University College London launches £50m technology fund to support innovation

UCL money funding

University College London’s (UCL) newly launched technology fund has scored £50m in funding from the Imperial Innovations Group and the European Investment Fund.

According to a statement, UCL’s fund is expected to pour £50m into new ideas from academics working in the life and physical sciences fields over the next five years.

In doing so, the initiative will aim to support early-stage proof-of-concept funding and stimulate the creation of new spin-out companies.

Russ Cummings, CEO at Imperial Innovations, which put forward half of the funds, said: “Innovations’ participation in the fund is expected to significantly increase the group’s access to deal-flow from one of the world’s leading universities and providing new opportunities to apply our skills and investment capital.

“The quality of research at UCL means that there is already a wealth of opportunities to be exploited and the UCL Technology Fund will provide even greater level of resources to UCL Business to increase throughput.”

Additionally, Cummings noted that this new investment signaled a potential “step-change” in Imperial Innovations’ attempts to commercialise research output from the UK’s leading universities.

“This is a new collaborative model that could be replicated with other universities,” he added.

Piyush Unalkat, head of technology transfer investments at the European Investment Fund, said: “I believe that all the elements for a sound new fund are in place and welcome the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with Innovations, a like-minded and patient long-term co-investor.”

The fund will be managed in partnership by UK venture capital investor Albion Ventures LLP and UCL’s technology transfer company UCL Business.