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Backing innovation to create jobs of the future

30 October 2017

Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Companies developing new ways to diagnose cancer, next generation WiFi chips and quantum computing firmware are among the first to receive investment from Main Sequence Ventures, manager of the $200 million CSIRO Innovation Fund.

Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the launch of Main Sequence Ventures is an important step to ensure we can further harness Australian innovation to create new enterprises and the jobs of tomorrow.

“As part of the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, the CSIRO Innovation Fund is designed to ensure our world-class research can be turned into the jobs and economic growth of the future,” Minister Cash said.

Main Sequence Ventures will support new spin-out and start-up companies, and SMEs engaged in the translation of research generated in the Australian publicly-funded research sector.

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, said the CSIRO Innovation Fund and Main Sequence Ventures will help develop Australia’s great ideas and ensure we share in the rewards.

“Australia has never been short of great ideas, but the value is rarely captured domestically,” Dr Marshall said.

“Australia’s scientists are world leaders, but investing in science driven innovation is hard – it needs the horsepower of Australia’s national science agency behind it.”

Main Sequence Ventures’ first investments in Q-CTRL, Morse Micro, Intersective and Maxwell MRI, are expected to create more than 60 new jobs. Intersective Co-Founder and CEO Beau Leese, who was present at the launch, says this round of funding will help them compete on a global stage.

"Main Sequence Ventures offers a funding vehicle designed for start-ups like Intersective who are trying to use leading edge technology to tackle big, complex problems. These companies are harder for standard venture capital funds to back, but if successful can solve fundamental problems and have built in competitive advantage on the world stage,” Mr Leese said.

“In Main Sequence Ventures, Intersective found a partner willing to back our investment in deep data science to solve challenges in real world skill building collaboration between educators, employers and student.”

Main Sequence Ventures is led by venture capitalist veteran Mr Bill Bartee and a team of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs with extensive experience in science and technology.

“Our first investments are giving us a great start in backing ambitious entrepreneurs to build important and growing companies,” Mr Bartee said.

“Q-CTRL has the potential to provide the firmware framework for quantum computers, Morse Micro is building the next generation of WiFi chip, and Maxwell MRI is changing the way we detect and diagnose prostate cancer.”

“This is some of the best and most exciting research from the Australian innovation sector, and we look forward to working with them to realise their potential in the commercial market.

“We at Main Sequence Ventures know that this is only the beginning, and many more high-potential companies will be able to grow from our investments. We look forward to working with Australia’s deep tech founders to build epic companies.”

Media Contact: Minister Cash's office 02 6277 7320