The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, has now invested more than £10million in SMEs across a range of biomedical areas including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics.
Two recent investments of £125,000 in back therapy device company LumbaCurve and £250,000 in Oxtox, which has developed a drug detection device intended for use by police officers, have seen the fund reach this latest milestone, just two years after its launch in December 2010.
Other investments which helped SPARK Impact reach the £10million mark include follow-on funding to four companies; £200,100 to biomedical software firm Compliance Control, £120,000 to urology company Albert Medical Devices, £100,000 to medical device firm Westco Medical Limited and £100,000 to drug discovery spin-out company Onco-NX. Since it started, SPARK Impact, based at Liverpool Science Park, has invested in 31 companies across the North West.
Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact, said: “Since the inception of The Fund, we have set out to find the most promising, innovative businesses and individuals whose work has the potential to make a real impact on the biomedical industry.
“In that time, we have discovered an impressive level of talent in the region beyond our expectations, while we have also been able to attract some high calibre businesses to the North West.
“This is an important milestone for us as it shows how effective The North West Fund for Biomedical can be in stimulating the regional economy. However, with more than half of our funding potential still to be realised, we know there are many more opportunities to be unearthed and we already have a number of future investments in the pipeline.”
The North West Fund for Biomedical is part of the wider £155m North West Fund, which comprises six sub-funds, including three specialist funds.
The North West Fund was established to provide debt and equity funding to SMEs based in, or relocating to, the region. It is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Investment Bank (EIB) under the European Commission’s Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative, known as JEREMIE.
The North West Fund for Biomedical and SPARK Impact
The £25m North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, is a sub-fund of The North West Fund, which is provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to supply equity funding to small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of England.
The North West Fund for Biomedical, which was launched in December 2010, is accessible to a broad range of companies including those developing pharmaceuticals, new diagnostics and medical devices, and those working in the fields of clinical development, contract manufacturing and analytical services. It is open to companies based in, or prepared to relocate to, the North West of England, with 40% of the fund to be invested on Merseyside. It is expected that the fund will invest in over 50 businesses. It has already received over 200 applications and made 31 investments to date. For more information about the fund and how to apply please visit www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk
The North West Fund
The North West Fund is a substantial evergreen investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding (from £50,000 to £2 million) to small and medium sized enterprises based in, or relocating to, the North West of England. The North West Fund addresses an identified gap in the lending, venture capital and private equity markets. It is one of the largest public sector funds of its kind in Europe and the largest in the UK.
The North West Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the European Commission’s Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative – otherwise known as the JEREMIE programme.
The North West Fund is the umbrella name for the six funds that are available to businesses in the form of debt, equity and quasi-equity. These funds are managed by six fund managers under contract with North West Business Finance Limited (NWBF), which has been established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund. £155m has been allocated to the six fund managers, as outlined below:
Name of fund
YFM Private Equity
FW Capital Ltd
Enterprise Ventures Ltd
Spark Impact Ltd
CT Investment Partners LLP
Energy & Environmental
AXM Venture Capital Ltd
Digital & Creative
Each fund manager has a mandate to invest their allocation into the specific product or sector they manage, until 31st December 2015. NWBF is a private, not for profit company, established to oversee the delivery of The North West Fund.
Between December 2010 and December 2012 The North West Fund has invested over £40m in 145 businesses. Further funding has also been earmarked to support these businesses as they grow and many more new investments are planned over 2013 and the years ahead to 2015.
The JEREMIE initiative offers EU Member States, through their national or regional Managing Authorities, the opportunity to use part of their European Union (EU) Structural Funds to finance small and medium-sized enterprises by means of equity, loans or guarantees, through a revolving umbrella fund. The initiative was developed by the European Commission and the European Investment Fund, which is part of the European Investment Bank Group.
JEREMIE provides for a range of debt and equity financial tools to obtain the most appropriate allocation of funds according to national, regional or local requirements.
ERDF in the Northwest
ERDF is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment.
The EIB is the European Union’s long-term financing institution and, provides long-term finance for capital projects promoting European economic objectives. The EIB made its first loan in the UK in 1973 and since then has lent around €75bn for investment in the UK economy. In the years from 2004 to 2009, the EIB financed investment in the UK totalling some € 23.5bn – GBP 17.5 billion.