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Otago Innovation succeeds with PreSeed

Wednesday 5 March 2008

Otago Innovation succeeds with PreSeed

Otago Innovation, the University of Otago’s commercialisation arm, has secured Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST) funding worth nearly $3m over the next three years.

The PreSeed Accelerator Fund is designed to get promising technology to the point where it is ready to attract commercial investors.

Otago Innovation chief executive Colin Dawson says the funding will provide $980,000 per year, which will be matched by the University and external funders.

“We have seen our PreSeed funding more than double. This is on the back of the fact that the University of Otago has excellent research and great technology,” he says.

“It also reflects Otago Innovation’s performance in commercialising Otago technology.”

Commercialisation Manager Hamish Findlay says Otago Innovation received more than 10 per cent of the available $9.3m per annum funding.

“We were up against all of the universities and all the Crown Research Institutes and were part of a select group included in the top band of funding. We’ve done very well.”

The PreSeed Accelerator Fund is described as devolved funding, where the organisations that receive money decide which projects to fund and make the detailed investment decisions.

“We have a rigorous process we use to decide if a project is suitable for commercialisation,” says Mr Findlay.

“Over the life of the previous PreSeed contract we applied funding to 27 projects, ranging from software to biotechnology, and 18 deals have been concluded. Of those, five have gone on to form the core of a valuable spinout company or potentially valuable license agreement.”

“Otago Innovation is already on the lookout for new University of Otago technology suitable for PreSeed funding,” he says.


ENDS

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