Collaborative space for researchers, clinicians and industry
First space to open at the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator will allow researchers, clinicians and industry partners to generate ideas, form new partnerships and accelerate innovation.
The first stage of the $650 million Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA) has been officially launched with the opening of the Innovation Hub at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
The SBA is a partnership between the University of Sydney, Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and the NSW Government to create an Australian-first precinct that tackles some of our most complex health challenges, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, and position Sydney as a global leader in biomedical research.
It integrates fundamental research at the molecular and cellular level with clinical and patient-centred research and health outcomes at its core.
The Innovation Hub, which is in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s historic Gloucester House, is a collaborative space designed to bring together researchers, clinicians and academics with industry partners to generate ideas, form new partnerships and accelerate innovation development into the clinical environment.
Leveraging existing expertise across RPA and the University of Sydney, the Innovation Hub creates a platform for this expertise to connect with Industry.
This is the first step in creating a world-class research hub that will rival the world’s best, says Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AO.
“The opening of the Innovation Hub at Gloucester House is the start of something very special between two of Australia’s leading health institutions – SLHD and the University of Sydney,” Dr Anderson said.
“With patient-centred care at the heart of everything we do, the research undertaken at the SBA will be integral in solving critical health problems and providing better outcomes for our patients now and into the future.”
Professor Mark Scott, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sydney said, “This launch is one of many exciting firsts as the SBA vision becomes a reality and the possibilities of this SLHD and University partnership, together with the NSW government, become tangible.”
“Critically, the Innovation Hub, by building on our startup successes and industry connections, will support our combined ambition to fast-track scientific discovery into health outcomes through innovative research and commercialisation.”
The SBA will comprise of three buildings that will physically link RPA with the University of Sydney, for the first time in its 140 years of partnership. The Innovation Hub is the first physical space of the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA) to be launched, using 800 square metres in what will become a 36,000m2 health, education and research precinct.
Over 1200 biomedical researchers and clinician scientists will be located onsite at the SBA, including over 800 University of Sydney laboratory researchers and PhD students, over 300 clinical researchers from Sydney Local Health District, and 100 industry researchers when it is operational in 2027. The Centenary Institute is the SBA’s principal medical research institute.
SBA focuses its research on four themes:
programming molecules and cells to cure disease
preventing and reversing damage by discovering how to regenerate and repair cells and systems
learning how molecules and their interactions support and sustain human life
engineering devices to sense, monitor, and improve human health.
Partnership to build nation-leading biomedical precinct recognised
State-of-the-art biomedical research complex wins Partnership of the Year Award at Sydney Local Health District’s 2022 Innovation and Excellence Awards.
The Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA), a partnership between the University of Sydney, the NSW Government and Sydney Local Health District, has been awarded the Partnership of the Year Award at Sydney Local Health District’s 2022 Innovation and Excellence Awards.
The University of Sydney today announced its largest ever capital investment, a landmark $478 million to build a nation leading biomedical precinct to fast-track research and patient care in New South Wales.
The Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA) will create a first-in-Australia, 36,000m2 health, education, and research precinct co-located at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University’s Camperdown campuses, within the Tech Central precinct. The Accelerator will tackle some of our most complex health challenges, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases and position Sydney as a global leader in biomedical research.
Scientists at the Accelerator will conduct cutting edge research into the building blocks of life, regenerative medicine, drug discovery and medical device development and harness the latest in nanotechnology and gene and stem cell therapy to transform health outcomes in the state.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO said the investment is a key component of the University’s new 10-year strategic plan.
“This is a historic investment for any University. The range of world-class buildings and facilities that will make up the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator will bring together the brightest scientific and clinical minds with entrepreneurs, industry and government,” Professor Scott said.
“It gives our renowned researchers and partners the infrastructure to take a major step forward in the global quest to find solutions to our biggest health challenges. Together, we have the potential to dramatically improve the future of health and medical care in this country.
“Once the Accelerator is completed, the long-term relationship between our University and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital will be further strengthened by the physical sharing and linkage of facilities, accelerating the pathway between findings made at a patient’s bedside to the research bench and back again.”
The Vice-Chancellor said the SBA is a partnership between the University, the Sydney Local Health District and the NSW Government, in collaboration with the Centenary Institute.
“This project cements our long-standing partnership with the Sydney Local Health District and we are so thankful for the $143.3 million commitment that the NSW Government announced for this project back in June.”
The Accelerator has been benchmarked against the world’s leading biomedical facilities such as the Karolinska Institutet (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.)
Over 1200 world class biomedical researchers and clinician scientists will be located onsite at the SBA, including over 800 university laboratory researchers and PhD students and 100 industry researchers.
Importantly, work at the SBA and the University’s facilities at Westmead will be mapped together for shared access and collaboration. Capabilities will be designed to seamlessly complement each other across the two sites such as the viral vectors created at Westmead which will be used for gene and cell therapies development at the SBA.
