Wales’ higher education institutions must build on their collaborations with businesses at home and abroad to boost the British economy and productivity, Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns said today.
The Minister will make the call during a visit to Cardiff Metropolitan University today (14 March) where he highlighted the benefits of continued interaction between the higher education and business sectors in Wales.
Mr Cairns will be welcomed on the visit by the University’s President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Antony Chapman and Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Sheldon Hanton.
He will visit the University’s PDR (International Centre for Design & Research) to see the valuable and pioneering work carried out at the facility which is receiving global recognition and accolades.
PDR is a design and innovation research institution set up by Cardiff Metropolitan University in 1994. Their work encompasses a full range of design support needed from original research, user insight and analysis through to design, prototyping, low volume rapid manufacture, tooling management and New Product Introduction (NPI) support.
Cardiff Metropolitan University was recently recognised in The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for 2014-2016 at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London. The prize was awarded for the use of design and related 3D digital scanning technologies as applied to maxillofacial reconstructive surgery in treatment of disease or following trauma.
Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns said:
From 3D printing and modelling, to groundbreaking prototype developments, the work carried out at the PDR at Cardiff Metropolitan University can only be described as revolutionary.
Excellent research drives productivity and is vital for delivering a better quality of life for everyone. Right here on our doorsteps, we are developing a research base that is world leading and is helping to attract the world’s brightest minds. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to see this work first hand today.
Cardiff Metropolitan University’s President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Antony Chapman said:
The team at our International Centre for Design & Research (PDR) continues to garner international recognition for the level of expertise and research established here. The team’s interdisciplinary research is consistently pioneering and is making a real difference to the lives of service users and fellow clinical leaders. It was a great honour to receive The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for 2014-2016.
The visit comes ahead of a Wales Office reception for the higher education sector at Gwydyr House on Tuesday (15 March). Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb and Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science will welcome representatives from Wales’ universities and Embassies from around the world to share good practice and forge new partnerships.
Mr Cairns will also visit the university’s international office to explore the programmes in place to further its links with markets and potential students across the globe.
The University provides higher education and training to 16,000 students from over 140 countries.
In 2014, the University opened the new Cardiff Met China Office in Beijing to develop strategic partnerships with Chinese institutions for joint research, staff and student exchange programmes. Earlier this month, it also hosted a roundtable event in association with the South Wales Chamber and China-Britain Business Council to highlight the opportunities and challenges for Welsh SMEs to seize in China.
Alun Cairns added:
The UK government places huge importance on international partnerships. They are increasingly important when it comes to research and innovation, and export opportunities.
This Government is eager to identify and foster additional international partnerships between businesses and universities in Wales. They are essential in building a Britain that is stronger, more prosperous and full of opportunity.