News & Views
Extra Capital for Science Seed Fund supports UK Innovators
Jun 30 2021
UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), a £37 million pot investing in early-stage, high-risk, long-term capital for high potential, early-stage businesses, has received a £10 million boost from UKRI to help nurture companies developing technology emerging from UK laboratories, or which are based on UKRI campuses or working with the Catapult Network across the UK.
Covering areas of publicly-funded research including healthcare, clean energy, AI, software and space technology, a specialised sub-fund focused on the emerging field of synthetic biology has also been established.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “From food solutions for growing populations to high-tech materials for life-saving medical devices, it’s exciting to see breakthroughs in UK laboratories being translated to profitable businesses which offer solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.”
To date, the fund has already invested £19 million in 70 companies, which have gone on to attract over £640 million in private investment; created over 700 high-value jobs; have spent more than £300 million on research and development.
Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of STFC, said: “This new funding allows a new cohort of science innovators and entrepreneurs to design the products and services that transform our everyday lives. From life-changing medical breakthroughs to cutting-edge technological advances, these ambitious spin-out companies are responsible for tackling some of the biggest problems and challenges in society.”
The seed fund is independently managed by venture capital specialist Midven. Andrew Muir, Director of the fund manager Midven (now part of Future Planet Capital) and Fund Principal of the UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund, said: “More than 75% of the ‘deep science’ companies we have backed would almost certainly not have got off the ground without our initial funding, advice and assistance.
“Those companies are now worth around £1 billion and have created hundreds of highly skilled jobs. The UK’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and so this additional funding is great news for the next generation of founders.”
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