Investment Committee

Pitch your innovation

Uniseed has developed well-tested and efficient operational procedures and processes for identifying, assessing, selecting and managing investments. These have been refined repeatedly during the assessment of over 300 investment opportunities Uniseed has evaluated.

The Investment Committee (IC) process has been of tremendous value not only in selecting investments but also in substantially improving the proposed commercialisation plans and the management of the new ventures.

The IC has also contributed significantly to the development of skills within the commercialisation staff at our research partners. The strong support from the commercialisation staff of our partners remains central to Uniseed’s success.

Uniseed’s CEO and Investment managers are accompanied by a range of industry professionals. The membership is shown below.

Biotechnology

Peter Devine

CEO

Peter Devine became CEO of Uniseed in 2006, transitioning from his initial role as Uniseed Investment Director.  Peter has extensive experience at board and executive management levels in the commercialisation of early stage technologies, having held senior R&D, business development and commercialisation positions in a number of Australian companies and Australian universities.  Before joining Uniseed, Peter was Vice President of Business Development at Progen Industries Ltd.  He was Research, Development and Commercialisation Manager at Brisbane-based PanBio Pty Ltd from 1996 to 2000 and also worked in business development at UniQuest Pty Ltd.

Peter holds a PhD from the University of Queensland and received the Dean’s Prize for his MBA Studies at the Australian Graduate School of Management.  He received a Centenary Medal in 2003 for outstanding contribution to the business of biotechnology.  He is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Markets) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from Kaplan Professional. In 2011 & 2012, Peter was named on the Kaplan High Achievers Honour Roll.

John Kurek

Investment Manager, Melbourne

John joined Uniseed as an Investment Manager in Melbourne. He is responsible for working closely with Melbourne Ventures Limited, the University of Melbourne’s commercialisation group, in identifying new investment opportunities, and also covers Uniseed’s overall biotechnology opportunities.

John brings extensive industry experience as a Biotechnology Manager with a focus on the strategic design and implementation of drug development programs. John’s previous roles have included Pharmaceutical Development Manager at BioDiem Ltd, where he was responsible for managing the preclinical, clinical and regulatory aspects of BioDiem’s drug development programs, and Preclinical Development Manager at Amrad Corporation Ltd where he was responsible for the management of preclinical drug development projects. His experience extends from drug discovery, to the phase I-II clinical phases of drug development. John has a PhD in Neuroscience and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug Evaluation and Pharmaceutical Science, both from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Anthony Musumeci

Investment Manager, Brisbane

Anthony Musumeci is Uniseed’s Investment Manager located at UQ. Anthony was formerly Innovation Investment Manager at boutique investment fund Black Sheep Capital in Brisbane, where he was responsible for management of the Black Sheep Capital early stage innovation investment portfolio, which includes; identification new investment opportunities, due diligence processes, investment negotiation and growing the Black Sheep investment networks and relationships. Prior to that, Anthony worked as a Commercial Manager and Technology Commercialisation Analyst at two technology transfer offices – BlueBox at QUT and UniQuest at UQ.

Over the last 10 years Anthony has worked with a wide range of new innovations predominantly in the science, engineering and information technology fields. Anthony has experience in commercialisation strategy, intellectual property, technology licensing, grant and capital raising from these roles. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) – Chemistry, and Executive MBA and a PhD in materials science/chemistry. He also has a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation.

Paul Butler

Investment Manager, Sydney

Paul Butler is an experienced General Manager who has led and developed teams in a technology domain across the communications, medical and mining industries. Prior to Uniseed Paul was CEO at SmartCap Technologies, Executive General Manager Products at GroundProbe and CEO of ASX listed USCOM. Paul also started his own consulting business, CEO Alliance, to support technology companies as they navigate their way to commercialisation having market experience in Australia, Europe and the USA.

With qualifications in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Economics, Paul has been able to develop and bring new products to market. Through various roles Paul has had liaison with customers via direct and indirect sales, government health systems, contract manufacturers (domestic, Asian and USA), third party logistics providers, distribution channels and financial auditors.

