Funding & Investing

AUT Ventures has access to funding, investors and collaborators for early-stage capital raise, through to the late stage commercialisation of projects.

The three main commercialisation-funding mechanisms we use are:

AUT Internal Commercialisation Fund

The AUT Internal Commercialisation Fund is available to researchers with projects that have:

  • Novel intellectual property
  • Market potential
  • A technology focus, for example, something that has the potential to change industry standards or platform technology that can be applied across different fields.
  • Interest from industry to take up the technology and apply it.

PreSeed Accelerator Fund

The PreSeed Accelerator Fund (PSAF) is designed to facilitate the application of the results of research through supporting commercialisation. The scheme is intended to foster commercialisation skills, technological learning and technological innovation by public sector research providers. The PSAF fund provides 50% of the total project costs.

The objectives of PSAF are to:

  • Maximize the commercial benefits to New Zealand of previously publicly funded research.
  • Raise public sector providers' commercial capabilities and skills.
  • Improve public sector research providers' links with potential private sector partners.

PSAF funding is split into four smaller funds, one purely for technical development (the Seed/Kill fund) and three directed at commercialisation (Tiers 1-3 funds). The funding decision for Seed/Kill and Tier 1 investments is devolved to the KiwiNet partner institution. Tier 2 and 3 funding is subject to review by the Kiwinet investment Committee.

Seed/Kill Fund

The Seed/Kill fund provides PSAF investment for each KiwiNet partner to invest in projects that show good commercial potential, but where technical risk is acting as a barrier to commercialisation. The concept is that a comparatively small amount of targeted investment into technology development will hopefully overcome areas of key technical risk in a project and make it a viable commercialisation opportunity.

The objectives of this initiative are:

  • Improve the quantity of new invention disclosures through addressing areas of key technical risk.
  • Maximize efficiency of PSAF investment allocation through targeted investment where technical risk is a key go/kill stage gate.
  • Encourage collaboration and sharing of expertise through discussing projects with other KiwiNet members.
  • Address a funding gap that exists between when a technology is no longer appropriate for research funding and when a technology is suitable for commercialisation.

For further information on how AUT Ventures can help you access funding and investment opportunities for your commercial project, please contact Michael Feilding, Senior Commercialisation Manager.

For other forms of research funding, such as grants, collaborative research, research & development, please contact the University Research Office.