Erica Leal and Peter Ralph work with a benchtop algae bioreactor.

Australia’s first biotech accelerator dedicated to innovation in algae-based products and services is open for business, with applications being sought from New South Wales (NSW)-based startups and small businesses.

The Green Light accelerator program is a result of a successful University of Technology Sydney (UTS) partnership with the NSW Department of Industry through the Boosting Business Innovation Program that helped establish the Deep Green Biotech Hub in 2016.

The five-month program gives successful applicants access to seed funding up to $20,000, as well as R&D support, research expertise and mentoring, masterclasses and networking opportunities through targeted events.

“At the end of five months we hope to have a number of teams with a scalable business solution that can be taken to the next level in terms of being able to raise venture capital,” Deep Green Biotech Hub founder Peter Ralph says.

Algae contain compounds that are valuable and useful, and Hub Manager Alex Thomson says Green Light is a unique opportunity to develop “new and improved companies that will operate in the burgeoning algae bioeconomy. Priority will be given to projects based on a sustainable approach to doing business.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro says the Green Light accelerator program is a fantastic example of the NSW Government helping entrepreneurs tap into top-notch research provided by the university sector.

“The NSW Government’s $18 million Boosting Business Innovation Program brings great business and academic minds together to create new products and ideas. As a government we want to be doing everything we can to create the right environment for people to launch a startup and get the support they need to make sure it succeeds.”

Green Light is supported by the Deep Green Biotech Hub and will leverage the algae biotechnology experience of the UTS Climate Change Cluster (C3) – one of the world’s leading interdisciplinary research institutes specializing in algae biotechnology.

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