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Govt launches new clean technologies fund for business

22 October, 2007

Investment in clean technologies, such as renewable energy and water purification will be significantly increased with the Cleantech Australia Fund opening for business.

Australian Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the Cleantech Australia Fund will invest in early stage companies in the clean technologies sector and is expected to make between 15 and 20 investments.

"Investments will be made in companies with technologies that generate superior commercial benefits for customers, while also addressing significant environmental concerns, such as climate change and water scarcity.

"The fund will have a blended portfolio of seed and early expansion investments across a variety of sectors, including renewable energy, energy storage and efficiency, low emissions technology, water recycling and pollution reduction."

Cleantech Ventures established the Fund with a capital investment of $50 million with the potential to raise much more. This is boosted by Australian Government support of $20 million and $30 million from VicSuper, a superannuation fund.

Macfarlane said long-term success in commercialising Australia's world class R&D depends heavily on investment from the venture capital sector.

The Australian Government's $200 million Innovation Investment Fund Program Round 3 has already offered licenses to four venture capital fund managers, with a further six to be selected over the next four years.

"Australia has an excellent record of bringing innovative inventions to the marketplace such as the Cochlear implant, the black box flight recorder and the cervical cancer vaccine," Macfarlane said.

"The Cleantech Australia Fund not only highlights the Howard government's support for innovation but underlines our ongoing commitment to the environment and a cleaner energy future."

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