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HomeSponsoredHistoric $478m investment to change healthcare in Australia forever

Historic $478m investment to change healthcare in Australia forever


This article is sponsored by the University of Sydney. Authorised by Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Mark Scott. Enquiries: 9351 2000; info.centre@sydney.edu.au

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This week the University of Sydney 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 NSW.

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.

Scientists 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.

The range of world-class buildings and facilities from this historic investment will make up the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator and bring together the brightest scientific and clinical minds with entrepreneurs, industry, and government.

The Accelerator will give the University’s renowned researchers and partners the infrastructure to take a major step forward in the global quest to find solutions to the world’s biggest health challenges and the potential to dramatically improve the future of health and medical care in Australia.

The SBA is a partnership between the University, the Sydney Local Health District, and the NSW government, in collaboration with the Centenary Institute.

Cementing a long-standing partnership with the Sydney Local Health District, the project has been helped significantly by the NSW government’s commitment of $143.3 million in funding, which was announced in June.

The Accelerator has been benchmarked against the world’s leading biomedical facilities such as the Karolinska Institutet, the University of Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District and MassBio.

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.

Work at the SBA and the University’s facilities at Westmead will have shared access and collaboration. Capabilities will be designed to complement each other across the two sites seamlessly.

The work will place Sydney at the forefront of global biomedical research, attract international talent and fast-track research commercialisation.

Unprecedented philanthropic support

Funding for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator includes $73 million in philanthropy to the University.

A $20 million donation from the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation will establish The Isaac Wakil Biomedical Building.

The Isaac Wakil Biomedical Building connects to the Susan Wakil Health Building (not part of SBA), opened in 2021 and is 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 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 our initial support encourages further investment in the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator.”

Architectural design and building commencement 

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.

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 the initial occupation is expected to occur in 2026.

 

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