Eight universities in the Midlands have launched a £250m investment vehicle to support technology spinouts in the region.
Focusing primarily on clean technology and AI, the newly formed Midlands Innovation group consists of the University of Birmingham, University of Warwick, Loughborough university, Aston University, Cranfield University, Keele University, University of Leicester and University of Nottingham.
The group, which says there is a significant funding deficit for early-stage technology companies in the region, is hoping to raise the capital from corporate partners, institutional investors and individuals.
In May last year, research by Growth Business found British investors had £1.4bn ready to invest into UK university spinouts, following a record £2.54bn invested in 2021 and £11bn over the previous decade.
The launch of investment vehicle Midlands Mindforge comes a month after chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlined a plan to create 12 low-tax investment zones focused on providing universities with tax incentives over five years as part of the UK’s aim to become a science and technology superpower.
George Freeman, Minister of State for Science, Research & Innovation, said: “Commercialising UK science and technology for global industrial adoption has never been more urgent – for both the UK economy and the global resource challenges facing us.
“The Midlands Innovation universities are driving a new era of innovation from robotics and advanced manufacturing to life science and autonomous vehicles and much more.
“As we in Government increase UK public R&D to a record £20bn a year, the key is private finance backing spinouts and scale-ups. The Midlands is rapidly becoming a world class UK cluster of excellence and Midlands Mindforge will play a key role in bringing global investors to help back world class companies.”