Transforming Foundation Industries Investor Partner programme

Female technician at work in boiler room

The Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Investor Partner programme today announces the issuing of its first seven grants, totalling £4.8 million.

In addition, these companies received a total of £20 million of aligned private equity investment through the programme. This continues the TFI  commitment to re-invent the foundation industries with new, technology-focused and circular business models.

The competition works alongside five investment funds:

  • HG Ventures
  • Clean Growth Fund
  • Midven Limited
  • Speedinvest Industry
  • Turquoise International.

These investment funds are keen to support innovations that meet the growing demand for more sustainable products in the sector.

Each was appointed through a separate competition to identify investors with the credibility, capability, capacity and appetite to invest in innovative, technology-led businesses in areas that align with the objectives of the TFI challenge.

As well as the TFI grant funding, the successful companies also receive private equity investment of at least the same value again from one of the investor partners. This will support both vital research and wider business development.

Together with the ongoing support of the TFI challenge and expertise of the investor, the funding is already allowing these companies to scale at pace through the production of higher performing and sustainable products.

Developing our technology

Johan du Plessis is Founder and CEO of tepeo, inventors of the Zero Emission Boiler (ZEB), a new generation of smart low carbon heating technologies using compact thermal storage.

Johan du Plessis said:

With this combined investment of £3 million from our investors, and almost £700,000 from UKRI, we’ve doubled our workforce, purchased vital new equipment, moved to larger premises.

We are developing our technology so it’s ready for large scale production, it has been transformative and supercharged the growth of our business.

Transformative innovations

Bruce Adderley, Challenge Director of the TFI challenge, added:

The Investor Partner Programme was specifically created to match new sources of private investment with businesses bringing transformative innovations into these sectors at scale.

The outcome has been projects that drive forward high-quality, sustainable and competitive business opportunities, have clear routes to commercialisation, and have attracted significant funding from overseas investors. A real success.

This challenge is delivered by Innovate UK.

Further information

About the Transforming Foundation Industries challenge

The Transforming Foundation Industries challenge, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, will help energy-intensive businesses to share expertise and come up with radical new innovations to help reduce their carbon footprint.

The programme will inject significant new public and industry innovation funding into the foundation industries, helping us deliver against our vision of a cutting edge, innovative and sustainable industrial sector.

£66 million will be provided by the government and £83 million will come from industry.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) brings together the UK’s world-leading research base with our best businesses to transform how we live, work and move around.

It will put the UK in the best position to take advantage of future market opportunities.

Winners details

Lead and investor Description Project size Duration
Tepeo Limited (Clean Growth Fund) Tepeo ZEB and the pathway to domestic heat decarbonisation: a scalable manufacturing blueprint for ceramic-based thermal storage cores. £997,567 (£698,297 grant value) 24 months
Carbon Re Limited (Clean Growth Fund) The Foundation Platform: feasibility study of an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to improve energy efficiency of steel and glass manufacture. £288,603 (£202,022 grant value) 18 months
Adaptavate Limited (Turquoise International) Breathaboard: high performance, environmentally sustainable, gypsum plasterboard alternative. £1,171,717 (£820,202 grant value) 24 months
CustoMem Limited (Heritage Group Ventures (US)) Targeted precision materials for per and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS)  treatment in foundational industries. £912,559 (£639,071 grant value) 18 months
HydRegen Limited (Midven Limited) Unlocking biocatalytic hydrogenation for bulk chemical manufacture. £549,663 (£384,764 grant value) 24 months
Holiferm Limited (Clean Growth Fund) Sophorosurf commercial demonstrator. £2,569,269 (£1,099,647 grant value) 24 months
Greyparrot Limited (Speedinvest Industry, Germany) Measure recyclable resources in the waste industry to meet the foundational industries demands for recycled material using AI for tracking stock keeping unit. £1,377,429 (£964,200 grant value) 12 months

Top image:  Credit: anandaBGD, E+ via Getty Images

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