Australia’s Main Sequence announces new Partner to spearhead its renewed push for biotech research

Gabrielle Munzer has been promoted to Partner at deep tech venture capital firm Main Sequence. Gabrielle will manage the firm’s renewed emphasis on bringing biotechnology (biotech) research to scale in her new role.

Gabrielle has been an integral part of the Fund’s “Feed 10 Billion People” and “Decarbonise the Planet”challenge during her three years at Main Sequence, assisting in the creation of new companies such as animal-free dairy company Eden Brew and infinite plastic recycling company Samsara Eco.

This year, she teamed with UNSW to launch Australia’s first biotech accelerator programme, SynBio 10x, to assist companies in accelerating their biotech or synthetic biology (SynBio) product development and commercialisation. 

As Australia embraces global bio-revolution, Gabrielle Munzer, Partner at Main Sequence, told Dynamic Business, “Australia has a great opportunity to become a leader in the fields of synthetic biology (synbio) and biotechnology. 

“With greater emphasis being put on our environmental output and the future of our planet, we are seeing Australian researchers delve deeper into reimagining the future of food, agriculture, plastics and more. 

“But this is just the beginning of where we’re headed. Solving the world’s biggest challenges requires much collaboration, and that’s where programs such as our SynBio 10x accelerator become so powerful. 

“As our research base continues to grow, the program serves as a way for us to support the burgeoning synthetic biology industry in Australia, helping to fast-track startups in the field, providing mentorship, infrastructure and capital.”

A $27 billion opportunity

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. Main Sequence’s Fund I and Fund II have invested in 42 firms that are transforming healthcare delivery, food production, and space connectivity, among other things.

Quasar Satellite Technologies, Endua, Eden Brew, and Samsara Eco were all born from Main Sequence’s Fund II, which saw the fruition of the firm’s innovative Venture Science model’s benefits. The method involves selecting a significant global challenge and putting together a research team to address it. The company will continue to focus on biologically-based solutions to address the world’s most pressing problems through Venture Science in its upcoming Fund III.

With support from the business community, CSIRO predicts that SynBio-enabled solutions could have a profound impact on the world and position Australia for a $27 billion opportunity that could create 44 thousand new employment by 2040. 

Main Sequence Founding Partner Phil Morle said, “Biology and nature’s smallest elements have formed the foundation of many leading innovations, for example, the insulin that is used for treating diabetes. Today, we’re only scratching the surface of the possibilities biotech and SynBio offer. Gabrielle is an important voice inside Main Sequence, pushing the boundaries and unearthing the next generation of breakthrough inventions.

“She brings a unique perspective based on years of helping to inspire leaders and build companies that challenge the way we think about alleviating the world from human damage.”

Researchers could overcome some of Australia’s biggest problems with the aid of synthetic biology-enabled solutions, which have applications in fields including health, agriculture, biosecurity, and the environment. According to CSIRO, by 2040, synthetic biology could provide up to $27 billion in annual income and 44,000 new jobs for Australia under a high growth, high market share scenario.

This National Synthetic Biology Roadmap report, published in August 2021, details the potential benefits of synthetic biology for Australia and offers suggestions for how to speed up the development, scalability, and commercial success of its uses.

Read the report PDF (4 MB)

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