IP Group plc (LSE:IPO), a leader in the commercialisation of scientific innovation developed in research universities in the UK and the US, today launches a landmark agreement with Australasia’s leading universities, which will see at least A$200 million invested in finding and developing companies involved in disruptive innovation.

The commercialisation agreements – the first of their type in Australasia – have been signed between IP Group Australia and nine universities which include the University of Adelaide, Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, UNSW Sydney, the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney and the University of Western Australia in Australia, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

IP Group has committed to invest at least A$200 million over a 10-year period to fund investments in spin-out companies based on the intellectual property (IP) developed by academics at the nine universities, generated from research in areas such as digital medicine, new medical therapies and quantum computing.

The investment is being supported through a capital raising, which has seen the participation of new shareholders, Telstra Super Pty Ltd, Temasek and M&G as well as existing shareholders Invesco, Woodford and Lansdowne.

IP Group believes that the nine universities represent a significant source of world-class and potentially disruptive research. The agreements with each university are for an initial 20-year term, and seek to support the best and brightest researchers to translate their findings into new and innovative ways to improve the economic and social wellbeing of Australasians.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group plc, said:  “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with nine leading universities in Australia and New Zealand – and to be committing new funding to support world-class research and innovation to reach a global market. I would like to thank the teams at all nine universities for their positive engagement throughout our detailed development to reach this point.

 “The business model we are using is similar to the model IP Group has used successfully in the UK and the US; providing business-building expertise, capital, networks, recruitment and business support. We believe the model is ideally suited to the Australian and New Zealand markets and represents a significant commercial opportunity for all those involved.”

Go8 Chair, Professor Peter Høj who is Vice Chancellor of The University of Queensland added: “This investment is a massive vote of confidence from global capital markets in the quality and impact of research and innovation by the Go8 and the University of Auckland.

“We know IP Group is constantly approached to fund university research. It could have placed this A$200 million anywhere in what has become a highly competitive arena. That it sought out the Go8 and was also able to attract Australian co-investors cannot be downplayed. It is a significant recognition of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities and the $6 billion a year of research which they undertake.”

“This is an exciting investment chapter for TelstraSuper,” said TelstraSuper Chief Investment Officer Graeme Miller. “We’ll be supporting promising opportunities in the fields of healthcare, technology, cleantech and biotech based on scientific research.”

“Unlike traditional Private Market investments which draw down capital over time, this investment has been immediately deployed into a well-diversified and seasoned portfolio of innovative companies through the purchase of listed shares via an institutional placement,” Mr Miller said.

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