Hamilton Locke Advises the University of Newcastle, UTS, Macquarie University and WSU on Joining Uniseed Venture Fund

Hamilton Locke advised a consortium of NSW universities (comprising of, the University of Newcastle, University of Technology Sydney, Macquire University and Western Sydney University) on joining the Uniseed venture fund in order to invest in the future of Australian innovation.

This deal presents a significant expansion of research partners for Uniseed. The four NSW universities join new member, Monash University and longstanding members, the University of Queensland, UNSW, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, and CSIRO. This is an important collaboration which strengthens Australia’s research output, and most critically, boosts opportunities for all-important research commercialisation. The new university partners follow UniSuper’s commitment of $75 million to Uniseed in 2022.

The newly expanded set of university research partners are all ranked within the top 25 Australian universities for research expenditure, and collectively invest approximately $7.7 billion on research annually. This makes up over 60% of the total research spend in all research organisations in Australia.

Uniseed is Australia’s longest running venture fund, and since it was established in 2000, Uniseed has invested in over 60 Australian startups and several of these have achieved commercial deals with international companies. Significant commercial deals including the sale of Spinifex Pharmaceuticals to Novartis AG and Fibrotech Therapeutics sale to Shire plc as well as Kinoxis Therapeutics’ deal with Boehringer.

The investment made by the consortium of NSW universities was facilitated by the NUW Alliance. Their mission is to seek out collaborations that unlock new value, impact and benefit for communities across NSW.

Representative of the consortium of NSW universities, Warwick Dawson, said Innovation is the bridge that enables the translation of research to economic and social impact. By joining the Uniseed venture fund, the new university partners are bringing new investment potential to Australian researchers and boosting our ability to deliver impact that matters to our industries and our communities.

Commenting on the investment made by the consortium of NSW universities, Erik Setio, Hamilton Locke Partner said “It was great to work alongside the NUW Alliance and the four NSW universities to facilitate their investment into Uniseed. By coming together as research partners, these universities have the opportunity to expand their commercialisation ecosystem.  It provides a platform for collaboration (in the form of a novel and complex investment vehicle) in order to bring their cutting-edge research to life and make a meaningful impact outside the walls of the university for communities around the globe (and plants the seed for a possible future cure for cancer).  We have a leading funds and financial services practice and this deal builds upon our previous experience advising on VC and pre-VC fund structures.”

The Hamilton Locke team comprised of Partners, Erik Setio, Seema Sandhu and Adam Jeffrey, Senior Associate Stephen Vrettos, and Lawyers Nick Huett and Annabelle Parmegiani.

Click here to read The Australian article.

Click here to read the Uniseed announcement.

Click here to read the University of Newcastle announcement

Click here to read the Western Sydney University announcement.

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