Technology Transfer - the process of transforming the results of research and development into marketable products and services - is a strategic area for the EIF.
This transformation can take place through a number of means, in particular through the collaboration between research organisations and industry, the licensing of intellectual property rights, the creation of start-up businesses or university spin-out companies.
Although Technology Transfer seed investments in Europe are in the radar of some investors, academic research is often considered to be 'too new' or 'too high-risk' to be transferred out of the research laboratory and financed by the traditional investors. New discoveries and technologies may fail to realise their potential unless they become attractive to industry or downstream investors and this is where we aim to play an important role.
We seek to support financially sustainable Technology Transfer structures or funds. These intermediaries typically invest into projects or start-up companies, at proof of concept, pre-seed, seed, post-seed to A & B rounds, where the companies can be financed further by the normal Venture capital / Private equity investor. We may also provide feedback on the structuring of appropriate Technology Transfer instruments.
We have become one of the main European investors providing guidance and cornerstone funding to players in this emerging market segment, notably K.U.Leuven/CD3 (Belgium), IP Group (UK), Chalmers Innovation Seed Fund (Göteborg, Sweden), the UMIP Premier Fund (Manchester, UK) and Karolinska Development (Sweden).
Expansion and lower mid-market operations contribute to balancing our portfolio by off-setting the higher risk that is usually inherent in early-stage investments.