Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering collaborate on disruptive/innovative/ UK technology driven SMEs

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  • Foresight launches the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund ("Fund”) which will target a portfolio of investments that qualify for relief under the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme. 
  • This venture represents a unique collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering to support disruptive technologies through high performance engineering and proven investment management.
  • The Fund seeks to nurture and grow early stage, technology–led businesses in the UK through EIS investment funding and the support of Williams, offering UK SMEs in-depth technical and commercial support.
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Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager announces the launch of Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund in collaboration with Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited ("Williams”).
The Fund offers investors the opportunity to invest into a portfolio of companies developing innovative and transformational technologies where Williams’ technical, engineering and commercial expertise can accelerate their respective technologies towards commercialisation. It will enable investors to qualify for relief under the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme ("EIS”).
Portfolio companies will benefit from the unique partnership between Williams and Foresight, combining the technological expertise of the Williams Advanced Engineering team and Foresight’s successful track record as investment manager, of making and exiting investments in UK based early and later stage SMEs.
The Fund has a target fundraise of £20 million and investments will be made into no fewer than ten qualifying UK SMEs, supporting the next generation of engineering technology success stories in the UK.
Foresight has a strong 30+ year track record of fund raising and investing in UK SMEs, managing more than £550m for over 15,000 shareholders in its family of Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs). Foresight VCT, formerly Foresight Technology VCT, remains one of the UK’s most successful VCTs since launch, having paid out more than £40 million in tax free dividends since launch much of which was derived from successful investments and exits in the technology sector, including a 5x return from the sale of Alaric to NCR Corporation in 2014 and a 32x return for the sale of AppDNA to Citrix in 2011. Foresight VCT is invested across a diversified portfolio of more than 25 companies which between them have generated more than 1,000 jobs since investment.
Bernard Fairman, Chairman, Foresight, commented:
"Following eighteen months of in depth discussions and planning, Foresight is delighted to be collaborating with the Williams Advanced Engineering team to support high quality disruptive technology leaders seeking EIS funding, in order to develop and commercialise their proposition. The unique combination of Williams and Foresight is expected to result in a diversified investment base of no fewer than 10 companies revolutionising their respective markets and delivering strong returns to investors.”
Craig Wilson, Managing Director, Williams Advanced Engineering, commented:
"We are very excited to be collaborating with Foresight to support exciting technology innovations across a spectrum of engineering challenges. At Williams we have been at the forefront of technological innovations for 40 years, and with Williams Advanced Engineering we are now commercialising what we have learnt across a growing range of sectors. We will be using our Formula One platform and technical expertise to assist those portfolio companies with disruptive technologies selected by Foresight, to help them transform their industries.”
Williams has a strong track record of incubating innovative technologies, an example of which includes Williams Hybrid Power, which was ultimately sold to GKN in March 2014, and focused on the commercialisation of a flywheel energy storage system that was originally developed for Williams’ 2009 Formula One car. The technology was first validated in motorsport by Porsche in its GT3R endurance racing car, and by Audi Sport who used the technology in its 2012, 2013 and 2014 LeMans winning Audi R18 e-tron Quattro. The technology has subsequently been trialled in public transport applications where, for example, it can save fuel and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% in a city bus.

For more information contact:
Annabel Arrowsmith, Foresight Group, +44 (0)20 3667 8179
About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has over £2.1 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS’s) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT’s).
Foresight’s ventures team, comprising experienced investment professionals, invests between £0.25m and £2.0m in growth capital and venture capital investments in UK SME’s.
Foresight is proud sponsor of Foresight Natural Energy, New Zealander Conrad Colman’s Vendee Globe entry, which departed Les Sables d’Olonne 6 November 2016. Conrad is aiming to complete the non-stop solo circumnavigation without using any fossil fuels, instead relying on solar panels and a hydro generator to power electrics on the boat, stored in special Lithium Iron batteries. #crazykiwi
About Williams Advanced Engineering
Williams Advanced Engineering is the advanced engineering services and technology division of Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited, a company that also operates a leading Formula OneTM racing team. Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited was formed in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head, and the company has secured 16 FIA Formula One World Championship titles since its foundation. The company’s core competencies are the design and manufacture of Formula One racing cars, and the deployment of this expertise in running the team’s entries in the Grand Prix each season.
Since 2010, the company has diversified its operations to offer Williams Advanced Engineering, a technology and engineering services business that places Formula One expertise at its core. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, defence, aerospace, health and energy sectors. Working in close collaboration with its customers and partners, Williams Advanced Engineering creates energy efficient performance to meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.
This press release has been produced for general information purposes only, by Foresight Group LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Nothing contained in this press release constitutes (i) an offer or invitation to buy or sell any investments, securities or other financial instruments, (ii) an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity or a financial promotion of any kind, (iii) investment advice or an investment recommendation and the information contained herein should not be relied on as financial or other professional advice or for any other purposes