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NZVIF commits $4m to Auckland University research

3 November 2009

NZVIF commits $4m to Auckland University research commercialisation

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund is committing $4 million to an investment partnership with Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund to invest into new technologies emerging out of Auckland University.

NZVIF’s $4 million commitment will be alongside the Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund – an AU$30 million investment fund established last year to commercialise research at Auckland University and four Australian universities.

The investment partnership will look at commercial opportunities emerging from UniServices – Auckland University’s commercialisation agency. NZVIF and TTCF have already invested into two drug development companies spun out of UniServices – Pathway Therapeutics and Saratan Therapeutics.

NZVIF chief executive Franceska Banga said the partnership is encouraging given the level of innovation emerging from Auckland University.

“Auckland University is New Zealand’s highest ranked research university, and UniServices is generating some exciting commercial opportunities, as we are already seeing with Pathway and Saratan.

“NZVIF’s involvement in the trans-Tasman partnership ensures that there will be a New Zealand focus to companies being developed from New Zealand generated research.

TTCF Investment Manager Craig Reilly said there are significant investment opportunities in New Zealand-generated life sciences, engineering and ICT research.

“With this partnership, we hope to see greater investment in research which has the potential to advance to the commercial stage in global markets.”

NZVIF’s partnership with TTCF is through NZVIF’s Seed Co-Investment Fund. Through the fund, NZVIF is investing $40 million into early stage companies with strong potential for high growth, alongside investments made by its partners.

This is the eleventh partnership NZVIF has entered into through the Seed Co-Investment Fund. Through these partnerships, NZVIF and angel groups have co-invested over $33 million into 30 companies.

ENDS

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