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$15m for investment in biotechnology

$15m for investment in biotechnology

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund is to establish one or more new seed funds targeting biotechnology.

The fund or funds will have at least NZ$15 million to invest.

Minister of Research Science and Technology Pete Hodgson said the new fund would provide much-needed capital for New Zealand’s biotechnology sector and encourage more private sector investors to get involved.

"The Government recognises that access to capital is a key step in the development of any new company – that’s why we established the Venture Investment Fund in the first place," said Mr Hodgson.

"Through engaging with the venture capital industry and people involved in biotechnology, the Fund has seen an opportunity to help address the sector's unique challenges in raising capital. The new seed fund will help grow more New Zealand businesses based on our world-class biotechnology research."

Over the next few months, the VIF Board will determine the process and timing for the consideration of proposals from potential VIF Seed Fund managers.

The Government’s Growth and Innovation Framework identifies biotechnology as a key growth sector deserving special attention and support. The recent report of the Biotechnology Taskforce identified access to capital as a key factor in growing the sector.

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (VIF), established in 2001, is a programme of equity investment designed to accelerate the development of the venture capital market in New Zealand. Through VIF the Government is investing up to NZ$100 million in innovative New Zealand businesses with high growth potential.

The Fund invests through individual investment funds (VIF Seed Funds) operated by private sector fund managers appointed by VIF. These funds include capital raised from the private sector to at least twice the level of the VIF contribution.

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