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Institution launches fund to invest in innovative companies

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is launching a new fund, Stephenson LP, aimed at helping companies to bridge the investment gap between research and development and bringing a product to market.

Initially worth £2 million, the fund is in line with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ original statement of purpose set out by founder George Stephenson in 1847 to “give an impulse to invention likely to be useful to the world”. It says this is the first investment fund of this kind by the Institution and indeed any UK Professional Engineering Institution.

The Stephenson LP Fund is independently managed by specialist venture capital company Midven Ltd and aims to invest in innovative companies engaged in mechanical engineering over the next few years.

The Fund’s first five investments are into blade compressor company Lontra, fuel cell catalyst developer Amalyst, sensor company Oxsensis, fusion energy company Tokamak Energy and space technology business Oxford Space Systems.

Chief executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Stephen Tetlow MBE, said: “These investments by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers are not just about providing monetary investment, but about connecting these and other companies to the vast resources and network of the Institution and its membership.

“The Fund fulfills the Institution’s original purpose to give an impulse to invention and also help companies overcome the investment hurdle between Research and Development and bringing a product to market.”

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