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UEA launches new kind of investment fund

Terraces in China

The Adapt Low Carbon Group at the University of East Anglia (UEA) announced a new kind of investment fund today (8 December) that will enable emerging UK enterprises with sustainable products and services to expand into Asia.

Established in partnership with the Chinese start-up investor Cocoon Networks, Adapt Cocoon Equity has announced the Mulberry Green Fund, a £20 million venture capital fund that is looking to invest in early stage enterprises in the green-tech sector to nurture and develop them for expansion into the Asian, and particularly Chinese, markets.

“The fund sends out a strong message that the UK is open for business and offers a great opportunity for us to work with the Chinese to support their aim of reducing their carbon footprint,” said Adapt CEO Prof John French. “Our mission is to demonstrate the role that technology has to play in reducing pressure on the planet’s finite resources by improving the efficiency of buildings and transport, reducing the amount of resources used in manufacturing, increasing recycling and helping farmers to grow more with less.

“Cocoon Networks approached us to be their partner because of our global reputation for climate change research and sustainability, and our proven track record, through the success of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, in using financial instruments to achieve real change. Our strong focus on entrepreneurship across Norwich Research Park also means we have access to potential start-ups that other funds don’t.”

The model of investing into UK ventures to enable them to increase sustainability overseas through their products and services is unique. “We will invest in companies from across the UK,” added Prof French. “They’re likely to be business-to-business rather than consumer focused and must use technology that is appropriate for the Chinese market.”