$30M is available for early commercial research projects and spin-out companies.
The Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF) is a collaboration between five universities, including Monash, and superannuation fund Westscheme. It provides capital for investing in early commercial research projects and spin-out companies generated by member universities across all sectors.
There is wide recognition of the need for Australasian research organisations to enhance commercialisation outcomes.
Governments desire more commercial translation from research to support and/or build new industries, contribute to regional and national economic growth and provide tangible benefits for the betterment of society.
Universities seek to increase their commercial outcomes to remain competitive in attracting skilled researchers, provide a supplementary source of university research income and augment their public profile through translation of their basic research into real world outcomes.
Limited Partner investors seek to invest a portion of their capital into commercial research opportunities that offer potential for a significant return to their stakeholders.
The TTCF is an $30 M open end fund that brings together universities, governments and a capital provider to achieve these common goals for mutual benefit. It invests in opportunities and/or projects whose main purpose is to commercialise technology arising from a collaborating member university. The technology can be in any sector, including life sciences, information & communications technology or engineering/cleantech.
The TTCF invests seed and venture capital exclusively in opportunities that have arisen from its Member Universities.
TTCF invests in promising early stage opportunities that require funding to assist research commercialisation by completing key milestones that add technical and commercial value. TTCF aims to add value to these university projects and prepare them for follow-on funding and/or exit (commercialisation).
TTCF invests across a wide spectrum of opportunities and has an extensive expert network for technical & IP due diligence.
Specifically, TTCF looks for:
|Technology and Intellectual Property||Market||Personnel||Financial|
|Innovative and world class science.A significant competitive advantage.Potential for strong IP protection.|
Clear value-adding technical milestones
|Identifiable market need and application.Market potential and viable path to market (linked to milestones).Demonstrated awareness of competitive environment.||Capabilities, personalities, ambitions & track records of key personnel and management.||Potential for TTCF to add commercial and technical value.Likely follow-on investment and/or examples of benchmark exits with ‘natural acquirers’ that demonstrate the potential for suitable returns on investment.|
The TTCF prefers opportunities requiring smaller first round financial commitments. These projects may be at the ‘seed’ or ‘proof of concept’ stage. Commitments may augment upon the suitable achievement of key technical and commercial milestones.
Milestones must be clearly defined and costed and associated with a path leading towards a potential exit or a stage of development suitable for attracting follow-on funding. Accomplishment of these milestones further enhances the commercial viability and value of the opportunity.
Opportunities at the ‘project’ stage can receive investment of up to A$200,000 under the form of a Research & Development Option Agreement, whilst those at the stage of company formation can receive around A$500,000 in return for equity. TTCF will seek co-investment with other investors for technologies with larger capital requirements through to investment exit.
The TTCF investment process follows five distinct stages prior to investment:
PIPs are received on the 15tn day of each month and reviewed by the TTCF Investment Committee in 5 buisness days. The PIP and PIP presentation are prepared and presented by the member university/researchers in consultation with TTCF. The Investment Committee Review (ICR) through to the Investment Application (IA) documents are prepared by TTCF in consultation with the university/researcher. A more detailed summary of each stage can be found in the “TTCF Investment process” file download.
Investment Process “Turn-around” times
To facilitate a more timely review/due diligence of Preliminary Investment Proposals (PIP), TTCF will provide a 60 day turn-around to decision in the event that the member University can provide a response to the due diligence request within 7 days of the Investment Committee agreeing to move forward on the proposal. In the event that materials are not forwarded in this time period, TTFM will assess the project in no more than 90 days.
These metrics are further outlined below:
|Time to completion||Time to completion|
|Stage||Equity Investment||Research & Option Agreements|
|Pre-Investment Proposal (PIP)||60-90 days||45 days|
|Investment Committee Review||30-45 days|
|Investment Proposal||30 days||15 days|
The TTCF acknowledges the support of its member universities:
- The University of Adelaide;
- Flinders University;
- University of South Australia;
- The University of Auckland; and
- Monash University.
and their respective commercialisation offices/companies
- Adelaide Research and Innovation;
- Flinders Partners;
- Auckland UniServices Limited; and
- Monash University Office Industry Engagement and Commercialisation.