The work will place Sydney at the forefront of global biomedical research, enabling it to attract international talent and fast-track research commercialisation.
Biomedical research and development and commercialisation is a large and growing global market with a current spend of US$235 billion, and growth forecast at 4-5 percent per annum over the next five years.
Unprecedented philanthropic support
Funding for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator also includes $73 million in philanthropy to the University of Sydney.
A $20 million donation from the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation will establish The Isaac Wakil Biomedical Building, one of three buildings that make up the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator complex.
The Isaac Wakil Biomedical Building stands beside and connects to the Susan Wakil Health Building, (not part of SBA) opened in 2021 and also generously supported by a $35 million donation from the Wakils.
University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC said, “This $20 million gift to the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator is the latest in one of many transformative donations made by the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation to the University of Sydney. These extraordinary philanthropists have now gifted more than $66 million, the largest named donation to a single institution in NSW history, to the University to enhance the future of healthcare and teaching in Australia. We are forever thankful for their vision.”
Isaac Wakil AO said the past two years have shown the vital importance of supporting medical research.
“The Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation is proud of its long relationship with the University of Sydney and is very pleased to be able to help make this important project a reality. We hope that our initial support encourages further investment in the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator,” said Mr Wakil.
Following a design competition, international architectural firms Denton Corker Marshall and HDR have been selected to design the 36,000m2 integrated health education and research facilities.
Their winning design delivered an internationally recognised facility focused on ‘connectivity.’ It celebrates the relationship between the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and for the first time will establish a physical bridge connecting them.
In the following 12 to 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 will commence this year and initial occupation is expected to occur from 2026.
Today the NSW Government announced $143.3 million funding over four years for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator.
Today’s announcement is a continuation of the NSW Government’s commitment to transforming the economy with new high value jobs in science, technology and medical research. The SBA will be a keystone of the recently established Tech Central precinct that will deliver a vibrant innovation and technology community in the heart of Sydney.
The SBA will be a state-of-the-art biomedical research complex complementing the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital campuses, offering a unique global concentration of biomedical research talent.
“Our patients are at the centre of everything we do and we are always looking for ways to improve their lives so this announcement is very exciting,” Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson said. “Investing in these state-of-the-art facilities will dramatically shorten the time between scientific discovery and health outcomes for patients and their families, getting people the answers they need faster.
“The SBA will also help us solve critical health challenges and revolutionise health care solutions for generations to come. It will offer a unique global concentration of biomedical research talent and research facilities and will be positioned to dynamically collaborate with industry and start-ups as part of a hospital, university and technology innovation ecosystem.”
The University of Sydney welcomed the announcement. “The government’s commitment today will fundamentally improve health outcomes for people in NSW and we are so pleased to be partnering with them and the Sydney Local Health District to bring this vision to life,” Professor Mark Scott, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sydney said.
“We are proud to be key partners and are committed to utilising our renowned research expertise and experience with commercialisation to ensure the Accelerator is a success.”
Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Professor Robyn Ward said the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator would support multidisciplinary collaboration between world-leading teams of clinicians, scientists, engineers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs and research and industry partners.
“Once built, it will be an internationally significant clinical, teaching and research precinct, aligning with the redevelopment of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the NSW Government’s Tech Central project,” Professor Ward said.
“We congratulate the NSW Government on its commitment to life sciences and to future health research and commercialisation which will have far-reaching benefits.”
The primary medical research partners of the Sydney Biomedical Accelertor also welcomed the announcement, with the Chair of the Centenary Institute Board, Joseph Carrozzi AM, and its Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas AO, are thrilled that a biomedical complex, the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA), will now be a reality.
“Successful innovation hubs require collaboration between major anchor institutions. In the SBA, we have the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, an iconic centre for clinical care and research which celebrates 140 years in Sydney, along with the University of Sydney, the oldest university in Australia, and the Centenary Institute, a leading medical research institute which is clinically integrated with RPA and has longstanding and strong research ties with its neighbouring universities,” added Carrozzi.
The SBA will offer a unique global concentration of biomedical research talent and research facilities and will be positioned to dynamically collaborate with industry and start-ups as part of a hospital, university and technology innovation ecosystem.
Early works for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator will commence this year and initial occupation is expected to occur from 2026.
Members of the health, biomedical and technology sectors joined us to hear about the vision for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator on Thursday 24 February 2022.
Our online event was hosted by Dr Teresa Anderson AM, Chief Executive, Sydney Local Health District and Prof. Robyn Ward AM, Executive Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Medicine and Health), the University of Sydney. It included keynote presentations from Elizabeth Koff, Secretary, NSW Health, and Chancellor Belinda Hutchison, the University of Sydney.
A recording of the online session can be viewed here.
Expressions of interest now open
We are keen to hear from you in the coming weeks about the potential for collaboration in the SBA through the expression of interest process.