At the time of its establishment the UMIP Premier Fund (UPF), at £32m, was largest Venture Capital Fund focussed on a single academic institution, the University of Manchester. Now, the UPF has demonstrated ground breaking achievements with both its operational model and its investments.
The UPF operational model includes a unique relationship between MTI and the technology transfer office of the university. That model succeeds out of the personal relationships that expertise, commitment and long standing cultural knowledge of the sector and institutions creates. More formal aspects of the UPF operational model includes the recognised “gold standard” Proof of Principle (PoP) model. In this model we have applied 10% of the UPF to 31 PoP projects within the University of Manchester, including all the early IP in the field of graphene. In return for PoP investments the UPF receives a share in the value of the IP. Of these projects 75% have secured substantial follow on funding, either via a spin-out, corporate joint development or translational grant funding – a world leading outcome.
The bulk of the UPF capital is applied to direct investment, in the range £0.5m - £3m, in exciting high growth spin-outs from the University of Manchester, other universities (including Oxford) and spin-outs from blue-chip corporates. The UPF has made such investments in the areas of novel and nano materials, engineering, energy storage, energy management, PV, water, medical diagnostics and imaging, medical devices and materials, agrochemicals, metrology, printed electronics and IT hardware. The fund’s capital deployment has leveraged £100m of co-investment and has recruited star management from the UK and Europe. The emerging companies address multi-billion markets, tackling problems of key societal interest with cutting edge science and technology.
The next phase of the UPF is to continue to support the portfolio in its continued growth and then to achieve profitable returns to the fund’s shareholders.
The UMIP Premier Fund is supported by the European Union’s "Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme" (CIP)