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University of Sydney joins $50 million Uniseed fund

7 December 2015
University partner in fund with 10-year investment horizon

The University of Sydney and CSIRO are the newest partners in Uniseed, a venture fund dedicated to commercialising university research, currently launching a new $50 million investment fund. 

Uniseed also partners with the Universities of Melbourne, New South Wales and Queensland. It pursues commercialisation by targeted investment in highly promising technologies across a range of sectors.

The fund’s latest announcement, its third and largest to date, follows three high profile exits (the realisation of profits on an investment) in the past 14 months.

The addition of the University of Sydney and CSIRO as contributors to the new fund will collectively account for approximately $4 billion worth of research conducted each year, representing an estimated 40 per cent of the total research spending at public research organisations in Australia.

“This partnership will translate concepts, the product of world-class academic research and collaborative creativity, into technologies that change people’s lives for the better. For many Australian universities, including the University of Sydney, working with industry is a crucial area of achievement,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, of the University of Sydney.

 

With medicine and life science intellectual property accounting for almost 40 per cent of the total University of Sydney portfolio we look forward to seeing the impact of this research in patient care.
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor

“Uniseed will provide the necessary framework to facilitate the notoriously difficult commercialisation of intellectual property in the field of drug discovery. With medicine and life science intellectual property accounting for almost 40 per cent of the total University of Sydney portfolio we look forward to seeing the impact of this research in patient care.”

The new fund, which will have a 10-year investment horizon, comes as the federal government seeks to boost the innovation and start-up sectors as growth engines for the economy.

Recent significant exits for Uniseed include:

  • Hatchtech, a company developing a new treatment for human head lice, sold to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in a $US197 million deal
  • Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a pain drug developer, sold to Novartis in a deal worth $US700 million
  • Fibrotech, a company developing treatments for fibrosis, was acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $US557 million.

“We’re excited about applying this new fund to young companies with great discoveries and inventions and giving them the best opportunity to fly,” Uniseed CEO Dr Peter Devine said.

“We think our track record of backing companies with great potential, supporting their growth and then exiting when they mature, will ensure the success of our new fund.”

Verity Leatherdale

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