An infographic explaining CSIRO's commercial spin outs.
Spin–out (noun \ˈspin-ˌout\) the creation of a separate company from part of an existing firm.
Startup (noun \ stahrt-uhp\) a new business venture, or a new commercial or industrial project.
As Australia’s manufacturing and resources industries slow down, technology startups are going to be critical in creating sustainable economic impact. Alan Noble, Engineering Director of Google ANZ, has said that tech startups could contribute $109 billion of GDP and add half a million jobs by 2033. That is massive!
The Australian startup ecosystem has come a long way. According to The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Report two-thirds of Australia’s startup activity takes place in Sydney. Australians have been known to be a talented bunch and this report confirms it with the lucky country ranking 6th out of 20 for access to high-value talent. But we’ve got work to do with our ecosystem value 80 times less that of Silicon Valley.
So, when you think spin-out or start-up, do you think of CSIRO?
Probably not, but that would be wrong. Did you know that we’ve spun out over 150 companies? That’s right, over 150! 26 of these were publicly listed, $1.4 billion total market capitalisation created and $450 million of revenue has been generated.
Below are just a few of our spinouts that have changed the way we live and work today.
- Wifi, anyone? The technology that is now critical in our connected lives was invented in Australia. It came out of our pioneering work in radio astronomy. The spinout company Radiata commercialised wireless networking technology (the early days of WiFi) and was bought by CISCO Systems in 2000 for $567m.
A picture of a wind turbine.
- Remember the H1N1 influenza virus? Our researchers were part of spin-out Biota Holdings Ltd which commercialised the drug Zanamivir. Licensed to GlaxoSmithKline as ‘Relenza’ it became a key treatment of the H1N1 influenza virus, as well as all strains of influenza virus including avian flu. Biota Holdings Ltd merged with a U.S. company and is listed on the NASDAQ.
- Where O where does the wind blow? Our researchers developed world-leading atmospheric modelling and wind energy assessment technology. What does this mean? WindLab’s WindScape technology identifies the most appropriate geographical areas for wind farms. We managed to double our investment in approximately eight years and the company went on to receive a substantial investment from LendLease.
- A grain of innovation. Spin-out The Healthy Grain Pty Ltd commercialised a low GI, high fibre, high resistant starch barley grain, BARLEYmax™. How will this impact you? Lower rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. Consumers have been able to enjoy the benefits of foods containing BARLEYmax™ since August 2009.
Enjoying breakfast to the BarleyMax.
- Smart buildings? We have it covered. Building IQ is an advanced, cloud-based software that reduces energy costs in commercial buildings. The core technology was originally developed with us. Backed by the likes of Siemens, Aster Capital, Schneider Electric, Alstom, and Paladin Capital Group, BuildingIQ grew its recurring revenue by 96 per cent in 2014. Entrepreneur Mike Zimmerman, who initially lead the spin-out of BuildingIQ, is now back with us looking for the next CSIRO invention to take to market.
It doesn’t stop there. We’re all about delivering the next innovation breakthrough that will change your life for the better. Our innovation program, ON, is doing this by actively building the connection between us and the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We want you to help us bring the future ON. Connect with us.