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Boosting science and jobs through clever investment

12 September 2018

Investments in nine high-tech companies have already created more than 100 new jobs with the support of CSIRO’s venture fund, which is backed by the Australian Government and the private sector.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the CSIRO Innovation Fund helped commercialise publicly funded research from institutions around Australia.

“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.

They have created jobs and are opening up new areas where Australian companies can take on the world.

“Investors have recognised the outstanding potential of these young businesses: the Main Sequence Ventures team aimed to raise $200 million for the CSIRO Innovation Fund in its first year of capital raising, but exceeded that figure by $32 million.”

Investors include the University of Melbourne and international strategic investors. The investors have committed $132 million between them, alongside $70 million from Government and $30 million from CSIRO.

“Investments by the fund have supported companies of the future – backing startups and spin-offs from research organisations or assisted independent companies,” Minister Andrews said.

“Main Sequence Ventures’ success shows not only a strong belief in the value of Australia’s public research, but the promise of a strong return on investment in companies born from science.

“The Government is proud to partner with industry investors and Main Sequence Ventures to help ensure our nation can benefit from the science we create.”

CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said: “Australia has outstanding science, but translating that science into real products, real jobs or growing entire new industries remains a challenge. CSIRO can be the bridge to help more great Australian inventions flourish, and our Innovation Fund is delivering returns to invest in even more critical research for future breakthroughs."

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070