UniQuest start-up TenasiTech scores $1.4 million for its polymer technology

Materials science start-up TenasiTech will ramp up development of its polymer technology after securing $1.4 million in grants and equity capital from the Queensland Government and Uniseed.


TenasiTech is a Brisbane-based materials company commercialising Adaptive Polyol, which delivers “dramatic improvements” to polyurethanes.


The underlying patented technology was developed at the University of Queensland (UQ) and the company was established by UniQuest, the university’s main technology transfer company.


The technology was licensed to TenasiTech in 2007.


Since its launch in 2008, the company has secured close to a million dollars in equity capital from Uniseed, a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland and NSW.


With manufacturing capability in the United States, Germany and Australia, TenasiTech has now secured $1.4 million in grants and equity capital from Uniseed and the Queensland Government.


Ros Bates, Queensland Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, announced the $925,000 government grant at the 2012 International BIO Conference in Boston.


The news comes ahead of TenasiTech’s presentation at the TechConnect Innovation Showcase in California, a major innovation and technology business event.


Richard Marshall, TenasiTech managing director and Uniseed investment manager, says the funding “supports our goal to be the first choice for high performance composite polymers”.


“Our technology is now providing new materials options for customers in engineering, sporting and water treatment applications,” Marshall says.


“We are working with elastomers, foams and multiple polymer families, and can customise our additive technology to suit our partners’ specific requirements.”


According to UniQuest managing director David Henderson, the funds will help the start-up with co-development programs targeting high value applications for its novel polymer technology.


“TenasiTech was launched in 2008 with seed funding from Uniseed… Grant funding from COMET and Commercialisation Australia has also advanced the company,” Henderson says.


Henderson is confident these “high profile milestones” will see TenasiTech accelerate its efforts to offer a range of industries a competitive edge.


“The grant, investment and opportunity to present at a high calibre international event reflect a growing confidence in university research,” he says.


Unlike other nanotechnology companies, TenasiTech is able to produce material at industrial scale that is competitively priced and fits within the existing polymer supply chain.


TenasiTech’s additive technology, Adaptive Polyol, is a new way of incorporating its proprietary nanotechnology additive into a pre-polymer ingredient.


TenasiTech is now working in multiple polymer families including acrylics and silicones, and polyurethane elastomers and foams.


The company is building a pipeline of proprietary product lines of its Adaptive Polyol to suit the specific performance and processing requirements of high value applications.


The nanotechnology originates from 10 years of research by Professor Darren Martin at the School of Chemical Engineering, and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, both based at UQ.


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