Establishing an Innovation Fund for Cardiff Capital Region

The Assignment

The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal is a programme agreed in 2016 between the UK Government, the Welsh Government and the ten local authorities in South East Wales to bring about significant economic growth in the region through investment, upskilling, and improved physical and digital connectivity.

We are working closely with CCR on its plans to establish an Innovation Fund to support innovative scale-up businesses in the region to access longer-term ‘patient capital’ via an options appraisal and business case process.  We were commissioned to prepare an HMT ‘5 case’ business case and 31ten are now supporting CCR in the procurement of a Fund Manager via Competitive Dialogue to lead on the set up, management and monitoring of the fund.

The Role

We supported CCR in defining a set of objectives and principles for the Fund through a series of workshops.  We used this same approach to also determine the range of options to be considered, the decision-making criteria to be used to evaluate them and the critical success factors that were to form part of the consideration.

We prepared a Business Case, using a proportional approach to the HM Treasury 5 Case Model, to set out the range of options and rationale for the preferred option for CCR to establish the Innovation Fund.  As part of the Business Case, we prepared a financial model to complete sensitivity analysis and demonstrate the affordability of the Fund.   Alongside the Business Case we prepared a draft Investment Strategy setting out the key criteria and priorities for investment as a key document as part of investment decision making.

The fund is to be managed externally by a FCA accredited Fund Manager. Our role has included defining the governance arrangements, scopes of services and KPI’s for the performance monitoring together with a suite of procurement documents to set out the requirements for a Fund Manager. We are currently leading on supporting CCR through a competitive dialogue process to secure the services of a Fund Manager.

Key Outcomes

31ten has supported CCR in securing approval to establish the Innovation Fund via the Business Case and for approval of funding to undertake a procurement exercise to secure external Fund Management services to set up and manage the fund going forward.