The engineering and industrial technology provider plans to invest in up to six companies a year through its newly formed corporate venture capital unit.

Emerson, a US-headquartered producer of manufacturing automation technology, has launched a $100m corporate venturing vehicle called Emerson Ventures, with the capital to be invested over the next five years.

Founded in 1890, Emerson provides industrial automation technology in addition to environmental monitoring software, and the newly formed unit will target developers of automation and environmental sustainability technology as well as industrial software.

Emerson Ventures will be tasked with investing in four to six early-stage companies a year. It is headed by Thurston Cromwell, Emerson’s vice-president of development and innovation, and its team will liaise with the office of company CEO Lal Karsanbhai.

Karsanbhai said: “We see this as more than investment – it is about partnership and enhancing the industries we serve. We are committed to supporting and mentoring companies as we work together to gain strategic insights on emerging technologies, adjacent markets and industry disruptors. It is a win-win for all.”

The company has named four portfolio companies so far: Dragos, the cybersecurity software producer that raised $200m last month, as well as air mitigation system creator Awair, information management software developer Inmation and drug development technology provider Fluxa.