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A £14.7m EU-backed initiative to maximise world-class research expertise within Welsh universities to help boost Wales’ manufacturing industry.

First published:
17 August 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

ASTUTE 2020, backed by £10m from the European Regional Development Fund and £4.7m from participating universities, will see a team of world-class academics and highly-qualified technical experts collaborate with industry to tackle a series of manufacturing challenges to develop sustainable, higher-value goods and services for the global market. 

These collaborations will be designed to meet industry needs with experts helping businesses develop cutting-edge research and apply advanced engineering technologies to drive productivity and growth. 

Led by Swansea University alongside Cardiff, Aberystwyth and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the project will support a diverse range of companies across North and West Wales and the South Wales Valleys, from automotive and aerospace to medical engineering.

Professor Drakeford said: 

“I’m delighted EU funds are helping Welsh businesses to improve their productivity by exploiting the expertise in our academic institutions and adopting leading-edge technologies to achieve commercial success and economic growth.

“This is yet another example of the importance of EU funds for our economy. Our priority is to get the best deal for Wales in the forthcoming negotiations over the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. This includes safeguarding all the funding to which Wales has access.

“We must also ensure Wales continues to benefit from investment in regional economic development beyond our EU membership so businesses and communities receive the support they need.”  

Collaborations through ASTUTE 2020 are expected to see businesses improving their manufacturing methods and performance of a variety of goods, such as medical blood pumps, wind turbines and aerospace components.

Professor Johann Sienz, ASTUTE 2020 Project Director, said: 

“We are delighted to receive EU funds for ASTUTE 2020, which will focus its resources on working collaboratively with industry to provide support in areas which offer the best economic opportunities for the manufacturing industry to improve economic prosperity.”