© National Assembly for Wales
© National Assembly for Wales

Welsh science initiative flourishes

As part of the Welsh governments ‘Science for Wales’ initiative, an engineering network has been set up to provide support in aiding scientists secure competitive investments in Welsh universities.

As Wales achieved its €50m research and innovation goal from across universities and businesses last October, two projects funded as part of the National Research Network (NRN) in Advanced Engineering and Materials (AEM) have gained recent success securing £1m (~€1.2m) through Horizon 2020.

Professor Owen Guy, director of the Centre for Nanotechnology in Swansea University, heads one of the two NRN AEM projects that will benefit from this win. As one of the 11 partner institutions in a €3.5m Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) innovative training network (ITN) led by Plymouth University, a fund of £470,000 is granted for Wales-based research at Swansea University.

Guy said: “This grant represents a unique opportunity to link with leading European research groups and industry partners, to develop diagnostic technology related to Alzheimer’s disease.”

“The MSCA ITN programme will also deliver a generation of 13 highly-skilled, creative and entrepreneurial fellows across the network, setting them on a path to successful careers in academia or industry”

Dr Cristiano Palego, of Bangor University, also heads one project that will benefit from this win. Collaborating with French and Italian universities, Limogues and Padova respectively, to secure a total of €4m in EU funds.

Palego said: “I would hope this can be a door opener for future opportunities. Myself, my school and ultimately Wales are likely to benefit in terms of the potential to attract talented researchers and increase competitiveness.

“It will allow me to establish my own bioelectric lab both in terms of equipment and expertise, which will be quite unique in Wales.

“The NRN AEM has been very supportive, notably by funding some consultancy service, which has definitely helped with this success.”