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Open innovation in action: Tate and Lyle creates ventures fund

By Elaine WATSON , 08-Nov-2012
Last updated the 08-Nov-2012 at 16:05 GMT

Tate & Lyle recently opened a new innovation center in Chicago
Tate & Lyle recently opened a new innovation center in Chicago

Tate & Lyle will pump up to £30m ($48m/€36.5m) over eight-years in a new venture capital fund that will invest in start-ups and expansion-stage companies in food sciences and enabling technologies.

The fund, which will be formally launched on January 1, 2013, will focus on companies with products or technologies in line with Tate & Lyle’s strategy to grow in speciality food ingredients.

The aim is to back 8–10 deals over several rounds of finance, with an optimal investment size of £2-5m.

As with Tate & Lyle’s first venture fund, which was launched in April 2006, the new one will be independently managed by Circadia Ventures LLP and headed by Simon Barnes and David Atkinson, said Karl Kramer, president, Innovation and Commercial Development.

The combination of the new fund and our internal open innovation team will enable us to access the full spectrum of new ideas, technologies and opportunities in the global food science and investment community."

'The world’s major food companies are increasingly repositioning themselves with a focus on innovation and health'

Karl Kramer: 'We have seen with our first Fund how beneficial a corporate venturing capability can be'

Atkinson added: “Busy lives, an ageing population and rapid urbanization in emerging markets mean that consumers across the world are looking to food to offer lifestyle solutions and bring added benefits such as fortification and enrichment.

"New technologies will be instrumental in this convergence as the world’s major food companies increasingly reposition themselves with a focus on innovation and health.”

Barnes said: “We will be looking to invest in companies based on strong intellectual property and with strong management teams."

Click here to read our interview with open innovaton chief Mike Golembieski.

Click here to read our interview with Karl Kramer.

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