Ben Phillis

Director, Commercial Engagement – Medical Devices and Drug Delivery, UniQuest

Ben leads medical technology development in devices and drug delivery for UniQuest Pty Ltd, the main commercialisation company of The University of Queensland. His role is concerned with identifying, validating, protecting, developing and executing commercialisation plans for new technologies. Ben has more than 10-years’ experience in innovation management, technology development & commercialisation. Prior to UniQuest, Ben worked in a number of roles for Mayne Pharma in innovation and business development and has experience in pharmaceutics, modified release formulations and pharmaceutical product life-cycle management.

Ben has a basic research background in experimental pharmacology and toxicology and holds a Ph.D. from The University of Adelaide. His dissertation was concerned with cardiotoxicity associated with anabolic steroids. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropharmacology at the Hanson Institute working on an industry funded drug discovery program.

Ben is a member of the local organising committee of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and an active member of AusBiotech.

Kathryn Sunn

Commercial Theme Leader – Medicine, University of Sydney

Kathryn has over 13 years experience in Intellectual Property, previously working in several top tier firms as a registered Patent & Trade Mark attorney; specialising in the Biotech/Medical/Lifesciences sector.

Kathryn’s clients included Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, Janssen-Cilag, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales and several successful Australian start-ups such as BTF, Ultraceuticals and Tyrian Diagnostics (formerly Proteome Systems).

Kathryn has extensive experience in University technology transfer and was previously Associate Director of Innovation at a large Sydney University prior to joining University of Sydney.

Kathryn is the Commercial Theme Leader for the Medicine/Dentistry/Pharmacy/Nursing & Health Sciences portfolios and is responsible for identifying, protecting, commercialising and enforcing the University’s intellectual property assets from these Faculties.

Kathryn brings extensive knowledge of intellectual property and commercialization strategies in the medical/life science sector.

Charles Lindall

Business Development and Commercialisation, CSIRO

Charles leads medical technology commercialisation at CSIRO and has raised funds for several spin-out companies.  Previously he was responsible for medical business development and CSIRO’s partnerships with a wide range of medical technology companies.  Prior to CSIRO, Charles worked in the UK for Johnson Matthey, a specialty chemical and pharmaceutical company.

Michael Jorgensen

Senior Business Development Manager, RIC, University of Melbourne

Michael Jorgensen joined UoM Commercial Ltd in spring 2012. With a background in chemistry and biotechnology, Michael focuses on assessing and commercialising biotechnology opportunities arising from chemistry and material research fields at the University of Melbourne.

Prior to joining UoM Commercial, Michael worked for six years in a business development role at King’s College London managing and commercialising technologies emerging from the divisions of immunology, transplantation, genetics & molecular medicine, gene and cell therapies and pharmacy. In addition, Michael was a co-founder of IC-Vec Ltd (London, UK), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation which developed nucleic acid drug delivery systems for use in the treatment of HCV and cancer. Here, he led the chemistry team before moving into business development & IP management.

Michael completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Port Elizabeth (South Africa) before accepting postdoctoral appointments at Yale University (USA) and Imperial College London (UK). He has obtained multidisciplinary experience research in his research career including in natural product synthesis, development of contrast agents for MRI and PET applications, development of multifunctional nanoparticles for application in drug delivery and MRI imaging and also the development of specialised lipids for the treatment of diabetes type 2.

Michael is an author on over 25 scientific publications and his research led to the filing of 8 patent applications.

Ross Macdonald

Independent Committee Member

Ross Macdonald has an extensive and successful background in the pharmaceutical industry.  With eighteen years local and international experience in unit and general management in the industry, he has brought several products from lab bench to market.  Ross also has broad-based experience in profit centre management, technology commercialisation, strategic planning, deal negotiation and transaction (licensing, M&A, asset sale & purchase), market and industry analysis, human resource management, product development and finance. Ross was Vice President, Business Development at Sinclair Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a UK based speciality pharmaceuticals company.  Prior to joining Sinclair Pharmaceuticals Ltd, he was Vice President, Corporate Development for Stiefel Laboratories, Inc, (Coral Gables, FL, now part of GlaxoSmithKline), Vice President of Business Development for Connetics Corporation (Palo Alto, CA), Vice President of Research & Development with F.H. Faulding & Co Limited (now part of Mayne Group/Hospira Inc) and Managing Director of Soltech Research.

Ross has a PhD in Biochemistry from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Swinburne University.

