Just one week after investing in University of Melbourne’s Genesis Pre-Seed Fund, Breakthrough Victoria has unveiled plans to create funds with more local universities.

Breakthrough Victoria, an investment fund created by the Victoria government in Australia, today unveiled its up-to A$100m ($70m) University Innovation Platform that it will use to create pre-seed funds in partnership with universities in the state.

The announcement comes just one week after University of Melbourne launched the $10.5m Genesis Pre-Seed Fund with support from Breakthrough Victoria. The university also established a second fund, equipped with $70.1m and called Tin Alley Ventures, at the same time, with Tin Alley Ventures managed by Tanarra Capital.

Breakthrough Victoria was created in 2021 with $1.4bn in capital and an investment horizon of 10-plus years, and a goal of commercialising more research. Its key focus is on the healthcare and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, digital technologies, agriculture and food, and cleantech sectors.

Through the University Innovation Platform, Breakthrough Victoria will work with individual institutions to form pre-seed funds, matching university investment in these funds. It will also offer advice on commercialisation pathways and investment decision making.

Breakthrough Victoria hopes the platform will enable researchers to advance innovation to commercial scale, an area that, it said, Australia had historically underperformed in.

Victoria is home to nine universities, primarily centred around Melbourne – Deakin University, Federation University of Australia, La Trobe University, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Divinity, University of Melbourne and Victoria University. Monash is Australia’s largest university.

Grant Dooley, chief executive of Breakthrough Victoria, said: “The new platform reinforces Breakthrough Victoria’s strategy of supporting investment and curation so that research with strong commercial potential does not succumb to the valley of death during the early stages.

“Investing in translational research over the long-term and forging partnerships with universities will significantly boost commercialisation rates.

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).