IP Group commits £116 million to investing in university technology spin-off companies in Australia and New Zealand
IP Group plc, a UK-based intellectual property commercialisation company, has committed to investing at least £116 million (A$200 million) over a ten-year period to fund investments in spin-out companies from nine Australasian universities.
The company has to date focused on turning scientific innovation developed in research universities in the UK and US into businesses but has chosen to expand its reach into Australia and New Zealand in the belief that the universities there represent a significant source of world-class and potentially disruptive research.
The investments will be made in spin-out companies which use intellectual property developed by academics at the nine universities in areas such as digital medicine, new medical therapies and quantum computing.
The commercialisation agreements, which are the first of their type in Australasia, have been signed between IP Group Australia and nine universities which include the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, the University of Western Australia in Australia, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The investment is being supported through a capital raising from new shareholders Telstra Super Pty Ltd, Temasek and M&G as well as existing shareholders Invesco, Woodford and Lansdowne.
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group plc, said: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with nine leading universities in Australia and New Zealand – and to be committing new funding to support world-class research and innovation to reach a global market.”
He added: “The business model we are using is similar to the model IP Group has used successfully in the UK and the US; providing business-building expertise, capital, networks, recruitment and business support. We believe the model is ideally suited to the Australian and New Zealand markets and represents a significant commercial opportunity for all those involved.”
IP Group helps businesses by providing access to business building expertise, capital, networks, recruitment and business support. Its portfolio is made up of holdings in approximately 100 early-stage to mature businesses across four main sectors of biotech, cleantech, healthcare and technology.
Professor Peter Høj, Vice Chancellor of The University of Queensland, said: “We know IP Group is constantly approached to fund university research. It could have placed this A$200 million anywhere in what has become a highly competitive arena. It is a significant recognition of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities and the $6 billion a year of research which they undertake.”