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Innovation leaders and sustainable businesses

23 May 2013

Two new initiatives from Wales' leading engineering school are being launched today, both will bring long-term economic impact by helping to cultivate innovative leaders of the future, and drive sustainable businesses.

The University's School of Engineering has joined forces with entrepreneurs, the Alacrity Foundation UK, to deliver two of the UK's first technology-led Engineering and Entrepreneurship Masters Programmes in the field of ICT.

Developed in conjunction with the University's Business School and Computer Science and Informatics, the MSc in Communication Technology and Entrepreneurship and the MSc in Multimedia Systems and Entrepreneurship have been specifically designed to help graduates leave as CEOs of their own start-ups and become the job creators of the future.

The courses will provide, at an advanced level, knowledge and skills in either wireless and microwave communication engineering, or multimedia. Both aim to meet the urgent need for specialists trained in this field – specialists who will be responsible for facing the challenges posed by ever-developing new technology. In addition, they will allow students the opportunity to gain valuable skills in entrepreneurship and starting a business by applying to take part in the Alacrity Foundation's 'boot camp'.

Professor Phil Bowen, Director of the School of Engineering, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to help cultivate Wales' future innovation leaders through embedding entrepreneurship in the curriculum.  By working with Alacrity and developing higher level skills in key industry sectors, we aim to convert high flying engineering graduates in to successful entrepreneurs of high technology companies who will then provide employment sources to the Welsh economy."

Simon Gibson, a founding Trustee of the Alacrity Foundation, said: "The Alacrity Foundation's Graduate Programme has already proven to be a successful route to commercialise technology and create successful companies. Our projects are attracting some of the brightest and best graduates from across the UK to develop the skills to become successful entrepreneurs. By working with Cardiff University to deliver these two postgraduate programmes we are able to ensure we are helping to realise the potential of Wales' most talented engineering graduates."  

Also being launched this week is the new Cardiff Business Gateway, a School of Engineering-based knowledge transfer hub.

Developing out of the Welsh Government A4B-funded Knowledge Transfer Centre, the Business Gateway incorporates the three components of the former Knowledge Transfer Centre as well as the advanced Manufacturing Engineering Centre's (aMEC) Industrial Services activity. Together, the Centres engage with around 250 companies each year, with approximately 50 per cent being Wales based.

Professor Bowen said: "Businesses can often find it difficult to access academic expertise and facilities as they are unsure where to go or who to approach. As well as striving for international excellence as Wales' representative in the Russell Group of leading UK universities, the School of Engineering has a long tradition of working with local business and industry.

"Taking guidance from our Industrial Advisory Board, we are providing a straight forward route through which businesses can access our academic expertise and specialist laboratory facilities across the School.

"We attach significant importance to our role in supporting Welsh business to help them benefit from established national and international excellence in Engineering and anticipate the School will be able to support business of all sizes and help them drive forward innovations, identify new ideas, and economic opportunities."

The new initiatives were launched by David Rees AM during the "Engineering a Better Society" event in the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.

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