New funding will help SA medical researchers target export markets

30 Jul 2014
New funding will help SA medical researchers target export markets

A new agreement between the State Government and a multimillion-dollar venture capital fund will provide more early-stage funding opportunities for South Australian medical researchers.

Minister for Science and Information Economy Gail Gago said the State Government will invest more than $600,000 to support the operations of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) in South Australia over the next four years.

“This is an exciting new chapter for medical research in our state, as South Australia now joins Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland in the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund,” Ms Gago said.

“MCRF membership will enable medical research institutions and hospitals to apply for early- stage funding to commercialise their research into new therapies, diagnostics and medicines that bring health and economic benefits to the community.

“The partnership will better link business and researchers to form new ventures and investment opportunities into South Australia potentially creating new jobs for local industry.

“The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) will be the first medical institution to sign up to the Fund.

“The Fund will provide SAHMRI, and other future members, an opportunity to tap into a global network of industry experts to guide early-stage investments and development to attract follow- on venture capital funding and partnering opportunities.”

Acting Executive Director at SAHMRI Professor Steve Nicholls said the new agreement would benefit over 600 scientists and research professionals housed at SAHMRI headquarters and associated facilities.

“The lack of early-stage funding and commercialisation expertise often results in South Australian researchers and institutions abandoning promising medical innovations and technology that carry great commercial potential,” Professor Nicholls said.

“Our membership will provide SAHMRI scientists and researchers with greater access to technical knowledge, advice, support and development dollars to fund their bright ideas.”

Ms Gago said the arrangements between South Australia and MRCF will enable the State Government to progress the state’s strategic priorities.

“Our future prosperity relies on nurturing and supporting our medical researchers and scientists to reach our goals in transforming the State’s economy and meeting future challenges.

The MRCF was established by Australian superannuation funds with support from the State Governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland and is managed by Brandon Capital Partners.

The fund invests in early stage development and commercialisation opportunities from its membership of Australian medical research institutes and allied research hospitals and has attracted $51 million in capital since 2007.