UNSW Innovations Representative, vacant

IT & Physical Sciences Committee

Peter Devine

CEO

Peter Devine became CEO of Uniseed in 2006, transitioning from his initial role as Uniseed Investment Director.  Peter has extensive experience at board and executive management levels in the commercialisation of early stage technologies, having held senior R&D, business development and commercialisation positions in a number of Australian companies and Australian universities.  Before joining Uniseed, Peter was Vice President of Business Development at Progen Industries Ltd.  He was Research, Development and Commercialisation Manager at Brisbane-based PanBio Pty Ltd from 1996 to 2000 and also worked in business development at UniQuest Pty Ltd.

Peter holds a PhD from the University of Queensland and received the Dean’s Prize for his MBA Studies at the Australian Graduate School of Management.  He received a Centenary Medal in 2003 for outstanding contribution to the business of biotechnology.  He is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Markets) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from Kaplan Professional. In 2011 & 2012, Peter was named on the Kaplan High Achievers Honour Roll.

John Kurek

Investment Manager, Melbourne

John joined Uniseed as an Investment Manager in Melbourne. He is responsible for working closely with Melbourne Ventures Limited, the University of Melbourne’s commercialisation group, in identifying new investment opportunities, and also covers Uniseed’s overall biotechnology opportunities.

John brings extensive industry experience as a Biotechnology Manager with a focus on the strategic design and implementation of drug development programs. John’s previous roles have included Pharmaceutical Development Manager at BioDiem Ltd, where he was responsible for managing the preclinical, clinical and regulatory aspects of BioDiem’s drug development programs, and Preclinical Development Manager at Amrad Corporation Ltd where he was responsible for the management of preclinical drug development projects. His experience extends from drug discovery, to the phase I-II clinical phases of drug development. John has a PhD in Neuroscience and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug Evaluation and Pharmaceutical Science, both from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Anthony Musumeci

Investment Manager, Brisbane

Anthony Musumeci is Uniseed’s Investment Manager located at UQ. Anthony was formerly Innovation Investment Manager at boutique investment fund Black Sheep Capital in Brisbane, where he was responsible for management of the Black Sheep Capital early stage innovation investment portfolio, which includes; identification new investment opportunities, due diligence processes, investment negotiation and growing the Black Sheep investment networks and relationships. Prior to that, Anthony worked as a Commercial Manager and Technology Commercialisation Analyst at two technology transfer offices – BlueBox at QUT and UniQuest at UQ.

Over the last 10 years Anthony has worked with a wide range of new innovations predominantly in the science, engineering and information technology fields. Anthony has experience in commercialisation strategy, intellectual property, technology licensing, grant and capital raising from these roles. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) – Chemistry, and Executive MBA and a PhD in materials science/chemistry. He also has a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation.

Paul Butler

Investment Manager, Sydney

Paul Butler is an experienced General Manager who has led and developed teams in a technology domain across the communications, medical and mining industries. Prior to Uniseed Paul was CEO at SmartCap Technologies, Executive General Manager Products at GroundProbe and CEO of ASX listed USCOM. Paul also started his own consulting business, CEO Alliance, to support technology companies as they navigate their way to commercialisation having market experience in Australia, Europe and the USA.

With qualifications in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Economics, Paul has been able to develop and bring new products to market. Through various roles Paul has had liaison with customers via direct and indirect sales, government health systems, contract manufacturers (domestic, Asian and USA), third party logistics providers, distribution channels and financial auditors.

Ellen Gorissen

Commercialisation Director Business Development and Commercialisastion, CSIRO

Ellen has an outstanding track record in strategy, business development and technology commercialisation spanning more than 20 years. She worked as a chemical engineer in the resources industry before moving into investment banking where she advised on mergers, acquisitions and equity capital market transactions. In recent years she has applied her skills to technology commercialisation.  Her passion is bringing new technologies to market and working with start ups and new ventures.

Ellen currently heads up the Commercialisation Function at CSIRO leading the team responsible for complex licensing and spinouts at CSIRO.  Prior to joining CSIRO in 2007, Ellen was Chief Operating Officer of CeramiSphere, a spin out from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). In this role she was responsible for commercialising ANSTO’s encapsulation and controlled release technology with a focus on industrial applications as well as drug delivery.  Ellen joined ANSTO in 2004 as Business Development Manager for the Institute of Materials Science & Engineering.

