Europe Day 9th May: Flying the flag for Europe

The European Union flag will be flying high outside Singleton Abbey, Swansea University to mark Europe Day on Wednesday 9th May 2012, as the University hosts a number of European themed activities showcasing how direct financial EU support to build educational, cultural, trade and civic links benefits people, businesses, communities and the environment.

The University is involved in many diverse strategic initiatives funded by the EU Structural Funds through the Welsh Government and, to date, it has been awarded more than £73 million EU funds through the Welsh Assembly Government  includes over £44 million of EU European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and a further £29 million of European Social Fund (ESF).

Each of these strategic projects provide significant benefits at a local and national level; with ESF projects helping to deliver the higher level skills demanded in the 21st century while ERDF projects contribute towards economic growth and wealth creation.

To mark Europe Day the University’s Department of Research & Innovation (DRI) will launch Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) at Swansea University which will strengthen the links between Wales and Europe and also help local small businesses to make the most of the European marketplace. A dedicated Business Development Officer will be funded through this project to help businesses develop in new markets, source or license new technologies and access EU finance and EU funding.

Enterprise Europe Network Wales (EENW) staff will also help by operating a signposting service highlighting schemes running in the region or nationally, and hope to increase the number of signposts into the network from other business and innovation support providers.

As part of this project, experts in innovation, technology and commercialisation at the university will work with SMEs and other relevant organizations by undertaking technology reviews in south and into mid Wales to produce quality partnership proposals, expressions of interest received, partnership agreements and success stories.

Small businesses can find out more by contacting 01792 606060 researchandinnovation@swansea.ac.uk

The University will also be showcasing the prestigious Erasmus programme which encourages the mobility and exchange of students and teaching staff with its motto of ‘Bringing students to Europe, bringing Europe to all students.’

The EU endorsed Erasmus programme, established in 1987, operates in 31 countries and the cultural exchange and cooperation involved has led to community, social, diversity and environmental benefits; reinforcing the rich and diverse culture of the University’s campus.  

The most recent figures show that approximately 130 Swansea University students and approximately 25 staff benefit each year, both personally and professionally, through participation in a programme that is widely described as ‘the chance of a lifetime’.

For further details and to view student blogs about the scheme visit, please contact the International Development Office http://www.swan.ac.uk/international/opportunities/

A European themed menu will be also available at the University’s Fusion Café on the day which will include Spanish paella, Greek moussaka and German chicken schnitzel.

Professor Richard B Davies, Swansea University’s Vice Chancellor said: “As a research-led institution with an ambitious growth strategy, Swansea University welcomes the significant funds received from the EU through the Welsh Assembly Government and is proud of the proven success of collaborative projects in creating high-value and high-skill jobs and, as importantly, attracting further investment into the south west region of Wales to help drive forward the knowledge economy.”

Information and contact points for approved projects are available from Swansea University’s Department of Research & Innovation (DRI). For more information, visit: researchandinnovation@swansea.ac.uk