The Department of Trade and Industry's Office of Science and Technology has provided £2.5 million from its Public Sector Research Exploitation Fund, for research labs to commercialise various prom-ising technologies.
Already the consortium has identified more than 100 projects to bring to market in areas such as animal vaccines, disease identification and food safety.
The money will also allow the six world-leading public sector research laboratories to join the established Rainbow Seed Fund, managed by Birmingham-based venture capital fund manager Midven, providing early stage finance for the exploitation of intellectual property.
They are the Central Science Laboratory; Veterinary Laboratories Agency; Health Protection Agency; Scottish Crop Research Unit; Macaulay Land Use Research Institute; and National Physical Laboratory.
The aim is to focus on life sciences and the measurement sciences - the majority of IP they intend to exploit is related to detection of biological materials and advances in biotechnology.
"This funding will greatly increase the development opportunities available to our consortium members," said Dr Robert Bolton, commercial director at CSL, which is the UK's foremost public sector laboratory in the field of agriculture, food and the environment."
Midven's investment director responsible for the fund, Terry Swainbank, said: "From a £4 million fund with five partners three years ago we will have an £8.5 million fund with 12 partners spread throughout Britain. In those three years we have committed in excess of £2.5 million to spin-out companies and projects that we hope will lead to licence income."
Up to 80 jobs are expected to be created associated with the development, manufacture and marketing of new and developing projects and technologies.
The Public Sector Research Exploitation Fund is designed to enable public sector organ-isations to market their research.
* Meriden-based Absolute Vision has signed a deal to give fluidX exclusive European distribution rights for its range of biotech 2D tube code-readers.
The two companies will also work on developing new products for laboratory use.