere. The project will provide an environment for some of the brightest minds in the country to innovate, create opportunities for collaboration and solve global challenges in the heart of Westmead,” Mr Harrison said.

Dr Dave Williams, CSIRO executive director said the move to Westmead would improve collaboration opportunities to create innovative health and wellbeing solutions for the nation.

“CSIRO has a long history of partnering with health, education and research organisations to help solve Australia’s greatest challenges in health,” Dr Williams said.

“We look forward to building on this and embarking on new partnerships and innovations at Westmead.”

The Westmead Health Precinct is one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia, featuring four major hospitals, four world-leading medical research institutes, two university campuses and the largest research intensive pathology service in NSW.