New endowment funds from high-tech company sale

5 December 2014

The Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE) has invested proceeds from the sale of its high-tech start-up company Lithicon into two new philanthropic endowment funds to foster research and innovation.

Lithicon, a Canberra company set up in 2009 by the ANU and University of NSW was sold earlier this year.

RSPE will invest $2 million from the sale proceeds to set up the Applied Mathematics Endowment Fund and the Technology Development Endowment Fund.

The Applied Mathematics Endowment Fund will support the Stjepan Marcelja Visiting Fellowship, which enables up to five visiting researchers from anywhere in the world to work in the Department of Applied Mathematics.

The Fellowship commemorates Dr Stjepan Marcelja, one of the key members of the Applied Mathematics Department, who is celebrated for lowering barriers between fields, and connecting critical experiment with theories.

The Technology Development Endowment Fund will help inventors develop early stage ideas to the point of practical demonstrations.

“There are many difficult steps along the path of commercialisation. This endowment offers to help inventors with the first step, the proof-of-concept,” said Professor Tim Senden, Deputy Director for Technology Development at RSPE and Department Head of Applied Mathematics.

“In its current form, this fund will support up to three projects each year, in perpetuity. My hope is to grow the fund to the point where we might double this number and increase the level of support.”