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Wales attracts record investment for innovation projects

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Wales has attracted over £50m from Innovate UK in the current financial year – a record figure - bringing the total committed to over £100m during the Welsh Government’s current term of office.
Wednesday 23 March 2016

These latest figures were announced today by Economy Minister Edwina Hart who said the Science for Wales and Innovation Wales strategies and the subsequent creation of the Innovation Council for Wales, had all contributed to help achieve this success.

The substantial investment in a number of key strategic projects will, the Minister said, have a significant long term impact on the economy. They include the UK’s Compound  Semiconductor Catapult (£50m), public sector procurement projects known as SBRI Catalysts (£2.5m), North Wales Photonics Launchpad (-£0.5m) and the Precision Medicine Catapult node in Cardiff.

On a visit to Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science to mark the record investment figures, Mrs Hart met several highly innovative, technology driven companies. They have successfully leveraged over £3m in Innovate UK funding, as well as benefitting from Welsh Government support.

The Minister also welcomed the news that Innovate UK is to open an office in Wales to raise awareness of funding opportunities available and work closely with Welsh Government, academia and industry.

Commenting on the investment figures, the Minister said:

“Innovation Wales emphasised the need to improve collaboration between businesses, academia and others looking to access UK and EU funding streams.

“Today’s record figures clearly illustrate that this message is getting across and delivering results. In total more than 530 projects have benefited from £50m of Innovate UK funding during the Welsh Government’s current term in office.

“Many of these are SMEs and spin-out companies, while the larger successful examples of collaboration in action include the strategically important ‘big ticket’ announcements like the £50m Compound Semiconductor Catapult. This was achieved by a strong partnership between the Welsh Government, academia and the private sector.

“Innovation Wales also underlined the need to recognize and exploit our strengths and to build on our distinct and genuine areas of excellence identified in Science for Wales.

“Those areas of excellence are now all benefitting from Innovate UK funding and include our priority economic sectors ranging from Life Sciences and Health to Advanced Engineering and Materials.”

The Minister stated that innovation is the key to the future success of the Welsh economy and that in order to grow, Welsh businesses must evolve, and to evolve they must innovate.

Mrs Hart said:

“It is not just about new technologies; it is about successfully applying them to the markets of the future in order to achieve commercial success. Tackling this journey from concept to commercialisation, and to share some of the risk is where Innovate UK and Welsh Government step in. 

“Welsh Government and Innovate UK work together to provide support for innovative SMEs with high-growth potential and help innovative companies work with their investors so their ideas can be developed commercially. These successful companies at ILS are benefiting from that support and we will build on the encouraging growth of Welsh success in securing Innovate UK funding.”

 

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Science and technology 23 March 2016 Programme for Government - Growth Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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