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1 February 2023

Cardiff University Appoints New Head of Commercialisation

Cardiff University has appointed a new Head of Research Commercialisation and Impact with the remit to transform academic research into business and entrepreneurship.

Paul Devlin, formerly Head of Commercialisation at Heriot-Watt University, brings a wealth of experience spanning innovative technical and commercial roles, from patent-holding software researcher and spin-out company founder to R&D programme manager and investor.

In addition to helping high-growth start-ups commercialise disruptive technology, Paul established the Scottish office for Mercia, one of the most active UK university investment funds and headed up student entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh as Company Formation Manager.

Paul said:

“I’m delighted to be joining Cardiff University’s commercialisation and impact team. The University has an outstanding track record for translating academic research into spin-outs and startups, forming and building industry partnerships, and supporting students to turn creative ideas into business opportunities.

“I’m looking forward to the meaty challenges of this role, in particular driving research impact and commercialisation generated through Cardiff’s new Innovation Institutes, and by nurturing exciting new partnerships in the University’s incubator facilities. Cardiff Innovations, based in the new sbarc|spark building, and the Medicentre offer a fantastic environment for our spin-outs and also external high-tech companies which see the advantages of co-location alongside our world-class researchers.”

“I'll also be working closely with the SETsquared Partnership to develop our relationship, which recently celebrated its first birthday. The global no. 1 business incubator and enterprise partnership comprises six research-intensive universities – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey – and is dedicated to taking research to market.”

Cardiff University is an ambitious and innovative university with a bold strategic vision, built on a foundation of excellent teaching and research across a broad set of disciplines. Our vision is to be a world-leading, research excellent, educationally outstanding university, driven by creativity and curiosity, which fulfils its social, cultural and economic obligations to Cardiff, Wales, the UK, and the world. By fulfilling our vision, we will improve our standing as one of the top 100 universities in the world and the top 20 in the UK.

Dr David Bembo, Director, Research & Innovation Services, Cardiff University, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Paul to Cardiff. Paul’s track record of achievement in research commercialisation and technology transfer, coupled with his proven ability to collaborate with senior university leaders, researchers and external organisations, provides us with the impetus we need to grow our entrepreneurial activities and deliver innovation with impact.”

Cardiff Innovations is the city’s home for spin-outs and start-ups, offering a range of services and spaces over four floors, including lettable office and co-working space, formal and informal meeting areas, high-end conference facilities, wet lab space and joint exhibition/presentation areas including conference space and access to an on-site café.

For more information about doing business with Cardiff University, contact


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