ASTUTE 2020 - Embedding transformational and sustainable growth in Welsh High Value Manufacturing Industry
18 September 2016
We are a partner in a new £14m EU-backed operation to stimulate transformational and sustainable growth in the High Value Manufacturing Industry in West Wales and the Valleys.
The operation, entitled ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies), will bring together world-leading expertise from Welsh universities to work with manufacturing industry to facilitate and de-risk the development and adoption of advanced technologies, increasing competitiveness and future proofing.
The five-year ASTUTE 2020 operation has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions. The project, led by Swansea University in partnership with Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University, and University of Wales Trinity Saint David will support Industrial Research, Development and Innovation through world class academics and a team of highly qualified technical experts.
Quoted in the Welsh Governments news item publicising the launch of the operation finance secretary Mark Drakeford commented: “This is yet another example of the importance of EU funds for our economy. Our priority is to get the best deal for Wales in the forthcoming negotiations over the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. This includes safeguarding all the funding to which Wales has access.”
The challenges Welsh manufacturing needs to meet are varied and include: increased adoption of robotics and automation; use of advanced materials; leveraging the internet of things and industry 4.0; embedding innovative new technologies in smart manufacturing processes; and creating resilient supply chains.
Professor Rossi Setchi, Leader of the High Value Manufacturing Group at Cardiff’s School of Engineering: “The ASTUTE 2020 project is a conduit which translates world class academic research into impacts that expand and maintain High Value Manufacturing in West Wales and the Valleys.”
The Cardiff ASTUTE 2020 project team collaborates with academics from all three colleges of Cardiff University, including Professor Mohamed Naim (Cardiff Business School) and Professor Ian Weeks (Cardiff School of Medicine). The multidisciplinary team has already started work on collaborative research projects with several Welsh manufacturing companies.
Paul Davies, CEO of Industry Wales, which brings together companies and expertise in key manufacturing sectors including automotive, aerospace and electronics, commented: “We welcome this important initiative to assist manufacturing companies in West Wales and the Valleys.”