$100m fund now available for manufacturing start-ups

Aussie manufacturers can apply for a share of $100 million provided by the government to help new, innovative start-ups enter the market.

The sum is part of the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF), which was set-up to ensure local business ideas are given the help they need to enter global markets.

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr says the $100 million funding will lead to $200 million of venture capital for early-stage investments. 

Sydney-based biotech manufacturer Pharmaxis has already received its share of the IIF.

“Pharmaxis is a great example. It is expanding its advanced research and manufacturing facilities in Sydney with $10 million of new equipment to make its cystic fibrosis treatment and an anti-asthma drug,” Senator Carr said.

“Through the IIF, the Australian Government aims to increase investment in growth companies and connect them with international markets.”

Pharmaxis chief executive officer Dr Alan Robertson said that R&D works better when it can be coupled directly to manufacturing.

One of Pharmaxis’ backers, GBS Venture Partners (GBS), says the IIF was crucial to getting the product off the ground.

GBS Managing Director Dr Geoff Brooke said the company now manages more than $400 million for investors, including major Australian superannuation funds.

"I am seeking applications from venture capital fund managers experienced in developing high-growth Australian companies to become globally competitive enterprises,” Senator Carr said.

Applications for IIF tranche four close on Monday 2 July 2012. Details on information seminars for applicants are available at www.ausindustry.gov.au/IIF or through the AusIndustry Hotline 13 28 46.