Mindforge, new investment company to accelerate the commercialisation of university spinouts and early-stage IP rich businesses in the Midlands region.

University of Nottingham establishes new independent investment company

Monday, 03 April 2023

University of Nottingham is one of eight research intensive universities in the Midlands to establish a new investment company to accelerate the commercialisation of university spinouts and early-stage IP rich businesses in the region.

Midlands Mindforge Limited has been co-founded by Aston University, University of Birmingham, Cranfield University, Keele University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham and University of Warwick, collectively Midlands Innovation.

This ambitious, patient capital investment company plans to raise up to £250 million from strategic corporate partners, institutional investors and qualifying individuals. It aims to transform ground-breaking science and technology into successful businesses with real-world impact. 

Midlands Mindforge will help to address the significant funding deficit for early-stage technology businesses in the region. Through the combination of additional capital and company-building skills, Midlands Mindforge will lay the foundations of a more vibrant ecosystem for emerging science-backed companies in areas such as Clean Technology, AI and Computational Science, Life Sciences and Health Tech.

As an institution that is dedicated to growth, investment, and success for the region we call home, the University of Nottingham is delighted to be a part of Midlands Mindforge.
Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of IP Commercialisation, Research and Innovation at University of Nottingham

Dr Huxtable added: “Our entrepreneurial academics are already creating successful businesses, helping to boost economic growth and create highly skilled employment opportunities that people want and our region needs.

“This new company will strengthen the existing support network for research entrepreneurs in the Midlands, encouraging innovation and providing postgraduate students and researchers with early access to investment.”

Collectively, the eight founding universities have the most post-graduate students, the highest levels of annual income, more research disclosures and patents generated per unit of research spend in the last three years, in comparison to any other UK university grouping.

Bold and ambitious

Minister of State for Science, Research & Innovation George Freeman MP said: “Commercialising UK science & technology for global industrial adoption has never been more urgent – for both the UK economy and the global resource challenges facing us. The Midlands Innovation universities are driving a new era of innovation from robotics and advanced manufacturing to life science and autonomous vehicles and much more.

“As we in Government increase UK public R&D to a record £20 billion a year, the key is private finance backing spinouts and scale-ups. The Midlands is rapidly becoming a world class UK cluster of excellence and Midlands Mindforge will play a key role in bringing global investors to help back world class companies.”

Chairman of the Midlands Engine Partnership, Sir John Peace, said: "The Midlands has always been associated with exceptional invention and creativity, but has long experienced significant underinvestment and consequently productivity levels have lagged behind the rest of the UK.

“This bold and ambitious initiative led by the Midlands Innovation universities has the potential to help close the investment gap, supporting our region to reach its true potential for sustainable economic growth.

“Midlands Mindforge will help to further fast-track commercialisation of research ideas, creating a more resilient economy and playing an important role in levelling up the Midlands.”

Sustainable growth

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “A key part of my mayoral mission is to drive our regional recovery forward and help generate the high-quality jobs of the future in order to improve quality of life for local people. This exciting new investment vehicle will very much support that mission – planting the seeds for long-term sustainable economic growth here in the West Midlands.

“Many brilliant ideas and top businesses have spun out from Midlands universities and this new venture will help us to advance that agenda and retain more of our innovative success stories within our region.

“Together we can better nurture the enterprising talent on our doorstep and this new endeavour creates a wonderful opportunity to do just that.”

For more information about Midlands Mindforge visit

Emma Thorne - Head of News
Phone: 0115 846 8092

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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