Innovation Industries: a new investment fund of € 75 million for Dutch high tech, medtech and agritech companies

Written by: Cees van Arendonk

Innovation Industries is a new technology fund that will invest 75 million euros in about 20 promising high tech companies in the Netherlands over the next ten years. The aim of the fund is to accelerate high-quality knowledge at technical universities, TNO and ECN in successful (international) companies and to support existing high-tech companies (so-called scale ups) in their growth.

The fund focuses on companies that, with their products or technologies, make a positive contribution to the major social challenges of this moment, including climate change, care, mobility and nutrition.

Investing Parties

The fund has received investment from the European Investment Fund [1], the Metal Electrolytic Pension Fund (PME), Twente, Eindhoven and Wageningen Technologies, TEN, ECN, PPM East, Top Fund Gelderland and Innovation Fund Overijssel. In addition, a group of predominantly Twentse investors who previously invested in the successful forerunner fund, the Twente Technology Fund, have participated. The members of the fund management will also participate in the fund.

The great interest of investors in this fund creates the exceptional situation that the fund has already overridden at the start.

Forces of universities and applied knowledge institutions

The technical universities and applied knowledge institutions collaborate for the effective translation of knowledge to economic activity in the Netherlands. Previously, each university worked with its own investment fund or method to help startups, but there was no national system. Innovation Industries offers the desired coordination, strengthening and ability to scale up innovative entrepreneurs, thereby endorsing the most effective way of valorisation goals of the knowledge institutions. Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente, Wageningen University & Research and TNO, in addition to collaborating with the fund, will also contribute to the fund as an investor.

The investment by PME in this fund is a unicum and shows that the pension fund actively wishes to contribute to the Dutch high-tech ecosystem. The investment by the EIF is also an important signal that, through Innovation Industries, it wants to create the largest collaboration platform in the Netherlands, between knowledge institutions, regional development companies and private investors.

Management and industry partners

The management of Innovation Industries is led by Harm de Vries, Nard Sinten, Tom Schwarz and Chris Sonnenberg. These fund managers have many years of experience in high-tech investment in the Netherlands and have set up and managed several university funds in the Netherlands.

The management team works closely with some major Dutch companies from the high tech industry who have joined as a partner to the fund. These companies share networks and knowledge for the growth of portfolios.

[1] The Innovation Industries Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) under the Investment Plan for Europe. EFSI's goal is to fund and implement productive investment within the European Union and also provide increased access to funding.