A NSW Government website

Westmead Innovation Ecosystem Fund

Up to $10 million to support the growth of the innovation ecosystem, create a culture inducive to commercialisation and drive sustainable economic growth. Applications have closed.

Our vision

The NSW Government’s vision for the Westmead Health and Innovation District (the District) is to be Australia’s premier health, research and innovation district.

The District will deliver sustainable economic growth and job creation with a focus on world leading health care, medical research and commercialisation, and education and training.

To help realise this vision, the NSW Government has committed up to $10 million over 4 years the Westmead Innovation Ecosystem Fund.

About the Fund

The Westmead Innovation Ecosystem Fund will help to commercialise research in fields such as biotechnology, diagnostics and digital health, as well as create knowledge intensive jobs. 

Downloads

Funding available

We're looking for an innovation partner to deliver services across any or all of the following categories:

  • commercialisation
  • incubator and/or accelerator programs
  • global partnerships, promotion, and innovation architecture.

Business or organisations with experience in the health, medical technology or biotechnology sectors are encouraged to apply to activate and administer either all or parts of the Westmead Innovation Ecosystem Fund.

The minimum grant amount which can be awarded per application is $1,000,000 over four years. The maximum grant amount which can be awarded per application is up to $10,000,000 over four years. All grants are GST exclusive.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for the Program, you must:

  • be registered with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for the purposes of GST
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution
  • be one of the following entity types:
    • a company incorporated under the Corporations Act (including a company limited by guarantee)
    • a not-for-profit organisation
    • government corporate entity.

Refer to the program guidelines for full eligibility criteria.

Information session

An information session was held on 14 March 2022. 

Read the transcript of the 'Westmead Innovation Ecosystem Fund' video

[Rhodri Tudor-Jones]

Little bit of feedback on the line there if I can ask people to go on mute so we can just have a clear channel so we can make this a little bit of a straightforward audio-visual experience for everybody. My name is Rhodri Tudor-Jones. I'm an Executive Director here with Investment NSW and I'm very excited to be part of the team that's bringing you this webinar. Next slide please.

So, as we begin, I'd like to acknowledge that I'm hosting this web and from the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. I'd also like to acknowledge the traditional custodians at various lands on which everybody here is working today and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participating in this webinar. I pay my respects to elder’s past, present and emerging, and celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal peoples and cultures and connections across the land and waters of New South Wales.

So just a preview of our agenda today, we've got a pretty full agenda and we'll try and keep to time the best we can. I’ll provide a little bit of an introduction. Then I'll be handing over to Liz Noonan from the GSC who will talk around the broader vision for Westmead. We've got Graeme Lloyd joining us to give us an overview of the health precinct itself and then Carol Tang, my colleague from Investment NSW, we'll talk about program assessment and process.

We [want to] leave plenty of time as well for Q&A. And what I will note with Q&A is that we've already received some questions and we'll hope to respond to those in the Q&A portion of this of this webinar. Okay, so next slide please.

So, in terms of the fund, the New South Wales government has established the Westmead Innovation Ecosystem Fund to help New South Wales government realise the vision precinct to become Australia's premier health research and innovation district. [At] Investment NSW we're very pleased working in partnership with the GSC and Westmead Health Precinct. This fund will help commercialise globally leading research in fields such as cell and gene therapy, advanced therapeutics, cancer translational research, infectious diseases, immunology and vaccinology. It really is an exciting fund to be involved with.

So, in terms of the overview, the program, some key information there, I'm sure you're already across a lot of this. So, we won't labour the point. As you’re probably aware this is a two-stage application process, the first stage closes on the 28th of March and then there'll be a second stage that opens on the 4th of April. Now that stage will be via invitation only. Next slide please.

So, in terms of service categories, we're looking to engage an innovation partner or partners with appropriate expertise to deliver services across three categories. So, on the screen there, you'll see commercialisation, incubator and/or accelerator programs and they start third one around global partnerships, promotion and innovation architecture. So just to dig in a little bit around that in terms of commercialization, we're looking for a partner or partners who can deliver expertise in business development, commercial advisory services and provide that international best practice for the districts, researchers, clinicians and start-ups. We're really looking for professionals who will enable success in new markets for districts, the District core research innovations, such as medical in medical devices, AI translational research.

In terms of incubator and accelerator programs, we're looking for partners who can support and attract start-ups, people who can facilitate connections to mentors, partners and investors. We will also be looking for people who can run programs that can enable and activate affordable spaces within the district and provide shared access to critical scientific or technical infrastructure such as dry labs and computing equipment.

In terms of global partnerships, promotion and innovation architecture, we're looking for partners who can really work with various stakeholders to attract international health partnerships and agreements that lead to innovation out outcomes. We're looking at MOU’s joint clinical trials and the like. We're also looking for somebody who can bring that perspective could identify gaps and opportunities across the district. For example, in IP or tech transfer perhaps.

The selected partner or partners will support and promote the district and respective health precinct partners, including the Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney Children's Hospital Network, Westmead Hospital, the Children's Hospital at Westmead, the Children's Medical Research Institute and the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. We've got global leaders here in key areas and in areas of emerging research and innovation. So, we're really looking for a partner here to help promote and broaden and explain the gospel around the capabilities that we have here, which we're really proud of.

