Westmead health precinct to power new knowledge jobs

Researcher with test tube 

Westmead will become Western Sydney's economic powerhouse with a cluster of up to 50,000 knowledge jobs by 2036, according to the report Westmead Innovation District, Building Western Sydney's jobs engine, commissioned by the Westmead Alliance*.

Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, David Borger, says the report identifies an action plan for investment to capitalise on the job opportunities for Western Sydney's next generation.

"Over the next 20 years our region faces staggering growth. This is our opportunity to harness the potential of an educated and innovative population creating high value jobs on their doorstep," he says.

"Modelling within the study identified the Toronto discovery district in Canada as a role model for Westmead, because of its concentrated mix of research, biomedical companies and business support services. Toronto currently houses approximately 200 jobs per hectare, while Westmead only has 72; we have a long way to go to achieve our potential.

"To drive this change Westmead needs to focus on being a dynamic Innovation District where investment attraction and government support for will be critical."

City of Parramatta Interim General Manager Greg Dyer says the Council has long identified Westmead as a precinct with incredibly strong growth potential, and now is a critical time for all stakeholders to work together to enable that potential to be realised.

"Already home to a number of world-leading medical institutions, there is now opportunity to leverage Westmead's reputation as a pioneering health precinct to facilitate a broader vision for the area which places innovation at the core. This report is an important step to realising Westmead's potential to become a globally-competitive Innovation District," says Mr Dyer.

Dr Michael Brydon, Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Children's Hospital Network says, "The innovative plans we are making today at Westmead will have a profound impact on clinical care, research and education on a global scale.

Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Sydney says the University has long recognised Westmead's potential as a global centre for innovation and excellence through the integration of healthcare, education and research.  

"Our commitment to the area's importance is reflected in our plan to increase our student community at Westmead from the current 1,200 to 6,000 students by 2035," he says.

Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University says world-leading, industry engaged and community embedded research will be at the forefront of Western Sydney University's presence in the revitalised Westmead. 

"This will include technology-infused clinical teaching and start-up incubation," says Professor Glover.

David Borger says now is the time for action with more than $3.4 billion already committed by government, universities and the private sector to upgrade and expand the precinct's health services, education and medical research facilities over the next few years.

The Westmead Alliance advocates for the interest of the Precinct, and encourages business/industry growth. Westmead Alliance members who contributed to this report include Children's Medical Research Institute, Cumberland Council, University of Sydney, Western Sydney Local Health District, Western Sydney University, City of Parramatta Council, Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, Sydney Business Chamber, Westmead Private Hospital, Westmead Institute for Medical Research and UrbanGrowth NSW


19 July 2016

Media Unit