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The South Wales Crucible

New report highlights Wales’ innovation-led growth potential

The South Wales Crucible – led by Swansea University – has published its Science and Innovation report to the UK Government that outlines how the consortium can make positive and lasting steps to help unlock the region’s innovation-led growth potential.

The consortium brings together Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities, research centres of excellence and internationally significant firms, and is backed by the Welsh Government.

The report – commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – confirms that South Wales has nationally and internationally significant capabilities, as well as a strong portfolio of globally competitive science and innovation assets that advance steel innovation, smart manufacturing, health innovation and agricultural-food tech.

Furthermore, the Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) process has developed and reinforced networks between universities, research and innovation organisations, businesses and industry.

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, said:

“In Wales we need a better understanding of how research and innovation drives productivity and growth, so that we can support those areas that provide the greatest opportunity to grow our economy, create jobs and develop skills.

“I see this Audit as part of the evidence base of assets in Wales, which can be exploited to achieve our Government’s priorities.

“The South Wales economy is becoming more sophisticated and this Audit is a helpful tool to help us understand the current position and what we need to do to move forward. I welcome this Science and Innovation Audit, as it helps us understand the economy of Wales and enables us to plan for future investment.”

James Davies, Executive Chair of Industry Wales, said:

“The opportunity afforded to us by this Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) is very timely. It is essential that we step forward collectively and confidently to engineer solutions that will enhance our society for common good.

“The South Wales Crucible partnership will focus effort and resource on our specialised areas of excellence and differentiation where we can confidently and assertively lead science and innovation agendas – both for the benefit of Wales and the wider UK.”

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott OBE, Chair of the South Wales Crucible Executive Sponsor Group and Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, said:

“The core University members of our Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) South Wales Crucible consortium – Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea – recognise that we have a vital role in working together with organisations from the public, private and third sector to transform the productivity of our region.  The report highlights a selection of the extraordinary research collaborations taking place, and the positive difference this is having at local, national and UK levels.

“Having worked together effectively for many years, we share a common vision of transforming the Welsh economy through world-class science and innovation, that attracts funding from UKRI to support the regional growth within Wales that we are all passionately committed to deliver.”

Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore said:

“We are world-leaders across a range of science and research disciplines, and the SIAs published today show the whole nation contributes to that reputation.

“From boosting our cyber security strengths in Worcestershire to improving the sustainability of airports led by Brunel University, we have much to be proud about and we are committed to building on these strengths and others in our modern Industrial Strategy through the largest increase in science funding in a generation.”

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