University welcomes green light for Swansea Bay City Region City Deal

Swansea University is delighted by the confirmation today (Monday, March 20, 2017) of funding for the Swansea Bay City Region City Deal – The Internet Coast.

Following the signing of the City Deal at the Liberty Stadium, Prime Minister Theresa May visited Swansea University’s Bay Campus, hosted by the School of Management, where the Prime Minister convened a meeting of leaders from Welsh business and industry to discuss the Government’s Plan for Britain.

Swansea Bay City Region City Deal

Welcoming today’s City Deal announcement, Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said: “The Swansea Bay City region has a rich history of innovation.  This ground-breaking £1.3bn City Deal will ensure that innovation thrives once again and is encouraged, embedded, and commercialised to help create a new era of growth and prosperity ranging from improved health care to tackling fuel poverty with many associated benefits.

“The City Deal has been made possible by the positive collaborative engagement of the public and private sector with the leadership of Sir Terry Matthews.  The University has contributed extensively to the preparation of the City Deal submission and looks forward to helping deliver the exciting projects which will now be funded.  This is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity with transformational projects proposed across the whole region and I am proud of the way Swansea University has responded.

“I must pay particular tribute to the leadership of Professor Marc Clement, Dean of the School of Management and Vice-President of the University with a specific responsibility for developing major strategic projects.  Marc has played an instrumental role in building a project team and driving the detailed development of the proposal.

“The Internet Coast addresses the integrated universal themes and challenges of energy, health and well-being and economic acceleration by harnessing the power of digital networks and the asset base of Swansea Bay; creating 10,000 new jobs and increasing the value of goods and services produced in the region by £1.8bn.

“Swansea University has been heavily involved in all 11 Internet Coast projects, with particular leadership in the projects focused on:

  • The Life Science and Well-being Campuses, and Life Science and Well-being Village projects, to support innovative growth of the life science sector. The unique ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) project has already been established to develop the region into a globally relevant ecosystem for integrated Open Innovation in Life Science and Well-Being, embracing the existing strengths of skills and tools in the region.
  • The Factory of the Future Initiative Growing Smart Manufacturing practice, creating a culture of Open Innovation accelerating a vibrant, sustainable and diverse economy. This will be achieved through supporting SMEs – from heavy industry to complex microelectronics assembly to consumer products and food – to invest in leading edge technologies and harnessing opportunities associated with the digital manufacturing revolution.
  • The establishment of a Steel Science Centre, building on regional centres of excellence and the industrial capabilities at Tata’s Port Talbot Steel Works, to address the current and future challenges of sustaining primary steel-making capacity in the region and the UK. 
  • Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre will work with local authorities to implement the Homes as Power Stations project. This programme will target both new build and retrofit of existing homes and buildings with integrated renewable energy technologies. The major aim of the project is to reduce fuel poverty and its impact on health. SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre aims to transform buildings into power stations by enabling them to generate, store and release their own solar energy. It works with a wide range of partners – including multinational corporations, SMEs, universities and investors – to scale-up new technologies, develop supply chains and identify routes to market.  The City Deal will create a test bed for this integrated approach to energy, enabling full-scale demonstration and market uptake of new solar energy systems. It also gives Wales and the Swansea Bay region an opportunity to lead the way in sustainable construction, building on the network of expertise and support that is here to accelerate a programme that is of national significance.

The Vice-Chancellor and Professor Marc Clement greet Theresa May

Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Marc Clement, Dean of the School of Management, welcome the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to the Bay Campus.

“We were thrilled to announce last month that construction work has started on the University’s £31m Computational Foundryat the Bay Campus, which represents a milestone for a new industry in the area. Work on this world-class centre for research, innovation, and skills is expected to be completed in summer 2018.  It will help make the Internet Coast a reality, creating new companies and acting as a magnet for existing companies.

“We also launched a new Health and Wellbeing Academy last week, a collaborative project between the College of Human and Health Sciences at the University and ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health). The Academy, in addition to enhance the teaching and learning experience for students, provides high-quality health and wellbeing services for the local community, enabling people in south west Wales to access more support to live healthier lives, and play a part in training the next generation of healthcare professionals.

“The phenomenal success of our Institute of Life Science (ILS) has delivered new learning and teaching initiatives, research collaboration and measurable impact. Our economic impact analysis has shown that the ILS approach delivers new jobs, new enterprises, and develops a range of knowledge initiatives based on collaboration.

“Today’s funding announcement enables the University and the Swansea Bay City Region to now fully embark on its response to global grand challenges, and gives real momentum to this exemplar City Deal.”

The Swansea Bay City Region includes the local authority areas of Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot, joined by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity St David’s, and private sector partners.

Visit Swansea Bay City Region