Group of Eight in landmark first for Australia – welcomes $200 million vote of confidence in its research from the UK’s IP Group

30 May 2017
Australia’s Group of Eight Universities (Go8) – which is comprised of the nation’s eight leading researchintensive universities – has entered into a landmark agreement with the UK based IP Group PLC which will see at least $200 million invested in finding and developing companies involved in disruptive innovation. The commercialisation agreements are the first of their type in Australasia.

“We are immensely proud of this landmark agreement,” says Vicki Thomson Go8 Chief Executive. “It is a strong tick of confidence in the Go8’s research capability because we know that the IP Group could have chosen to invest in any number of countries. But, until now, it has chosen to invest in universities solely in the UK and USA.

“That the IP Group chose, after exhaustive research, to seek out Australia’s Go8 universities when diversifying from its UK and US markets, is a global accolade for our achievements. The 10-year investment of at least $200M will go a long way to addressing a local market failure, and identifying and developing spin-outs from our universities. It places Australia’s leading research universities in the distinguished company of IP Group’s existing partner universities – among them Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, and Columbia and Princeton in the US.”

Ms Thomson said that the agreement was also a cautionary tale for Government. “It shows exactly what is at stake if Government continues to reduce university funding – globally important research. The IP Group chose Australia and specifically the Go8. It can see value in the $6 billion of research we carry out each year. “Go8 research is currently ranked as 99 per cent world class or above. The IP Group recognises value by investing to assist fund our future efforts.”

The fund, to be supported through a capital raising will specifically support “disruptive innovation”; spin-out companies based on the intellectual property (IP) developed by academics and generated from research in areas such as digital medicine, new medical therapies and quantum computing. The IP Group has stated that “the agreement seeks to support the best and brightest researchers to translate their findings into new and innovate ways to improve the economic and social well-being of Australians.” Go8 Chair Professor Peter Høj who is Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland says that “this investment is a massive vote of confidence from global capital markets in the quality and impact of research and innovation by the Go8.”

Professor Høj said that the fact the IP group has also been able to attract Australian co-investors such as Australia’s largest corporate super fund TelstraSuper could not be downplayed.

Contact: Vicki Thomson Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472