Investment company Northern Gritstone has raised £215m in funding after it received backing from local pension funds.
A joint venture between Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield universities, the firm has secured funding from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and West Yorkshire Pension Fund among others, Sky News first reported.
“The strong endorsement of Northern Gritstone we’ve seen from investors is testament to the huge scale of the opportunity in northern England’s world class science and innovation hubs and the spinouts they are producing,” Northern Gritstone’s Lord O’Neill told the outlet.
“By investing in Northern Gritstone, asset managers are directly buying into the brightest prospects for Britain’s future economy.”
A former Treasury minister and chief economist at Goldman Sachs, Lord O’Neill has taken on the role of chairman at Northern Gritstone while former Caledonia Investments’ boss Duncan Johnson was appointed chief executive.
Northern Gritstone aim to raise £500m in funding to become one of the country’s largest investors into companies developed from academic research, spin-outs.
According to Johnson, the company will help with the development of a northern innovation hub which in time could take on “the UK’s Silicon Fen and ultimately Silicon Valley.”
The company is expected to invest in advanced materials, AI and computation – amongst others.