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World-class research and innovation centres

Students learning in a laboratory at the University of Wollongong. Image courtesy of Destination NSW

By basing your operations in Sydney and New South Wales (NSW), you can partner with leading academic centres of excellence and get direct access to innovative research, technologies and facilities.

The world-class research and innovation centres in Sydney and NSW are particularly strong in agriculture, technology, defence and advanced manufacturing.

Research and innovation centres in NSW are currently working on cutting-edge technologies in fields such as cyber security, field robotics, agricultural technology, and medical technology.

This includes the Australian Centre for Field Robotics which focuses on research, development and application of autonomous and intelligent robots and systems for outdoor environments, and medical technology.

When you invest in NSW you can tap into these innovation and research capabilities, as well as accessing a ready supply of top graduates from a network of globally recognised universities and technical training institutions. Check out the NSW Government’s innovation strategy.

Quick facts: Innovation and technology in NSW

  • Sydney is ranked 17th in the world’s top 20 startup ecosystems
  • NSW is #1 for in Australia for research and development (R&D) spending and is home to 37% of the Medtech companies in Australia
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s independent federal government agency responsible for scientific research. NSW is home to many of the CSIRO’s world-renowned research facilities and over 24 cooperative research centres and centres of excellence
  • Approximately 60% of Australia’s Fintech companies are based in Sydney and hence, has received the major share of Fintech venture capital in the country at $171 million (between 2014 and 2016)
  • Sydney is also the country’s base for both traditional media companies and digital media startups. The Australian entertainment and media market is expected to grow to almost $50 billion and Sydney will be the largest beneficiaries of this growth

A dynamic and blossoming startup ecosystem

Sydney Startup Hub

Sydney boasts a dynamic startup ecosystem, one actively supported by the NSW Government.

In fact, we’re ranked fourth of the top 10 startup ecosystems in the world when it comes to local connectedness and helping startups succeed.

This ecosystem consists of centres, spaces, programs and incubators designed to help entrepreneurs access the support and investment they need to succeed. This is underpinned by a highly skilled and diverse workforce: 35.7% of startup founders were born outside of Australia.

The University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney and University of Sydney all rank in the top 5 for educational institutions attended by startup founders in Australia.

A city of startup hubs and accelerators

Sydney’s start up ecosystem is particularly strong in Fintech, digital media and ad tech. Initiatives include

There are also many well-known accelerators and incubators, including:

  • Stone & Chalk
  • The Studio
  • 25fifteen
  • Cicada Innovations
  • BlueChilli
  • Fishburners
  • Future Transport Digital Accelerator
  • Microsoft ScaleUp Program
  • Caltex C-lab
  • Tank Stream Labs
  • The Founder Institute and more
New South Wales

Visit Jobs for NSW to learn more about funding and support for startups and SMEs.

The Australian leader in Medical Technology (Medtech)


NSW is home to a significant number of health, research and innovation centres across Sydney, Westmead, Liverpool, Campbelltown and Newcastle.

Additionally, the state is also home to 37% of the Medtech companies in Australia.

Medical technology companies thrive in NSW as training programs and incubators around the state assist with training and support.

The NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program delivered by Cicada Innovations aims to help commercialise novel medical device innovators.

Its portfolio includes more than 70 companies across life sciences, hardware and enterprise software technology sectors, which together raised $79 million in public and private funding in the last year.

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank is an incubator that supports research into cancer, diabetes, heart disease and rare genetic diseases. The first facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere, it uses large-scale robotic technology to store and process millions of bio-specimens for world-class health and medical research.

Meanwhile, the NSW Smart-innovation Centre is a hub for emerging transport technology including driverless vehicles, driverless vessels and drones, and the Haymarket HQ startup hub supports entrepreneurs to connect to Asia.