Legal & General is set to deploy £6 million in grants to technology start-ups that are making a difference in the healthy ageing market.
The financial services company will work in partnership with Innovate UK (UKI), part of UK Research and Innovation, to distribute grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises that are delivering innovations in ‘health-tech’.
The grant has been awarded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund as part of its Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator scheme, a five-year initiative, with investors committed to allocating the grant funding within the first two years.
Legal & General will invest and deploy the grant money in up to six dynamic health-tech businesses that have a proactive, predictive and preventative advantage; helping reduce cost and occurrence of ill-health, linked to the ageing process.
The firm will top up the grant funding with at least £6 million of its own capital, with the potential for further investment when the businesses continue to perform. The retirement division’s ambition is to commit £24 million of its own capital over the five-year period.
Chris Knight, CEO of Legal & General Retail Retirement: “We are seeing abundant opportunities emerge in ‘age-tech’ as businesses rise to the challenge of helping people live longer, happier and healthier lives – a mission we fully support. We look forward to putting the grant funding, alongside our own capital, to work to enhance our society and create meaningful solutions for an ageing demographic”.
George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge Director at UK Research and Innovation, said: “I am delighted to welcome our new investor partners and the great opportunity this partnership provides for SME businesses through the Healthy Ageing Challenge’s Investment Accelerator. Working together we will support the best innovative businesses to develop novel services and products that will have a real impact for people and their carers to help them remain healthy, independent and socially connected. This is a great example of how public and private funding can work together to enhance the support available to UK innovators. UK Research and Innovation will be investing further in collaborations of this type over the next few years.”
The partnership with UKRI builds on Legal & General’s track record of investing in direct venture opportunities across prop-tech, clean-tech, fin-tech and health-tech.
To date, the group has invested £22bn directly into UK businesses to help businesses scale with capital, expansive distribution channels, a broad network and recognised brand.
Legal & General is calling on early stage, high growth innovators to apply for a share of the £6m grant funding to develop ideas that help people enjoy healthier and more active lives in old age. Legal & General will be sharing further information regarding eligibility criteria and the application process from today.
All applications will be reviewed for suitability against the selection criteria set by L&G and IUK.