£680m of new “eight great technologies” funds revealed in UK PM China visit
February 1, 2018
A British specialist technology venture capital fund focussing on the “eight great technologies” identified by the UK Government as areas where Britain has strength and global growth potential, has unveiled two new Sino-UK joint ventures totalling £680m during this week’s visit to China by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
On Thursday 1st February the first of several memorandums of understanding were signed between Chinese investors and the Eight Great Technologies Fund (“8GT”), which is chaired by former UK Universities and Science Minister Lord David Willetts and advised by the UK’s leading academic and entrepreneurial talent in the eight technology sectors.
Lord Willetts first spoke of the potential of the eight great technologies in 2013 when serving in the UK Government. They are: IT and digital technologies; robotics and autonomous systems; satellites and space technologies; regenerative medicine and med tech; synthetic biology; agri-tech; advanced materials; energy storage and efficiency. Chinese President Xi later used the phrase during his state visit to Britain in 2015, calling for the two countries to carry out “mutually beneficial co-operation between China’s seven major strategic emerging industries and the UK’s eight major technological and strategic industries”.
The first MOU, signed in Beijing on Thursday at a Future of Medicine meeting between UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Chinese Deputy Health Minister Jin Xiaotao, sees 8GT and Tsinghua University’s venture capital business Leaguer International agree to create a £560m (RM5bn) “Eight Great Technologies Sino UK Investment Fund”. This in turn will be divided into two sub funds:
The first sub-fund will be UK-based, investing directly into British technology funds that have a product or application relevant for a China perspective in the future.
The second sub-fund will be China-based and invest directly into RMB investments in China that are the results of UK technology companies establishing joint-ventures, partnerships or international expansion into China.
8GT also announced on Thursday two further key investors in the Sino-UK Investment Fund, who in aggregate are committing an additional RMB3bn: the first is the Shenzhen Qian Hai Sunflower Biotech Fund; the second is the JXTR Fund together with TRD Capital. The involvement of both sets of additional investors was supported by the co-investment platform Future Planet Capital.
The second set piece memorandum of understanding to be signed by 8GT will be on Friday 2nd February and concluded immediately before UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Trade Secretary Liam Fox host the Shanghai Business Summit. This MOU will see 8GT and the Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) agree to create a RMB1bn (£120m) fund to invest specifically into UK tech companies’ growth with partners in the Jiangsu Region of China.
The motivation for the 8GT Fund as a whole is the UK’s lack of resources to fully commercialise its own research despite being a world leader in new technology with more Nobel prizes in relation to R&D spend than any other country.
8GT also places significant weight on its Advisory Board of leading scientists to proactively find investment opportunities. Their academic and commercial input is integral to the investment process, and 8GT already has a pipeline of companies who are keen to grow both in the UK and through Chinese markets, to become global technology companies of the future.
The Rt Hon. The Lord Willetts, Chairman of 8GT said: "There is already a significant amount of analysis of the key technologies and substantial public funding going in to them. Now is the time for commercial investors to seize the opportunity for profitable follow on funding. We will be investing for the long term, protecting the interests of researchers and inventors, and establishing close, trusting relations with Britain’s scientific community."
Notes to Editors:
For all media enquiries please contact Chris Calland, Hanover Communications, on firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)7850 260 466
For all investor enquiries please contact Malcolm Glaister, CEO, Eight Great Technologies LLP on email@example.com / +44 (0)20 3858 0149
8GT is a specialist technology venture capital fund focussing on the eight technologies identified by the UK government for support and development, where Britain has real scientific strength and there are global market opportunities. https://www.eightgreattechnologies.com/
The Eight Great Technologies are: i) Robotics, autonomous systems and the Internet of Things, ii) Satellites and space, iii) Regenerative medicine and med tech, iv) Synthetic Biology, v) Agri-tech, vi) Advanced Materials, vii) Energy Storage and efficiency, viii) IT and Digital technologies.
The 8GT Advisory Board comprises some of the UK’s leading scientists and commercial experts of the 8 technologies, who are listed here: https://www.eightgreattechnologies.com/
Shenzhen Leaguer Venture Investment Co is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tsinghua University through the Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen (RITS): http://en.tsinghua-sz.org
Shenzhen Qian Hai Sunflower Biotech Fund was supported and launched by TRD Capital, Hong Jian Medicine and the Capital Construction Investment Fund.
JXTR Fund / TRD Capital is owned by China Construction Bank Fund (http://www.trdcapital.com/, http://www.jxtrfund.com/).
Future Planet Capital Ltd (FPC) has a global investment perspective, delivering unrivalled access to innovation emerging from the world’s top universities and the centres of innovation around them. It has deployed more than $100m over the past two years, and currently launching a $500m Fund.
FPC enables institutional investors to deploy meaningful levels of Series B and C growth capital to the best-of-the-best ventures with clear market traction and proof of principle. Investing alongside some of the world’s best performing venture managers and university venture funds offers investors unparalleled access to proven companies from multiple sources of quality, de-risked deal flow. www.futureplanetcapital.com
The Jiansu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) is the umbrella research organisation in the Jiangsu Province. http://en.jitri.org
Eight Great Technologies LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England and Wales, number OC401215 with registered address 71 Queen Victoria Street, London, England, EC4V 4BE.
8GT Partners Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registered number 763479. It is a Limited Company, registered in England and Wales, number 10449922 with registered address 71 Queen Victoria Street, London, England, EC4V 4BE.