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Base4Innovation gets Royal Society backing

A University of Warwick spin-out company developing ultra-fast DNA sequencing technology has benefitted from investment from the Royal Society Enterprise Fund.

Base4Innovation was set up in 2008 with assistance from Warwick Ventures, the University of Warwick’s technology transfer office. It is now based in Cambridge, and working to develop a radically new method of ultra-fast DNA sequencing using techniques based on silicon chip technology which can easily be scaled up.

This high-throughput technology will cut the time and cost of genetic tests, enabling them to be used much more widely in supporting patient diagnosis and treatment.

Co-investors alongside the Enterprise Fund include Base4Innovation’s existing backers Oxford Technology ECF and new investors Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood. Sir Martin Wood, founder of Oxford Instruments plc and a highly renowned entrepreneur, is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Woods are donors to the Enterprise Fund.

Sir Martin said: “Entrepreneurs creating and growing new companies desperately need access to reasonably-priced risk capital and consistent long-term support from investors. The Enterprise Fund is a powerful and visionary initiative to address the current lack of such support and we are delighted to be co-investing with the Fund, as well as supporting the Fund financially and in other ways.”

The RSEF is a national effort to support a culture of scientific innovation by investing in early-stage technology business opportunities founded on outstanding science. The investment phase of the RSEF was launched in September 2008 as one of a number of initiatives leading up to the 350th Anniversary of the founding of the Society in 2010.