EOFY: A message from Alva Devoy

EOFY: A message from Alva Devoy

As another financial year draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on just how much change we’ve seen over the past couple of years. In some ways it’s been overwhelming and exhausting but in others it’s really gives you pause to stop and think of just how much we can achieve when we focus on a common goal.

The fact that we’ve been able to find and produce a vaccine to COVID-19 harnessing relatively new mRNA technology in such a short amount of time is testament to our capabilities for rapid innovation, particularly when we’re sufficiently motivated…

This innovation revolution hasn’t been confined to medicine though. We’re seeing breakthroughs from diverse fields - quantum computing, synthetic biology, carbon capture, and even space technology. This new wave, of ‘deep tech’, is still in its infancy but has the potential to help us address the most urgent challenges of our time, and deliver financially viable outcomes along the way.

The looming climate crisis for example, has inspired a mix of new endeavours; innovations in battery storage which make renewable energy much more feasible, carbon-based materials whose manufacturing process removes CO2 from the atmosphere. We’ve even seen methods for creating lab-grown meat!

Due to the complexity and scale of these innovation projects and the scientific research needed to drive them, large scale investment is required from the early stages. And we’re certainly seeing a few major early investors profit from their involvement. Indeed, growth of capital invested in deep tech quadrupled from U$15 billion in 2016 to more than U$60 billion in 2020. Although much of this remains heavily skewed towards artificial intelligence and synthetic biology and is also heavily concentrated in the United States much like the original tech giants.

So where am I going with this?

There’s clearly a compelling case to for us to invest in innovation. We’ll need to innovate to feed our population, tackle climate change, unlock the mysteries of space and ward off the next pandemic but that’s not the only point I want to make.

As the Managing Director of an investment management company, my remit is pretty clear - to generate returns for our investors. But there’s lot more to it than that and the really interesting part of my job is the ‘why’ and ‘how’ and that’s evolving all the time. We invest to build a better future for ourselves and those we love, but more and more we’re conscious of the broader future - our collective future. There are many opportunities of how we do this and investing in deep tech is just one of them but it’s exciting to be part of an industry that offers so many possibilities. It’s been a difficult year but it’s a great time to be an investor.


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