The UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) has expanded its patient capital fund by £37 million.
UKI2S is an early-stage investment fund backed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and nine other publicly funded research bodies.
Together, they support the most ambitious UK innovators at seed and beyond to:
- facilitate sustainable growth
- enhance the health and security of society
- deliver economic gains from the UK’s publicly funded research.
The latest expansion of the fund builds on UKI2S’s successful track-record in nurturing early-stage firms furthering UK science and innovation.
The additional funding will enable UKI2S to initiate and expand investment across the following sectors to help solve critical challenges:
A highly innovative area of research that applies engineering principles to biological systems to enable novel solutions to major global challenges.
There is a strong opportunity across this industry for the UK to lead in creating and delivering significant economic and societal impacts on the global stage.
The UK’s public sector is a key source of innovation, with rich research and insights that will shape our future.
UKI2S will work closely with the new Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT) to provide investment capital to exploit the UK’s public knowledge assets including intellectual property, innovation and data.
GOTT is due to launch later this year.
Fusion promises to be a low carbon and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply.
UKI2S will support companies contributing to and arising from the UK’s world-recognised fusion technology cluster, attracting further investment and developing the supply chain and skills base to accelerate future fusion delivery.
Defence and security
UKI2S’ dedicated defence and security portfolio backs early-stage companies that can positively impact defence and security.
It invests in small and medium-sized enterprises developing products and services that are capable of dual use in both civilian and defence and security sectors.
Publicly funded centres, campuses and catapults
UKI2S will continue to back early-stage companies developing innovative products and services, in addition to technology emerging from:
- public sector partner laboratories
- those based on UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) partner campuses
- those working with the UK Catapult Network.
Andrew Muir, Investment Director at Future Planet Capital Group and Fund Principal for UKI2S, said:
The fund has a strong track record of generating impact from publicly funded science and research hubs across the UK.
The fund’s expansion will help drive innovation with our partners, across research campuses and from the synthetic biology industry, in addition to accelerating the development of high growth potential businesses in defence and security, fusion and exploiting the UK’s knowledge assets.
Boosting investment to address challenges
Dr Liz Kirby, Director of Innovation at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), said:
I am delighted to announce the expansion of UKI2S as we boost investment in the UK’s most disruptive early-stage companies that are leading the way in finding solutions to the problems that we face across society.
Investing for the future
UKI2S provides the patient, long-term committed capital and strategic advice companies need to flourish.
Over the past decade and more, the fund has built a substantial track record of companies that between them have attracted over £650 million of later stage investment.
Companies backed by the fund include:
- Cobalt Light Systems (innovative technologies for non-invasive chemical analysis spun out of STFC and sold to Agilent)
- Tokamak Energy (a leading global commercial fusion energy company spun out of UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) Culham)
- Quethera (exploiting synthetic biology for gene therapy, sold to Astellas)
- Crescendo Biologics (a clinical stage immune-oncology company based on research carried out at the Babraham Institute).
UKI2S is a national seed investment fund that nurtures innovative businesses from great UK science to leverage private investment and grow jobs.
The fund is backed by UKRI partners, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and other public bodies and is independently managed by specialist venture capital firm Midven, part of Future Planet Capital.
Future Planet Capital is an impact-led, global venture capital firm built to invest in high growth potential companies from the world’s top research centres.
The full list of the fund partners are:
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- Natural Environment Research Council
- UK Health Security Agency
- Animal and Plant Health Agency
- National Physical Laboratory
- James Hutton Institute.
Top image: Credit: sanjeri, E+ via Getty Images