Alright, with that and brief intro, I'll hand over to Liza who give us a little bit of background on the vision for the precinct.

[Liza Noonan]

Thanks, Rhodri. Good afternoon, everyone.

As Rhodri mentioned, my name is Liza Noonan. I've recently joined the Greater Sydney Commission as Executive Director of the Westmead Health and Innovation District.

It's a privilege to be joining you today from Dharug Country and I just would like to take the opportunity to pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.

For those who are unfamiliar, the Greater Sydney Commission or as I’ll shorthand it throughout this brief today the GSC is an independent NSW government agency that lead strategic planning for the Greater Sydney region. The Great Sydney Region envisages a metropolis of three cities, the Eastern Harbor city, the Central River City and the Western Parkland City, where growth is rebalanced and the benefits of growth more equally and equitably distributed to residents across greater Sydney and the Greater Sydney plan which the GSC takes carriage of, aligns land use, transport and infrastructure, planning to reshape Greater Sydney as three unique but connected cities.

At innovation districts, which is what we're here to talk about today. Sorry. You can just go back to the previous slide, not quite there yet. Thank you. Innovation districts are a key part of rebalancing growth, attracting investment for new growth and really, we [are] increasing that equity of access to opportunity. There is the tech central district in the Eastern City, Aerotropolis in the Western Parkland City, and Westmead in the Central River City, which is what we're here to talk about today.

So, the Westmead Health and Innovation District is today already one of the largest health education research and training destinations in Australia. I don't think I'm understating it when I say there is tremendous opportunity to translate this deep pool of co-located capability into a highly investible engine of health and adjacent industry innovation, generating thousands of knowledge economy jobs. The people of the Central River City and surrounds. We also want to enable collaborative capability and capacity at Westmead to accelerate the impact of the ground-breaking health innovations so that Westmead and the greater Sydney region is a beacon of opportunity for global talent attraction whether that's research, talent, medical talent, allied health talent, entrepreneurial talent and also a beacon of opportunity for businesses to invest, establish, stay and importantly, reinvest. So, to realize this vision, we need globally competitive innovation infrastructure at Westmead that discovers and develops innovation in the intersections of what I'd call traditional silos. You know, the builds, the innovation community of those at Westmead and those with whom Westmead collaborates.

And also, that tells the incredible stories of what makes Westmead so special. Whether that's the work of Professor John Odell, developing phage therapies to treat superbugs, evading antibiotics, or Professor Sarah Palmer working through how to eliminate the remnants of HIV DNA to effectively find a cure, or Professor Anna deFazio developing personalized treatments for ovarian cancer, or the groundswell of work at the Children's Medical Research Institute in Advanced Therapeutics for genetic diseases in kids like cancer, cystic fibrosis and life-threatening metabolic disorders – the work at Westmead is important. Go to the next slide please.

So, by 2036, it's envisaged Westmead will be home to 50,000 plus health professionals and researchers. It is envisaged it will produce $4.7 billion in economic output annually, with a focus on knowledge intensive jobs in a core of high growth biotech and Medtech companies. At the Greater Sydney Commission, we're working very closely with major stakeholders at the Westmead Innovation District and partners across NSW government to increase the vibrancy of Westmead as a place, including the revitalization of the public domain around the Westmead Core health precinct and the opening of a Western Sydney start-up hub in the middle of the year.

The Greater Sydney Commission and its partners are also stimulating opportunity for investment at Westmead by reimagining unutilised government owned land through the new Health Enterprise Zone and funding support for major uplifts in health innovation capacity, such as a recently announced public private viral vector manufacturing facility. It is a very deliberate balance of innovation, ecosystem development and placemaking recognizes the dividends innovation outcomes can deliver for great place making with vibrancy through activation and great storytelling platforms, and how vibrancy brings dividends to innovation inputs, particularly when it comes to talent attraction and investment. It's what I would call serendipity by design and it's a really important feature of a high functioning innovation ecosystem. We go to the next and my final slide please.

So just a little bit more context about the district and what we're looking for in an innovation ecosystem partner. On this slide, you'll see a visual illustration of the Westmead Innovation District. At its absolute core is the Westmead health precinct and the adjacent Health Enterprise zone. Other precincts to note include Parramatta North, which will host the Western Sydney Start-up Hub opening in the middle of this year, and a future University of Sydney campus. Within the Parramatta North Precinct and also got bleeding into the adjacent University Innovation Precinct, you will also notice significant landholding by the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council, which is an incredibly important stakeholder in the Westmead Innovation District. I'd also highlight that university and Innovation Precinct hosts a Western Sydney University campus, including the Marks Institute, and shortly will host CSIRO’s e-Health, Bioinformatics and Nutrition research programs.

You know, there is so much to be energized about when it comes to Westmead, but at its core is health. The New South Wales Health System is a global leader in delivering outstanding outcomes for patients. This advanced health system, the high quality of New South Wales health research in clinical trial environment and its culturally diverse populations means NSW is an ideal incubator for health innovation and superb destination for health-related investment. But right now, we need the innovation infrastructure that is going to turbocharge the innovation engine, which is Westmead and its many collaborators across NSW, to bring in the right investment and accelerate the sizable health impact and economic development opportunities it presents.

