Dr Sarah Morgan, Operating Officer for the Delivery & Sensing team at Nanotechnology Victoria (”NanoVic”) today announced two new investments. NanoVic is a consortium of research institutions focused on the commercialization of nanotechnology.
In January, NanoVic completed the Bead NanoArray Commercial Development Agreement with Swinburne University of Technology. This agreement commits the parties to a total investment of $138,200 in cash and personnel resources. The Agreement allows the NanoVic team to pursue commercial applications of the “Bead NanoArray” platform developed by Swinburne University of Technology over the last three years under the NanoVic NanoArrays Project (also involving Monash University), and in the process to optimize fabrication methods for the platform. This is the first commercial development resulting from the investment of NanoVic funds in a major platform technology project.
NanoVic has established relationships with three major international firms interested in evaluating the Bead NanoArray technology. Over the 12 months of the Agreement, NanoVic will pursue these relationships alongside Swinburne, with an ultimate objective of securing a development partnership.
In February, NanoVic completed the Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Commercial Development Agreement with Swinburne University of Technology and OptoTech Pty Ltd. This agreement commits the parties to a total investment of $354,893 in cash and personnel resources. NanoVic is collaborating with experienced local laser systems manufacturer OptoTech Pty Ltd, and Swinburne, who bring proprietary optical fibre technology. Dr Paul Stoddart, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Atoms Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy at Swinburne, has developed proprietary nanostructured fibre tips able to be used for SERS analysis. The optical fibres provide an inexpensive solid-state solution of enhanced sensitivity. Dr Stoddart was awarded a Victoria Fellowship in 2006 for his work in this area.
NanoVic originally invested $20,000 during 2006 in a demonstration project for the development of a SERS probe for the detection of contaminants in water. Results from the initial project demonstrated the potential application with standard water samples. The Project will develop a prototype of a field instrument for the rapid detection of contaminants in water. This Agreement will allow the NanoVic team to pursue commercial applications of the SERS probe for the following fields:
- Analysis of groundwaters for environmental monitoring purposes.
- Analysis of agricultural and aquaculture fluids.
- Diagnostic devices for process flows in the food process industry.
Preliminary activity on the Project has commenced, and the Project will take six months. The SERS probe will be a useful component of NanoVic’s portfolio of nanotechnology applications to improve management of water quality in Victoria.
NanoVic has assembled a portfolio of projects and developments in medical, veterinary, and environmental delivery and sensing based on nanotechnology innovations. The portfolio, brought together since 2004, includes 18 licenses and 12 patents, and is expected to generate significantly more intellectual property over the next two years.
Dr Morgan revealed that the portfolio has been built around strategic investment of nearly A$3.5 million by NanoVic in 20 projects with over a dozen partners: “There are some outstanding technologies in the portfolio, with applications in therapeutics, diagnostics, imaging, and environmental instrumentation. We are currently developing the plans for commercial development and exploitation, and have opportunities with a number of companies.”
Dr Bob Irving, Director of the Delivery & Sensing activity in NanoVic, believes the portfolio presents some attractive investment opportunities for Australian and international investors and development partners: “This portfolio is now almost ready for external investment, and we shall showcase this at BIO2007 in Boston in May. We intend to launch several purpose-specific vehicles in the immediate future.”
For further information on the Delivery & Sensing activities, please contact Dr Morgan on [email protected] or Dr Irving on [email protected]. Information on Nanotechnology Victoria is available on the NanoVic website (www.nanovic.com.au) or via Melbourne +61 3 9905 8618.