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Curtin sells stake in profitable spin-off

Media release

C053/10

Curtin University of Technology has sold its 23 per cent stake in Sea Gyro Pty Ltd back to the company’s founding director, Colin Ayres.

Developed out of the University’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Sea Gyro was established in 2004 to commercialise a device capable of greatly reducing roll in marine vessels using advanced gyroscope technology coupled with intelligent processing techniques.

Curtin’s Director of IP Commercialisation, Rohan McDougall, said the University’s decision to sell was based on a number of factors.

“Curtin helped establish Sea Gyro and made an initial seed investment to facilitate commercialisation of the technology,” he said.

“Since then the company has made excellent progress with about 50 units sold in Australia and internationally amounting to $3.5 million in sales.

“We are pleased to see a good return on investment with Sea Gyro and feel the time is right to release these funds to develop other technologies at the University.

“Curtin does not have the intention to be long-term shareholders in our spin off companies once they are established and our aim is to attract other investors to allow for further expansion.”

Sea Gyro founding director Colin Ayres said that the initial funding from Curtin established a solid foundation for the Company.

“There is no doubt that Sea Gyro would never have existed without the assistance of Curtin’s IP Commercialisation office,” he said.

“The future for Sea Gyro will always be a reflection of the stable foundation that was fostered by the University.”

Sea Gyro has set up a manufacturing plant in Malaysia and has contracts from the world’s leading ship manufacturers. Further expansion of the company is targeted for Europe and the United States.

Contact: Rohan McDougall; Director, IP Commercialisation; Curtin; 08 9266 3370; r.mcdougall@curtin.edu.au

Note to Editors:

About Curtin IP Commercialisation

Curtin established a pre-seed in 2005 and a follow on fund in 2008 each of up to $5 million. The funds are being applied to support early stage commercialisation of innovative new technologies developed at Curtin. The University has invested in 13 companies and a number of unincorporated opportunities. The investee companies are rapidly growing and employ over 100 people in new economy jobs and generate revenues in excess of $10 million per annum.

About Sea Gyro

Sea Gyro utilises advanced gyroscope technology coupled with intelligent processing techniques to produce a device that is capable of greatly reducing roll in marine vessels by up to 80 per cent, limiting sea sickness and providing safer working conditions. The degree or roll reduction has not been matched by any competing product as an “at anchor” device. As a wholly internally fitted device, it does not add to hydrodynamic drag and is not subject to damage by entanglement, making it suited for shallow water operations. The device can be used in extreme weather conditions, is very quiet and also energy efficient.