Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will visit innovative projects at the heart of the Swansea Bay Region City Deal technology revolution later today (11 January).
The Welsh Secretary will hear about the future of steel and how digital manufacturing can increase competition and create globally networked systems at Swansea University’s Bay Campus.
Swansea University, in partnership with Neath Port Talbot, Tata and other commercial partners is working to catalyse the ambition of the Fabian Way Innovation corridor and show Swansea Bay residents the regeneration opportunities presented by the City Deal, by grouping three world-leading projects together, including the UK National Steel Innovation Centre and Astute Factory of the Future.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
Swansea University is leading the charge in delivering exciting City Deal projects which will transform the region, delivering high-quality employment and world-leading technologies.
The UK Government is working hard to encourage the City Deal region to capitalise on its reputation as leaders in the fields of innovation, research and development and energy. With this existing strength, it is crucial that the area is empowered to take the reins and make decisions to support economic growth, boost employment and attract investment right across the region.
The Secretary of State will also visit the Harbourside site in Port Talbot, which aims to boost employment in the research and development field.
The former disused steel and tin-plate works in the docks area of Port Talbot is home to the Harbourside Business Park, occupied by TWI, TATA Steel and Thyssen Krupp. It is hoped that Neath Port Talbot College will develop a £28m campus on the site in 2019.
The Welsh Secretary will also visit the Baglan Bay Innovation Centre, which focuses on developing businesses in the energy, innovation and technology fields.
The Centre is home to the Project SPECIFIC, an academic and industrial consortium led by Swansea University with strategic industrial partners Tata Steel, BASF and NSG Pilkington, developing functional coatings that will transform the roofs and walls of buildings into surfaces that generate, store and release energy.
Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre was recently awarded £800,000 of UK Government investment to develop the UK’s first energy-positive office.
Alun Cairns will see the proposed site for the Swansea Bay Technology Centre at Baglan Energy Park, aimed to support and encourage the growth of start-ups and indigenous businesses, with a focus on the innovation and research and development sectors in particular the growing energy sector.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns added:
The Swansea and Neath Port Talbot areas have much to look forward to – not just because of the exciting City Deal projects transforming the region. The Harbourside and Innovation Centre are fantastic examples of investments that will deliver sustainable employment, regenerating the entire area and supporting the growth of new businesses, which will take the region in an exciting new technology-led direction.