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Venture Technologies and academics team up

A new venture capital trust has been set up to invest in technologies which have been developed in the research laboratories of four UK universities.

A team of academics and professional investors has launched a new venture capital trust [VCT], Venture Technologies Academic Research Partners VCT, which aims to raise up to £30m (E48m). The trust will invest in information technology, wireless and broadband communications, advanced engineering and materials technologies.

The trust will invest in technologies developed by the research departments of four UK universities – Bristol, Southampton, University College London and Imperial College London. These four institutions spend nearly £450 million a year on research in total, with over £150 million dedicated to technology.

Venture Technologies, a UK-based independent venture capital firm, will manage the VCT. Roger Ashby, a senior executive of the firm, said: “The high risk traditionally associated with technology investment will be considerably reduced because this VCT will only back those companies where technologies developed in the universities have been tested and proven to work.”

BestInvest, an investment advisor, will manage the money raised in a mixture of equity trusts and bonds, before any technology investments are made.

As a VCT, the minimum level of investment is £5,000 and investors may also benefit from up to 60 per cent tax relief.