Investment partnership takes research from lab to shelves

31 October 2018

A joint initiative launched today between five Australian universities and one of Australia's biggest companies will provide seed investment to companies translating academic research into applied technology.

Significant Capital Ventures is a partnership between Canberra-based construction and property company Hindmarsh, The Australian National University (ANU), University of Canberra (UC), Deakin University, University Technology of Sydney (UTS) and University of Wollongong (UoW).

The investment fund aims to grow to $50 million.

John Hindmarsh AM, Executive Director of Hindmarsh, said he is delighted to partner with ANU in the management of Significant Capital Ventures and to contribute to the fund as a major investor.  

"Significant Capital Ventures brings together entities with a strong record in driving and investing in innovation, enabling them to partner with a network of very capable and promising sources of innovation," Mr Hindmarsh said.

"The fund will help encourage the industries of the future, which will provide jobs, investment and economic growth."

ANU Provost, Professor Mike Calford, said the University initiated the Significant Capital Ventures program as part of its commitment to partner with the private sector to help advance research ideas into products that will help improve our lives.

"We are extremely honoured to have the support of John Hindmarsh and the Hindmarsh company in helping advance research and innovation," Professor Calford said.

"Significant Capital Ventures will invest in proven technologies, applied research and develop new applications.

"Our partners in this program are all world-leading in applied technology research and development," Professor Calford said.

The fund has been boosted by the investment by UC, Deakin University, UTS and UoW.

Deakin Research Innovations, Executive Director, Ben Spincer, said the University was delighted to partner with fellow institutions on the important project.

 "Deakin is committed to supporting the successful scale-up of new businesses originating out of universities so we think this initiative is an important step that will benefit both universities and the wider community," he said.

UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Professor Glenn Wightwick said the next crucial step in the University's commitment to boosting entrepreneurship is to provide promising ventures access to investment. 

"In our mission to deliver entrepreneurial experiences to 50 per cent of our students within the next five years, opening up broad exposure to valuable opportunities through our partner and industry networks will be key," he said.  

"That means tapping into the expertise of credible, experienced partners like Significant Capital Ventures to provide the best outcomes for ventures coming out of UTS and maximise the impact of our research. We're looking forward to working with Nick and the team so our teams can achieve their full potential."

Significant Capital Ventures was launched by the Minister for Education The Hon. Dan Tehan MP  in Canberra on Wednesday 31 October.