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  • Support for Welsh Research and Industry Network Welcomed
    Professor Andrew Evans

Support for Welsh Research and Industry Network Welcomed

Feb 19 2019 Read 1703 Times

EU funding of £3.7m announced by the former Secretary for Finance for Wales, Mark Drayford at the end of last year and destined to create a world-class research network that will help industry embrace cutting-edge technology, has been welcomed by an Aberystwyth University scientist.

Professor Andrew Evans, Head of the Department of Physics at Aberystwyth and an authority on semiconductors believes that space age technologies developed at Aberystwyth University could benefit companies in mid Wales, thanks to the new £5.8m Centre for Photonics Expertise project.

Professor Evans said: “Wales is known across the world for its expertise in photonics and optics – technology that is found everywhere, from parking sensors in cars to lasers used in surgery and cells that capture solar energy.”

“Aberystwyth University has a long tradition of working with glass, semiconductors, thin films, transparent materials and solar cells and in developing instrumentation for space research, including missions to study Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, the Moon and the Sun.

“The knowledge and expertise of knowing how to build the best cameras and detectors, which components to use and how to make them work in extreme environments of space could be used to assist industry as they work to develop new technologies for the commercial sector.”

The Centre for Photonics Expertise project will bring together expertise from across Wales and establish collaborative research projects to encourage industries to embrace photonics technology in the use of lasers, sensors and fibre-optics.

Led by Glyndwr University, the three-year project will be delivered in partnership with Aberystwyth, South Wales, and Bangor universities, who will work with companies across West and North Wales and the South Wales Valleys in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, energy and agriculture.

At the 2018 announcement of the £3.7m funding Professor Drakeford said:

“It is vital the Welsh industry has access to the knowledge and expertise in our highly-acclaimed universities so we can drive innovation and put Wales on a global platform for success.

“This investment highlights the importance of securing replacement funding from the UK Government to support growth and jobs in Wales following our exit from the EU.

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