Breakthrough Victoria announces university investment deals

Monday, 25 September, 2023

Breakthrough Victoria announces university investment deals

Breakthrough Victoria has launched investment partnerships worth $87 million with five Victorian universities to help move life-changing research out of the lab and into the market.

Deakin University, La Trobe University, Monash University and Swinburne University of Technology have each contributed $9 million and RMIT University has contributed $7.5 million in funding, matched by Breakthrough Victoria, to create new partnership agreements to drive commercialisation of their research. Each partnership will invest in startup companies spun out of research from the partnering university, with typical pre-seed investments of around $500,000 each.

Investment in startups at this critical early stage will help fund product concepts, prototypes and trials to help ensure research with strong commercial potential does not succumb to the so-called ‘valley of death’. Researchers and academics will also receive support to better identify and translate ideas into commercial opportunities and improve their entrepreneurial capability.

The partnerships are being established under the $100 million Breakthrough Victoria – University Innovation Platform, which aims to increase commercialisation of critical research with real-world benefits from Victorian universities. The agreements have been co-designed with each individual university to respond to the specific needs and stage of their research commercialisation journey.

There are now six university partnerships established under the Breakthrough Victoria – University Innovation Platform, with the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund announced last year.

“Our universities are producing life-changing research and innovations, but we underperform when it comes to translating these homegrown ideas into Victorian companies that can develop and manufacture their innovation locally for a global market,” said Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley.

“By setting up dedicated partnerships to invest in startups coming out of Victorian universities, we can help move life-changing research out of the lab and into the market right here in Victoria instead of seeing it being commercialised overseas.”

Image caption: Deakin Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Matthew Clarke; Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley; Swinburne Vice-President Innovation and Enterprise Dr Werner van der Merwe; La Trobe Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) Professor Susan Dodds; Victorian Minister of Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll; Breakthrough Victoria Executive Director Pre-Seed Olga Hogan; Monash Deputy Vice Chancellor Enterprise and Engagement Professor Doron Ben-Meir; and RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President Professor Calum Drummond.

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