British Business Bank launches £85m National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) Programme to support development of advanced dual-use technologies

Press release 31 July 2018

The British Business Bank has today launched the £85m National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) Programme, which will support long-term equity – ‘patient capital’ – investment in advanced technologies.

The NSSIF Programme will build on the UK’s role as both a leading centre for advanced technologies and as a global hub for venture capital. It aims to combine the best expertise from the public and private sector to foster the growth of high potential UK companies and at the same time contribute to the national security mission. The proposal was first announced by the Chancellor as part of the Autumn Budget 2017.

The NSSIF Programme operates in conjunction with the Bank’s existing Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) and British Patient Capital (BPC) programmes and has additional requirements and features over and above these existing programmes. This includes provision for selected Fund Managers (i.e. those successfully obtaining the necessary HM Government accreditation) being able to access a dialogue with HM Government, to support the development of advanced technologies which have dual-use applications for national security and in a commercial setting. Further to the objectives of the Bank’s existing programmes, the NSSIF programme has the following additional objectives:

  • to support private sector led investment into the UK’s world class security technology sector, by increasing the amount of private early stage venture and growth capital available to innovative, high-potential UK companies in this sector
  • to attract venture and growth capital into investment strategies which will support HM Government’s national security mission by investing in dual-use advanced technologies
  • to facilitate the faster adaptation and adoption of private sector commercial security technologies by HM Government

As well as fulfilling the requirements of either the ECF or BPC programme, applicants will also need to demonstrate strong alignment with the NSSIF Programmes objectives and requirements, in particular through their proposed investment strategy and technical expertise in investing in dual-use advanced technologies. To be eligible for an investment under the NSSIF Programme applicants must also be eligible under either the ECF or BPC programmes.

The Programme will remain open for applications until the existing available funds have been committed, or such earlier time as the Bank determines. Depending on the success of this initial phase, future funding allocations may become available.