Planning application registered for Swansea’s new £31m world-class computer science hub

A massive new £31m world-class computer science facility at Swansea University’s Bay Campus has moved a step closer, after a planning application for the development was registered with Neath Port Talbot Council this week.

Computational Foundry 1The Computational Foundry, which is backed with £17m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be a vibrant and growing community of world-class research leaders drawn from computer and mathematical sciences, who work together with purpose and impact.  It will also provide the most up-to-date and high-quality teaching facilities.

The Computational Foundry’s growth in research activities is already underway, following the ERDF funding announcement in March. The Foundry will be housed in a state-of-the-art centre, will drive focussed research into computer science and make Wales a global destination for researchers, students, and industrial partners.

Professor Matt Jones, Head of the College of Science, will lead the Foundry, which will build on Swansea’s existing achievements. Computer Science is ranked first in Wales and eleventh in the UK for the quality of its research by the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the body which assesses the quality of university research. Mathematics has its international profile recognised by the QS World University Rankings by Subject, which assesses subjects and disciplines in institutions around the world across a wide range of indicators, including research excellence.

Computational Foundry 2The facility will include research and development laboratories, postgraduate and researcher areas, as well as teaching, networking, and inspiration space.  It will also feature world-leading experimental set-ups, equipment, devices and prototypes to accelerate innovation and ensure that students will be ready for exciting and successful careers.

Welcoming the news Professor Richard B Davies, Swansea University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: "This is yet another transformational development for the University, accelerating our expansion always with an emphasis on building upon our research strengths, meeting the future needs for skilled and talented graduates in the economy, and supporting the economic regeneration of the region.

“Our Computer Science department is ranked first in Wales and seventh in the UK in the Times Good University Guide. The Foundry will enable us to lever maximum advantage from this strong position and support our strategic aim to be ranked within the top 200 of global universities.

Computational Foundry 3“The project is a key component of the strategic plans for the Swansea Bay City Region and will help turn the region into a global destination for computer scientists and IT companies.”

Professor Matt Jones, Head of the College of Science and Computational Foundry lead, added:  “This is a significant step in the journey toward this region, Wales, and the world having a globally recognised beacon for digital economy innovation.

“While research work has already begun, the actual new Foundry building on the Bay Campus will provide a stunning facility – the best is yet to come.

“This week, I have been in Silicon Valley, USA to meet with collaborators in key hi-tech companies such as Google and Microsoft, and to share the excitement and global opportunities Swansea’s new Computational Foundry brings.”

It is anticipated building work will begin on the Computational Foundry in November 2016.