New funding for ASTUTE project

26 February 2018

Engineering work

Welsh manufacturing businesses will benefit from an extra £8m to extend a scheme to help them access world-class expertise and develop cutting-edge new products and services.

This new funding for the ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) project will connect businesses with Cardiff University academics in an attempt to drive innovation and develop the next generation of sustainable technologies and competitive goods for the global market.

The £8m of new funding from Welsh Government will be used to extend the scheme beyond North and West Wales and the South Wales Valleys to manufacturing companies in East Wales.

To date, more than 30 companies have been involved with research collaborations through ASTUTE 2020, covering manufacturing component areas such as medical equipment, automotive and aerospace.

Academics from across Cardiff University’s three Colleges are undertaking a number of cutting-edge collaborative research projects with Welsh companies and are currently in discussion with firms from across East Wales.

Professor Rossi Setchi, the ASTUTE 2020 Cardiff Director based as the University’s School of Engineering, said:  “We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide manufacturing companies from Wales with access to proven world class expertise and facilities in a number of key areas including robotics and autonomous systems, digital manufacturing, additive manufacturing and future manufacturing systems.

“Our close involvement with industry ensures that ASTUTE 2020’s research has both relevance and meaning. This focus on applied research enables us to work with some of the world’s most renowned global companies, whilst also contributing to the needs of the local region through our collaborations with SMEs.”

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford AM said: “Investing in our manufacturing sector to drive innovation and develop pioneering technologies and products will lead to increased competitiveness within the industry and new employment opportunities.”

ASTUTE 2020 is a £22.6m all-Wales scheme delivered in partnership between the Swansea, Aberystwyth, Cardiff and South Wales universities and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

The ASTUTE 2020 operation, supporting manufacturing companies across Wales, has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.