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It takes M2

Two Melbourne universities set up M2 Venture Catalyst to bolster translation

Two Melbourne-based universities are creating an independent investment vehicle to boost basic research coming out of local labs and build a translational ecosystem in southeastern Australia and beyond. While the enterprise, M2 Venture Catalyst, is the first of its kind in Australia, it follows a trend of a growing number of organizations in the U.S. and Europe aiming to fill gaps in skills and management that stall the development of promising technologies before they can mature enough to attract further investment.

On June 1, Monash University and the University of Melbourne announced the launch of the joint venture, backed by a combined A$50 million ($37.2 million) from the two universities over 10 years and a further A$10 million ($7.5 million) by the state government of Victoria. The partners hope to raise a further A$20 million ($14.9 million) from Commonwealth, philanthropic trusts and charities and plan to incorporate M2 as a not-for-profit organization in July.

Doron Ben-Meir, a member of the steering group that created M2, told BioCentury setting up the enterprise as an independent entity from its university backers was key for allowing it to grow beyond the two schools and to think long-term about the success of a technology.

"It's really important that the

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