News Hub

UK Government launches new £50m Research Ventures Catalyst fund

Written by Thu 27 Jul 2023

The UK Government has launched a £50 million ($64.9 million) fund to turbocharge the country as a tech superpower. The Research Ventures Catalyst fund will be based on partnerships with private and philanthropic investors to drive new innovations in health, tech and science.

Investors include Eric Schmidt, the former Chief Executive Officer of Google, as part of Schmidt Futures. The philanthropic organisation will provide up to £15.5 million ($20 million) of the overall fund total.

Secretary of State, Michelle Donelan, made an open invitation for investors to ‘put real financial firepower behind the world-leading science happening in the UK’.

The funding will help businesses that may not get support from ‘traditional funding avenues’ reach maturity.

“Financial backing is key to the research and development of climate tech, which is rising in prevalence as temperatures soar and we see the tragic events unfolding across Europe,” said Laimonas Noreika, Co-founder of HeavyFinance, a marketplace for agricultural loans.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s (DSIT) fund also looks to build on London’s position as a global financial centre. The £50 million will go toward discovering new ways of tackling deadly diseases, climate change, and bolstering the economy.

“Not only will we see fantastic new projects come to fruition, but we shall also see increased confidence from investors. We are getting one step closer to the UK [becoming a] thriving investment market,” said Steven Mooney, CEO of FundMyPitch.

Applicants can apply for as much as £100,000 in ‘seedcorn’ capital from the Research Ventures Catalyst fund, and must secure co-investment for their proposals.

The UK Government has committed to invest £20 billion ($25.9 billion) in research and development by 2025.

Unlocking greater private and philanthropic investment in UK R&D is one of the key objective of the the UK Science and Technology Framework.

Delivering new, innovative, agile models of funding delivers on the Government’s response to the Sir Paul Nurse’s Landscape Review.

The DSIT has made efforts to drive the UK forward as a tech superpower through a new startup board featuring former astronaut Tim Peake, and a Foundation Model Taskforce that will oversee the development and responsible deployment of AI.

Hungry for more tech news?

Sign up for your weekly tech briefings!

Written by Thu 27 Jul 2023

Send us a correction Send us a news tip