Cicada Spotlight: Liza Noonan

Cicada x Tech23 wouldn't have been possible without the invaluable support of our amazing sponsors, including our foundational sponsor, the NSW Government, through Investment NSW and Tech Central. We're excited to spotlight a key player in our deep tech ecosystem - Liza Noonan, the exceptional Executive Director at Tech Central, Westmead, and Macquarie Park Innovation Districts. Delve into our insightful conversation with Liza as she shares her captivating vision for the future of Sydney's science and innovation ecosystem.


Tell us about Tech Central and its mission

Tech Central is a vibrant and dynamic community of purpose driven innovation. At its core, Tech Central is about people and accelerating the innovations that will solve major global challenges, develop new Australian industries, build great jobs and national economic resilience. 

Tech Central supports radical collaboration and creative collisions where industry and research meet across deep tech, biomedical and digital innovation sectors.


What do you see as the value of having a connected innovation ecosystem in Sydney/NSW?

A connected ecosystem of innovation districts with deliberate clustering of knowledge producing assets such as research institutes and universities alongside industry, growth capital and enabling infrastructure, can accelerate the rate of innovation and NSW’s global economic advantage. Strategic collaboration and coordination across this ecosystem have potential to improve productivity by up to 6% and deliver an annual uplift of $40 billion to the NSW economy by 2056.


What are some areas of deep tech that really excites you and why?

Climate Tech! NSW has so much to offer spanning circular economy, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture innovations. We have the natural resources, IP, entrepreneurs, and green financing to be global leaders.

What’s happening in the field of precision medicine is also inspiring. The convergence of AI, biomedical sciences and engineering unleashes incredible advancements for faster diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. Tech Central and Westmead are home to global pioneers in precision medicine who every day are pursuing the eradication of diseases that impact so many lives.


What areas of innovation can you see NSW as a global leader in?

The NSW Office of the Chief Scientist’s 20-year R&D Roadmap published in 2022 identifies four technology sectors where NSW has strong competitive advantage for global leadership. Stand-out opportunities include Quantum computing and devices, software as a medical device, renewable energy storage and synthetic biology in food and agriculture.


What are you most looking forward to at Cicada x Tech23?

I discovered the world of deep tech at Tech23 in 2013. My eyes were immediately opened to the importance of these innovations and the world we need to build, for future generations. I can’t wait to reconnect with the community who support deep tech to flourish across Australia – again and be inspired with new stories from trailblazing founders.