So, we're seeking partners with the practical experience of building and managing innovation infrastructure, as Rhodri highlighted, that spans, commercialisation programs, accelerators, incubators and ecosystem connectivity in Australia, but around the world. The partners, who have a track record in building high growth ventures from science and technology who understand the unique challenges in commercializing research and particularly scaling ventures in life sciences and related fields. The longer returns on investments, the complex intellectual property, clinical trials, and regulatory pathways. We're seeking partners who are natural connectors across the Globe, Australian and Global Innovation systems who uncover and can call out those opportunities for collaborative capability and capacity to development to really innovate in those intersections between health, education and research, partners who have an incredible network of businesses and investors scouting for health innovation. And we're seeking partners who are naturally collaborative. You know who will strive for the innovation district at its core health precinct to be the hero who will be a natural part of the ecosystem and well known to the many researchers, clinicians and health workers who today call Westmead home. And finally, we're seeking a partner committed in long-term outcomes of the innovation district who we hope will be sharing and shouting about the success of Westmead and its collaborators and what that has meant for patients for research and clinical talent for businesses, for investors and for the people of the Central River City in the coming years.

I'm now delighted to pass on to Graeme Lloyd, the Chief Executive of the Western Sydney Local Health District, who will now speak in more detail about the Westmead health precinct. Graeme.

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Thanks, Liza.

Good afternoon, everyone. I would also like to commence by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which we meet on, and we are in the lands of the Burramattagal people of the Dharug Nation [and] pay respects to [their] elders past, present and emerging [and to] anyone who's online with us here today.

I also have my partner in crime, Cathryn Cox, who's the Chief Executive for Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, online as well. And you know, we work really, really closely around how we are shepherding the health precinct and the health services that have been provided on site. So, as you can see on the screen, the health precinct, which is the core and you would have seen that on Liza’s slide really consists of four main partners at the moment and that clearly will grow as we expand the health enterprise zone. But as it stands right now, it's Western Sydney Local Health District through the Westmead Hospital and it's Cathryn Cox’s team in Sydney Children's Hospital Network and Westmead Children's and together that makes the largest paediatric and adult tertiary level ternary hospital sites that are available in the system at the moment and doing everything from birth until death and without really broad group of clinician providers as well as researchers. We are both very, very fortunate to have a large Research Institute with Prof Roger Riddell leading up the Children's Medical Research Institute and Prof Phil O Connell leading up the Westmead Institute for Medical Research and their employment groups and our staff and our researchers work across the breadth of the whole system. So, between the four of us, that is the leadership group around how we implement strategy, what we need to do about partnerships, where we are headed, where are our key strengths and what are our plans for this future and then how do we deliver those. So next slide please.

So just to give you a few of the stats, just to understand the breadth of the of the precinct that we're talking about today. So, there's the four major hospitals on site though the Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Children's, the Cumberland Mental Health Service, which is the largest acute mental health service in in New South Wales  and the dental hospital, which is one of the two teaching hospitals at the University for dental. The five-world leading medical research institutes led by the two I talked about earlier, 2 university campuses. So, there are there are seven universities on site for those two campuses in Western Sydney, Union, Sydney University and the New South Wales largest research intensive pathology service that I set Peter Muller on site with about 20,000 health professionals on site at the moment.

Western Sydney has about or it's more than 946,000. I think that's getting close to 970,000 residents now, about half of our residents are born overseas, and about half of our residents speak a language other than English at home. There are 1.5% of our population identifies Aboriginal, but we also have the largest urban Aboriginal population concentration in the western end of the catchment. 26.3% of residents in Westmead hold a Postgraduate degree, which is in the top three in Metro Sydney. And some of the stats around the site, you know, there's a bit over 12 hectares of developable area it over 400,000 square meters of high in health-related accommodation.

We actually deliver a lot already and when we sat down this process a couple years ago and started to articulate what we're what we are capable of a where we are right now, we are quite a high performer in the precinct amongst the four of us over $28 million in shared research equipment. We have a research hub that has been in situ for about 16 years now which not only encompasses the four of us but has a number of partners in the universities in CSIRO that come together on a regular basis. That said, the research strategy. We do over 2000 research projects each year with over 1500 research personnel included. In 2019-2020, there was $155 million worth of grant funding with over 3000 active clinical trials and currently we have over 30 patents in therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics. Next one please.

So, as you can see, it's quite a complex ecosystem already from a research perspective. The opportunity now to create and innovation ecosystem and take it to that next level and really deliver on some of that expertise and capabilities that's in the precinct at the moment with the fabulous researchers and clinicians that we have on site is huge. But we really wanted to articulate, you know, why are we doing this? You know, what's their vision? What's their mission from, from a health clinicians’ perspective and you know, how do we bring together global innovators? So, I'm not [going to] go too greatly into this other than to say one of the key deliverables for our clinicians to be engaged and be comfortable that as we expand and really grow the service that we have a charter around, what does it mean to engage with us as a precinct? And so, some of those criteria on this on this Charter and we can send this information out [because], it's way too small to read on screen, are around what can our partners expect of us and what do we expect of our partners to be a part of the Westmead health precinct family. So, when you're on, if you do come on side if someone comes on site and develops a facility or provides a service, you know what do we need out of them as part of the precinct. You know we don't [want to] just talk about land. It actually has to be how do you get involved in the precinct; how do you get involved in your care system. You know what is the great strength of our researchers and our community and our data that we have that we bring to the table and how can we work together in that space. Next image please.

