Australia’s CSIRO innovation fund, which has a corpus of A$200 million ($153.2 million), has invested in four deep tech startup ventures. The innovation fund is managed under a unit of CSIRO called Main Sequence Ventures, which is headed by Bill Bartee. Financial terms of the investments are undisclosed
The four startups that secured investment are Q-Ctrl, Intersective, Morse Micro and Maxwell MRI. They are engaged in the areas of quantum computing, data science for improved learning, next-generation Wi-Fi technology, and advanced cancer detection software respectively.
This aligns with the agenda of supporting new spin-out and startup ventures, as well as small enterprises to commercialise publicly funded research.
Speaking of the investments, Bartee said, “Our first investments are giving us a great start in backing ambitious entrepreneurs to build important and growing companies. Q-Ctrl has the potential to provide the firmware framework for quantum computers, Morse Micro is building the next generation of WiFi chip, Intersective is using data science to better equip our workers for the future and Maxwell MRI is changing the way we detect and diagnose prostate cancer.”
The fund was established as part of the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda and is backed with A$70 million ($53.6 million) in government funding, A$30 million ($22.9 million) from CSIRO’s wi-fi patent fund and additional private sector investment.
In a statement, CSIRO chief executive Larry 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.”