The press release issued by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology on 18 October 2023.
Showcase event highlights university research from Welsh Universities that is having an impact in communities in Wales, the UK and across the world.
- Key strengths in areas such as semi-conductors, agri-tech and Net Zero demonstrated by exhibitors.
- Attended by Welsh Secretary David TC Davies, Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Science Minister George Freeman, the event demonstrated Welsh R&I strengths and aimed to encourage continued investment in Welsh research.
Welsh universities are delivering world-leading research that makes vital contributions to the economy and society. This is the message from a special event held in London this week showcasing the very best of Welsh research and innovation.
Hosted by the Wales Office and Wales Innovation Network, the event at Lancaster House on 17 October highlighted the strength and breadth of Welsh university research, and its ability to deliver tangible benefits to communities in Wales, the UK and across the world.
With projects ranging from decarbonisation and cyber innovation to virus detection and semiconductor technology, the exhibition demonstrated the diversity of the Welsh research and innovation sector, and the vital role it has to play in driving forward the UK economy and providing solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges.
Wales is already leading the way in areas as diverse as MedTech, AgriTech and Net Zero and has a world-leading compound semi-conductor cluster driving innovation in a technology used in nearly every mobile phone on the market today.
Collaboration is also a key strength of the Welsh sector, with many of the projects on display involving partnership working across several Welsh universities.
The UK Government has made a commitment to invest nearly £40 billion in research and development between 2022 and 2025. Welsh universities are well-placed to access more research funding for research with a push to increase funding to areas of the UK outside the southeast of England by at least 40% by 2030.
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies, Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Science Minister George Freeman were among those attending the event which featured 20 exhibits, including an insight into digital imaging technology based on human vision and demonstrations on the future applications of nuclear power.
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said:
I was delighted to welcome Welsh universities to this very special event and demonstrate the UK Government’s commitment to the higher education sector. It was a great opportunity for UKRI to get a flavour of some of the incredible research and innovation that’s already taking place in Wales across all of our universities.
I want Welsh universities to play a vital role in positioning the UK at the forefront of R&D, and I hope this event has helped us make progress towards that common goal.
Professor Paul Boyle, Chair of the Wales Innovation Network and Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University said:
We welcome this opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic research and innovation taking place at Welsh universities.
The Wales Innovation Network’s purpose is to strengthen Welsh research and innovation by facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, so it was particularly positive to see so many of the projects on display demonstrating the value of collaborative working across Wales’ universities.
We will continue to showcase the strengths of Welsh research and we welcome further engagement with government and stakeholders to continue to increase research and innovation funding in Welsh universities.
With a sustainably-funded R&I sector we can continue to create economic and societal impact for this and future generations.
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UKRI said:
There are remarkable research and innovation strengths in Welsh universities, and the wider Welsh research and innovation system. In my visits to Wales and meetings with Welsh stakeholders, I’ve talked to many brilliant people including early career researchers and entrepreneurs, technicians, local community and global research leaders.
Welsh universities are highly successful at winning research funding from across UKRI, with success rates similar to the rest of the UK. These projects powerfully demonstrate how Welsh universities are advancing research across a wide range of areas, and driving innovation and economic growth, benefiting the whole UK and beyond.
- All nine of Wales’ universities – Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff University, Open University in Wales, Swansea University, University of South Wales, University of Wales Trinity St David’s and Wrexham University – featured in the Lancaster House event.
- A number of the 20 R&D exhibits featured joint teams from different universities.
- The event brought together representatives from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Wales Office and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology with the aim of encouraging more funding for Welsh research.
- In the latest UK-wide assessment of the quality of research (REF 2021), published last summer, 89% of Welsh university research was rated as internationally excellent or world-leading for impact. A selection of REF impact case studies can be found here.
- The Wales Innovation Work (WIN) is a collaborative initiative set up to strengthen research and innovation in Wales. The Network has four main objectives:
- Increasing the competitiveness of Welsh research and innovation through facilitating collaboration to build innovative and distinctive projects.
- Leveraging strategic investment into Wales by working with appropriate partners to deliver impactful research and innovation.
- Advocating for Welsh research and innovation through communicating the strengths, reach and impact of the sector.
- Facilitating the sharing of facilities, equipment and practice between Welsh universities to strengthen the research infrastructure and environment.
- Universities Wales is a membership body representing the interests of Wales’ nine universities. We develop higher education policy, deliver political and stakeholder engagement, and campaign on issues where our members have a shared interest. www.uniswales.ac.uk