So, we have also developed a hard copy industry prospectus which summarizes a lot of things that we were just talking about here at the moment showcases what our innovation capabilities and skills and expertise are and includes what assets that we have. So, the $28 million, whether shared assets is a really key part of how we invest as a collaborative and how do we work as one team and that's one of the big strengths of Westmead. It really a one team approach around how that all the partners come together. So, anyone who comes onsite is not [going to] have to be chasing 8 or 9 signatures on a piece of paper, it's actually how do we collaborate as a, as a collective, and how do we work as part of a genuine stakeholder in genuine partner. But so that, yes, there is a hard copy of the prospectus as well that provides that level of information. Next slide please.

So, as we pulled apart and we did a lot of research into what are our key strengths and what we deliver at the moment, and we've really put together a precinct Dictionary of everything that's going on. And when you when you break it down into the five key themes, these are the areas where our greatest strengths are at the moment. So, in advanced therapeutics and that's things like cell therapies, gene therapies, phage therapies that Liza talked about earlier. It also includes things like medical devices and those sorts of areas where our clinicians might come up with a medical device. That, you know, we're fabulous at using, but not so good at sharing and taking it to the next level. This is where the partnership really comes to the floor around how do we get [those] amazing developments that they come up with into a commercial environment where a lot of people benefit from it rather than our individual clinicians who developed. Translational Cancer Research is a huge area for us. And we're doing a huge amount of work in, in many areas of it and particularly in CMRI, there's a lot of research on cancer for children, infectious diseases, immunology and vaccinology, so Westmead is also the site for New South Wales bio containment site.

So, we were the first site and to have a COVID patient and actual fact we I think we got the 1st 22 and Australia and that was hosted out of Westmead, and it still remains to be in policy. NSW Health bio containment site we've built a purpose-built infectious diseases unit that would [specialize] in research capability so that is a big part of what we do and really strong leaders in that space and provide a state-wide service for it. Clinical trials as you saw the numbers for clinical trials and huge you know there in the thousands doing clinical trials on an annual basis and you know the benefit that brings to community to research and innovation. I think everyone online clearly would know that. Then digital health and big data is another huge piece of work. So, we work very closely with a number of our providers.

Now we're doing some really good novel work around about moment, about how to develop artificial intelligence to do some of the things that you would see. Nathan Moore, who's one of our amazing clinicians there, who worked and developed the artificial intelligence for training of code blacks. So, what you're seeing in there is [an] image of virtual training for our staff in a code black environment. So, for those of you don't know, code black is, as is a, an issue of aggressive or violent side, we can try next security staff and clinical staff on how to respond in that environment. So, it really, really broad and there are breadth of our digital enablement, and our footprint is really strong. You know, we're doing some work at the moment with some big providers around how do we understand the demographics of disease in our community so we can target our response and really get that precision response to the Community as well as precision response to medicine happening within our patients. Next page please.

So, I really just [want] to summarize the great opportunity. You know you can see their vision and mission; our real goals are to help transform the health and livelihood of Western Sydney community and we're very proud to be part of the Community Western Sydney and this strong advocates for it. Clearly the opportunity to work in an environment which is huge, which has a great multicultural base, which has, you know, pockets of education, but also pockets of social economic disadvantage. It is a huge opportunity from a research perspective to really get a broad lens of how well and effective research is and therefore how well some of the solutions can translate. It is a springboard for collaboration between healthcare, industry and government, and that is really the goal of the precinct. How do we translate some of these areas into opportunities? But how do we do that in a collaboration? So how do we work together within the precinct to the benefit of each other rather than just happened to be collocated, which would obviously not be the preference. You know, we really want to make sure that whoever comes in and works with us, it's [going to] be a really strong partner in sitting at the table with us. And clearly obvious that goal is to deliver health, social and economic benefits to the people of Western Sydney. And you know, the greater area of my, the metro Sydney as well. So, a lot of people come from Western Sydney. So, we are the engine room of a lot of industries in Sydney because of our population. So, you know the benefit that we bring to the whole at Metro Sydney is huge. Next slide please.

And so that's the end. So, I'll hand over now after Carol Tang from investment NSW to talk about program delivery and innovation.

[Carol Tang]

Thank you Graeme.

I would like to also acknowledge that I am speaking from the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri Nation and pay my respects to elders both past, present, and emerging.

So, I'll be taking everyone through the program, bit of the assessment process and some of the questions that we've received since we've opened this session. So, if you just go to the next slide, please.

So, the assessment process, so for the program it is a two-stage process as Rhodri articulated at the beginning. We opened the program on the 1st of March and will be closing the first stage on the 28th of March in about 2 weeks’ time from now.

