New Catapult to launch in Wales

Posted on 8 Jan 2016 by Fred Tongue

George Osborne has announced that the Government will be launching a new Catapult national innovation centre in Wales.

The new centre will be focused on compound semiconductors and will be a place for British businesses, engineers and experts to come together in the name of innovation.

Osborne announced that the Government will fund the project with £10m a year until 2020-21, with investment in the project totalling £50m.

The new Catapult will be named the ‘Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult’ and will be based in Wales, although the specific location and founding members have not yet been announced.

A compound semiconductor is a compound that is made up of two or more elements in the periodic table, and can conduct electricity under some circumstances but not others.

The Chancellor commented: “Backing cutting-edge science and innovation is at the heart of our long term plan to support Welsh people at every stage of their lives.

“That is why I am today announcing £50m of new funding for a national semiconductor innovation centre, to bring together leading scientists and businesses to one hub in Wales.

“The investment we are announcing today will ensure that Wales continues to be a world leader in science and innovation, and create vital new jobs in the area.”

Chief executive of Innovate UK, Dr Ruth McKernan said: “Innovate UK is committed, through our  five point plan, to developing the Catapult centres as national networks for innovation.

The Manufacturer’s Editor, Callum Bentley recently sat down with  Dr Ruth McKernan to discuss how best to grow UK SMEs to become the next economic powerhouse for Britain. You can read about it here.

“These provide businesses with access to critical assets, research and expertise. Compound semiconductors is an area of UK strength and this new catapult will reinforce our strong position in this important and growing technology. This is excellent news.”

The news follows the Chancellor’s commitment in the spending review to increase funding for catapults as a key part of economic growth in Britain.