Aug 22, 2023

Cicada Innovations granted $7.8 million to run a new biomedical incubator in Western Sydney

News » Topics » Accelerator » Cicada Innovations granted $7.8 million to run a new biomedical incubator in Western Sydney

Cicada was awarded a $7.8 million grant to help health and medtech startups to develop their research into lifesaving technologies at the Westmead Biomedical Incubator.

Investment NSW CEO Katie Knight said the medtech incubator will deliver jobs and better medical care, praising Cicada’s pioneering support for deep tech startups, including a longstanding engagement with the biomedical sector delivering commercialisation training programs for medtech and biotech founders on behalf of the government.

“With more than 20 years’ experience, Cicada Innovations was the best choice to lead this effort,” Knight said.

“With the right incentives, NSW startups can deliver real-world patient outcomes to the market sooner, and that means everyone in NSW wins.

“Specialists in medical technology including cell and gene therapy, cancer research, infectious diseases, immunology, and vaccines will all benefit from working within this inclusive ecosystem in the heart of the Westmead Health precinct.”

Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams said the new incubator will offer early-stage incubation, capacity building programs, and links to institutional capital, mentoring, expertise, and support.

“New South Wales, and in particular Western Sydney, has all the elements of a world leading innovation precinct already in place. We are incredibly proud and grateful to extend our expertise and knowledge to startups seeking to improve global health,” Ms Williams said.

“We have nurtured deep tech startups for the past two decades, including successfully delivering NSW Health’s largest Commercialisation Training Program for the past nine years to over 2,500 researchers and innovators.”

Cicada, based at the revamped Eveleigh railway workshops, has nurtured several biotech startups, including synthetic skin company Elastagen, which US biopharmaceutical giant Allergan acquired in 2018 in a deal worth $350 million, and rapid diagnostic biotech SpeeDx.

More on the Westmead precinct is available at

Simon has been editor of Startup Daily since 2019 and also hosts the Startup Daily show, 2-2.30pm Mon-Thu, on business streaming service

He was previously associate editor of Business Insider Australia, was a national restaurant critic, editor of The Good Food Guide, and a newspaper proprietor during a 30-year career in journalism and publishing.

He's also an investor in early stage startups.

He chaired industry lobby group Australian Business Ltd's (now the NSW Business Chamber) environment committee during the Kyoto agreement era, back when mining execs were worried about cow farts.

Deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations has been appointed by the NSW government to run a new biomedical incubator at the Westmead Health and Innovation District, 26km west of Sydney’s CBD.