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Main Sequence strengthens SynBio with new hire

Australia’s deep tech investment fund, Main Sequence, founded by CSIRO, has announced the appointment of Dr Jason Whitfield on secondment from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). 

Dr Whitfield is a former researcher and currently manages UNSW’s Synthetic Biology startup accelerator, SynBio10x. With this new addition to the team, Main Sequence aims to strengthen its synthetic biology (SynBio) capabilities.

Main Sequence strengthens SynBio with new hire
Dr Jason Whitfield

Gabrielle Munzer, Partner at Main Sequence, stated that tapping into the talent and deepening their relationship with universities is crucial to unlock real impact and elevate the conversation from ‘company building’ to ‘industry building’ in Australia’s SynBio space.

“Our goal is to continue making our fund purpose-built for deep tech founders, and bringing Jason into the Main Sequence tent is the natural next step in this journey. His experience in this field means he speaks the same language as our founders, helping us to bridge the gap between the entrepreneurial and academic worlds.”

Dr Whitfield expressed his enthusiasm for joining Main Sequence, saying he was excited to work with a team passionate about unlocking the potential of SynBio to address worldwide challenges. He believes that Main Sequence is catalysing a shift in the sector, building a strong ecosystem of companies, and empowering more researchers who dare to become entrepreneurs.

Main Sequence has also recently announced the promotion of Senior Associates Alezeia Brown and Jun Qu, to the title of Investment Manager. Main Sequence Ventures transforms scientific discoveries into future industries to tackle global challenges. It collaborates with scientists, researchers, and industry partners to establish, finance, and accelerate new companies and industries in health, food, space, transport, security, and deep tech.

The firm’s first and second funds have invested in 42 companies that are changing the way healthcare is delivered, food is produced, and spaces are connected, among other things. Main Sequence’s Fund II has been particularly successful, giving rise to Quasar Satellite Technologies, Endua, Eden Brew, and Samsara Eco, thanks to the firm’s innovative Venture Science model. This model involves forming a research team to tackle a significant global challenge. 

In its upcoming Fund III, Main Sequence will continue to focus on biologically-based solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing issues through Venture Science. 

With support from the business community, CSIRO believes that SynBio-enabled solutions could significantly impact the world and put Australia in a position to seize a $27 billion opportunity that could create 44,000 new jobs by 2040.

Main Sequence was launched in Australia in 2017 to handle the CSIRO Innovation Fund, which was established by the Australian Government and the national science agency to reinvest its historic contributions into future triumphs. 

Focused on deep tech, has made notable investments in a range of innovative companies, including Advanced Navigation, which provides navigation and robotics solutions for the marine, automotive, and aerospace industries; Morse Micro, a semiconductor chipmaker specialising in wireless connectivity for IoT and smart city applications; and Q-CTRL, a Sydney-based start-up specialising in quantum computing control solutions. 

The investment fund has also invested in a number of companies in the SynBio space, including Samsara Eco, ULUU, Eden Brew, Psylo, and Cauldron.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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