British Innovation Fund launched with $39m

Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has provided half the capital secured by the fund so far.

Future Planet Capital and Milltrust International Group launched the British Innovation Fund (BIF) with £30m ($39m) in commitments last month from investors including Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund.

The pension fund has contributed £15m to the evergreen vehicle. Nick Greenwood, pension fund manager for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead which administers the pension fund, has been named chair of BIF’s investment committee.

That committee is further made up of members of Future Planet, including its chair Douglas Hansen-Luke and Milltrust Agricultural Investments, a subsidiary of Milltrust International Group, including Griff Williams, its chief information officer and co-founder.

BIF will focus on commercialisation of research emerging out of UK universities. It has already injected capital into Oxford Sciences Innovation, the university venturing fund of Oxford University, participating in a £230m extension earlier in December.

Simon Hopkins, chief executive of Milltrust International Group, said: “Recent concerns have been voiced that Brexit will jeopardise funding for the development and subsequent commercialisation of key science, patents and technologies coming out of the leading UK universities. We believe that the British Innovation Fund provides a direct response to these concerns."

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