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Trans-Tasman Support To Commercialise Research

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

16 June 2008 - New firms based on innovative research at The University of Auckland will get a kick start from a new AUD$30 million fund - the first trans-Tasman commercialisation fund , announced Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson today.

Speaking at the New Zealand launch of the fund, Pete Hodgson said, "The fund will help The University of Auckland, to bridge what it calls 'the valley of death' between intellectual property discovery and its ability to attract investors. The initiative and drive that's demonstrated here in the development of this fund is an example of innovation and lateral thinking. It bodes well for what the fund itself may produce and this is what sits behind a high wage- high skill economy."

The Trans-Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF) is a collaborative venture backed by Australian superannuation fund Westscheme, to support the early stage commercialisation of intellectual property from five universities. It will support The University of Auckland commercialise its valuable research-derived intellectual property (IP).

The Fund will develop research to the point where it is attractive for commercial investors. There are provisions in the Fund to allow for co-investment from local 'angel' investors.

To support the fund for five years, the State governments of Victoria and South Australia will each contribute $A250,000 pa and the New Zealand government will contribute $NZ 200,000 pa.

The University of Auckland is a partner in the fund in conjunction with Monash University, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

"This model has already been successfully used to create five university/private sector investment funds in Australia," Pete Hodgson said.

"The TTCF will be the first fund to operate across the Tasman. The evidence available to date would appear to indicate that the model works well," he said.

The Fund and UniServices will ensure that at least 25 percent of the Fund's investments are made in New Zealand. They have also agreed that NZ-based angel and seed investors are offered the same level of equity in the spin out companies as that taken by the Fund itself.

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