Imperial Innovations Plans $219 Million Innovation Fund

U.K.-based Imperial Innovations is planning to raise 140 million pounds ($219.4 million) for an investment fund designed to commercialize technology from British universities, Reuters reported. The group will raise the money from shareholders, and aims to begin partnerships with Oxford and Cambridge universities and University College London. Imperial Innovations was formed at Imperial College London in 1986.

(Reuters) – Imperial Innovations (IVO.L) plans to raise 140 million pounds ($219.4 million) from shareholders to invest in companies that commercialise scientific innovations from Britain’s top research universities.

Imperial Innovations, established at Imperial College London in 1986, will issue two new shares for every three existing shares at 350p per share, a 26.7 percent discount to its closing share price on Monday.

The funds will be invested in companies established under the firm’s existing intellectual property pipeline agreement with Imperial College and will also be used to start companies in collaboration with Oxford and Cambridge universities and University College London.

It will be looking to form new companies mostly in engineering, clean technology and healthcare, CEO Susan Searle told Reuters.

“We haven’t named specific companies but we are familiar with the portfolio from the three universities,” she said. “We’ll be looking into their science base, looking at their new ideas as they come up with new inventions.”

The four universities are the UK’s leading research universities measured by research income.

“There is an acknowledged gap in the UK between scientific research and successful commercialisation,” said Chairman Martin Knight in a statement.

“We believe that working with the four leading UK research-intensive universities and with additional funding, we can help to close this gap and deliver good returns for our shareholders.”

Firms in its portfolio that will benefit from funds include Nexeon, which is developing a lightweight lithium-ion battery with a longer life cycle, and biopharmaceutical company Circassia, which specialises in developing allergy therapeutics, Searle said.

By Brenda Goh
Editing by Paul Sandle and David Holmes
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