EU-funding for future manufacturing challenges

Posted on 01 Mar 2018 and read 426 times
EU-funding for future manufacturing challengesWelsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford recently announced the extension of a scheme to help Welsh manufacturing businesses develop cutting-edge products and services.

Backed by £4 million of EU funding, Swansea University’s Astute 2020 scheme ( will help to establish more research collaborations between participating Welsh universities and companies to address future manufacturing challenges and opportunities, the aim being to drive productivity and growth within industry.

The project is already delivering benefits in North and West Wales, as well as the South Wales Valleys.

The additional EU funding will enable Astute 2020 to be rolled out to support businesses across the rest of Wales, including Cardiff, Newport, the Vale of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Powys, Flintshire and Wrexham.

To date, more than 30 companies have been involved with research collaborations through Astute 2020, covering manufacturing component areas such as medical equipment, automotive and aerospace.

One such collaboration has been with the Aluminium Lighting Co (ALC), which has led to the development of a ‘state of the art’ electronic device, which can collect performance and maintenance data on lighting columns, such as those along roads.

Craig Williams, ALC’s ( managing director, said: “The Astute 2020 programme means we can access specialist knowledge that we do not have.

“Working with Swansea University, we are looking to apply concepts of artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networking in developing and refining our new product and service.”

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