CSIRO’s venture fund boosts jobs and innovation

The CSIRO Innovation Fund, managed by Main Sequence Ventures, has attracted $232 million in investment in its first year. The Fund has made nine investments in companies, supporting hi-tech industries, creating more than 100 new jobs.

Capital raising for the Fund has realised $232 million – exceeding its target for private sector investment by $32 million. The Fund has attracted investors including Hostplus and the University of Melbourne.

$132 million has been raised through private investment, $70 million from Government and $30 million from CSIRO.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the CSIRO Innovation Fund has helped open up new areas where Australian companies can take on the world.

“The CSIRO Innovation Fund helps turn Australia’s world-class research into new businesses, new opportunities and new jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“The Fund has already invested in nine companies and three more are close to being finalised. These companies have, for example, created satellite sensor networks, autonomous vehicles, quantum computing and digital healthcare solutions.

Read: CSIRO innovation fund to harness Australian innovation

 

CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall, said CSIRO can be the bridge to help Australian inventions flourish.

“Australia has outstanding science but translating that science into real products, real jobs or growing entire new industries remains a challenge.

Main Sequence Ventures Partner Mike Zimmerman, said: “We are proud and excited to partner with investors that share our belief that significant global companies can come from the important work happening in Australia’s publicly funded research organisations.”

The Fund’s current portfolio includes satellite communication company Myriota, telehealth start up Coviu and Baraja who are developing technology for driverless cars.

“We believe Australia’s new competitive advantage is our ability to translate technology and innovation, as well as scientific discovery, into commercial products and services to export globally,” Sam Sicilia, CIO of Hostplus said.

“Our investment with Main Sequence Ventures allows us to see what is coming, not just from emerging startups but also reaching right back into the labs.

“With the world rapidly changing around us, and the competitive landscape shifting very swiftly, we look to invest in the industries of tomorrow and the way Main Sequence Ventures builds its portfolio gives us new insight,” he added.

The Fund was established as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda to commercialise early stage innovations from CSIRO, universities and other publicly-funded research bodies.