Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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£44 million boost to fuel major regional research and development projects in south Wales

A new major project in South Wales will drive innovation in critical sectors from communications to autonomous vehicles.

  • Working with partners across the region, it aims to help upskill Welsh manufacturing businesses to provide technologies of the future
  • Project part of over £400 million of government, industry and research institution funding to propel cutting-edge R&D projects across the UK

A major new project in South Wales, led by Cardiff University, called CSconnected, recently (26 June 2020) received £44 million from the UK Government and industry.

The funding will help strengthen emerging industries in South Wales and deliver major technological advances in areas such as communications, 5G, autonomous vehicles and medical devices.

In collaboration with Cardiff and Swansea Universities, along with six leading welsh manufacturing companies, the project will help establish a cluster of manufacturing excellence, including a new skills academy to provide training in manufacturing and technology for small - medium businesses in the region.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma recently said:

The UK’s world leading research and development industries in South Wales are critical to fuelling our economic recovery.

With this major £44 million investment, we’re backing some of the region’s very best scientists and researchers, as they work to advance innovation in sectors ranging from communications to autonomous vehicles.

This ground breaking research we’re backing is not only good for consumers, but it will also create new job opportunities right across South Wales.

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart recently said:

The £44 million investment in the Cardiff University led project will boost the incredible research that is already taking place in this field across south-east Wales.

Investing in this emerging technology will enable us to create a lasting engineering and manufacturing legacy in Wales, generating high-skilled jobs and economic growth as we emerge from the coronavirus emergency.

Kellie Beirne, Chief Executive, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal recently said:

This is an outstanding achievement against the backdrop of significant economic challenge - this is a symbol of hope and opportunity that lies ahead.

This is an industry of the future and is significant in terms of supporting growth in telecoms, 5G, communications, future energy systems, future automotive and med-tech.

The investment is part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund, which aims to drive forward research and innovation with a clear impact on local economic growth. Projects will benefit from a share of £186 million of UK Government investment, backed by a further £230 million from private firms and local authorities.

The announcement also follows the UK Government doubling investment in its Fast Start Competition to £40 million to help drive forward new technological advances and support the UK’s next generation of innovative businesses.

Notes to Editors

  • The £43.74M project with South Wales’ compound semiconductor cluster will be supported by £25M of UK Government funding through the UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund.

Cardiff University will work with partners across South Wales including:

  • Swansea University
  • Cardiff Council
  • The Welsh government
  • Compound Semiconductor Centre Limited
  • Microsemi Semiconductor Limited
  • Newport Wafer Fab Ltd
  • SPTS Technologies Limited
  • Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult Limited
  • Microlink Devices UK Ltd
  • Rockley Photonics Limited

  • The project being led by Cardiff University is one of seven projects receiving funding – helping create thousands of jobs and power world-class research and innovation in every part of the United Kingdom.

The six other projects receiving funding are:

  • £114 million for a consortium led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine which is making sure innovative, new healthcare products and solutions for human infections are made available to people in the North West faster and cheaper. This could help simplify diagnosis, reduce the need to draw blood and reduce risks from contaminated needles.
  • £55 million for the University of Edinburgh to help improve people’s lives in Scotland through research to understand financial behaviours and help address financial challenges such as fair access to credit, property ownership and saving.
  • £46 million for a consortium led by the University of Bristol to support new digital formats in filmmaking in the South West including new experiences across fiction, documentary, games and live performance.
  • £33 million for a consortium led by the National Institute of Agriculture Botany to increase investment in the South East in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and smart-packaging for food production to help improve efficiencies, reduce waste and produce safe, affordable and nutritious produce.
  • £91 million for a consortium led by the University of Glasgow to help drive economic growth in Glasgow by translating new approaches in Precision Medicine, which allows doctors to select treatments for patients based on a disease’s genetics. This will help ensure continued efficiencies and improved health outcomes for patients, in areas like treating significant adverse reactions to medications and identifying a person’s most effective drug combination.
  • £63 million for a consortium led by Artemis Technologies Ltd to develop zero-emissions technologies in Northern Ireland for the introduction of wind-electric hybrids for maritime vessels, including a new zero emissions water taxi scheme.


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