New deal will bring more good ideas to market

More smart ideas could turn into ground-breaking businesses after a significant funding agreement between Auckland UniServices Ltd and the British-based IP Group was signed yesterday in Canberra.

Representatives from the University, the IP Group and eight Australian universities (Go8) in Canberra.
Representatives from the University, the IP Group and eight Australian universities (Go8) in Canberra.

The University can now apply for a share of more than $215 million in potential capital and support towards commercialising its research, with a particular focus on areas like digital medicine, new medical therapies and quantum computing.

As part of the agreement, the IP Group, a leading international intellectual property company, will provide UniServices with business-building expertise, capital, networks, recruitment and business support.

In return it will have right of first refusal for all arising commercialisation opportunities.

The agreement also includes eight Australian universities, known as the Group of Eight, and will involve greater collaboration between the two countries.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jim Metson says the University is delighted with this development.

“It reflects the international research profile of the University and particularly of UniServices and the success it has had in commercialising our research. The investment fund addresses a significant gap in current support and we look forward to the opportunities it will create.”

Andy Shenk, chief executive of UniServices, agrees saying the investment and its associated support fills a funding and skills gap that exists in New Zealand and will enable the team to bring many more ideas and research to market readiness and beyond.

Each year UniServices works on around 1,200 projects with more than 300 New Zealand and global firms. In 2016 it generated revenues of $114 million, executed more than 50 licences for intellectual property and created 11 businesses to commercialise university research.