All these stage 1 applicants will be notified at the outcome by the 11th of April, with the stage two applications opening on the 12th of April. As part of the process in the first application, we will be looking for a number of questions. Looking at the entities, obviously what the organisations are hoping to offer us here, and also for people to provide supporting additional material about their proposed services. Next slide please.

Just to quickly go over the eligibility criteria, we're looking for a business or an entity that has an ABN registered for purposes of GST and one of the following entity types. We are also accepting applications from non-Australian entities at the time of application so long as if they ask found successful at the end, they are able to become [an] eligible entity. The only thing that you will require at the time of application is a letter of support from your CEO. There are a number of things that we require in that letter and that is outlined in the program guidelines. So, all of this information is available in our program guidelines. But just to highlight here in a very a strategic level just what we are looking for in that eligible entity. Just to the next slide.

Probably the details that everyone is quite interested in what is required in the preliminary application. So, as I alluded to, there are two stages in the process and for this webinar session we are only focusing on the preliminary application. So, within the assessment we're looking for three categories of assessment. We have the strategic assessment which looks at the knowledge and understanding of the entity in the health area and also as it relates to the district and their prior experience and success in delivering the related services. You know how they have achieved outcomes in the past and obviously we're looking for someone that can bring that to the district and the precinct itself. From a commercial perspective, we're looking for an entity that has the requisite management experience, skills and capacity to deliver these services. We’re also looking for someone that it obviously has a sustainable and viable operating model, someone that can continue these services into the future. We're looking for a long term. This is obviously part of a longer-term vision, and it is only one part of a lot of initiatives that we're delivering within Westmead.

The final thing that we're looking for in the first application assessment is the technical capability to deliver these services. So, we're looking for examples of things that you've delivered in the past, commercialisation that you've actually delivered successfully. And so, we're looking for examples within this application assessment. The preliminary assessment is quite short in comparison to the detailed assessment. We are allowing applicants to provide a number of attachments. So, the first attachment that you can provide is a pitch deck or proposal. This is to support your answers. Things that you may provide within this pitch deck is you know it is additional information about your proposal, the services that you're looking to deliver and anything else that you think may support your application in the process.

The next two attachments are the financial statements we will be doing a financial review of each and entity that applies. We're looking for entities, as I said, that has been delivering these services in the past and obviously have the sustainable operating model that continue long into the future. And the final thing that we are asking for in terms of attachment that is optional is an additional 4 A4 pages that you may attach to your application to demonstrate your management experience skills and capacity. Thank you. Just to the next slide.

Just on your screen right now is some quick information about how to apply this is also available online, so the first website address is basically the address for the entire fund. The application forms, guidelines, FAQ and as Rhodri mentioned earlier, we will be we have recorded this session so that will be available following this session plus the slides. So, this is all going to be publicly available to anyone that would like to access it. Just download it. You can access this all this information at the end.

And I think finally we've come to some of the questions that people have asked. So, if we just go straight to the FAQ.

So as part of this process, we received a number of questions. They’re just flashing on screen. I'll just go through them really quickly. Someone asked. Will one organization be expected to deliver all three service categories. So, Investment NSW is looking for the best service providers across each of the categories. So, we will be assessing each of the categories separately and we'll be looking for the best in each one of them. If people are applying for all three categories, your proposals will be assessed within the category and obviously, we will be asking the successful stage one applicants if they are willing to potentially split their proposals. That is a question that we will pose to them, and you can either say yes or no. But as I said, we're looking for the best. We're looking for people to take our vision into the future and obviously we're looking for people that will provide longevity in the Westmead precinct.

Second question was, are there any restrictions or considerations for large commercial organisations? So, there are no restrictions so long as you satisfy the eligibility criteria.
We are looking for proposals across a different array of services, so if you are an entity that fits the eligibility criteria, that is a company that's incorporated in Australia, you have a sustainable and financial model. You've had experience in the past delivering these types of services. You may apply. You also may wish to submit a joint application that will allow you to apply for all three categories. In that instance. We asked for someone to be the lead organization. We will only execute agreement with the applicant itself, so it is entirely up to the applicants to decide on what their delivery model will be. But as I said, we're looking for the proposals that will best fit each category.

And another question that we also received – we've covered the non-NSW based organisations but if there's any questions after this, please feel free to ask.

Alright. In terms of location options, we've had a few questions about location. Please reach out to us, the Westmead Health precinct partners are managing those questions or if you lodge question with Investment NSW, we will refer you to the appropriate people to discuss those options and those will be discussed confidentially between the Westmead health precinct partners and obviously be eligible applicant.

In terms of KPI's, obviously we're looking for the best innovation partner as part of this network, virtual and in terms of the KPI’s will be negotiating those with the successful innovation partners, so they they're currently not available. We may share as part of the next process to help you guide the proposals. Some examples of KPI’s that we may look to negotiate with the successful partner, but that will probably be form part of this stage two process. So, if you're looking for more information and please reach out to us, we will provide more details to the next stage.

And the final question is, are you expecting that the $10 million will cover the costs of running the program over the next four years?

