Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced that New Zealand has joined Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF).

“The MRCF is an early-stage venture capital fund, which provides capital and hands-on expertise to support the development and commercialisation of promising biomedical discoveries. New Zealand’s research organisations can now sign up to gain access to the $200 million (AUD) investment fund to support the development of their biomedical innovations,” Mr Joyce says.

“This access will be hugely important in attracting high-quality business investment into all parts of New Zealand. Since 2007, the MRCF has supported the development of 24 start-up companies, with some notable successes, such as Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, which sold this year for over $700 million (USD), and Fibrotech Therapeutics, which netted $557 million (USD) in 2014.”

New Zealand will pay $500,000 (AUD) per year, which is equivalent to the amount paid by each Australian state. That commitment enables New Zealand research organisations to become members of the fund and compete for investment.

Early-stage opportunities can receive up to $3 million (AUD) to support preclinical development, with those successfully progressing through this stage able to receive a further $17 million (AUD) in investment support.

All member research organisations are involved in the fund distribution and receive guidance from an experienced investment team. The ideas chosen must represent world-class science and significant breakthroughs in their field of use. Other key considerations include the potential market size and need, the competition, and the strength of the intellectual property.

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