Geoenvironmental researchers to join Technium

03/22/04

Environment experts will be first to move in to new Centre

Cardiff University's Wales Geoenvironmental Research Park (GRP) is to become the first occupant of a new Technium for Sustainable Technologies, using its expertise to create new hi-tech companies to tackle environmental problems in Wales and around the world.

The GRP is a project funded by European Objective One funding, and emerging from the Geoenvironmental Research Centre in the School of Engineering. It is a unique all-Wales research and development facility with world class expertise in the environment and waste management.

The GRP's decision was announced at the ground breaking event to mark the start of work on the new .8.6m Technium on Baglan Energy Park, South Wales.

The Sustainable Technologies Technium is the latest sector-specific business innovation centre in the pan-Wales Technium network geared to support companies with high growth potential and encourage innovation, research and development.

The GRP is a world leader, and its development of new technologies and techniques has already attracted interest from Europe, the USA and South Africa.

Under its Director, Professor Hywel Thomas, Head of the School of Engineering at Cardiff University, the GRP is a unique partnership involving local, national and international organisations and businesses with expertise in the broad field of land regeneration and sustainability.

Since its creation two years ago GRP has created six new hi-tech spin out companies and been involved in a range of research and development projects mostly in collaboration with Objective One small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and government organisations.

The main thrust of its involvement in Technium will be to create additional companies, new jobs and significantly increase the turnover in assisted companies.

Last year it set up a number of working groups to identify key concepts that could be taken from initial ideas through to commercialisation, several new and exciting products emerged which utilised key waste stockpiles in Wales, including quarry dust waste, slate waste and colliery shale. These products are undergoing development trials prior to being tested in the marketplace.

Technium Chief Executive Steve Davies said: "The involvement of GRP provides us with the opportunity to develop world beating technologies that can be exported to provide solutions around the world."

The Sustainable Technologies Technium, which has received 2.2m Objective One funding, is being developed in partnership with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, the Welsh Development Agency, University of Wales Swansea, and BP and is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. The solar centre on Baglan Energy Park will be incorporated into the Technium.

It is anticipated work on the Technium will be completed by April 2005.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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