Dutch universities of technology start €75m investment fund

Dutch universities Eindhoven, Enschede and Wageningen are each putting €1.5m into a €75m investment fund, Innovation Industries, which will help finance projects stemming from their own R&D programmes.

The aim is to provide funding averaging €5m to 20 companies operating in new technologies in the agricultural, health care and IT sectors. Founder and investor Harm de Vries told the Financieele Dagblad the fund is needed because the gulf between university spin offs and the market is too wide.

Most Dutch institutes of higher learning have links with outside investors, but this is the first time the universities of technology have joined together directly in such a move.

The institute for applied research TNO as well as specialised investment funds PPM Oost, Topfonds Gelderland and the European Investment Fund are the largest investors in the Innovation Industries fund.

Delft University of Technology is not putting money into the new fund, preferring instead to invest in RoboValley, a specialist robotics fund, the FD said.

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