Cranfield University is one of eight research intensive universities in the Midlands to establish a new investment company to accelerate the commercialisation of university spinouts and early-stage IP rich businesses in the region. 

Midlands Mindforge Limited has been co-founded by Aston University, University of Birmingham, Cranfield University, Keele University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham and University of Warwick, collectively Midlands Innovation.

This ambitious, patient capital investment company plans to raise up to £250 million from strategic corporate partners, institutional investors and qualifying individuals. It aims to transform ground-breaking science and technology into successful businesses with real-world impact.

Midlands Mindforge will help to address the significant funding deficit for early-stage technology businesses in the region. Through the combination of additional capital and company-building skills, Midlands Mindforge will lay the foundations of a more vibrant ecosystem for emerging science-backed companies in areas such as Clean Technology, AI and Computational Science, Advanced Engineering, Life Sciences and Health Tech.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University, Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng said: “Midlands Mindforge will allow our universities to scale-up their research and enterprise activity. It is a catalyst for building ground-breaking businesses that help to boost economic growth, create highly-skilled jobs and support the UK’s bid to be a global science and technology superpower.”

Collectively, the eight founding universities have the most postgraduate students, the highest levels of annual income, more research disclosures and patents generated per unit of research spend in the last three years, in comparison to any other UK university grouping.

Minister of State for Science, Research & Innovation George Freeman MP said: “Commercialising UK science & technology for global industrial adoption has never been more urgent – for both the UK economy and the global resource challenges facing us. The Midlands Innovation universities are driving a new era of innovation from robotics and advanced manufacturing to life science and autonomous vehicles and much more.

“As we in Government increase UK public R&D to a record £20 billion a year, the key is private finance backing spinouts and scale-ups. The Midlands is rapidly becoming a world class UK cluster of excellence and Midlands Mindforge will play a key role in bringing global investors to help back world class companies.”

For more information about Midlands Mindforge visit