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Medaphor cited by UK Government for IP best practice

Medaphor, a Cardiff Medicentre based ultrasound simulation company, has been cited by UK Government officials as a good example of the development of University intellectual property.

Universities can now access a tool to help develop and manage their intellectual assets. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a strategy guide called ‘Intellectual Asset Management for Universities. The guide provides advice and information to universities to help them understand how they can best use their institution’s Intellectual Property. Income generated through the commercial use of Intellectual Property rights can be worth millions of pounds – £84 million was generated directly from IP at Universities in 2009/10.

“The guide will help Universities maximise the benefits of their intellectual assets, which in turn will support the economic growth of the UK” according to the Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Wilcox. “The Government is committed to providing the best opportunities for young inventors, providing them with a strong basis on which they can turn their ideas in reality. It is now more important than ever for University leaders to think strategically about how to best to protect and effectively use their intellectual assets. This guide will help each institutions seize the opportunity to use their Intellectual Property to secure maximum benefit for the economy and society.”

One example of an institution which demonstrates how effective policies can underpin the commercialisation of intellectual property is Cardiff University, which has generated around £7 million in licence fees and royalties over the last five years through implementing its Innovation and Engagement Strategy. The University’s research has been developed into a number of commercial ventures such as MedaPhor Limited, an ultrasound simulation business which specialises in the development and sale of advanced virtual ultrasound training systems for the healthcare service. Since 2004 MedaPhor has benefited from over £1.3 million of investment and new product development grants. It has also created more than 40 high tech jobs in the local area. Its ScanTrainer, which provides fast and effective ultrasound training, has already been sold to 25 hospitals and academic institutions in the UK and the company is now expanding its distribution to Europe, the US, the Far East and the Gulf.

Notes to editors

About Cardiff Medicentre

Cardiff Medicentre is a dedicated incubator for biotech and medtech startups. The facility is set in the grounds of the University of Wales Hospital and is a neighbour to Cardiff University’s School of Medicine.

Established in 1992, Cardiff Medicentre is a joint venture between Cardiff Council, Cardiff University, the Welsh Government and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. It was the first incubator of its kind in the UK and now provides 32 units of high quality office and lab space accommodation ranging from 284 sq ft to 1,045 sq ft. Low-cost desk leasing facilities are also available to encourage entrepreneurs to enter the Cardiff Medicentre community while writing business plans and raising finance.

Tenants at Cardiff Medicentre benefit from specialist support in establishing and growing their businesses. Their aim, and the aim of the Cardiff Medicentre management team, is graduation – the process of tenant businesses outgrowing the incubation facilities and moving into their own follow-on space, or being acquired.

Examples of successful graduate companies

  • Q Chip Ltd (completed $6 million venture capital investment round in 2011)
  • Cardiff Bioanalytical Services Ltd (acquired by LGC Ltd in 2010)
  • Cardiff Research Consortium (acquired by Capita Group plc for £11.6 million in 2009)
  • BioDynamics Research Ltd (acquired by Quotient BioResearch Ltd in 2008)
  • TrichoTech Ltd (acquired by Concateno plc for £11.25 million in 2007)
  • OnExamination Ltd (acquired by BMJ Group in 2007)

Published on Tue, 15th Jan 2013

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