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Braveheart signs commercialisation agreement with University of Aberdeen


Braveheart Investment Group plc
(“Braveheart” or the “Group”)

Braveheart strengthens its University ties by signing a deal with the University of Aberdeen to commercialise intellectual property for up to 15 years (“the University”)

Braveheart (AIM: BRH), the technology commercialisation and investment management company, announces that it has signed an agreement with the University of Aberdeen under which the two parties shall work together to grow further the commercialisation of technology and intellectual property (“IP”) emanating from the University.

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 making it the third oldest University in Scotland and the fifth oldest in the UK. It educates close to 14,000 students and has attracted research awards of up to £50 million to date. The University has particularly strong commercialisation expertise in the areas of life science, medicine, engineering and geosciences. The University has been awarded 22 Proof of Concept awards and a further seven awards from the Nestech Fund to date, and its Research and Innovation department has been involved in a number of spin-outs including Brinker Technology, Haptogen and B1 Medical.

Under the terms of the agreement Braveheart will provide funding to finance spin-outs and will have the mechanism to fund projects leading to licensing deals arising from University IP, as well as sponsoring the University’s annual “Blue Skies” business plan competition. In return, the University will grant Braveheart a time limited exclusive right of first refusal in respect of all those commercial investment opportunities in relevant defined areas.

The agreement constitutes a ‘two phased’ approach; Phase one will involve the two parties working together to further stimulate and increase the commercialisation of IP within the University. Braveheart will provide support in both financial and resource terms; funding will be made available via its existing Alpha EIS Fund, as well as private client monies. The total funding package is anticipated to be around £5 million. It will also use its network of experienced investors to provide crucial mentoring support to investee companies on corporate development issues.

Phase two of the agreement will involve Braveheart setting up and managing a dedicated fund or resource for the future commercialisation of University technology with funds being provided from Braveheart, the University and other sources.

It is anticipated that Phase one will last between two and five years, depending on the results achieved, whilst Phase two would have an initial investment period of five years with a subsequent follow-on investment and management period of five years, giving the agreement a total lifespan of 15 years.

Commenting on the investment, Geoffrey Thomson, Chief Executive of Braveheart said, 'Our close relationships with universities form the cornerstone of our strategy of identifying the most exciting early stage technologies for our investors. We are delighted to have signed our third university partnership agreement and are confident that Aberdeen will remain a stronghold of research and development over the course of our partnership.”

Professor Dominic Houlihan, Vice-Principal for Research and Commercialisation of the University of Aberdeen added: “The University has a strong track record of high quality research and the translation of that research into commercialisation opportunities. In Braveheart we believe we now have a partner with proven ability to help us to strengthen our commercialisation success and we look forward to working with them.”

For further information please visit www.braveheart-ventures.co.uk or contact:

Braveheart Investment Group Tavistock Communications (for Braveheart)
Geoffrey Thomson, Chief Executive Clemmie Carr / James Midmer
Tel: 01738 587555 Tel: 020 7920 3150
gthomson@braveheart-ventures.co.uk carr@tavistock.co.uk

The University of Aberdeen
Jennifer Phillips
Tel: 01224 273 174
j.phillips@abdn.ac.uk


Notes to Editors

Braveheart
Braveheart Investment Group is a technology commercialisation and investment management company based in Perth, Scotland. Since its formation in 1997 it has made the transition from start-up angel syndicate to fully listed company. Braveheart’s shares listed on AIM in March 2007.

Investments are made in young, emerging, unlisted companies where there is potential for significant growth through successful commercialisation of IP and Braveheart enjoys close relationships with several universities to identify emerging technologies. Investments are predominantly technology-focused; however the Group also maintains limited exposure to more traditional businesses.

Braveheart’s diverse portfolio currently comprises over 30 companies and it has completed over 70 deals in its ten year history, including 6 IPOs, 3 trade sales and 8 write-offs and has an exit IRR of 37%.

At the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (Scotland) Braveheart CEO Geoffrey Thomson was given a special award recognising his contribution and support of emerging technology businesses in Scotland over the past decade.

The Alpha EIS Fund ('the Fund')

Established in December 2005, the £2.5 million Fund was set up as a tax efficient vehicle to invest in early-stage, university spin out companies, rich in intellectual property, with potential for significant growth, through the commercialisation of their IP. The Fund is managed by Braveheart and participants and co-investors include Bank of Scotland Corporate, Scottish Enterprise's Co-investment Fund and Braveheart's own clients. The Fund will deliver a minimum of ten EIS qualifying investments, sourced through the Group's unique framework of strong formal relationships with Scottish universities and business parks.

To date the Fund has made 8 investments from the Alpha Fund, totalling in excess of £1 million.

The University of Aberdeen

Many of the University’s portfolio of over 90 patents are currently being exploited by industry through 54 license agreements and 12 spin-outs; the latter having raised investment of £48.5M. Three of those spin-outs were sold or partially sold in the last year.

The University of Aberdeen is an acknowledged centre of excellence for Life Sciences
and Medicine. Translational research is one area of particular strength because of its wide range of internationally recognised health research, underpinned by many of its leading scientists and clinicians based on one of the largest teaching hospital sites in Europe.

Over the last five years, the University has made major strategic investments in its estates, its people, and its infrastructure, to consolidate its position as one of the world’s key centres for R&D in life sciences, medical research, and physical sciences.

With its ambitious Sixth Century Fundraising Campaign, the University is one of the most progressive fundraising higher education institutions in the UK. Over the last two years, Aberdeen has recruited more than 50 senior academic leaders from institutions all over the world.


Publisher Contact Information:

Braveheart Investment Group
+44 1738 587555
gthomson@braveheart-ventures.co.uk

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