Imperial Innovations Group plc (known as Innovations) creates, builds and invests in pioneering technology companies and licensing opportunities developed from outstanding scientific research focusing on the ‘Golden Triangle’, the geographical region broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford.
This area has an unrivalled cluster of outstanding academic research and technology businesses, and is home to four of the world’s top 10 universities (source: QS World University Rankings 2015/16), as well as leading research institutions, the cream of the UK’s science and technology businesses and many of its leading investors.
Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas, through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, by recruiting high-calibre management teams and by providing investment and encouraging co-investment.
Innovations provides continuity of funding from start-up to scale-up, with initial investments at the seed and Series A stages. Innovations remains an active investor over the life of its portfolio companies, with the majority of Innovations’ investment going into businesses in which it is already a shareholder. This significantly reduces the risk of scaling up investment for the portfolio companies.
As Innovations invests from its own balance sheet it is not constrained by the five to seven year investment horizons of closed-end funds, nor is it under pressure to sell early in order to demonstrate a return to Limited Partners.
Innovations has a technology pipeline agreement with Imperial College London that extends until 2020, under the terms of which it has exclusive commercialisation rights and continues to act as the College’s technology transfer office.
The Group also acts as the technology transfer office for select NHS Trusts linked to Imperial College London, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and London North West Healthcare NHS Trust. It runs an incubator in London that is the initial home for many of its technology spin-outs.
Following a fundraising in January 2011, Innovations broadened its addressable market beyond Imperial College by making investments in opportunities arising from intellectual property developed at, or associated with, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London.
Since 2011, around one third of all of the Group’s new companies have come from Imperial College, one third from the Cambridge cluster with the final third derived from University of Oxford, UCL and management teams and research organisations around London.
In June 2014, Innovations completed a £150.0 million fundraising. Following this transaction, the Group expanded its operation to include sourcing of opportunities not only from its existing University partners, but also from the extensive network of entrepreneurs, management teams and co-investors that the Group has established within the ‘Golden Triangle’ over the last 10 years. In 2016, the Group raised a further £100.0 million through a share placing.
Since becoming a public company in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £446.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK research. In addition, the Group has a £50.0 million undrawn loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Between Innovations’ admission to AIM (August 2006) and 31 July 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £236.8 million and the total raised by the Group’s portfolio companies is £1.3 billion, with £479.9 million being raised this year
Video interview with Imperial Innovations CEO discussing Imperial Innovations' role in building and investing businesses based on leading academic research