The UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF) was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in June 2009. It aims to raise £1bn over ten years, to help reshape the UK economy from its reliance on financial services towards scientific and technology industries.
Citigate has initially been appointed until the end of the year and is charged with securing investment into the fund from institutional investors and ultra high-net worth individuals.
The fund will invest in technology businesses that have high growth potential in strategically important sectors such as ICT, life sciences, low carbon, clean technology and advanced manufacturing.
The Citigate team will be led by MD Deborah Saw, working alongside Lord Drayson, minister for science and innovation. The competitive four-way pitch was conducted independent of the COI roster.
It is thought that the timing of the brief is influenced by the forthcoming general election, with the current Government keen to get the long-term venture up and running and achieve buy-in from the City before any potential change in government.
At the moment it is unclear whether the three-month brief will be extended into 2010 and beyond - if it were the fees would likely top £200,000 on a 12-month basis, according to one industry source.
The UKIIF will invest in established venture capital funds to try to ensure a good return to investors and the UK taxpayer, which has a £150m stake in the fund.