A high-tech company set up by UNSW and the Australian National University that provides revolutionary 3D images and simulations to the oil and gas industries has been sold for $A76 million.

The company, Canberra-based Lithicon AS, has been sold to the US-based FEI company, a world leader in imaging technology for a range of markets, including oil and gas exploration.

UNSW will receive $4 million from the sale while ANU will receive $11 million. The sale is one of the most significant commercial spinoffs for UNSW in this field in recent years and is the ANU’s most significant in the past decade.

Graham Morton, General Manager of UNSW’s NewSouth Innovations said: “This is an outstanding example of co-operation between two of Australia’s leading research universities moving great research into use in our society and enabling new industries to evolve.”

Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, ANU Pro-Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Advancement and Director of Lithicon AS, said:  “The deal proves that Australian universities can grow a start-up company and work cooperatively with industry to build a successful business.”

Lithicon, previously known as Digitalcore, was set up in 2009 by the ANU and scientists from UNSW's School of Petroleum Engineering to develop an advanced computational approach to rapidly solving fluid behaviour in oil reservoirs. The 3D images and simulations give companies crucial information to help them work out how best to extract oil and gas.

Read the full story on the ANU website.

Media contact: Steve Brodie, NewSouth Innovations, +61 (0)2 9385 6585 or +61 (0)431 977 182.