£5.9m of Welsh Government support given to businesses investing in research and innovation

Over fifty projects have been given £5.9m of support from the Welsh Government to invest in equipment that will help develop and embed new innovative products and services.

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Grants from the SMART Capital Equipment Fund and the Circular Economy Fund for Business were given to support organisations to invest in innovation with the aim of improving people’s lives, growing the economy and addressing the climate and nature emergencies.

Businesses of any size, research organisations, academic institutions, including further education colleges, and third-sector organisations were invited to apply for the funding.

Investment has been targeted towards activity which will help deliver the missions laid out in the Welsh Government’s innovation strategy, Wales Innovates and support has since been offered to projects across Wales that cover all areas of the economy.

They include Coleg Y Cymoedd in Nantgarw, who will use the funding for a new centre for digital innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and knowledge exchange.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Blood Service will get support for equipment to research and improve the manufacturing and storage conditions affecting the quality of blood components leading to improved care for patients who receive transfusions.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:

“Innovation is the tool that has the potential to enrich our education, our economy, our health and wellbeing, and our environment.

“As I recently set out in my priorities for a stronger economy, I want to bolster Wales’s innovation and digital capabilities including in new and rapidly evolving technologies.

“We want to create and nurture a vibrant innovation culture for a stronger, fairer, greener Wales so I’m glad we have been able to support these projects, which I believe will drive transformational change.”

In a cross-government approach, grants have been awarded from both the Economy & Climate Change portfolios, with projects that support Wales’ move towards a circular, net zero carbon economy also recognised.

Wern Heulog Farm in Powys has been given support towards an initiative in the River Wye water catchment area. It aims to develop more sustainable poultry farming by using black soldier fly larvae to feed on the litter in a controlled environment, breaking it down and reducing its volume – potentially by up to 70%.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said:

“This is a great example of our Circular Economy strategy, Beyond Recycling and Innovation Strategy, Wales Innovates working side-by-side.

“Moving towards a circular economy in Wales, where we increase the use of recycled and re-used content in products or components, or extend the lifetime of products and materials, is a key part of the action needed on climate change.

“I’m therefore delighted we’ve been able to support these projects and the economic opportunities they bring while on our journey towards a more sustainable future and a zero waste, low carbon Wales.”

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