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William Hague Message For The 14th Cardiff University Innovation Network Awards

William Hague

I am delighted to welcome the 14th edition of Cardiff University's Innovation Network Awards. A lot has changed since I launched the network in 1996 but one thing has not and that is the Competition's reputation for highlighting the excellent research that Cardiff University develops with business.

I have been pleased to see how much the network has grown since it was launched and now has around 2000 members - this is testament to the region's strength in innovation and to Cardiff University's role in driving that forward.

There have been many successes over the past 14 years, a number of which have taken innovative ideas from south Wales to market and then overseas, generating much needed income for the UK economy. I was particularly pleased that last year's winner of the Innovation Award, Cymtox have generated global sales for their Continuous Toxicity Monitor, including in China.

The challenge will be for this year's winners to be equally ambitious. This is one of my main priorities as Foreign Secretary, where I am keen to open doors for innovative products from the UK to find markets overseas. That also requires businesses to be ambitious and have the confidence to take their products overseas. If you do that, I can assure you, our Embassies and UKTI staff overseas will do all they can to assist you.

The network and today's awards represent excellent practice in terms of bringing together local businesses and the expertise to be found among the academic community. I hope that in 14 years time we are celebrating more success that has been generated as a result of the Cardiff University Innovation Network's achievements: if the level of innovation we have seen to date is our measure; I am sure we will be.

In the meantime I would like to congratulate and wish every success to this year's winners.