UNSW has retained its status as the region’s leading start-up university, the most recent Survey of Commercialisation Outcomes from Public Research (SCOPR) Summary Report reveals.

UNSW recorded 12 spinout companies in 2022, in fields ranging from artificial intelligence, quantum computing, clean energy and sustainable packaging through to medical treatments for chronic pain and tools to diagnose autism spectrum disorder.

Dr Dax Kukulj, UNSW Acting Director of Business Development & Commercialisation, said the ranking recognised UNSW’s leadership in innovation.

“UNSW continues to be a trailblazer in higher education, with incredibly strong results being generated by its Staff Spinout Framework, UNSW Industry & Innovation team and entrepreneurship initiative UNSW Founders.

“The UNSW innovation ecosystem is driving research, entrepreneurship and innovation with local and global impact.”

Spinouts with high potential impact and strong investment

Computing company Diraq, founded by CEO Professor Andrew Dzurak, aims to redefine scalable quantum computing and deliver the true potential and transformative power of quantum computing applications to the world via billions of qubits on a single chip.

Diraq is rapidly positioning itself as a leading player in the field of quantum computing, distinguishing itself as a full-stack company that covers all aspects of the stack, from hardware to software.

One of Diraq’s key strengths lies in its innovative hardware, constructed using a novel technology known as spins in silicon, invented by Prof. Dzurak during his tenure at UNSW.

Computing company Diraq.

UNSW Canberra Space spinout Infinity Avionics had humble beginnings as a research project. Honoured as Australian Space Startup of the Year in 2023, it was recognised for its high-quality Earth observation data, which is becoming crucial for various industries and applications.

Infinity Avionics was co-founded by UNSW alumnus Igor Dimitrijevic, now the company’s CEO, and Damith Abeywardana, now Managing Director.

Their precision-engineered space products include optical, thermal and radiation sensors designed for space asset monitoring, space robotics and space-based manufacturing.

Infinity Avionics also produces high-resolution cameras that capture images of the Earth's surface for environmental monitoring, disaster response, and urban planning.

UNSW leadership demonstrated

The University ranked as the top Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) university for new patent family applications with 47, ranking second overall just behind CSIRO with 51 patents.

Dr Kukulj said the result underscored the strength of research and innovation at the University. “UNSW has recorded a significant milestone by coming in at number one for patent applications by the University sector, and number two across the ANZ region.  

“The patents are in a range of sectors covering clean energy, photovoltaics, materials science, medical devices and biotech.

“The SCOPR report shows that 422 patented technologies were recorded last year and 281 non-patented technologies. UNSW is punching above its weight with 47 patents recorded.”

Spinouts established in 2022 include:

  • Diraq is developing silicon-based quantum computers using highly scalable CMOS manufacturing processes.
  • Extraterrestrial Power is a mass manufacturable, radiation tolerant, thin silicon solar cell that is 10-times cheaper than current space solar cells.
  • Footpath AI is mapping the world for people, including mapping pedestrian access such as sidewalks and walking paths, like Google Maps for walking.
  • Emenda Therapeutics Australia is developing new treatments for chronic pain by targeting splicing factor kinases.
  • Value Australia is a next-generation property valuation platform that uses enriched data and advanced AI to provide highly accurate and fast property valuations.
  • North Harbour Energy Clean Energy Flow is creating grid-scale energy storage solutions using Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.
  • Solar Skin develops coloured and curved solar panels that may be applied on or built into vertical or horizontal surfaces.
  • Eco Filament is an innovative product that is remanufactured from 100 per cent waste plastics and is superior to non-sustainable filaments on the market.
  • FP Paradigm is developing sustainable food and beverage packaging products to accelerate the transition from today’s petroleum-based products materials.
  • Kinaltek Antifouling System is developing next-generation anti-fouling coatings for marine applications.
  • ND Sight is a web-based tool for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.