Kurraba Life Sciences Campus, Waterloo, Sydney
A city with many buildings.
June 20, 2024

Kurraba Launches Australia’s First Commercial Life Sciences Campus

The $490 million development will enhance the urban renewal of Sydney’s vibrant inner-city fringe and support the innovation and commercialisation of Australian R&D, creating 1,200 jobs.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Leading Australian life sciences and bio-medical property investment and development manager, the Kurraba Group (‘Kurraba’), is excited to announce the launch of Australia’s first commercial life sciences Campus, a $490 million development in the heart of Sydney’s emerging health and innovation precinct.

Just two kilometers from the CBD, the strategically-located 26,000-square-metre development site at 100 Botany Road, Waterloo, will house high-tech laboratories, knowledge workspaces, and the necessary infrastructure and facilities for professionals working in Australia’s rapidly-evolving life sciences sector.

Kurraba laboratory rendering

The Campus will drive investment, productivity and high-growth across advanced medical and health sciences industries, creating a robust platform for local research and development (R&D) to be commercialised in Australia, strengthening sovereign capabilities and ensuring that valuable IP is not ‘lost’ off-shore.

Overall, it will create a pipeline of 1,200 new jobs throughout the construction phase and ongoing commercial operations with approximately 1,700 jobs, with an on-flow of domestic manufacturing opportunities and other economic benefits to the community.

Kurraba CEO Nick Smith said the development, opposite the new Waterloo Metro Station, would be a real catalyst for the urban renewal and transformation of the vibrant Botany Road corridor. Smith said the Campus would capitalise on its close proximity to major hospitals including Royal Prince Alfred, St Vincent’s, and Prince of Wales and universities such as the University of Sydney, University of NSW (UNSW), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and Notre Dame, as well as TAFE NSW.

“The team at Kurraba and our investment partners are delighted to be launching this exciting new development, which will be Australia’s first-ever commercial life sciences precinct,” Smith said.

“We are proud this will be a true ‘Centre of Excellence’, providing tenants working in life sciences with unparallelled access to world-class clinical laboratories and facilities, sophisticated technology and infrastructure, and the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other industry professionals, all within the one ecosystem.

A group of people in a building.

“We believe it will become a magnet for students, researchers, scientists and engineers from a range of industries, such as pharma, bio-tech and medical devices, supporting the commercialisation of their R&D, and ultimately, leading to better health outcomes for Australian communities.

“Unlike existing hybrid R&D labs, usually co-located in universities, hospitals, and independent research institutions, this will be a standalone, purpose-built facility, focused on meeting the growing demands for laboratories, facilities, and office space from Australia’s rapidly-growing life sciences sector.

“Already, there’s been strong interest from life science users and we’re excited that the Campus is set to become the State’s first Proton Cancer Therapy Centre, backed by IBA worldwide.”

The project recently achieved its first milestone with renowned global architecture and design firm Gensler, winning the NSW Government Architects Design Excellence Competition for the development, pointing to its focus on sustainability and strong ESG principles. Gensler’s design for the state-of-the-art facility is tailored to the unique needs of the life sciences sector, setting a benchmark for developments in the region. The design is deeply rooted in the rich history and knowledge of the First Nations communities within the Tech Central Innovation Precinct. Working in collaboration with Gensler’s office in Sydney and Los Angeles, the team drew inspiration from the First Nations’ continuum of knowledge spanning back 60,000 years and seeks to incorporate their botanical and biological knowledge into the design.

People walking in a courtyard.

“It’s particularly important to me personally to have won the Design Excellence Competition as my daughter has just graduated from the School of Life Science at The University of Sydney,” said Ken McBryde, Gensler’s Design Director for Architecture in Australia. “My hope is that this building will be the very place that will keep talent such as her from leaving Australia and growing their intellectual property into manufacturing right here in Sydney’s Tech Innovation precinct.”

“This win is a representation of Gensler’s commitment to creating impactful research environments that drive positive future outcomes for life sciences ecosystems,” said Ryley Poblete, Gensler’s Global Life Science Leader. “We are witnessing the advent of truly interdisciplinary science, which accelerates our understanding of the world through technology, automation, and AI. This building will host scientists working on biologically-led solutions that enhance the quality of life and longevity of Australians and the global community.”

Smith said the Campus would be the footprint for Kurraba’s innovation, life sciences cluster, centred on Waterloo and Alexandria, following the recent acquisition of the nearby Biomedical Building at 1 Central Avenue, South Everleigh as managed by Kurraba. Major complimentary tenants of South Everleigh include Quantium, Cicada and the CSIRO.

“The Campus is a key pillar in Kurraba’s cluster model plans, as we set to capitalise on investments we manage in the expanding life sciences and innovation ecosystem in the nearby Tech Central hub,” Smith explained.

“As a nation, Australia has a successful track record in undertaking quality R&D, but when it comes to commercialising life sciences innovations, Australia is world-leading in IP generation, yet we continue to lag-behind other OECD countries. We aim to change that, by providing our best and brightest local innovators with the space and infrastructure they need, to help commercialise their ideas for the Australian market.”

Kurraba is expected to lodge a State Significant Development Application (SSDA) for the Project in July, 2024 and contingent on planning approvals, construction could commence in early 2025.

A multi-story building with many windows.
About Kurraba Group
Kurraba is a leading Australian-based investment and development manager focused on the growing life sciences and bio-medical sectors. Backed by a highly-experienced team and underpinned by sustainability and strong ESG principles, Kurraba is a full-integrated Australian business, with vast experience and expertise across acquisitions, financing, design and development and leasing. Kurraba partners with private and institutional investors to unlock commercial and long-term value in the growing life sciences sector.

About Gensler
At Gensler, the value of our work stems from its positive impact on the human experience. We are a dynamic and collaborative design firm uniting creativity, research, and innovation to solve complex problems for our clients. Our work challenges conventional ideas about architecture and the built environment. We aren’t just designing buildings — we are reimagining cities and places that make a difference in people’s lives. Founded in 1965, Gensler has built a team of 6,000 professionals who partner with clients in over 100 countries each year. Everything we do is guided by our mission: to create a better world through the power of design.

Media Contact:
Richard Lenarduzzi
Premier Communications Group

+61 411 254 390

Gensler Media Contact:
Sara Munday
Global Director, Public Relations