Oxford University Innovation, the tech transfer arm of University of Oxford, has partnered venture capital firm Global Accelerated Ventures to set up a $25m special purpose investment vehicle targeting conservation startups.

The Oxford GAV Conservation Venture Studio will support and bring prototypes to market without charging a 2% management fee on assets under management, though it keeps the 20% performance fees – called carried interest.

The venture studio will aim to launch between 13 and 20 companies tackling climate change challenges over the next two years, with areas of interest including solutions to biodiversity loss, the energy crisis, human food security and landscape change.

Robert Montgomery, a professor of conservation science at Michigan State University and a senior research fellow at Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall, has been named managing director of the studio.

Professor David Macdonald, founder and director at the university’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, said: “What more potent than to combine the greatest problem on earth with the greatest source of solutions, for the shared well-being of nature and people?”

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James Mawson

James Mawson is founder and chief executive of Global Venturing.