First stage of world-class Innovation Quarter health and commercial precinct opens at Westmead

Western Sydney University, Building at Westmead Innovation Quarter - Photo Credit: Arthur Vay

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Western Sydney University and Charter Hall are set to celebrate the opening of the first stage of the Westmead Innovation Quarter (iQ) – an extraordinary $350 million precinct investment in world-class health, medical and education research that is delivering benefits for the people of western Sydney.

A partnership between the University and Charter Hall, Stage 1 of iQ will be opened by The Hon. Ed Husic MP, Federal Minister for Industry and Science, on Friday 4 November 2022 at 2.00pm.

Located in the heart of the Westmead Health and Innovation precinct, iQ brings together Australia’s brightest minds from across the disciplines to share evidence-based research, harness leading technologies and generate health and medical breakthroughs to improve the lives and wellbeing of all Australians.

iQ and the surrounding site is home to the University's flagship research institutes — the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, NICM Health Research Institute, the Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), and Transforming Early Education and Child Health (TeEACH). These institutes are co-located with organisations such as CSIRO, Telstra Health, WentWest and Psych Central, providing an all-important springboard to foster new ideas and inspire innovative research collaborations.

Together, the University’s internationally recognised institutes are delivering translational research that is having a positive, real-world impact. Their collective research expertise spans integrative medicine, diagnostics and therapeutics, preventing and managing chronic disease, mental health, neuroscience and artificial intelligence, early intervention, med-tech, brain-optimised human machine systems, simulation, neuromorphic engineering, health communication, and music in health.

iQ comprises 43,000m² of state-of-the-art health, education and research infrastructure and business space, along with 2,000m² of retail and lifestyle facilities. Vital public transport links – Westmead railway station, the Parramatta Light Rail, Sydney Metro West and the rapid bus Transitway – connect the precinct with the Greater Parramatta region and beyond.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said iQ is a unique research ecosystem that is all about forging new solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing and persistent healthcare challenges through STEM-related innovation and commercialisation.

“Westmead Innovation Quarter is a major commitment by Western Sydney University. Together with Charter Hall we have developed a ground-breaking research and development facility that draws together leading scientists, clinicians and researchers who can partner with communities, industry and government to deliver unparalleled health and medical outcomes, as well as new commercialisable devices and platforms,” said Professor Glover.

“Set within Australia’s largest concentration of hospital and healthcare services, iQ will elevate Westmead’s status as one of the world’s most advanced health and innovation precincts. We are delighted to partner with Charter Hall to deliver this truly transformational research infrastructure that will no doubt be a catalyst to drive even more investment, research development and employment growth not only for our Greater Western Sydney region, but for the nation.”

Charter Hall Office CEO, Carmel Hourigan, said, “It’s exciting to see the first stage of this innovative precinct open its doors to some of the brightest minds in Australia to collaborate, innovate and to continue making significant, positive contribution to Australians and potentially, the world.

“Working closely with our valued partner Western Sydney University, we have created a world-class precinct that will transform business, health, education and research. With stage 1 commercial space being 100% leased, iQ has already received strong interest from sectors spanning medical research, biotech and government, as we commence stage 2 and get underway with planning for stage 3.” 

Westmead Innovation Quarter Stage 1 has been awarded a 6 Star - Green Star - Design & As Built v1.2 certification and is targeting Climate Active Carbon Neutral Building Certification. This represents 'World Leadership' in environmentally sustainable building practices.

iQ is part of Western Sydney University’s ‘Western Growth’ strategy – an ambitious program that is co-creating cities and transformative educational infrastructure across Western Sydney, in partnership with industry and government.

The opening of iQ builds on the University’s longstanding education and research presence in Westmead, dating back to the days of the Westmead Teachers’ College. This exciting next chapter in the site’s history will positively transform the health and livelihood of all communities for generations to come.

The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development (MARCS)

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The vision of the MARCS Institute is to optimise human interaction and wellbeing across the lifespan. The Institute consists of three research programs – brain sciences, biomedical and human technologies, and the International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems. At the Westmead Innovation Quarter, the Institute boasts 5,000 metres of research, collaboration, and work spaces which house state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories for behavioural measurement, brain imaging, sensing and motion tracking, eye tracking and vision, speech perception and speech technologies, and medtech device development. These facilities are used by interdisciplinary teams researching infant cognition and communication, healthy ageing, arts in health, automation and AI, and biological and electronic sensing.

The Translational Health Research Institute (THRI)

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The THRI Institute is a world-class, interdisciplinary Institute for health and medical research within Western Sydney University. The strength of THRI is a focus on the translation of research by building capacity for multidisciplinary health services, intervention, evaluation, and outcomes research. THRI aims to maximise the impact of this research through partnerships with government, industry, community health sectors and end-users, as well as research training programs that attracts and produces the next generation of health researchers and leaders.

THRI has five overarching five research streams: preventing and managing chronic disease; health, culture and society; health and wellness across the lifespan; mental health and wellbeing and diagnostics and therapeutics. These streams concurrently represent the research strengths of Western Sydney University, and the health and wellbeing priorities of Greater Western Sydney. THRI researchers and teams recognise that the experience of complex health challenges are often compounded in regions that are characterised by socio-economic, cultural and linguistic diversity.

NICM Health Research Institute

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NICM Health Research Institute is Australia’s leader in integrative and complementary medicine research and policy and is globally recognised for its world-class research and innovations. The vision for the Institute is to lead innovation and impact in health and wellbeing through evidence-based integrative medicine research. The Institute translates its laboratory research and human clinical trials into relevant clinical practice and government policy. From the bench to the bedside, preclinical, clinical, and translational, we advance the evidence base, focusing on safety, efficacy and how medicine works.

The Institute’s primary research programs focus on: cardiovascular and metabolic health; neurocognitive, dementia care and mental health; sexual and reproductive health in women; cancer management and recovery; immunity and inflammation.

The NICM Health Research Institute’s state-of-the-art facilities at the Westmead Innovation Quarter includes: TGA certified herbal analysis, PC2 pharmacology, and ODC licensed medicinal cannabis laboratories; GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing; clinical trial facilities and an integrative medicine clinic.

The Centre for Transforming Early Education and Child Health (TeEACH)

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The Centre for Transforming early Education and Child Health (TeEACH) is a Western Sydney University multidisciplinary strategic research initiative, bringing together researchers from across different Schools and Institutes with a shared commitment to understanding and addressing the support needs of young children who experience adversity and their families.

TeEACH focuses on the earliest years of life, from conception through to 8 years of age. These years form a critical window in which to establish trajectories for health and development that set children on a path towards positive outcomes across the life-span. The TeEACH vision is that no child will have their potential limited by the circumstances into which they are born and live.

TeEACH is an applied centre that strives to be transformative. The Centre works with community members and industry partners to co-design new approaches to service support and implementation.


4 November 2022

Media Unit.