The Fund briefly
We have built our reputation on successful commercialisation of industrial technologies, working with prominent research organisations as well as industry veterans.
Our experience tells us that Australia is uniquely positioned to develop these technologies and if harnessed properly, can become a world leader in reducing the environmental impact of heavy industry.
In order to scale up commercialisation efforts and support a greater number of standout Australian technologies, RFC Ambrian has formed a dedicated investment fund.
PurposeRFC Ambrian’s objective is to play a significant role in reducing the environmental impact of mining and other basic industries through commercialisation of emerging technologies. To this end, we have partnered with organisations who share our vision of a more sustainable industry including the CSIRO, NREL† and corporate supporters of innovation.
Resources are integral to the Australian economy and vital to clean tech, but industrial technologies have historically received little attention from the venture capital community. Additionally, the growing focus on ESG has stimulated demand for technologies which reduce environmental impact and/or enhance worker health and safety, creating opportunities for investment.
Our team is uniquely placed to thrive in this niche investment sector with a capable leadership team supported by the diverse experience of the investment committee. Additionally, the investment fund can leverage the deep industry knowledge and technical expertise within the existing corporate advisory business.
Recent InvestmentsPrior to the formation of the investment fund, we developed a close working partnership with the CSIRO in founding two highly successful and sustainable technology spin-outs: Chrysos Corporation and NextOre. Additionally, we are currently working with a group of industry veterans to commercialise their disruptive bulk material conveyor technologies. Our success to date has resulted in quality deal flow requiring additional resources to fund, manage, and support these technologies.
- An Australian technology company delivering faster, safer and more accurate gold analysis which is disrupting the global mining analytics industry.
- Originally developed by the CSIRO, the patented PhotonAssay™ technology is an environmentally friendly replacement for the traditional fire assay of gold ore.
- Each fire assay replaced by PhotonAssay avoids 0.46kg of CO2 emissions and 0.31kg of lead-contaminated hazardous waste and eliminates lead exposure issues for workers in fire assay laboratories.
- Currently capturing 1-2% of the global market worth over US$1billion.
- An Australian technology company providing real-time, accurate grade analysis which unlocks the potential of bulk ore sorting for the global copper industry.
- Originally developed by the CSIRO, the patented magnetic resonance (MR) technology is a breakthrough in speed, accuracy, and sample penetration.
- Validated technology and achieved commercial deployment with a pipeline of orders.
- Each tonne of low-grade material sorted saves 0.5-1.0 tonnes of water and significantly reduces energy consumption during processing, for greener copper supporting clean tech.
- Conveyor Manufacturers Australia provides innovative belt conveyor technologies which reclaim wasted time, drive operating efficiencies, facilitate underground automation, and address hard to abate CO2 emissions (e.g., haulage).
- Developed by private inventors who recognised the opportunity to modernise belt conveyor equipment which hadn’t improved in the last century.
- First deployment with a major mining contractor expected in early 2022.
- Industry feedback suggests Redline (underground conveyor) will significantly improve underground worker health & safety while Containerveyor (overland conveyor) combines the efficiency of conveyors with flexibility of haul trucks.
NREL pioneered a technology incubation program to address the particular challenges in commercialising renewable energy and clean tech. Many of these technologies were characterised by capital intensive and/or large equipment which could benefit from access to NREL’s world-class laboratory and technical resources providing reliable, third-party validation of technology. The program makes these technologies more attractive to the investment community, and in doing so has become a pillar of the clean tech innovation ecosystem in the USA. We are thrilled to be working with NREL and the CSIRO to adapt this proven technology incubation model for the Australian innovation ecosystem.
Additional information on the NREL’s successful technology incubators can be found at:
† NREL is the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratories, a national science organisation with a wholistic mission to advance the science and engineering around energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies with focus on integrating and optimising these energy systems.
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Commercialising industrial technologies is a challenging endeavour. New technologies generally contend with a conservative corporate customer base and a prolonged sales cycle. Our industry expertise and deep relationships have allowed us to accelerate adoption and build trust between technology providers and technology users. We partner with entrepreneurs and inventors who share our vision of creating value while making a tangible impact on globally significant industries.
What we are looking for:
Excellent science or engineering innovation supported by strong intellectual property
Ability to reduce the environmental footprint and/or improve worker health and safety in critical industrial processes
Application of the technology to create a clear benefit or solve a problem in heavy industry
Large market and the ability to scale, capturing a meaningful portion of the market
Interested in investing in the Basic Industries Venture Fund?