£31m EU boost for world class computer science hub in Swansea

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, today announced a £31m EU-backed investment for a world class computer science facility at Swansea University.

Computational Foundry 1The Computational Foundry, based at the Swansea Bay Campus, will be backed with £17m from the European Regional Development Fund and will drive research into computer science and make Wales a global destination for computer scientists and industrial partners.

Carwyn Jones said: “Building a vibrant digital economy is vital to achieve global success and a key goal of the Welsh Government.

“This funding will help build an internationally renowned facility which will act as a beacon for pioneering collaborations with researchers and industry, attracting further research funding and establishing Wales as a world-leading centre for computer science and innovation.”

Computational Foundry 2The Computational Foundry will house a modern state-of-the-art centre, enabling world class researchers to carry out focussed research. The facility will build on Swansea’s existing achievements, ranked the 1st in Wales and 11th in the UK for the quality of its Computer Science research by the Research Excellence Framework - the body that assesses the quality of university research.

It will include research and development laboratories, postgraduate and researcher areas, as well as networking and inspiration space.  It will be kitted out with world leading experimental set-ups, equipment, devices and prototypes that will accelerate innovation.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies said: "I'm delighted that the Welsh Government has agreed to support the Computational Foundry with EU funds. This is a real vote of confidence in Swansea University and a sign of our ambition.

"Our computer science department is ranked first in Wales and seventh in the UK in the Times Good University Guide and the Foundry will build on our strengths and support our strategic aim to be ranked within the top 200 of global universities.

‌“This project will transform Swansea, West Wales and the Valleys and the nation into a global destination for computer scientists. It will also further strengthen the Bay City Region.”

Computational Foundry 3Professor Matt Jones, Head of the College of Science and Foundry lead said: “This investment is about changing this region, Wales and the world for the better through a centre which will conduct high-end research and innovation, helping define the digital technologies, services and tools that will shape how life is lived by billions of people globally.”

Sir Terry Matthews, Swansea Bay City Region Chairman, added: “I am very pleased with this announcement. We all know that the Swansea Bay Region has a rich history of innovation.  In the past the region was world famous for innovation in the production and use of non-ferrous metals. The Computational Foundry at Swansea University represents a milestone for a new industry in the area – the first stage of the City Deal, which we call The Internet Coast. This was covered by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget announcement last week. I foresee a region focused on the technology sector, creating new companies – new solutions and services for the Internet of Energy, the Internet of Health and Wellbeing and the Internet of Economic Acceleration – and addressing a rapidly growing global marketplace.

“The Swansea University Computational Foundry will deliver the best computer science graduates and establish for the region the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity.”

Building work is due to begin in November. 

Learn more about the Computational Foundry