Genesis Pre-seed Fund: Breakthrough Victoria bridges the valley of death for early innovation

Victoria has been home to many light bulb moments, great ideas and world class research:

  • In 1953, Melbourne Aeronautical Research Laboratory scientist David Warren transformed aviation when he invented the world’s first-ever black box to record the vital moments before an air crash to help investigators.
  • Professor Graeme Clark invented the first bionic ear at Melbourne University in the 1970s. His own father’s hearing loss inspired the idea for the Cochlear implant that has brought hearing to more than 180,000 deaf and partially deaf people worldwide.
  • The Peter Doherty Institute was the first to grow the SARS-COV2 virus in cell culture outside of China and provided an important tool for others to develop diagnostic tools and test their vaccines.

There’s never been a more important time to support universities, research institutes and industry to rapidly respond to challenges.

That’s why Breakthrough Victoria is partnering with University of Melbourne to launch the $15 million Genesis Fund, boosting the commercialisation of critical research and support Victorian start-ups.

We will invest $7.5 million into the pre-seed funding vehicle to accelerate the effective translation and commercialisation of early-stage research, prototypes and proof-of-concept trials.

The Genesis Fund will support investment and curation so that research with strong commercial potential does not succumb to the valley of death during the early stages.

Researchers and academics would also receive support to better identify and translate ideas into commercial opportunities and improve their entrepreneurial capability. 

This is the first investment from Breakthrough Victoria’s new $100 million University Innovation Platform aimed at increasing commercialisation of critical research across the state’s eight universities over the next five years.

Breakthrough Victoria chair John Brumby said:

“The creation of the Genesis Fund with the University of Melbourne will amplify and accelerate the support for commercialisation of important research from the University of Melbourne.

Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said:

“Breakthrough Victoria looks forward to working with the University of Melbourne to drive innovation outcomes and position Victoria as a global leader in research and technology.

Read the press release here.