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UK Innovation Investment Fund launches environmental fund

Wednesday 27th January 2010
By Mike Jones

The UK Innovation Investment Fund is off the ground with the first closing of the £125million Hermes Private Equity environmental innovation fund.

The Environmental Innovation Fund, managed by Hermes Private Equity, will now start investing in low carbon and clean technology funds and co-investing in companies, providing much needed venture capital to help these innovative businesses grow. The Hermes Fund will focus on investment opportunities aimed at increasing the efficient use of resources (both renewable and non renewable) at all stages of production and consumption. 

Over the past decade, the UK has emerged as a European frontrunner in alternative energy investment and is well positioned to further develop a sustainable market competitive globally.

The Hermes Fund will look to benefit from this attractive market framework and expects to commit its capital over the next two to three years.

Hermes Private Equity CEO Susan Flynn said: "Increased awareness of environmental issues and policies to tackle climate change presents a real opportunity for investors and the innovative companies we will invest in. At this stage in the economic cycle there are many forward-looking companies who may not have funding available to them. The Hermes Private Equity Environmental Innovation Fund (HPEEIF) will ensure that those seeking finance for promising new environmental ventures will have access to a source of funding.

"We have already identified a number of attractive investment opportunities and anticipate that HEIF will begin to deploy capital shortly."

The UK Innovation Investment fund was announced last June by the Prime Minister as part of the Government’s strategy for Building Britain’s Future. Hermes Private Equity and the European Investment Fund were confirmed as fund of fund managers for two separate funds of funds. Backed by £150million investment by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Health, it has already attracted private investment to more than match this amount with the total first closing of £325million.

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