UniSuper supports venture fund expansion

15 November 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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Uniseed, a venture fund backed by UniSuper, has added five major universities to its research partnership ranks to advance Australian innovation.

The Australian venture fund has doubled its research partners from five to 10 as it welcomes Monash University, University of Newcastle, UTS in Sydney, University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University.

Uniseed’s existing partners also include the Universities of Queensland, New South Wales, Melbourne and Sydney as well as Australia’s national science agency CSIRO.

UniSuper first announced its institutional investment relationship with Uniseed in March 2022. The fund provides seed funding for early-stage research and technology developed by its partners and made a commitment of $75 million last year.

The five new partners collectively spend approximately $7.7 billion on research per year, comprising 60 per cent of total research spend from all Australian research organisations. Moreover, the additional universities will match the remaining commitments of Uniseed’s existing members, bringing the fund’s total size to $56.8 million.

It will ultimately support new developments into industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, quantum computing and green energy.

John Pearce, UniSuper’s chief executive, commented: “As Uniseed’s exclusive institutional investment partner, we’re proud to champion Australian innovation while focusing on returns for our members over the long term. 

“These new partnerships represent a significant moment for Uniseed, UniSuper, and for research and development commercialisation in Australia.”

Peter Devine, CEO of Uniseed, emphasised the significant role the venture fund plays in research and technology investment.

“Since the foundation of Uniseed in 2000, we have helped fund 66 start-ups, each born from Australian research and ingenuity. Seventeen of these have achieved commercial deals with international companies, which is a very high conversion rate,” he said.

The venture fund also plans to appoint two new investment managers to oversee the new opportunities born from the expanded partnership.

“By welcoming five new partners and expanding our portfolio team, Uniseed is significantly expanding its potential and reach. This is a watershed moment for the fund and incredibly exciting for Australian innovation,” Devine added.

UniSuper currently has $124 billion in funds under management (FUM) for more than 615,000 members. It was the overall winner at this year’s Super Review Super Fund of the Year awards.

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