An enduring partnership
The University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District are two of the pre-eminent institutions in biomedical research and teaching in NSW. They share an over 140 year history of teaching and research collaboration.
Both institutions are internationally recognised, with the RPA identified as Australia’s premier hospital in 2022 and ranked in the top 100 globally for the past three years. The University has ranked 38th in the world and first in Australia for impact, surgery and clinical medicine.
RPA and the University are the largest asset holders and employers within the Tech Central precinct and are the anchor institutions within the Sydney Innovation Precinct for Health Education and Research. Collectively, RPA and the University employ a large cohort of highly experienced, internationally recognised health care professionals and researchers. There are over 20 medical research institutes and centres of excellence between these institutions and a number of jointly appointed clinicians, health professionals and researchers. The University also has world-class research groups spanning science, medicine, health and engineering disciplines.
The existing campuses of the RPA and the University already support globally-significant collaborative translational research in chronic and lifestyle diseases (Charles Perkins Centre), future-focussed nanoscience (Sydney Nano), surgical innovation (RPA Institute of Academic Surgery) and clinical trials (NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre). Investing in infrastructure to support cutting-edge biomedical science will immediately increase the potential for generation of high-impact ideas and solutions.
Together, these organisations have:
- Trained generations of Australia’s best healthcare professionals
- Pioneered advanced surgeries
- Co-appointed leading clinician researchers
- Created lasting landmark research infrastructure
- Led Australia in healthcare delivery, training and research
- Led Australia in academic clinical trials.
- A number of significant research, academic and industry collaborators
The SBA will capitalise on the existing strengths of these internationally-recognised institutions, their brightest minds (including leading clinicians, academics, scientists, researchers, and students), provide a unique opportunity to attract existing and new industry collaborations, and embed commercialisation within the Camperdown research ecosystem.
The SBA will be the cornerstone of the Sydney Innovation Precinct for Health Education and Research and an important anchor in Sydney’s broader health and medical research network. It will also act to complement the exciting activities across the network of precincts in NSW – including Liverpool, Randwick and Westmead. Importantly, the SBA collaboration will be considered within the context of these precincts as well as the existing strengths and unique capabilities of Camperdown and its stakeholders. Capabilities of the SBA will be designed to seamlessly complement other NSW sites, with a key example being the viral vectors created at Westmead that will be used for gene and cell therapies development at the SBA.
The SBA is an over $650 million initiative with significant investments made by the NSW Government, University of Sydney, Sydney Local Health District, and the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation.
The historic investment from the University of Sydney includes a $20 million donation from the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation towards The Isaac Wakil Biomedical Building.
Other gifts to the University for the SBA included a generous bequest from University alumna Dr Marie Knispel to fund a bespoke anatomy and teaching laboratory, as well as the Clearbridge Chair in Immunotherapy to support cancer research.
The complex will consist of three buildings, (42,500m2) which will be collectively known as Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA).
Spanning Sydney Local Health District’s Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital campus and the Camperdown campus of the University of Sydney, the SBA will co-locate, connect and integrate fundamental research with patient-centred research.
All three SBA buildings will be interconnected, allowing seamless transition between RPA and the Susan Wakil Health Building (University of Sydney), physically connecting these institutions for the first time in their over 140-year-old partnership.
Two buildings of the SBA are funded by Sydney Local Health District and are located on the RPA campus. These buildings include the refurbished Gloucester House and a new biomedical research building (currently termed Building B). The third, a biomedical research building will be funded by the University and built on University of Sydney grounds – the Isaac Wakil Biomedical Building .
The SBA is proudly part of the Sydney Innovation Precinct for Health Education and Research), which forms part of the Tech Central precinct, positioning the SBA to dynamically collaborate with industry and start-ups as part of a world leading hospital, university and tech innovation ecosystem
The SBA has been benchmarked against the world’s leading biomedical facilities such as the Karolinska Institute (50 percent of Sweden’s life science companies in one precinct), the University of Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District and MassBio (life science super-cluster of 1,100 members including Harvard, MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.)
The SBA will place Sydney at the forefront of global biomedical research, enabling it to attract international talent and fast track research commercialisation.
International architectural firms Denton Corker Marshall and HDR are the selected architects to design the integrated health education and research facilities
Their winning design, selected from a design competition, delivered an internationally recognised facility focused on ‘connectivity’ and perfectly demonstrated the SBA as a symbol of the future.
In the following 18 months the architects will work with the University, Sydney Local Health District and other stakeholders to workshop and finalise designs.
Early works for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator are already underway and initial occupation is expected from 2026.