Wales secures €90 million of EU innovation funding

Wales has secured more than €90m in funding from the European Union’s competitive research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford confirmed the news last week. He explained that the funding will allow companies and innovators from across the country to launch new STEM projects.

So far, Welsh businesses have benefited from €16m of Horizon 2020 funding, and Wales also happens to have the highest proportion of private sector participants in the UK.

“Horizon 2020 provides real opportunities for businesses and organisations to be at the cutting edge of research and innovation,” said Drakeford.

“Our white paper Securing Wales Future and policy paper Regional Investment in Wales after Brexit emphasised the importance of Horizon 2020 to Wales and that it will continue to receive Welsh participation after Brexit.

“Horizon 2020 creates valued partnerships, which lead to direct economic benefits and has helped put Wales at the forefront of science and innovation.”

Over the past year, Welsh organisations have received millions in funding from the programme to launch ground-breaking projects and develop lucrative partnerships across Europe.

Cymru Coal Ltd, which is based in Cowbridge, is an example of a company that’s benefited from Horizon 2020. It secured €1.3m in funding to research new machinery that can process small and complex deposits of metal.

Gareth Thomas, managing director of the firm, said: “We are delighted a small Welsh company is playing such a crucial part in providing the expertise needed to deliver a bespoke piece of equipment to the Horizon 2020 IMP@CTproject. It’s rewarding to work as part of a team of partners with such varying areas of expertise.

“This project has enhanced our knowledge and understanding of hard rock mining. We are very appreciative of this opportunity and look forward to the potential benefits it can bring to Cymru Coal, the project partners and the countries of Europe and beyond.”

Image credit: Yanni Koutsomitis