The answer is it depends on your proposal. Obviously, we're looking for a company that has a sustainable and viable financial [model] that they obviously are running these services can already in potentially other areas and we will fund the services as part of this program and this program is not funding any other projects that occurring currently. Right now, everything that you got proposing is basically what the funding will go towards and obviously we're looking for budget proposals as part of the second stage - not particularly stage. There is a high-level budget request here, but there will be a detailed budget request following the stage one applications.

So that probably leaves us quite a bit of time for more questions if you've got them, I think a gentleman may have asked about location options. Not sure if the Westmead partners would like to address this in a bit more detail.

Graeme, would you like to?

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Yeah. So, thanks, Carol. I'm look, it's really hard to answer a question on an individual basis and depends on how many people are successful and what's the combination of providers and what is their interest. So, if we end up with different providers for each of the different sections, then we would need to look at them. So, they we would work with the providers once we go through the process around what's the best option, maybe that the best option is on the innovation district as opposed to within the precinct. But I think what we need to do is have a look at who are the successful applicants at the other end of it and then see what [the requirements are] moving forward.

[Carol Tang]

Thanks, Graeme. So, we definitely encourage you if you're interested, obviously delivering your service in the Westmead precinct and actually being located there, please reach out to us the content on the website. There is a contact us link please send through those questions to that area. We'll put you in touch with the appropriate people within Westmead Health to discuss location options.

Any other questions?

David had a question about clarifying that the funding is not intended to be channelled through the researchers or start-ups as guards.

So that it's 100%. This is for the innovation partner to deliver services there. Any types of grants will be delivered separately. This program is to identify the innovation partner and to fund that innovation partner to deliver services in the area. So obviously, in each of the categories are looking for a particular type of services. If we're looking for an incubator, looking to fund and incubator if we're looking for an accelerator program, we're looking to fund the accelerator program and obviously the other categories are looking to fund those services. So, we're not going to be providing this grant to anyone else other than the innovation providers. If it is part of your proposal to provide your own type of financial incentives that should be included in your proposal, but we will consider each proposal from each applicant to be just about the services that they are proposing to deliver in the Westmead precinct or district.

Nicholas asked a question about our letters of support required for the EOI stage one.

So, you're only required to submit a letter of support if you are a non-NSW based entity and obviously, you're an international entity coming into New South Wales and at the time of application you do not satisfy the eligibility entity criteria, so that is a company that is incorporated in Australia. Then you're able to bypass that question by submitting a letter of support from your CEO to say that if you are successful, you will become an Australian court incorporated entity, are based in New South Wales and then we can push past that at the beginning of the criteria.

We had also a question about could you share more about the grant mechanics that is, will there be a cash advancement of the grant to the innovation partner to kickstart activities?

So as part of the application process, if you click through to the application, we asked you in the first stage to obviously nominate the funding amount. Depending on the services and your timeline, we look for your timeline as well. We will negotiate the funding outcomes based on your application. So, in certain instances there may be an upfront payment, in others it could be a retrospective payment. It all depends on your proposals and when you need funding and how it works with your funding proposal and application so there's no I guess single answer to this question we are considering upfront payments in combination with milestone payments that will be determined after we have selected these successful partners.

Sally asked question.

Yes, that is correct, Sally. Apologies, we do require if you are in a consortium that a letter of support is required from the project partners to obviously to support the application that they're willing to obviously provide services as partnership and that's how they're [going to] work together. Obviously that engagement is part of that proposal. You'll have to cover those arrangements outside of the application. They come to our application saying this is the partnership we ready to go. We have this agreement from each of the CEO's of each of the project partners.

Nicholas, you asked question Ken delayed on the EOI be a consortium.

The person applying obviously will be the lead. Yes, they can be the consortium lead. Each of the consortium partners do not need to apply. Only the lead partner needs to apply as part of the EOI process. So, if you've got five partners, only the lead applicant needs to apply. Obviously, we are hoping that you have negotiated some sort of agreement between you because we will only execute a funding agreement with the lead and then obviously their successful proposal will include office. How you work with each of the project partners, how you choose to pay them is up to you, but we will only negotiate with the lead partner to provide funding.

David, you ask question – independent of whether the entity is New South Wales or internationally based, is it preferred that this successful applicant has people and resources on the ground in Westmead or NSW?

If the entity is successful, we will definitely look to how you interact and work with the Westmead precinct, and I'm not sure if my colleagues would like to elaborate on this further. I think Liza or Graeme, if you'd like to take this question.

As part of the process, we will be looking for proposals and how you will be interacting with the vision and how you will be working with the different partners and delivering the services to benefit both Westmead health precinct and obviously the people around it. No great, Graeme, Liza, if you [want to] elaborate any further on this question.

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Yeah. Thanks, Carol. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of the key parts of working with our commissions is that, that Charter work that we did around what does it mean to be a partner within the precinct and the same would apply for the innovation ecosystem partner at really is around how do you engage with their clinicians, how do you engage with our teams and how do you engage with the partners already on the precinct around how we deliver this because you know that's where the opportunity is going to come from. That's where all that leg works going to come from. So, I think engagement with the partners on the precinct is a really, really critical piece of how this works. And so, I think you being able to articulate what we can expect of each other is a really important part of that.

