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Opportunities

Making our solutions reality

Find out about our licensing, investing and commercialisation opportunities.

Licensing our intellectual property

We have a large portfolio of inventions available for licensing in a broad range of sectors, including diagnostics, therapeutics, biomedical devices and optical technology, just to name a few.

To streamline the process for organisations we partner, we offer flexible licensing agreements.

If you’d like to find out more about the intellectual property we have available for licencing, or our range of licensing options, contact us on +61 2 9351 4000 or via our enquiry form.

Featured opportunities

The value of oyster aquaculture globally exceeds US$3.9 billion, however vulnerabilities to some pathogens and viruses are reducing shellfish yields.

In particular, the pathogen Ostreid herpesvirus 1 has severely disrupted Pacific oyster production in Europe since 2008, and in New Zealand and Australia since 2010.

Other pathogens such as Martellia sp. and Bonamia sp. are prevalent globally and impact filter feeding shellfish such as oysters and mussels in many countries.

There are no established methods to prevent these diseases, and consequently the shellfish industry is plagued by recurrent outbreaks and economic losses.

The protective wrap system

Our technology consists of a protective fabric that is inserted into a conventional shellfish basket, tray or pillow.

The membrane has pores of a specific size that allow water to pass through, and exclude particles such as parasites and herpesviruses.

Applications and commercial opportunity

  • Oyster enclosure prevents the herpes virus infection.
  • The wrap is compatible with existing cultivation infrastructure (either as a disposable product, or it potentially can be cleaned and reused), so minimal changes to aquaculture procedure are expected.
  • The system is expected to reduce labour costs because regular husbandry procedures, such as oyster cleaning and grading, are not required while oysters are in the protective system.
  • The market comprises the global shellfish aquaculture industry: wherever oysters, mussels, scallops and other filter feeders are farmed in structures, including baskets, pillow and trays.

The behaviour of grain during industrial processes is a key element of effective malt extract production and, hence, beer making (and with the current exponential growth of craft brewers around the world, today it’s even more important!).

The aleurone layer of mature cereal grains has a critical role in germination. Isolation of aleurone-layer protoplasts enables flexibility in the investigation of biochemical processes that occur in the aleurone layer of grains during grain development, germination and malting.

However current methods to isolate aleurone-layer protoplasts work only with a specific husk-less barley variety, not with commercial malting barley varieties used in industry.

Dr Thomas Roberts and his team have developed a protocol for obtaining barley aleurone-layer protoplasts from commercial malting varieties in a reproducible manner. This protocol is useful to predict the behaviour of germinating barley grain during malting.

Key aspects

  • Method of obtaining barley aleurone-layer protoplasts from commercial malting varieties, thus providing a way to allow investigations into germination behaviour during malting.
  • Results of investigations with aleurone-layer protoplasts can be used to predict the potential of the aleurone layer to modify grain behaviour during malting.
  • This method is potentially useful to understand the parameters that control the malting process.

The discovery

Our researchers have developed an extraction protocol for barley aleurone-layer protoplasts from commercial barley malting varieties. Studies show that the proteins of protoplasts can be extracted, analysed and compared at different time points during their culture. The direct study of the barley aleurone layer can be facilitated by the use of protoplasts as they can be more accurately controlled, treated and monitored than whole aleurone.

Preliminary data has shown that the protoplasts respond to exposure to plant hormones such as gibberellic acid and abscisic acid, in the same way as the intact aleurone layer.

Applications and commercial opportunity

The protoplast extraction protocol allows:

  • investigation into the responsiveness of the aleurone layer to hormones produced during germination
  • the prediction of the germinating behaviour of the whole grain during industrial processing.

Use of the extraction protocol for barley aleurone-layer protoplasts in a commercial process could:

  • simplify and speed up the process by choosing suitable varieties or malting parameters for malting
  • allow advance selection of particular varieties or malting parameters that could potentially meet the brewing companies’ requirements; and
  • allow malting companies to perform quality control of the barley grains that could meet the brewing companies’ requirements, before the malting process begins.

Professor Salah Sukkarieh from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and his team have developed several novel robots and robotic systems that can be used to improve efficiencies in agriculture.

Awarded the NSW Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies in 2014, Professor Sukkarieh is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems.

Agriculture is increasingly under pressure to increase efficiency and increase plant yield.  Our robotic solutions can help overcome both of these issues.

Key aspects

  • Automated weeding, spraying and or selection of plants.
  • New robots with improved efficiency and advantages over existing robotic solutions.

Applications and commercial opportunity

Our automated robotic systems allow:

  • automated and targeted weeding with less herbicide and number of passes of the plant used; and
  • improved efficiency with a variety of different robotic solutions.

The robots can also be customised for other applications.

Commercialisation success

There are many funding schemes that allow commercialisation of biomedical technology, including Wellcome, Medical Device Fund, Linkages and CDIP funding.

Biomedical technology

We recently assigned the portfolio of intellectual property on the biomedical technology to Elastagen, following the awarding of a $1 million Wellcome Trust Translation Fund Award to the company to develop a synthetic protein that will allow the body to repair tissues in the skin, artery, bladder and lung.

Professor Tony Weiss, from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and School of Molecular Bioscience, is the founding scientist behind Elastagen.

The Wellcome funding follows support provided to Elastagen through the New South Wales Health Medical Device Fund, and will mean that clinical trials of the technology will start within two years. The university has also provided seed funding through the CDIP Fund, to allow Professor Weiss and his team to explore 3D printing of the synthetic protein.

Elastagen is currently pursuing multiple product avenues including working with a European partner to take a product for repairing aged skin to market, as well as potentially the development of surgical sealants and glues in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard University.

Allegra commercialising novel bone substitute

By licensing the technology developed by the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies’ Professor Hala Zreiqat, Allegra Orthopaedics is developing ceramic bones from a unique strong and biocompatible material called Sr-HT-Ghanite.

The technology has huge global potential with the bone graft market valued at US$1.9 billion and being forecast to grow by 8.3 percent annually, according to a 2010 GlobalData report.

Awarded $1.6 million in the 2014 round of the New South Wales Government’s Medical Devices Fund, Allegra’s CEO Tom Milicevic said that preliminary trials had shown Sr-HT-Ghanite to be 100-times mechanically stronger than synthetic bone substitutes.

The partnership has also been recognised by the Australian Research Council, which awarded Linkage Project funding to Professor Zreiqat in 2014 to develop 3D printing technologies for bone substitute manufacturing.