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Carol Vorderman backs University’s drive for business start-ups

23 March 2011

Well-known television personality Carol Vorderman is backing a new funding drive designed to turn more of Cardiff University’s world-leading research into successful businesses.

The former Countdown presenter, writer and successful businesswoman joins Cardiff University alumni, UK business people, prominent entrepreneurs, and supporters of Cardiff University in the City of London today to help kick-start a new fundraising initiative.

Carol Vorderman, a Cardiff University Honorary Fellow, who hosts the event at London’s Guildhall, said: "UK higher education is vitally important to creating knowledge transfer in the UK economy through cutting-edge research.

"In times of economic difficulty, financial support to enable that knowledge creation to happen is more important than ever. It is the research at world-leading universities like Cardiff which will help change all of our lives for the better in the future, and which will form the basis of new profitable and innovative businesses in the UK in years to come.

"At a time when the UK economy is shrinking, support for university spin-out companies which take groundbreaking research and turn them into successful businesses can only help our economy grow."

With support from successful Welsh biotech entrepreneur, Sir Christopher Evans businesses will be urged to consider donating to Cardiff University’s Proof of Concept fund - The Cardiff Partnership Fund.

Over the last 10 years the Fund has helped turn some of the University’s ground-breaking research into commercial ventures and has supported the creation of more than a dozen spin-out companies that have raised over £50 million in co-investment and created more than 40 "high tech" jobs in the Cardiff area.

The Proof of Concept fund is designed to help academics prove the business feasibility of their research outcomes by providing small amounts of feasibility funding to projects with commercial potential, in order to bring those projects closer to the market.

Cardiff University is hoping that by engaging the financial and advisory support of alumni who have significant experience of their own in businesses, more business spin-out companies can be created to support the Welsh and UK economy.

"With seed corn money being relatively scarce, the decisions we make in terms of which University research we can develop into a future business has to be conservative, " according to Dr Nick Bourne, Deputy Director of Commercial Development at Cardiff University.

"If businesses and alumni are willing to donate significant sums of money to bolster our Proof of Concept Fund, it would enable us to develop many more world-class academic research breakthroughs into viable business opportunities.

"We hope that those former Cardiff students who have had business success themselves will recognise the need and the importance of early stage support for any company, and consider this critically important University fund in their charitable decision-making this year," he adds.

Further information on Cardiff University’s Proof of Concept fund is available at or by contacting Cardiff University’s Commercial Director, Nick Bourne, email or telephone 029 20 875042.


Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.

Further information, please contact:

Chris Jones
Public Relations Officer
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731