Securing investment for Veterinary Research equipment within the Higher Education Sector




Research and Innovation

SAF have, for several years, worked in partnership with a global supplier of research and diagnostics solutions, Bruker, specifically in the UK. SAF support their customers with bespoke finance options where alternative methods of procurement to outright capital purchase are required to secure an order.

Client Brief

Bruker introduced SAF to the procurement team at the University of Liverpool, who were seeking to procure a modern, efficient mass spectrometry system in the form of Bruker’s Maldi Biotyper. The equipment, considered the gold standard for microorganism identification, was to be utilised within the School of Veterinary Science and would form an intrinsic part of both their teaching and research programmes.

The project had been in development for more than 12 months, however strict capex budgets meant that some form of finance was essential to acquire the equipment.

Discussions with the procurement teams provided clarity to their requirements. To minimise the monthly cost and preserve cashflow, the University wanted to structure the finance over the minimum useful life of the equipment, being 7 years. They were keen to utilise a hire purchase structure enabling the title to the equipment to pass to the University at the end of the funding term. In addition, with the University having VAT exemption status, the VAT element, typically payable up front in full when structured by way of Hire Purchase, would not be charged.

SAF’s Solution:

SAF consider meaningful engagement with the client at the front end of the process to be the biggest contributor to a smooth and efficient credit approval process. Significant equipment purchases of a highly specialized nature often require a great deal of time and effort from numerous stakeholders within those organisations. Once a decision has been made to proceed with that investment, all parties require the order process to be completed in a timely manner.

The University’s procurement team where very clear in their requirements, enabling SAF to structure a compelling finance solution for them quickly after those initial discussions.

Our documentation team reviewed the terms and conditions of the agreement with the University and the client internally approved a 7-year Hire Purchase offer. After over a year of discussions with the supplier, the credit approval, documentation and purchase order process were completed by SAF within 1 week and the equipment was installed onsite within a further month.


A proactive approach to finance is at the forefront of how SAF operate. We are regularly required to support clients by helping them first understand the breadth of options available to them, and then consider the right options based on that client’s key financial drivers. Often the investment is significant, so the right solution is imperative to the order.

In this circumstance, the client was very clear on what they required. The desired outcome was not limited to providing the client with the required funding structure, but to do so in a timeframe that prevented further delay to the acquisition of the equipment.

A thorough understanding of the client’s financial drivers, a strong relationship with the supplier and a proactive approach to business allowed SAF to complete the process in the timeframe required ensuring the equipment was onsite in time for a specific research project, and for the new Academic year.

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