A £1m EU funding boost for a Port Talbot company investing in major rail, oil and gas schemes has been welcomed by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.
TWI work with European partners to develop new technology and products to help improve the performance of rail infrastructure and offshore oil and gas production.
The schemes are being funded through Horizon 2020, the European Union’s largest research and innovation programme, which aims to make breakthroughs in science and technology and support the development of world-class products and services.
Professor Drakeford said:
“I’m delighted another Welsh company has been successful in securing Horizon 2020 funding – this is a highly-competitive programme investing in projects at the forefront of innovation.
“This is yet another example of how EU funding and collaboration opportunities are benefiting Welsh business. It is great news that, as a result of these schemes, research and development with such potential will take place in transport safety and energy engineering which are of significant importance to Wales.”
TWI will collaborate with leading organisations from across Europe on two Horizon 2020 schemes over the next two years.
It will work with the University of Birmingham and partners in Belgium, Portugal and Spain to develop a robotic evaluation system which will enable more frequent inspection of rail tracks and improved detection of faults and defects.
And it will develop a unique product for assessing the condition of flexible risers widely used in offshore oil and gas production. <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = "O" />
The product, which will be developed with partners in the UK, Cyprus and Greece, will improve reliability and reduce the environmental impact of offshore production through a new sub-sea digital radiography detector.
Both schemes aim to deliver ground-breaking products, which will be marketed and sold around the world.
Earlier this year, the Welsh Government announced a £7.5m EU funding investment for TWI’s new Advanced Engineering Materials Research Institute (AEMRI) in Port Talbot.
Philip Wallace, TWI regional manager in Wales, said:
“AEMRI aims to drive business growth and competitiveness for manufacturing and engineering organisations through research into advanced engineering and materials.
“Our collaboration in the Horizon 2020 schemes is just one example of this aim. TWI know-how will help fast-track innovation within these schemes and allow pioneering new products to reach commercial readiness and success.”
To date, Welsh businesses and universities have been awarded more than €54m in Horizon 2020 funding from the European Commission since the programme was launched two years ago.
Financial support with bid-writing and travel costs is available for Welsh organisations interested in developing Horizon 2020 projects through the Welsh Government’s SCoRE Cymru fund. For more information about SCoRE Cymru email firstname.lastname@example.org.