Wales offers an outstanding environment for businesses to thrive, built around a well-established network of academic centres with a strong track record of profitable collaboration with industry.
In Wales, our 10 universities and 25 further education institutions offer research expertise in a wide range of sectors such as Automotive, Aerospace, Sustainability, Performance Engineering, Printing and the Creative industries. They are geared to help companies to realise their potential, through a wide range of support services including:
- Short-term diagnosis/problem-solving projects
- Student/graduate placements
- Access to specialist equipment and expertise
- Collaborative industrial research and development projects.
Examples of centres offering support services for innovative firms include:
- Cardiff University?s Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) is an award-winning R&D resource for the automotive and aerospace industry. Conducting R&D in all major areas of Advanced Manufacturing, it also promotes the introduction of new manufacturing technology and practice to industry.
- Swansea University?s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) is an internationally recognised resource for the printing community ? providing access to world-leading research, industrial printing facilities, and academic expertise. The Centre has also recently been named as a UK Centre of Excellence for research in ?Plastic Electronics? and will work with the printing community to develop new product lines.
Academic Support services for Innovation
The Welsh Assembly Government?s Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme, supported by EU structural funds, is investing £70m to unlock the huge potential of the country?s higher and further education institutions. Launched in April 2008, it has already assisted nearly 150 projects aimed at bringing educational institutions and businesses together.
- Technology companies, fuel manufacturers and distributors are collaborating with researchers at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University on the Grassohol Project, which aims to develop a more sustainable method of producing biofuel.
- Scientists at IBERS are also set to play a vital role in the future safety of meat by developing natural chlorophyll-based markers that can be added to animal feed to prevent faecal contamination, with benefits for meat producers, abattoirs, supermarkets and consumers.
- The Moving Image Wales initiative at Swansea Metropolitan University specialises in the latest advancements in digital multimedia creation. The aim of the project is to support Welsh SMEs in production and post-production workflow, allowing them to take advantage of the latest technologies such as RED One cameras, and providing a technical and practical resource for Welsh media companies looking to exploit other national and international markets.
The Welsh Assembly Government?s Business Innovation team of Innovation Managers also provide specialist support services with access to Innovation Vouchers that can be used to part-finance work with private sector experts and universities and colleges.
Access Wales, one of the support services, is a try-before-you-buy service offered by International Business Wales (IBW) available to high-tech businesses involved in innovation who are looking to locate in Wales, ensuring that the location decision you make is the right one.
- One free desk space for up to 12 months in a choice of 15 innovation centres across Wales.
- A tailor-made induction programme prepared in advance of your stay.
- A free package of general business support through the Welsh Assembly Government.
- A free package of specialist business support through Access Wales? professional consultancy partners.
- Access to a dedicated point of contact during your stay to help you take advantage of the full range of Access Wales services.
For further information on Access Wales, visit: www.ibwales.com/accesswales
International Business Wales
Tel: 01443 845500