Where can Westmead take Western Sydney?

Westmead Innovation District home to the jobs of the future

With economic transformation being driven by innovation, Westmead is leading the way, with a focus on jobs and investment.

Traditionally thought of as a hospital precinct that also provides great medical research, Deloitte Access Economics threw this constraint out of the window with their Strategic Vision 2016 – 2036, looking at the growth, evolution and impact of Westmead on the national economy.

The study casts a bigger vision for Westmead by identifying the larger role it can play in delivering jobs for Western Sydney – not just jobs in health services or research, but jobs delivered through new industries, such as health technology, and businesses that commercialise research. In essence – the jobs of the future.

Home to Australia’s largest concentration of health services, comprising 18,000 workers, and renowned for delivering complex health care services integrated with world leading education and medical research facilities, Westmead provides the perfect platform to drive national innovation and economic growth over the next two decades.

Building on findings from Shaping Future Cities: Designing Western Sydney, Deloitte Access Economics’ latest study paints a powerful picture of the role Westmead is playing and has the potential to play in the future of Western Sydney.

Ben Artup, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services Director and co-author of Shaping Future Cities and the Westmead Strategic Vision, observed that Westmead is primed to adopt an Innovation Model – Westmead Innovation District – a model already enjoying success in the US and UK.

“An innovation district sees a cluster of ‘anchor institutions’ providing an environment and eco-system where new ideas and innovations have a greater chance of evolving into new enterprises, through the co-location of talented people in a highly collaborative environment.

Westmead

“Westmead is already emerging as a thriving innovation hub. But further support is required to ensure Westmead fulfils its potential and fuels jobs growth and economic prosperity, not just for the precinct but for the whole of Western Sydney,” he said at the launch of the vision, attended by the Hon. Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning.

“This Report unlocks the potential for disparate entities to work closely together and build off each other’s efforts. In developing Westmead, we need it to be more than just great. We need to build something truly magnificent and of global significance.”

 – The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP

Establishing the Westmead Innovation District will in itself require collaboration. It will require support from government around the provision and zoning of land on which the cluster of institutions can locate – leveraging and building on the success of existing residents. Private sector investment will also be crucial, as will industry collaboration in the fields of bio-tech, med-tech, allied health and primary care.

To drive this, the precinct will require an ‘economic cultivator,’ that is, an institution to promote collaboration and investment attraction – incentivising those currently making up the emerging innovation eco-system to stay and encouraging other businesses, both domestic and international, to locate at the site. Governance of the precinct, with a strong focus on development, will be critical to efficiently and effectively attracting market interest and realising development and commercial opportunities.

Of course, an influx of workers also requires appropriate transport, housing and other amenities that will attract the best and brightest talent. Through these collaborative efforts and a commitment to delivering against this vision, Westmead would be on track to deliver 50,000 new knowledge jobs by 2036.

There are few other places in Australia as primed as Westmead to deliver this number of ‘jobs of the future’. As Minister Stokes emphasised at the launch, himself paraphrasing world-renowned urban writer and activist Jane Jacobs, we now have to ensure that everyone comes together to act in common concert to meet common objectives.


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