Industry News

WAG: Environment Minister, John Griffiths, has visited a new facility which will collaborate with local companies to develop green business technologies & opportunities. The BEACON initiative, the first of its kind in Wales, has its centre at Aberystwyth University.
The facility at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) houses large-scale equipment capable of taking laboratory research to economically viable industrial opportunities.  It will help Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting crops such as rye grass, oats and miscanthus (elephant grass) into products including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, fuels and cosmetics.
Press release ~ Beacon initiative
STFC: The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Futures Programme is making available around £400k per annum to demonstrate that STFC has the technology & expertise to address the Global Challenges in energy, the environment, and healthcare by bringing innovative technology & applications from STFC’s Programme relevant to these areas to a proof of concept stage, in readiness to access external funding.
The Fund will operate as a pilot scheme in the first instance and will be reviewed after the first projects are awarded. The deadline for submitting applications is 4.00pm on Wednesday 4th April 2012..
Press release & links
MO: The Met Office and Thames Water have signed a joint agreement to launch a suite of weather intelligence models for the water industry.  With water resources very low across many parts of England the new weather intelligence models will be vital in helping the water industry better account for weather impacts through the year - from predicting demand due to hot weather in summer to leakage and burst pipes in winter.. 
Benefits to the water industry include:
* Access to 4 operational & strategic weather intelligence models, enabling the impact of weather on leakage, burst, demand and seasonal night use to be understood & mitigated.
* Using world leading models to make operational resourcing decisions & cost savings in the business and manage risk across the water distribution network.
Press release & links
WAG: The latest technology in eye examinations will soon be available across Wales, thanks to £753,345 Welsh Government funding.  Fundus cameras, which allow optometrists to view the back of the eye (the retina) and to take digital photographs, are the very latest in screening equipment.

They can reveal signs of a variety of eye conditions & wider health problems, and allow the optician not only to view, but also capture images of the retina, enabling monitoring &comparison over time.
Announcing the funding, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: …… “It is estimated an ophthalmologist using a fundus camera will see 10 patients for the cost of seeing 1 patient Nurses, technicians & orthoptists using the camera will support a consultant-led virtual clinic, freeing up the consultant to see more patients.”
Press release & links
WAG: The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, has unveiled a realistic simulator that will teach student nurses vital skills for the specialist care of young babies.  The ‘SimBaby’ is one of the stars of the cutting edge Caerleon Clinical Simulation Suite at the School of Nursing & Midwifery Studies in Cardiff University.
Features include breathing sounds, which can vary depending on scenario, chest movement, palpable pulse, interchangeable eyes with normal, constricted & dilated pupils and vocal sounds including crying, content, coughing, and hiccupping.  It will allow student nurses to practise intubation, CPR and intravenous access – procedures which could not be safely carried out in a real-life setting.
‘SimBaby’ is joined by ‘SimMan’, a full-body adult patient simulator used for the teaching of core skills including airway, breathing, cardiac and circulation management.
Press release & links ~ ‘SimBaby’
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