Frank Schilling did an interview with DYN at ICANN 48 in Buenos Aires. In the video Frank talks about his preference for joint ventures over private auctions when it comes to strings in contention. He applied for 54 in total, 11 of those being uncontested, 2 where his company sold their interest and 41 left to be decided.
I think Frank sees opportunity in the new gtld programs as a function of just basic math. He states 1 % of the planet owns a domain name, so that is roughly 70 million separate registrants. If that number can go to just 2 % that is a lot of domains registered. Now of course that provides a lot of room for .com and country codes as well.