Wales secures €100 million of innovation funding from the EU

Wales has secured more than €100 million of EU funding to support innovative research and development projects across the country.

The investment comes from Horizon 2020, which is a research and innovation programme supporting cutting-edge STEM initiatives and international collaboration.

Over the past few years, Welsh organisations and universities have been involved in over 2,800 international innovation programmes and put their research on the global map.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “We are celebrating Welsh success in Horizon 2020. The programme provides a real opportunity for Welsh businesses and universities to be at the forefront of world-class research and innovation while also helping to grow our economy.

“This success highlights just how important it is that we continue to have full access to Horizon 2020 and its successor programme in the future after the UK leaves the EU.

“We will continue to press the UK Government to ensure this is part of any new relationship between UK and the EU after Brexit.”

Swansea University is one of the successful organisations to receive funding from Horizon 2020. Backed by €1.5 million, it’s researching how the computational power of quantum physics can be leveraged in smartphones, machine learning and big data.

Dr Markus Muller, from Swansea University, said: “The Horizon 2020 funding will help us to take a leading role in establishing a new paradigm for quantum information processing.

“It has the potential to significantly strengthen the university’s contribution to the fast-growing European research in the field of quantum technologies, providing a new cornerstone of our emerging modern information-based society.”

North Wales-based company Qioptiq Ltd and Cardiff University have been given €635,000 of Horizon funding to take part in the MANUELA project, which will develop additive manufacturing production processes.

Lee Eccles, principal engineer from Qioptiq Ltd, said: “Qioptiq is excited to be a part of the Horizon 2020-funded MANUELA project. Our active involvement in the development of such leading-edge technology will help to ensure that Qioptiq maintains its position as a market-leading innovator, generating growth for the company, the local economy and Wales.”

Dr Samuel Bigot, from Cardiff University School of Engineering, said: “Participation in the MANUELA project offers Cardiff University an exciting opportunity to work with leading industrial and academic partners across the EU and be at the forefront of research developments.”

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