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Research impact accelerates at Cardiff

15 November 2012

Cardiff University has won a major grant to support scientists and engineers to deliver greater collaboration with industry.

Business Secretary Vince Cable today (15 November) announced a £60M total investment in UK universities to help pioneering scientists and engineers create successful businesses from their research, improve industrial collaboration, and foster greater entrepreneurship. The announcement was made, during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Cardiff is one of 31 universities across the UK to receive an 'Impact Acceleration Account' funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK's main funding agency for scientific research.

Cardiff's £769,975 award will help support the best scientists and engineers to bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace, and help them become better entrepreneurs.

Vince Cable said: "The UK's scientists are some of the most innovative and creative people in the world, but they need support to take their best ideas through to market. This could be by establishing a successful, technology-driven SME like Space Syntax which I visited today.

"This investment I'm announcing today will help our leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship, generating commercial success to fuel growth."

Cardiff University has a strong track record in both licensing and creating spin out companies. In the year to July 2012, the University generated £1.5M of income from licensing royalties. Cardiff University's relationship with FusionIP Plc helps in the creation and support of spinout companies which has resulted in a total investment of more than £23M since the partnership was established in 2007.

This new funding will support the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition – the 'Valley of death' between a research idea and developing it to a stage where a company or venture capitalist might be interested. It will also allow Cardiff, for example, to fund secondments for scientists and engineers to spend time in a business environment: improving their knowledge and skills and returning to the lab with a better understanding of the way companies operate and the challenges they face.

Welcoming the news Professor Chris McGuigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Enterprise said: "This award provides us with a means to more effectively convert yet more of our excellent research into impact in the real world. We greatly welcome this initiative from the Business Secretary."

EPSRC chief executive Professor Dave Delpy said: "The research we support is recognised as outstanding on the international stage. These awards aim to make a step change in the impact that has on society: generating new business opportunities which drive economic growth, creating better, more informed, public policy."

For more information on Cardiff's Impact Acceleration Account contact:

Dr Paul Goodwin, Research and Commercial Division tel: 029 2087 5464


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