Construction commences on Charter Hall and Western Sydney University’s Westmead Innovation Quarter

Westmead sod turn

Breaking ground on the new Westmead Innovation Quarter (L-R): Western Sydney University’s Vice-President (Finance & Resources) Peter Pickering; Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, The Hon Stuart Ayres MP; and Charter Hall’s Managing Director and Group CEO David Harrison.

Charter Hall Group and Western Sydney University have celebrated construction commencing at their $350 million joint venture project, ‘Innovation Quarter’ (iQ) in Westmead.

Charter Hall’s Managing Director and Group CEO David Harrison and Western Sydney University’s Vice-President (Finance & Resources) Peter Pickering hosted a ground breaking event on site, with special guests including the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, The Hon Stuart Ayres MP.

The world-class development will deliver a visionary hub of over 43,000 square metres of critical health, education, research and business space, as well as create over 1,000 jobs during construction. In addition to delivering vital infrastructure, iQ will substantially elevate Westmead’s status as one of the world’s most advanced health and innovation districts.

The ground breaking coincides with the announcement of Australia’s national science research agency, CSIRO as a key tenant at iQ. CSIRO will move world-leading research staff from its e-Health, Nutrition & Health program and Future Science Platform to the precinct. They will be joined by three of Western Sydney University’s world-leading research institutes – the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, the NICM Health Research Institute, and Translational Health Research Institute (THRI).

Mr David Harrison Group CEO and Managing Director said there’s never been a more important time to focus on health research and innovation. Our project collaboration with Western Sydney University will deliver a state of the art innovation centre to support the work of both the Western Sydney University and CSIRO’s medical research facilities.

“iQ will be a truly visionary precinct that brings together the most forward-thinking research, health education and commercial sectors in the Southern Hemisphere. The project will provide an environment for some of the brightest minds in the country to innovate, create opportunities for collaboration and solve global challenges in the heart of Westmead,” said Mr Harrison.

Central Square of the Innovation Quarter

An artist’s impression of the ‘Central Square’ retail precinct within the Innovation Quarter.

The iQ project is the result of a unique partnership between Western Sydney University and Charter Hall, and is part of the University’s ‘Western Growth’ strategy – an ambitious program that is reshaping the University’s campus network and co-creating cities and transformative educational infrastructure across Western Sydney, in partnership with industry and government.

Western Sydney University Vice-President (Finance and Resources), Peter Pickering, said iQ will build upon the University’s existing footprint in Westmead to integrate first-class health and medical research into policy and practice.

“The University’s presence within iQ will enable researchers, industry partners and clinicians to come together and address the nation’s most pressing health challenges,” said Mr Pickering.

“During these challenging times, iQ will also make important economic contributions to the region, generating $150 million for the regional economy and creating a significant number of jobs.”

Situated between the hospital and Westmead station, iQ’s first two mixed use towers will facilitate significant opportunities for collaboration across the public and private sectors, with Charter Hall’s direct fund PFA securing the ownership rights for Stage 1. Additionally, 2,000 square metres of retail space, lifestyle facilities and amenity will ensure tenants and the surrounding community benefit from the development, including food and beverage, a supermarket, fitness centre, parking and childcare – creating a comprehensive lifestyle and wellbeing offering for tenants and the community.

The Hon Minister Stuart Ayres MP said iQ will create unparalleled research, development and commercialisation opportunities to deliver significant health, social and economic benefits for Western Sydney.

“This new precinct will realise the NSW Government’s vision for the Westmead Health and Innovation District as a global centre where universities, industry and government will collaborate like never before to deliver health and medical research, education and training,” said Mr Ayres.

“Australia has been a world leader with its health management response to COVID-19, and research infrastructure like the Innovation Quarter will ensure Australia remains a competitive driver of cutting-edge research, technology and innovation.”

Government agency CSIRO is the third research group to secure a lease in the precinct. CSIRO’s Dr David Hansen, CEO of the Australian e-Health Research Centre, said the organisation would be bringing its world-leading digital health and nutrition capabilities to Westmead.

“CSIRO has a long history of collaborating with health, education and research organisations to develop innovative healthcare and wellbeing solutions for Australia,” said Dr Hansen.

“We look forward to the prospect of new collaboration opportunities at Westmead.”

Richard Crookes Constructions has been appointed as the construction partner to deliver the iQ precinct in partnership with Charter Hall and Western Sydney University.

Practical completion of the project is scheduled for Q4 2021.

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