Westmead Innovation Centre hallway

Facts & figures

  • 1190sq metres teaching and research space
  • 16-bed simulation ward emulating high-risk scenarios such as managing violent outburst of patients
  • $10 million investment for Westmead Innovation Centre infrastructure

Westmead Innovation Centre

The future of medicine and health education
A high-tech innovative research and teaching hub at the Westmead Health Precinct preparing medical and nursing students for clinical practice.

Our Westmead Innovation Centre (WIC) facilities combines the advantages of emerging technologies and simulated clinical environments to enhance the way we teach and how students learn. 

We strive to provide an unparallel and engaging learning experience that is accessible to train the next generation of Australia's health workers and bring vital new skills into the region.

The $10m futuristic fit-out  is designed to better prepare medical and nursing students for clinical practice. It will use simulated clinical environments, alongside life-like avatars and virtual reality to emulate high-stakes, low-frequency events allowing students to practice skills and decision making so they are better prepared when these events occur in a clinical setting.

The new facility spans over 1190sqm and includes a 16-bed simulated ward, Virtual reality (VR) and Media Lab, in addition to a Maker Space to foster innovation through hands on experimentation and collaboration.

The new facilities complement the University’s adjoining education spaces in Block K Westmead Hospital, allowing growth and enhancement to teaching and research at Westmead. 

The innovation centre is aligned with our strong commitment to Sydney in 2032 Strategy, "to contribute to a better world, building on our past decade of significant change and challenges".

Facility highlights

The Media Lab

The Media Lab allows educators, clinicians and researchers to look at ways that emerging technology may enhance and benefit education or help provide solutions in a healthcare setting. The Media Lab includes a large Virtual Reality Room as well as Pod Cast and Video Recording rooms with state-of the art technology. 

The Media Lab team support the space and have collaborated on a range of projects to enhance education. A recent example is the Advanced Life Support virtual reality training app, now licensed for commercialisation. The project brought together academic expertise from across USYD and the Westmead Hospital. It secured funding from Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Research Education Network and commercial partners. The app was built under a partnership between USYD, the WSLHD and a commercial company called Frameless Interactive. 

Simulation Ward

Included in the development is a 16-bed simulation ward. Simulated environments are the safe space for students to learn and practice their clinical reasoning, procedures, and teamwork skills. It can range from simple part-task trainers such as suture pads that simulate the feel of suturing in skin, to more complex pelvic catheterisation models, through to hi-fidelity mannequins that look, feel, sound, and show all the vital signs a real patient would.

This also extends into the VR realm using realistic rehearsal environments and lifelike avatars, the simulation ward and its adjoining media lab recreating high-stakes, low-frequency events allowing students to practice skills and decision making so they are better prepared when these events occur in a clinical setting.

Makers Spaces

The Maker Space is a versatile space designed to foster collaboration and partnership in innovation projects. It is designed to accommodate for a range of technical resources such as 3D printing and hands on experimentation. The space provides a flexible environment for clinicians, researchers and students to collaborate with health partners, industry, startups and non-profits on projects.