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12/03/2014

Finance Wales offers greater support for Swansea-based technology ventures through new strategic agreement with Swansea University

Finance Wales and Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) have signed a new agreement which will benefit local technology businesses as well as those wishing to locate to Swansea.

The agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will boost collaboration between the organisations and build on their long-term relationship.

Swansea University spin-outs already benefit from Finance Wales’ MoU with Fusion IP signed in 2013. 

A similar MoU with Fusion IP covering Cardiff University spin-outs has seen Finance Wales invest £6 million in six Cardiff-based Fusion spin-outs since 2007.

Purpose-built in 2007 and the Welsh Government’s largest investment to date in a Welsh campus, the ILS incorporates business incubation as well as research facilities currently housing over 200 researchers.  

Steve Smith, Finance Wales’ Director of Technology Venture Investments, believes that the new agreement will offer local technology businesses significant benefits.  He said: “Finance Wales is a leading technology ventures investor and we’ve backed numerous Welsh university spin-outs from the Wales JEREMIE Fund.  This agreement strengthens our relationship with both the University and the Institute of Life Science and focuses on a range of collaborative activity which will benefit ambitious local businesses.

“The ILS is home to a number of Welsh high-tech businesses of the future.  They’re developing and commercialising some potentially ground-breaking technology and thanks to the MoU we can now work more closely with these fledgling businesses.  Having the backing of a long-term, local investor is a significant benefit. We’ll be able to share our knowledge and expertise and also introduce them to our network of advisers, co-investors and other investment professionals.”

The ILS has an ambitious goal to advance medical science through innovation and research while achieving benefits for the local and Welsh economies.

Welcoming the tie-up, Professor Marc Clement, Executive Chair of the Institute of Life Science said: “We are delighted to have established this MoU between Finance Wales and Swansea University. Finance Wales is an organisation with a strong track record of investments in new technologies, a growing number of which are in life science.

“Finance Wales is also a savvy investor, adding value by bringing a much-needed network with expertise in start-ups and SMEs, a vital ingredient in sustaining early stage companies.”

Finance Wales invests in high-growth spin-outs and technology ventures from the Wales JEREMIE Fund and can back them with a number of investment rounds as they develop and commercialise their technology.  

The availability of investment capital from Finance Wales has been pivotal in attracting a number of high-growth technology ventures such as Clinithink and Creo Medical to Wales.

In the 2012 - 13 financial year Finance Wales invested £9 million seed and growth capital in high-growth, IP-rich technology businesses.  Since 2009, it has invested almost £28 million in 30 technology venture companies in Wales.

The Institute of Life Science is Wales’ premier purpose-built medical research facility. It is a collaboration between Swansea University’s College of Medicine and the Welsh Government, together with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board, IBM and industry and business partners.

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