UKI2S 2022 year in review

It’s been an exciting year for UKI2S, with £37 million additional capital into the fund, expansion of our role to include investments into Defence and Security and Fusion new collaborations such as our partnership with the Government Office for Technology Transfer.

We celebrated the year’s achievements and Fund expansion with a UKI2S reception event in London and were delighted to see many of our stakeholders and partners in person supporting the UK’s science and technology innovation efforts. Our own contributions to the entrepreneurial ecosystem this year included our Science Ventures series, showcasing insights from our expert team as well as rising stars from our portfolio company, covering key topics such as leadership, knowledge assets and valuation and ran our first live webinar on series A fundraising. We launched our new website and are continually growing our external presence, speaking at conferences such as BioTrinity, the Rutherford Appleton Space Conference, the launch of the Government Office for Technology Transfer and TechBio UK.

We’ve strengthened and expanded our UKI2S team within Future Planet Capital this year with the addition of Alex Leigh, who brings a varied background in operational roles, early stage investment and private equity and actively contributes to the entrepreneurial ecosystem through mentoring, blogging and running his own podcast. We also started our summer intern programme with a focus on our value-add offering by Alissa del Toro from London Business School and we look forward to having secondees with complementary experience to our own from our LPs in 2023.

It has been a good year for many of our portfolio companies, and despite strains on the global economy, they continue to move from strength to strength, securing funding and developing their technologies and platforms. For example, Smart Green Shipping announced £5m investment in their FastRig wing sail technology that is harnessing the power of wind to deliver major fuel emissions savings for the shipping industry and backed by the Scottish Government.

We were delighted to see Tokamak Energy achieve huge milestones, first, reaching 100 million C and announcing their advance prototype which will demonstrate many of the advance technologies required to commercialise fusion energy. These achievements show how public research labs such as, the UKAEA’s Culham Innovation Centre, are playing a leading role in establishing a thriving private fusion energy sector. As the first investor in Tokamak Energy, we are proud to see them progress and have seen first-hand how the commitment of the team has enabled them to achieve these results.

We were pleased to witness the acquisition of Perfectus Biomed Group, a testament to their perseverance and strong leadership. Having been with Sam Westgate and the Perfectus team since day one, we were thrilled that the company was bought by world-leading MedTech organisation, NAMSA and believe it was the right time for the company to become part of a larger group.

COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt highlighted the importance of next-generation technologies for solving climate issues across a variety of industries. With our investment portfolio including climate-focused technologies such as high-sensitivity emission monitoringclean energysustainable alternatives for the chemical industry and materials for a circular economy, we are excited to witness their development along with a greater appetite for investment in green technologies and clean energy.

So far, we’ve invested in more than 70 innovative companies in the UK, backing companies which have the potential to create significant impact alongside a financial return for the Fund. In 2022, 6 new companies joined our portfolio, including Q5D Technology, MitoRx Therapeutics, Silveray, Hydregen, Skylark (now Laverock) and Lineat Composites and we look forward to collaborating with more companies, inventors and entrepreneurs looking for early-stage investment and support.

Despite uncertainties in the economy, next year we will continue to back companies solving the world’s greatest challenges such as disease, clean energy and climate change and provide support beyond financial, offering commercial expertise to grow these crucial businesses. Our recent expansion will help drive UK innovation and build strong collaborations with our partners to accelerate the development of high growth potential businesses in defence and security, fusion and exploiting the UK’s knowledge assets.