The Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct opens its doors to industry

The Precinct sees industry collaboration as the key to ensuring its ambitious innovation agenda will deliver new health technologies tailored to improving the lives of patients and reducing the increasing costs of healthcare, and that those health technologies can advance to the market in partnership with those best equipped to deliver them.

Matthew Glasson

Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is a highly-organised community containing major teaching hospitals for adults, children and women’s health, co-located with six independent medical research institutes and a university that is ranked among the top fifty in the world. 

The Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct (RHIP) provides a rich ecosystem of clinicians, patients, researchers, professional staff, students, infrastructure and services that has a central focus in Randwick, but is also embedded in local, national and international health science networks through all of the affiliations the Precinct maintains.

Together, the Precinct’s four founding partners, UNSW Sydney, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) and Health Infrastructure NSW leverage their scale, diversity and expertise to influence and impact positive health outcomes.

Over $1.5 billion is being invested by state and federal governments, UNSW and philanthropic donors to strengthen health, research, education and innovation outcomes of the precinct. This will deliver a new Prince of Wales Hospital Integrated Acute Services Building, including integration of UNSW health-related education, training and research spaces; the redevelopment of the Sydney Children’s Hospital, including Minderoo Children’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre; and the UNSW Health Translation Hub.

Striving to become a transformative and collaborative place of excellence which enhances and nurtures lifelong health, RHIP prides itself on the partnerships it maintains, rather than its physical infrastructure and proximity from one another – albeit, a unique selling point in its own right.

Brooke Griffin, RHIP Executive Director and fierce advocate for the advancement of healthcare, said that now is the perfect time to accelerate science and technology in Australia.

“If the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown us anything, it’s the importance of swift collaboration in overcoming new, complex and life-changing challenges.

“Never has there been a point in human history where people have been so engaged with healthcare, and never have we been so attuned to keeping ourselves and those around us safe and healthy.

“Here at RHIP, we are creating an environment where good things can happen, facilitating an ecosystem of capabilities which, one day, may bring about a cure for a degenerative disease or technology for the early detection of ovarian cancer. It’s exciting, and an honour to be a part of,” Ms Griffin said.  

Healthcare aside, the Precinct aspires to become a destination for the Sydney community, driving social engagement and interaction through the delivery of arts, design and creativity. A model emulating a leading health and innovation project in America, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Kendall Square Initiative.

Located in Cambridge, MA, Kendall Square has become an epicentre of global innovation. A district surrounded by life sciences and information technology companies, along with many research institutions – a stark contrast from the industrial yard it once was.

“Like the Cambridge leaders realised back in 2008, here at RHIP we are on the precipice of something extraordinary, right on our doorstep,” Ms Griffin said.

“As partners, we share resources, skills, knowledge and space to be greater than the sum of our parts. Simply put, we help the patients of these hospitals today, and through our medical research, will improve health outcomes for the patients of tomorrow.

“Through our influential network, we harness our collective strengths to solve health challenges and transform healthcare now and into the future. The aspirations of the Precinct reflect the big issues of our time and have a positive impact on the world.

“What we are doing here at RHIP is about legacy, and what we leave behind for future generations. Our combined capabilities have untapped potential, and there is no limit on who can get involved,” she said.

The Precinct sees industry collaboration as the key to ensuring its ambitious innovation agenda will deliver new health technologies tailored to improving the lives of patients and reducing the increasing costs of healthcare, and that those health technologies can advance to the market in partnership with those best equipped to deliver them.

RHIP seeks to leverage its expertise, cutting-edge equipment and talent pipeline to support the local biotechnology sector with their own health technology research and development aims. The Precinct welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Sydney business community to deliver on those ambitions.

Already, they are working with some of the major multinationals such as CSL, Abbvie and Gilead – some growing Australian SMEs such as SpeeDx, Genesys Electronics Design and Inventia – and UNSW is now home to 3 emerging medtech companies, DropBio, BondiBio and Psylo.

Find out more about the Precinct or follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter (@RandwickHealth).