Innovation newsletter - issue 13 – January 2016

Innovation news


Issue 13, January 2016


£50M investment puts Wales at heart of European compound semiconductor industry

Economy and Science Minister, Edwina Hart, has welcomed a £50m investment that puts Wales at the heart of the European compound semiconductor industry.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the UK Government investment, over the next five years, to establish the UK National Centre for Compound Semiconductors in South Wales as part of the network of Research and Development Catapults.

Mrs Hart said: “This announcement will help fulfil our ambition for the creation of a compound semiconductor industry cluster of European scale and global reach in South Wales and represents a real vote of confidence in Wales’ universities, its semiconductor businesses and skills base.

It is the culmination of two years’ negotiations between the Welsh Government, Innovate UK, the semiconductor business sector in South Wales, Cardiff University and UK Government.” Read more.

ty castel

Tan Y Castell production grows with Welsh Government funding

Pembrokeshire based Tan Y Castell, a traditional bakery, has bought new equipment with innovation funding.

Managing Director, Paul Mear stressed that, from a new product development point of view, the company wouldn’t have been able to grow so quickly without the innovation funding.

“It has opened new doors in how we think about production.” he said.

Find out how Welsh Government innovation support can also benefit your business.


Welsh Government helps sustain Senior Flexonics jobs

Crumlin based engineering firm Senior Flexonics has developed an Exhaust Gas Recirculation Cooler with the help of Welsh Government innovation support.

This also helped in keeping operations and jobs in the UK and contributed to attitudinal changes within the organisation which have placed greater emphasis on innovation and R&D.  Read more.


Welsh Innovators of the future

Monmouth schoolboy Oliver Stokes has beaten more than 16,000 students to be named overall winner of the Student Innovation Awards 2015.

Oliver’s portable carbonating unit for drinks bottles was celebrated at the Awards, which are hosted by Welsh Government and WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee). 

This year’s awards showcased 80 projects, a number of which will now represent Wales at The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham NEC in March.  Read more.


North Wales’ first Launchpad

A photonics Launchpad competition is to be brought to North Wales.

The Launchpad proposal by Innovate UK provides an exciting opportunity to grow the photonics, electro-optics and opto-electronics technologies cluster.

Launchpads provide funding for business innovation that supports the development and strengthening of clusters of small and medium sized high-tech companies in specific theme areas and geographical locations.

A briefing event will be held on 11 February 2016 at OpTIC Centre, St Asaph. Read more and find out about the application process.


Research drives product development with Welsh Government support

Pontypool based, Flamgard has reinforced its in-house research and development expertise by establishing a new R&D lab at the company’s head office with help from Welsh Government innovation funding.

The facility will enable Flamgard to execute specific tests to prove airflow, pressure drop and other performance measurements in practice, using a dedicated test rig.

Steve Edwards, Managing Director, said: “Thanks to SMARTCymru we were able to develop a high specification fire damper and this has helped position us as a primary supplier of such devices within the process industries".  Find out how we can help your company.

health check

Health check for innovative businesses

Welsh Government SMARTInnovation is offering three days worth of free consultancy to businesses for design and manufacturing advice.

This help is part of the new package of SMART support backed by EU funds.

Rhys Hughes of P&A Group benefitted from the advice. He said; “We will now use this information to help us develop our manufacturing processes and in the last few weeks have taken on an individual with production process & planning background to assist with the improvements required.”

Find out how we can assist your business.


Exporting is GREAT tour comes to Wales

Welsh companies are invited to a series of free events aimed at developing their export business.

The Exporting is GREAT tour, a joint initiative between Welsh Government and UK Trade and Investment, comes to Wales from February 15 to 26.

Held at ten venues across the country, the events can provide your business with an opportunity to meet with experts to discuss international business opportunities and seek advice on their target markets through a series of one to one meetings and seminars - whatever your size or sector.  Find out more and book your appointment to ensure your business can connect with our extensive list of global contacts.


Directory of Welsh Businesses launched

Business Wales have launched an online directory of Welsh Businesses to help companies promote themselves to potential new customers, and raise their profile.

Users can do a quick search for Welsh businesses by name, sector, region and other filters and listing is free and easy to do.

Promote your goods, services and credentials to other businesses and potential customers and get your business found by other businesses and consumers here.


£14m EU backed boost for advanced engineering in Wales

A new £14m EU-backed project to develop the next generation of leaders within Wales’ engineering sector has been announced by Welsh Government.

Backed by £8.6m of EU funds, Swansea University’s Materials and Manufacturing Academy will provide training in specialist technical and management skills key to the advanced engineering and materials sector.  Read more.


Small Business Rates Relief extended for year with £98million

The Welsh Government’s Small Business Rates Relief Scheme will be extended for another year, Economy Minister Edwina Hart has announced.

The £98million scheme, which benefits over three quarters of business premises in Wales, means around half of all eligible businesses will pay no business rates again next financial year.  Read more.


BioWales 2016 – 1-2 March, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

BioWales is the flagship event for the life sciences sector in Wales run by Welsh Government. With a host of world renowned speakers, workshops, a partnering scheme and sponsors it is one of Wales’ biggest Life Science conferences.

This year’s theme of connect and collaborate offers a unique platform in Wales to network with key figures, innovators, investors, companies and academics. Join in wide ranging discussions where you can share your own insights and develop new relationships with over 600 attendees.  Find out more.


Wales Festival of Innovation 2016 – 20 June- 1 July

Now in its 3rd year the Wales Festival of Innovation will highlight and showcase innovation in Wales through a number of events, seminars and workshops run by companies and academia.

The Festival will provide innovators with the opportunity to network with industry experts and to showcase their products and services to potential customers and members of the public from across Wales and beyond. Find out more.


Follow us on @WG_innovation

Stay up-to-date with Innovation news and engage with the Welsh Government’s department for Economy, Science and Transport Innovation team, by following us on Twitter.


If you have an enquiry, please telephone: +44(0)3000 6 03000 or contact us at: Business Support.

For further information visit the Business Wales website.

The Welsh Government's Business Wales service provides a one stop shop for all your business needs. The Welsh Government is pro-business, offering: access to finance, diverse support packages, international trade advice, help with finding a location, workforce and skills development plus links with industry networks.

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