© Reading Tom
© Reading Tom

Welsh technology firm secures funding

Research and technology organisation TWI has secured £1m (~1.19m) of EU funding to help improve the performance of rail infrastructure and offshore oil and gas production.

The scheme is being funded through Horizon 2020 and the group will collaborate with leading organisations from across Europe on two schemes over the next two years.

The Welsh government announced a £7.5m EU funding investment for TWI’s new Advanced Engineering Materials Research Institute (AEMRI) in Port Talbot earlier this year.

Philip Wallace, TWI regional manager in Wales, said: “AEMRI aims to drive business growth and competitiveness for manufacturing and engineering organisations through research into advanced engineering and materials.

“Our collaboration in the Horizon 2020 schemes is just one example of this aim. TWI knowhow will help fast-track innovation within these schemes and allow pioneering new products to reach commercial readiness and success.”

TWI is to work with the University of Birmingham, UK, as well as partners in Belgium, Portugal and Spain, to develop a robotic evaluation system which will enable the more frequent inspection of rail tracks and the improved detection of faults.

It will also develop a product for assessing the condition of flexible risers widely used in offshore oil and gas production.

Mark Drakeford, Welsh cabinet secretary for finance and local government, said: “I’m delighted another Welsh company has been successful in securing Horizon 2020 funding – this is a highly-competitive programme investing in projects at the forefront of innovation.

“This is yet another example of how EU funding and collaboration opportunities are benefitting Welsh business. It is great news that, as a result of these schemes, research and development with such potential will take place in transport safety and energy engineering which are of significant importance to Wales.”

The product, which will be developed with partners in the UK, Cyprus and Greece, aims to improve reliability and reduce the environmental impact of offshore production through a new sub-sea digital radiography detector.

Both schemes aim to deliver products which will be marketed and sold around the world.