Discovery Fund

PneumaCare, the first company to receive funding from the University of Cambridge Discovery Fund, is a new model for utilising academic expertise.

PneumaCare is solving the problem of how to monitor lung function in babies, children and chronically sick patients using a non-invasive medical device. The idea for the device, which combines innovative image processing with technologies from the gaming and movie industry, has been developed by a consortium of experts that includes Dr Joan Lasenby at the Department of Engineering, Dr Richard Iles at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Dr Colin Smithers of Plextek Ltd.

The company represents a new and interesting departure from the usual spin-out model, as Dr Gareth Roberts, PneumaCare Chief Executive, explained: ‘Recognising an unmet medical need, the company consulted and utilised University expertise to create an innovative product. We have developed a close working relationship with the academics involved and, to cement this relationship, the academic partners have become equity holders. The success of this model ensures that the University shares in the company’s success.’

PneumaCare will present data from its first product, PneumaScan™, over the next few months. ‘We believe that the PneumaScan will make monitoring feasible, effective and simpler, leading to better patient recovery,’ said Dr Roberts. ‘We have generated considerable interest in the investment community and are poised to go into full clinical development and medical trials.’

Part of this investment has come from the newly created University of Cambridge Discovery Fund, which is managed by Cambridge Enterprise Ltd. The fund was created to smooth the path of transferring University-related technologies for the benefit of society by providing proof of concept, pre-licence, pre-seed and seed investments, and is capitalised from donations through the University of Cambridge 800th Anniversary campaign.

For more information about the University of Cambridge Discovery Fund, please contact Cambridge Enterprise Ltd (Tel: +44 (0)1223 760339; email: or visit

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