[Liza Noonan]

To emphasize what Graeme just said, but obviously what will be evaluated is the partners ability to deliver services and at Westmead. And I think it's probably as clear as that.

[Carol Tang]

Thanks Liza and Graeme, we do ask as part of the detailed application your detailed timeline. So obviously there will be a ramp up period if you're not currently in the precinct will be looking for a timeline on how you'll obviously enter the precinct, how you are going to scale the operations and obviously work with different partners. So, while not a requirement at the beginning, it's most definitely a requirement as part of your proposal once it's up and running, how you will be on the on the ground and working with a different precinct partner
and the different entities and people that are in the actual precinct and in the district.

Nicholas, you asked a question about income and expenditure could be in part impacted by location options. Can you talk to the degree of detail at the EOI stage?

So, to clarify, at the EOI stage, the budget and the income and expenditure requirements are high level. You do not need to go into obviously explicit detail. We are completely cognizant that depending on where you're located, you know what, what type of services you're delivering there will be a degree of estimation and obviously inaccuracy at this stage, so we do not ask for it, but there is that we haven't finished the budget templates as part of stage one. At this stage right now, we're looking for a high level ask what you're bringing to the table in terms of you know what can you offer and in terms of expenditure could be things like I will have potentially this number of people on the ground. There might be these costs associated our workshops cost X it's approximates at this stage we're looking to understand properly what your proposal looks like and also to make sure that we ask the right questions before the detailed application stage. So, the answer to your question, Nicholas is not a lot of detail, and we don't require any explicit understanding of you know at least requirements and so forth at this point in time. That will be addressed as part of stage two if you're successful. So as part of the stage one, we're really looking for the applicants that are eligible that can deliver services in the area that has the requisite experience and expertise and obviously to show all of that, we're looking for your past successes and how you've done this in the past and how you're going to apply this in the precinct and district for us. So hopefully that has answered your question.

Any other questions from the people online?

If not, then please feel free to shoot us questions after this call through that contact us link. So sorry we just received another question in terms of commercialization services given successful application is there an expectation of matching funds to prescriptive services?

Do we have a – do one of my colleagues want to answer this particular question or.

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Do you want to give us more detail on what the question is?

What? What sort of funds they asking the question about?

[Carol Tang]

Uh, Mary, you can unmute. Mary, would you like to provide us a little bit more context?

[Guest]

Ah yeah. For example, if there’s 10 million on the table to develop a commercial program and you need to seed money for some translational research outcomes for commercialization like, say, start-ups or anything like that, how and the company or consortium has an ability to provide extra money. Is there an expectation from your side that we would do this as part of our brief or do we do this on the side and is there any equity?

Arrangements for start-ups. Has anyone thought about that as far as these services are concerned? [Because] some incubators or commercialization services do take a carry in start-ups.

[Carol Tang]

I guess from my perspective; the co-contribution part is part of your proposal. So, we're looking on the face. So, every proposal could be different if your proposal includes that, we will factor that in. We’re agnostic as to whether an incubator or accelerator program takes equity. We're hoping just to attract these programs into the Westmead area. So that would form part of your proposal. And obviously if we if that is something that we find that is a positive then obviously we would take that into consideration. So, it's not part of the evaluation criteria that we would be against equity options of that the incubator or accelerator may take in start-ups.

[Guest]

Thank you.

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Carol, it's Graeme. Can I just add that - so I think it really depends on that sounds much more and more like it's a case-by-case discussion when the opportunities arrive around what a commercialisation opportunity would be and what's the strength of IP, all those other bits and pieces that go behind it. So, I think certainly I agree with you couldn't define that up front but it's a complex discussion as each and every opportunity it comes to the table, and we sit down and look at it.

[Carol Tang]

Thanks, Graeme. Sally your question. How long do the grants need to go back for in the application form? So, we haven't prescribed that. We're just looking for your successes that clearly outlined how great your services are?

To be clear, sorry Sally, can you?

[Guest]

Yeah, I can. So, there's a there's a specific question that asks you to detail how many grants that you've ever received from State or Commonwealth governments for anything sort of similar to this. We're just wondering what timeline we want people to go back to, how many years that it. It's a very specific question with which we were like how far that would [an] individual organization or consortium need to go if there is a long prep record like.

[Carol Tang]

Yes, sorry. OK, to clarify for that, but thanks for your question, Sally and apologies, we were a bit ambiguous there. We're looking for grants that are currently in place. So, if they're active, you feel currently got them and they're still funding your operations right now. We're looking for details around that. Basically, we're just make this obviously making sure that we're not funding grants for the same purpose. So that's basically what we're looking for. So, we don't need grants that have concluded. We're only looking for grants that are currently active and people are providing active funding to you at this point in time. And what we're looking to assess there is to ensure that you're not receiving grants for the same a particular service that you're giving or proposal that matches you know, something that we're going to provide funding for.

[Guest]

Thank you.

[Carol Tang]

No worries and Nicholas, you had a question. Do grants include research grants?

So, we're looking for applications to deliver these services. And I I'm not particularly sure which type of research grant that you're pointing to, Nicholas. If you could give us more details, I'm sure we could try and answer your question.

