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$83m fund for start-up companies to help weather the storm

The Australian government will provide up to $83 million to early stage start-up companies who otherwise might not be able to cope amid the financial crisis, as part of a fund to boost the economy.

The Innovation Investment Follow-on Fund (IIFF) is designed to ensure a future beyond the financial crisis for the country’s best and brightest start-up companies, says the minister for innovation, industry, science and research, Senator Kim Carr.

“These firms are the next Cochlear, Gekko Systems and ResMed. They are doing ground-breaking work in cutting edge areas like clean energy, biotechnology and ICT,” he said in a press statement.

“If we lose these innovative companies we will never get them back.”

The companies that could benefit from this fund employ at least 1,000 people in high-skill, high-wage jobs, according to Carr.

The $83 million on offer will be available to over twenty venture capital fund managers licensed by the Commonwealth under existing programs.

Under the scheme, the fund managers should use this money to invest in innovative firms bringing promising new technologies and services to market.

“Making money available for reinvestment will boost confidence and help shake loose additional private sector capital,” said Carr.

The fund is the result of the Review of the National Innovation System, which called for action to improve the supply of venture capital in Australia.

The Review emphasised the importance of a functioning venture capital market to a healthy innovation system.

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