Ellen’s extensive commercial experience covers a variety of industries including oil & gas exploration and production, fast moving consumer goods and investment banking and venture capital.  Ellen spent several years in merchant banking working with Grant Samuel in venture capital and corporate advisory and also with Ord Minnett Corporate Finance (now JP Morgan) advising on mergers, acquisitions, divestments and capital raisings including several large IPOs.

Ellen holds a Master of Business Administration (Distinction) from Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons) from the University of Queensland.  She is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Phil Nelson

Director, Commercial Engagement - Materials, Science & Engineering, UniQuest

Phil is Director, Commercial Engagement at UniQuest, where he leads commercialisation of materials projects across numerous application areas including composites, drug delivery, energy storage and water remediation.

With over 13 years international experience in technology commercialisation, Phil has held senior management roles in both technical and commercial functions.

He started his career with Johnson Matthey in fuel cell R&D at their UK technology centre. Following this, Phil led technology development and managed the IP portfolio at Nanotecture Limited, a UK based startup founded to commercialise his PhD research in the area of nanotechnology-enabled energy storage devices. Following this, he moved to a commercial role in the pharmaceutical industry, leading business development in the drug delivery division of Hovione, a Lisbon-based international pharmaceutical company.

Phil has a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Queensland, a PhD in electrochemistry from the University of Southampton (UK) and an MBA from The Lisbon MBA, MIT Sloan’s European Affiliate Program. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Andrew Rudge

Senior Business Development Manager, RIC, University of Melbourne

Dr Andrew Rudge joined UoM Commercial Ltd in 2012 and leads the technology commercialisation team focusing on Engineering, ICT and Physical Sciences. He has over 7 years of experience in commercialisation of innovative technologies and driving innovative businesses and product development teams for leading corporate investors and Universities.

Having worked at several Universities and venture capital backed technology companies, Andrew has a strong commercial and engineering background. In a previous role he was CEO of a start-up company built on optical detection technology developed at the University of Canterbury, and developed a client and distribution base across the United States, Asia and Europe.

Andrew completed his PhD in the Bioengineering Centre at the University of Canterbury and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with first class Honours.

Andrew Tindell

Director, Commercial Development & Industry Partnerships, University of Sydney

Andrew studied Chemistry at Oxford University and was awarded a DPhil in Physical Chemistry from Oxford University in 1982.

Andrew has over 30 years of experience in IT and telecommunications working in the Defence, Space, Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities sectors. During his time running Logica UK Limited’s Space business he was responsible for the team developing the on board software for the Huygens spacecraft that successfully landed on Titan a moon of Saturn on 14 January 2005. From 1997 to 2003 he was CEO of Logica Pty Ltd in Sydney, the Australian Subsidiary of the UK FT100 publicly listed company. During this time he was involved in several mergers and acquisitions which took the company from just over a 100 to over 750 staff.  Following this Andrew was Managing Director, Services for Cable and Wireless UK Limited in the UK.  On his return to Australia in 2006 Andrew has provided Management Consultancy and Coaching to small businesses and start ups.

Andrew started working at The University of Sydney in 2013, initially as Relieving Director for Research, Grants and Contracts and became Director Commercial Developments and Industrial Partnerships in March 2014.

He has extensive Operations, Business Development and Contract negotiation experience.

Daniel Gronowski

Business Development Manager, UNSW Innovations

Daniel holds a BSc in Nanotechnology Innovation from the University of Technology Sydney and is an Executive MBA Candidate at UNSW Australia’s AGSM. With a background in the Engineering and IT sectors Daniel has managed relationships with both government and businesses ranging from small to multinational in a large variety of industries. He has a passion for new ideas, the impact of disruptive technologies or businesses on the world and developing the local Australian start up and entrepreneurial community.

Joining UNSW Innovations in 2010 Daniel has a wide range of commercialisation experience developing strategies for new technologies from aerospace, nanotechnology and electrical engineering to software, design and IT. His experience includes successfully growing UNSW innovations Kakadu Software business and securing major partners such as AVID, Thales and Intel. Daniel is currently responsible for commercialising UNSW’s world leading Silicon Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy technologies negotiating major international research collaborations and licence deals with some of the world’s largest solar cell manufacturers.