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UKI2S scoops £37M to back brightest British tech startups


The UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), an early-stage investment fund backed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and other public bodies has announced the expansion of its patient capital fund by £37m. 

Together, they plan to support the most ambitious UK innovators at seed and beyond to facilitate sustainable growth, enhance the health and security of society and deliver economic gains from the UK’s publicly funded research. 

The UK is a breeding ground of innovation and research, but teams can struggle to make the transition into building businesses and to commercialise. UKI2S wants to provide the right support to these research teams to maximise the chance of success, help build innovative companies that are solving the major problems society faces and provide home grown investment for homegrown startups.

UKI2S is managed by Midven Ltd, part of Future Planet Capital Group. They will use the additional funds to ramp up support for ambitious UK innovators at seed+ level to drive sustainable growth from the UK’s publicly funded research.

The investment sectors include:

  • Synthetic biology
  • Knowledge assets
  • Fusion energy
  • Defence and security
  • Science and innovation research campuses

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 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.”

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.”

Over the past decade and more, the fund has built a substantial track record of companies that between them have attracted over £650m 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 UKAEA Culham), Quethera (exploiting synthetic biology for gene therapy, sold to Astellas) and Crescendo Biologics (a clinical stage immune-oncology company based on research carried out at the Babraham Institute).

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