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31 October 2017

Csiro kicks off innovation fund

Spinouts developing products ranging from troubleshooting for quantum computers to energy efficient wifi devices will be supported by the innovation fund.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Australian government-owned research institute Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Csiro) yesterday announced its first four investments through the $150m Innovation Fund.

The fund is managed by Main Sequence Ventures and backs spinouts from Csiro and other state-funded bodies. The four initial portfolio companies include:

  • Q-Ctrl, a quantum computing developer led by Michael Biercuk, professor of quantum physics at University of Sydney. Biercuk is looking to find an effective way of recovering quantum systems once an error has occurred.
  • Morse Micro, which is developing more energy efficient wifi devices that will potentially use 100-200 times less energy than conventional models and run for several years from a single coin-sized battery.
  • Maxwell MRI, which is targeting prostate cancer with a deep learning approach to medical imaging that could ease the time, cost and accuracy constraints faced by consultants at present.
  • Intersective, whose Practera platform seeks to improve the provision of practical learning schemes such as internships and accelerators.

The Csiro Innovation Fund aims to turn commercially viable technologies into a productivity and export boost for the Australian economy. It is part of a $772m fundraising drive announced by the government in 2015 and 2016.

Main Sequence is led by Bill Bartee, who said: “Our first investments are giving us a great start in backing ambitious entrepreneurs to build important and growing companies.”

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