[Guest]

There's a lot of grants out there right now looking at commercialisation or translation of research and looking at that sort of innovation space. And so, at the cat 1 cat 2, cat 3 income and research grants that involve collaboration with industry, so. From a university perspective, that that's a significant amount of grant income. Do we have to list those or is this towards just sort of the innovation space type grants like for example, what Cicada does and things like that?

[Carol Tang]

Nicholas, can I take that on notice and come back to you? We may be able to clarify that a bit further. So just to confirm my understanding, you're referring to research grants for research purposes.

[Guest]

Yeah, particularly around like the Trailblazer program, the MRI, the MRCF and the MRF, if you've got a lot of those sort of translational and innovations related grants that have a that dovetail with what we're talking about here.

[Carol Tang]

OK, perfect. Let's, I'll take that one on notice and will clarify with the broader group and everyone included, whether or not those need to be included. But for now, I'll come back to you.

[Guest]

Thank you.

[Carol Tang]

William had your question was how does Investment New South Wales imagine/expect these services to integrate with existing services and activities in these areas within the precinct?

I might actually try turn that question over to yourself, Graeme and Liza, how you guys see it all working together. I am the administrator of this program, but I think you guys are the experts on how this will work in the precinct and district.

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Yeah. First of all. It'll be how we set up the partnership, the partnership and relationship. So, what I see is that. And yeah, Cathryn might want to jump in as well, so whoever comes in as a partner with this in particular areas of it will actually set up a clear pathway for escalation, communication and assessment. So, if they're enabling a commercialization pathway, you know what would be really needing to look for is clarity of how that pathway works and how do we make it as easy as possible for the clinicians to get there because one of our biggest challenges, you know the industry it's slightly opaque, and it's quite challenging at the moment to do it. And one of the big benefits from this is creating a really streamlined transparent pathway for you know fast yes’s, is a fast no’s and good pathways around how do we take it to the next phase as we need to. So, I would envisage that we would work very closely. We'd have a routine structure set up around communication. We would set up a communication pathway for our researchers and innovators that articulates that them, what they need to do if they think they've got an opportunity. And that will only feed in well to successful applicants anyway because it'll streamline their pathways on their side.

[Carol Tang]

Thanks, Graeme. And I think we've got two other questions that may be over in your patch.

Could you please comment on the anticipated interactions between the appointed innovation partner with existing commercialisation innovation teams such as those at current Westmead partners, MRI’s universities?

[Graeme Loy (Ministry of Health)]

Yeah, good. Very good question. So, there is breadth of experience in different areas. So, you know Catheryn's team at the network have a really strong innovation structure at the adults. We probably don't have as strong a structure. So that will certainly need to work closely with the groups that are on site because there is a breadth of innovation and breadth of IP ownerships and payments and those sorts of things that are on site at the moment. They would need to work closely with each of their key partner. So, we'll, I mean we've got a precinct structure around governance around how we manage internally around strategies. So, we would need to make sure that the provider links in very closely with that structure, not so they're having to chase you know four or six people every time. But would actually streamline the process. So, we definitely would need them working with those groups because obviously that's where the rubber hits the road with some of these ideas come to fruition. But we will just need to make sure that we have a process that's as streamlined as possible to facilitate that in a timely fashion.

[Liza Noonan]

Yeah, I think it's really good [to] call out the question that recognizes there is significant capability already in commercialisation within the Westmead research hub and the health core. And so, I think in the proposals, it's really it will be really interested to see the applications, or you know how people plan to package that up and work with those existing organisations in capability.

[Carol Tang]

Thanks, Liza. And I'll just answer the one of the last questions, which is how many applicants do you expect to go through to round two?

The answer to that is every eligible entity that can satisfy the conditions with stage one will be put through to the stage two application. So, the first stage is relatively eligibility based. If you can satisfy that criterion of the preliminary application, we will be putting them through so there is no expected number that we have.

I think we also received a just a quick question about funding amounts.

So, the total size of this program is $10 million, the smallest amount that we will award is 1 million and obviously the largest grant is 10 million. There is a possibility that obviously one alliance or partner can take the full 10 million, but we are looking for the best in each category and we will determine that after the extent of processes that will be going through both the preliminary stage and the detailed stage. So, I might hand that back over to Rhodri before we close and if there's any questions that we've missed, we will address them in a follow-up addendum online. So, we will just issue them or so to everyone that participated in this call.

[Rhodri-Tudor Jones]

Thanks very much, Carol. So just a final note to thank everybody who's join the call today and hopefully you get a sense of the excitement and the commitment that there is to this program and that we are really wholeheartedly committed to finding the best partners here to work on this incredibly exciting project and to deliver for the precinct and for Western Sydney and for the state. So, thanks very much and hopefully we'll have picked it a little bit of interest out there. So, thank you.

How to apply

Preliminary applications closed on 28 March 2022. 

Key dates

You can expect to hear the outcome of your preliminary application by 12 April 2022.

You may be asked to submit a more detailed application by 16 May 2022.

You can expect to hear the outcome of your detailed application by 27 June 2022.

Note these are indicative timeframes only. 

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding this Program, please contact Investment NSW.