World-leading innovations emerging from Westmead's Health and Innovation Precinct

There are already plenty of success stories coming out of the Westmead Precinct. With the Westmead Place Strategy guiding the expansion and development of the precinct, we can expect more success in the months and years ahead. 

3 mins read

Innovation incubator: today’s success stories

One start-up, ResusRight, raised close to $800,000 in a recent investment round for a paediatric medical device which is designed to resuscitate babies who have breathing difficulties after birth. ResusRight was founded by two doctoral biomedical engineering students, Matt Boustred and Matthew Crott, along with a research team based at Westmead Hospital that specialises in improving care of vulnerable babies.

Matthew Crout has described the team’s motivation for creating this new technology:“In Australia, approximately 17,000 babies require resuscitation annually – sadly thousands of infants are left with injury or disability through this process which more effective monitoring could help reduce. Newborn babies should be given the best chance at life and they deserve high-quality medical techniques that are tailored for their needs. We aim to provide both better quality and a higher frequency of resuscitation training.”

Another standout example of the research and innovation coming out of the Westmead Precinct is a potential “next generation” COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr Eunok Lee, who specialises in mathematics and computer science is working with Professor Tony Cunningham, one of Australia’s most experienced viral immunologists, and a team at Sydney’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research to develop a future-proof COVID-19 vaccine.

While there are several existing approved vaccines, the evolution of the virus with mutant strains means that the search for a vaccine is not over. Professor Cunningham has said: “The vaccines we have at the moment [are] protecting us from those variant strains, but they might not in the future, and that’s what we’re preparing for.”

Dr Lee is working on a predictive computer algorithm to help guide the research which is focusing on a T-cell booster shot to help induce long-duration immunity.

Westmead: A World-Class Health and Research Precinct

Set over more than 75 hectares and housed in 400,000 square metres of development, the Westmead Precinct is growing its reputation as a world-class health, education, research and training precinct.

Four major hospitals make up the heart of the precinct, including Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. These hospitals along with three research institutes and two major university campuses provides direct health services to almost 10 percent of
Australia’s population. However, the value of the precinct extends well beyond this.

The precinct is expected to attract more than 26,000 staff and 10,000 students by 2026, with those numbers potentially growing to 50,000 jobs and 40,000 students by 2026.

Niall Cunningham, Director of Programme Delivery ANZ at WSP – a global company providing planning consultancy services for the Westmead Precinct – shares his vision of
the future of this precinct:
“… an urban environment… that weaves advanced integrated transport systems with state-of-the-art healthcare and education facilities… [creating] social and economic benefits for communities in the west, as well as across Greater Sydney.”