News from the Cicada Community

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Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program 2020

Applications close 27 October 2019

Apply Here!

The Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP) is an initiative of NSW Health’s Office for Health and Medical Research and delivered by Cicada Innovations. This FREE program is designed to accelerate commercialisation of medical technologies in NSW to bring lifesaving healthcare innovations to market.

MDCTP CORE has been designed for healthcare entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds including medicine, engineering, science and business, and provides a tailored curriculum to transform their visionary concepts into viable businesses over 12 weeks.

Since 2014, 80 graduates of CORE have launched 15 companies and raised over $53 million to commercialise their ideas. Find out more.

Introducing Cicada GrowLab Crop 3


It’s time to introduce you to the third cohort of our agrifood tech accelerator program, GrowLab. Now in Week 7 of our 12-week program, the startups of Crop 3 are working hard to reach the next milestone in their businesses, supported by the GrowLab Program Team and our amazing mentors.

Agriphage is a concept-stage business creating new therapeutics with the aim to replace antibiotic usage in livestock.

Furrow is working towards the future of cropping, where connected infrastructure, precision ag and automation is accessible, robust and seamless, and where management of farm infrastructure and resources are optimised.

Has Algae uses a new novel strain of micro-algae that is high in omega-3 EPA to enrich a range of food prototypes ranging from noodles, bread and biscuits to protein balls, sauces and dips.

Hillridge Technology helps farmers mitigate their financial impact of extreme weather on their crops and livestock by enabling automated quotes and settlement for weather-index and yield-index insurance, tailored for each farm.

LLEAF aims to deliver high profits for growers with its patented luminescent film technology that helps plants to grow bigger, faster and better.

Blakthumb is unlocking the food production capability of cities through a combination of aquaponics and hydroponics with the aim of creating the environment for anyone to grow food anywhere

Watch this space for more news on GrowLab Crop 3!


Congratulations to GrowLab Crop 3 company Lleaf, who has been invited to pitch at FoodBytes by Rabobank in London.

Lleaf’s technology increases food yield by harnessing the power of sunlight that reaches plants, encouraging them to grow 15-40% faster.

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Congratulations to GrowLab Crop 3 company Has Algae for winning the ‘Make it in China’ startup competition.

CEO Tim Gardner will be winging his way to China in a few months on an all expense paid trip to pitch for a chance to win $100,000 USD in funding for his company. Has Algae’s mission is to improve the nutritional profile of everyday foods by harnessing the power of microalgae.


Cicada Innovations recently hosted the Sydney Innovation & Technology Precinct steering committee which included the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, The Hon. Stuart Ayres, MP pictured left with Cicada CEO Sally-Ann Williams.


We are excited to share that Cicada resident BioFoundry, Australia’s first community lab for citizens scientists, is now endorsed by NSW Education Standard Authority (NESA) as a Registered Professional Development Provider. Their first course will teach the production of insulin-producing bacteria to high-school teachers for them to take back into their classroom and inspire students in STEM!


NSW Medical Research launches new Resource Hub

The Office of Health and Medical Research has just launched a Resource Hub that has access to tools and resources to help design clinical studies, analyse and access data ( Australian healthcare stats) and guides to health economic frameworks.

Good Reads


Do Deep tech investments actually make money?

This insightful Medium post explores the complexities and opportunities within the emerging deep tech sector, where patient capital is likely to be rewarded with returns both financial and societal.

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The Future of AI: Adopting AI to move the city forward

Cicada CEO Sally-Ann Williams comments in this SMH article “Smart sensing solutions delivered by artificial intelligence and IoT start-ups such as Cicada’s Calumino and LX Group can enable us to use space and responsive-to-demand ways.”

Upcoming Events


Grace Hopper Celebration Viewing Party

Tuesday 15 October, 8:00am - 10:00am

Cicada is very excited to be hosting the first Sydney community AnitaB.org on October 15th Come along to our Grace Hopper Celebration Viewing Party and meet some awesome women in tech. Register here!

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MDCTP Info Sessions

17th & 22nd October 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Are you a postgraduate researcher, physician, clinician or medtech startup working on novel medical device technologies? Or maybe you know someone - a colleague or a friend - interested in this space? Come along to our information session to learn more about the MDCTP CORE Program. RSVP here!

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Wednesday 23 October 2019

The future is deep! We’re proud to sponsor the annual Tech23 Showcase & celebrate the winners and up-and-comers of deep tech for 2019. Register here!

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Spark Festival is on!

Friday 25 October 2019

Spark Festival Australia’s largest startup event for investors, innovators and entrepreneurs. Cicada looks forward to hosting the Spark Festival closing even on Friday 25 October, stay tuned for further details. See the Spark Program here.