$10M philanthropic gift boosts research and innovation at Western Sydney

10M gift group shot 

NICM welcomes two philanthropic gifts totaling $10 million – the largest in the University's history.

The Blackmore Foundation, Marcus and Caroline Blackmore's personal philanthropic trust, and Australian natural health company Blackmores, are each gifting $5 million to the University.

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover says the gifts will support research and innovation in integrative and complementary medicine at NICM - an example of universities and industry collaborating to drive research.

"Our country has the lowest level of industry-research collaboration in the OECD," says Professor Glover.

"If we want to continue to develop ideas that improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians, as well as generate new jobs and industries, we need to encourage a greater level of private support of higher education research and innovation.

"Australian medical research institutes draw, on average, 30 per cent of their funding from the private sector.  This support is essential to fulfilling the Federal Government's agenda to improve university and private industry collaboration to promote research and build upon Australia's Global Innovation Strategy."

NICM Director Professor Alan Bensoussan says the gifts will support new PhD scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships, support for international visiting scholars, as well as advancing research translation.

"This very welcome gift will further the development of NICM as a world-class integrative and complementary medicine research facility, and expand our research and clinical trials, and education and training," says Professor Bensoussan.

"Our new world-class integrative and complementary medicine facility, set for completion in 2018 at the University's Westmead campus, will strengthen and expand the health, research and education offerings of Westmead."

Blackmores Chairman, Marcus Blackmore said, "As industry leaders, it is our responsibility to invest in integrative and complementary medicine research and to support innovation in this field.

"NICM is a world-class research facility, and we are very proud to provide this untied donation to help advance science and innovation in integrative and complementary medicine. 

This gift to the University will not only support the Australian research community in furthering the country's global leadership in the area, most importantly, it will contribute to the knowledge base, which in turn, will help improve public health."