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UKIIF invests in life sciences

PM Gordon Brown has announced that £200m from the UKIIF will be used to benefit life sciences, digital and advanced manufacturing businesses

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that £200m from the UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF) will be used to benefit life sciences, digital and advanced manufacturing businesses.

The UKIIF completed first closing on the UK Future Technologies Fund with fund managers, the European Investment Fund (EIF). In addition to government's £200m, the EIF has raised £100m and will now make its first investments in UK venture funds. The money will be invested in technology-based businesses where there are significant growth opportunities, driving the UK economy forward and creating highly skilled jobs.

The UKIIF operates on a commercial Fund of Funds structure, which means it will not invest directly in companies, but rather in a small number of specialist, private sector technology funds that have the expertise and track record to invest directly in technology businesses. By increasing the supply of venture capital to these funds, the UKIIF will drive investment in high growth businesses, start-ups and spin-outs in key areas, which are finding it difficult to raise finance in the current economic climate. The aim is to create the largest technology fund in Europe. 

According to Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson, "Despite a tough market, the UKIIF goes from strength to strength. Private funds have matched the Government's investment and money can now flow into promising technology companies. This is just the boost these companies need as the economy returns to growth." 

The UKIIF was announced in June 2009 by the Prime Minister as part of the government's strategy for Building Britain's Future. Backed by £150m investment by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Health, it has already attracted private investment to more than match this amount with the total first closing of £325m.

Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund, Richard Pelly said: "The leveraging of the UK government's funds and expertise coupled with our experience in the EU venture capital market will help us to support the next generation of high growth, high tech businesses."

22nd February 2010

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