Innovation newsletter - issue 14 – March 2016

Innovation news


Issue 14, March 2016

Economy Minister

Wales attracts record investment for innovation projects

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.

These latest figures were announced 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.  Read more.


More women in science critical for Wales economic future

A new report commissioned by the Welsh Government and published on International Women’s Day seeks to find ways to encourage more girls and women in Wales to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and pursue careers in the science sector.

Talented Women for a Successful Wales aims to tackle the critical shortage of women in STEM roles in Wales - and across the rest of the UK.

The 73-page report identifies the need for a sea change of attitude across society to break down existing barriers and create the skilled workforce needed to support the future economic growth of Wales. It is estimated that increasing the number of women in science across the UK could be worth £2bn to the national economy. Read more.


Pioneering solar fridges supported by Welsh Government’s SMARTCymru

Dulas, designer and manufacturer of renewable energy systems, has been awarded £57,400 of funding from the Welsh Government’s SMARTCymru programme, to support the development of its Solar Direct Drive Refrigerators.

As keeping vaccines cool is a major public health challenge across the developing world, Dulas - which pioneered solar vaccine refrigerators in 1982 - identified a gap in the market and set about developing a battery free solar fridge.  Read more.


Eysys enters new overseas markets with Welsh Government support

With help from Welsh Government’s Innovation funding, Cardiff based Eysys has developed and entered overseas markets with the Holistic e-commerce platform.

This is a programme that tailors certain aspects of a retailer’s website to show customers products that are most relevant to them.

Chairman Simon Powell said: “From our perspective Welsh Government support has been instrumental in allowing us to deliver next generation techpersonalisation solutions to multiple sectors.

Without the innovation support we received, we would not have been able to achieve the success we’ve enjoyed over the last 24 months.’ 

Read more and find out how we can support your company.


Wales joins the Vanguard Initiative

Wales has recently become the 26th member of the Vanguard Initiative for New Growth through Smart Specialisation – an initiative driven by a commitment of European industrial regions to raise the competitiveness of their respective industrial sectors and work together to develop pan-EU projects of scale.

Wales’ Membership of the Vanguard Initiative will provide Welsh stakeholders with national and international collaborative opportunities in innovation and has the potential to improve Wales’ share of UK and European grant funding.  Find out more.


Innovation funding vital in safeguarding jobs

Cardiff-based marine software firm GeoVS has developed a highly advanced 3D Geographic Information System (GIS) at the forefront of the field, with the help of Welsh Government funding.

Founder Rafal Goralski said ‘the project simply would not have happened without the innovation funding as it has helped create a system that is still being widely used and further developed.’ 

Read more and find out how we can help your business.


Advances Wales - issue 78 out now

Read about research, industry and clinical collaboration in this bioscience special edition of Advances Wales.

Features include a new wearable technology developed by anaesthetists that allows a healthcare professional to monitor patient vital signs in their visual periphery; leading scientific research using genetics to accurately predict clinical outcomes; and a sustainable solution for driving, using hydrogen fuel cell technology to create fuel-efficient cars. Read the latest edition.


New £136m fund to help businesses in Wales grow

A new £136m EU-backed fund to give businesses in Wales access to finance to help drive their productivity and the growth of the Welsh economy has been announced by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.

Managed by Finance Wales, the Wales Business Fund will support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate their expansion plans by providing finance through loans and equity investments from £50,000 up to £2 million.

The fund will also provide finance for business start-ups as well as risk capital for the creation and growth of companies undertaking research and innovation, including spin outs, in key growth sectors.  Read more.


£21million finance package to expand SMEs in Wales

Economy Minister Edwina Hart has announced £21m of new finance to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Wales expand and create or safeguard more than 1,800 jobs.

The money will be distributed to Welsh businesses through two Finance Wales funds and the Welsh Government’s new £5m Repayable Fund for SMEs, which offers repayable finance of between £50,000 and £500,000 to help SMEs grow and create jobs. The fund aims to create and/or safeguard at least 500 jobs.  Read more.


SMARTInnovation Healthcheck roadshow

Welsh Government is running a series of interactive workshops across Wales where you will be able to find out how your business can access three days of free consultancy for design and manufacturing advice.

The first sessions have been held in Nantgarw and Wrexham and have helped delegates to improve their product offering, reduce risk by adopting design in the product development process and gain an understanding of blockers to productivity improvements. Register for events near you and find out how your business can be assisted.


North Wales’ first Launchpad now open

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

The first stage of the application process is a two-minute video and the deadline for submission is noon on 6 April 2016. Find out how to register and get involved.


Call for Welsh innovators to showcase pioneering work

Welsh businesses and organisations are being urged to showcase innovation in Wales by hosting events as part of the 2016 Wales Festival of Innovation from 20 June – 1 July.

Supported by Welsh Government, the Festival will provide innovators with the opportunity to network with industry experts and showcase their products and services to potential customers and members of the public from across Wales and beyond.

Applications are open for businesses to join in by staging workshops, exhibitions, open days, demonstrations, lectures and conferences. Find out more and get involved.


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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