UKI2S Innovation Fund Surpasses £100 Million Mark with Additional Backing

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The UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), which supports new businesses developing technologies, has reached a significant milestone by exceeding £100 million in total funding. This achievement comes as a result of additional support from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Managed by Future Planet Capital, UKI2S focuses on early-stage innovation and has played a pivotal role in nurturing emerging technologies since its inception in 2002. Over the years, the fund has invested £30 million in more than 90 companies. These investments have yielded a noteworthy return of over £700 million, according to UKRI.

The impact of UKI2S goes beyond financial figures. Companies backed by the fund have collectively generated over 1,100 new jobs, contributing significantly to the workforce. What’s more, the average salaries for these positions exceed £50,000, underlining the quality and impact of these job opportunities.

Among the success stories supported by UKI2S are Tokamak Energy, a pioneering company focused on fusion power; Solasta Bio, a spinout from the University of Glasgow that’s advancing cleaner pesticide solutions; and iFast Diagnostics, known for its rapid antibiotic resistance detection system.

One of the fund’s distinctive features is its commitment to regional development. About half of the fund’s investments have been directed towards ventures located outside of London and the South East, aligning with the government’s broader agenda of promoting balanced economic growth across regions.

Minister of State for Science, Research, and Innovation, George Freeman, highlighted the critical role of public investment in fueling scientific discoveries and fostering innovation. Freeman noted that these investments provide the initial spark that brings promising ideas to life.

Indro Mukerjee, CEO of UKRI and a key figure in fostering commercialization, emphasized UKI2S’s strategic focus on early-stage technology investments. Mukerjee underscored how these investments drive sustainable growth, illustrating the significance of patient capital at the crucial early phases of technological advancement.

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