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Government pumps £51m into Welsh tech hub

Chancellor Philip Hammond promises £51m in additional investment for researchers and entrepreneurs to drive tech innovation in Wales

Wales will get an extra £51m in innovation funding to develop new technologies and create jobs, chancellor Philip Hammond has announced. 

The funding is going to the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult in Cardiff, which is due to open its innovation centre in early 2019.

The extra funding is part of Hammond’s quest to expand successful catapult centres that are fuelling innovation as part of the government’s industrial strategy.

Hammond said the government is backing “British companies to grow and create jobs, as we build an economy fit for the future”.

“Today’s £51m investment for Wales will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future and the better, highly paid jobs we all want to see,” he said.

The catapult’s innovation centre will be home to test facilities, labs and a design studio where companies can drive the development of new products and technologies. 

Secretary of state for Wales, Alun Cairns, said the investment “cements Wales’s reputation as a leader in advanced electronics”.

“Bringing together academics and businesses to develop new technologies will support areas of our daily lives from the next-generation 5G mobile network to improving scanning at airport security,” he said. 

“Our investment in this technology will help Welsh businesses exploit a hugely lucrative global market and ensure that Wales continues to lead the world in science and innovation, creating vital new jobs along the way.”

The government also recently announced £3m in funding for a new science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) centre in Wales.

The stem centre is designed to reach a more diverse audience and deliver new content to teach people more about science and technology. 

Earlier this year, the NHS Wales Informatics Service and Life Sciences Hub Wales have joined forces to launch a digital health and care network to help tech companies access the sector and share innovations. 

The aim is to create an ecosystem to deliver better care through digital applications and services. The project, called the Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW) network, will initially run for two years until March 2020.

Its aim is to help tech suppliers gain access to the health and care sector and enable innovation across Wales. The life sciences hub’s role will be to engage stakeholders through holding events and information sharing meetings, aiming to encourage cross-sector collaboration.

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