NPIF announces 100th investment from £400m fund


The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has completed its 100th deal by providing £700,000 worth of equity finance to Microbiosensor Ltd, an innovative diagnostic solutions company. 

The investment, facilitated by NPIF - Maven Equity Finance, an NPIF product fund managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), is a co-investment deal alongside Catapult Cheshire Life Sciences Fund.

Established in 2012, Microbiosensor is a University of Manchester spin-out company which develops disposable point-of-care medical devices for the early diagnosis of microbial infection. 

The company’s technology platform, which is initially being targeted at key markets in peritoneal dialysis and urinary tract infection, provides point of care infection diagnosis through a simple colour change in a hand-held device. This unique feature enables patients and physicians to be alerted to escalating infections, allowing more timely and effective targeting of appropriate intervention.

The investment from NPIF, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will provide essential capital needed to take these products through critical development and clinical trial phases, in order to bring the product to market. The additional funds will allow the business to build intellectual property, execute its growth strategy and create value.

Dr Gordon Barker, CEO of Microbiosensor, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the team at Maven. The NPIF investment will be transformational for the company, funding the pivotal clinical trials we need to take our first medical device product to market.”

Gavin Bell, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “Microbiosensor is developing innovative solutions for large global healthcare end-markets with interesting dynamics, including a clear need for technological enhancement and efficiencies. We are delighted to support this highly skilled management team to execute their growth strategy and vision.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, added: “The 100th investment into Microbiosensor will not only go towards bringing life-changing medical devices to the UK market, it will work to boost the North’s reputation as a global leader in cutting edge medical research and help grow the Northern Powerhouse into a global beating brand.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) who also chairs the NPIF Strategic Oversight Board, said: “I’m very pleased that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has reached this important milestone. The Fund is making a significant difference to businesses across the North, helping them grow, create jobs and boost the UK’s overall competitiveness and productivity. There are many fantastic, innovative businesses like Microbiosensor across the North and this is just the beginning of what those businesses can achieve with the right support and investment.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “Reaching this milestone so soon is a fantastic achievement and underlines that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is active and making a difference to small businesses in the North.  This success reflects the hard work done to establish the funds by our fund managers and the other partners that we work with.

“The businesses supported reflect the foundation of the region’s future growth and we look forward to continuing to support the funding needs of business like them across the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Delivered by the British Business Bank, NPIF provides microloans, debt and equity investments, ranging from £25,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead. 

NPIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank. 

For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit