MTI has launched the Orion Fund, an investment vehicle dedicated to university spin-outs.

The Fund is a partnership with — but not limited to — the Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) of UMI3 from Manchester University, ERI from Edinburgh University, and UCL Business from University College London.

The announcement of the Orion Fund follows MTI’s involvement with the UMIP Premier Fund, a £32m fund developed with Manchester University.

In common with the UMIP Premier Fund, the Orion Fund will feature MTI’s Proof of Principle investment programme (PoP). PoP is overseen by the TTOs and provides pre-seed funding to develop promising technology with the potential for commercialisation.

Sir Richard Heygate said: ‘The United Kingdom has always been one of the most innovative countries in the world, although sometimes it has lagged behind others in turning this creativity into world-ranking businesses.

‘Today, we have some of the highest-ranked universities and business schools, a concentration of leading Private Equity, Venture Capital and other investment skills, a government committed to encouraging innovation and start-up businesses and a secure economy and currency.

‘The new fund is well positioned to take advantage of all of these opportunities and create significant new wealth for our investors and our country.’