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Welsh business urged to sign-up for University knowledge and expertise

22 February 2010

Universities can play a key role in Wales’ economic recovery if businesses take advantage of their knowledge and research expertise, a leading Cardiff University academic will argue this week (Tuesday 23rd February).

Professor Phil Bowen, Director of Innovation and Engagement at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, will use an Assembly briefing to urge AMs to encourage businesses in their constituencies to seek-out new opportunities to tap into leading University knowledge.

Professor Bowen said: "Wales’ economic recovery is fragile and businesses need all the help they can get. One of the ways businesses can be helped is to exploit and take advantage of the pool of research, state-of-the-art facilities and expertise that Welsh universities have to offer."

One example of such a collaborative project is a Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) developed at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering.

Developed with financial support from the Welsh Assembly Government’s A4B, the KTC is designed to promote and facilitate knowledge transfer and encourage collaborative industrial research with businesses across Wales.

KTCs offer businesses access to expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to help Welsh companies develop new products and services, as well as assisting them in improving their existing offerings to succeed in increasingly competitive markets.

Professor Bowen added: "There is a whole host of research expertise available at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering to help businesses in a variety of different fields.

"Given the difficult economic climate, businesses have a real opportunity to get ahead of the game by accessing this information and getting ahead in their business."

There are currently three knowledge transfer projects offering support for businesses in the key areas of the environment, performance engineering and Green communications.

Another mechanism for support, typically offered to larger companies, is strategic partnerships. One company already benefiting from partnership with the School is a link-up with steelmaker, Corus.

The link-up has led to the establishment a Centre of Excellence in Waste and Energy, designed to assist Corus develop and exploit new technology. The Centre also helps Corus train their staff through bespoke courses, such as combustion and explosion safety for the range of gases produced at their plant and to enhance their knowledge of high voltage electrical systems.

Businesses looking to take advantage of the services available at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering can contact the KTC for further information by contacting Simon Parker, KTC Centre Director, on 029 2087 6584 or by e-mailing


1. Further information on Cardiff University’s Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) and strategic partnerships is available by contacting:

Denis McCann
Cardiff University
School of Engineering
Tel: 029 2087 5738
Mob: 07747 005975

2. The briefing takes place on Tuesday 23rd February at the National Assembly for Wales and is open to all.
To attend, or for further information, please contact:

Chris Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731

2. A4B
Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) is a six year £70m project funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Structural Funds, and geared to ensure Wales maximises the economic impact of its academic institutions. A4B supports a range of activities in higher and further educational institutions to develop more effective knowledge transfer mechanisms, to commercialise their Intellectual Property, develop new products and processes, increase business investment in R&D and develop and exploit the research base. Funding is available to academic institutions for projects that involve collaboration with businesses.

3. Cardiff School of Engineering
Engineering has been taught at Cardiff since 1893. Today, the School of Engineering is regarded as one of the top centres for engineering with teaching and research facilities ranked amongst the best in the British university system following a £35million refurbishment in recent years.

Staff members are active in most fields of engineering research. These are split into three main groups: civil engineering; electrical, electronic and systems engineering; and mechanical engineering. Its research has earned the highest ratings in government assessments, and it has been rated "Excellent" for the teaching of civil engineering, mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, and electronic, electrical and systems engineering.

Research expertise within civil engineering includes: concrete and masonry structures; decision support systems; environmental water management; geotechnical engineering; performance of lightweight structures; structural testing and analysis; and traffic engineering.

Research expertise within electrical, electronic and systems engineering includes: electrical power, machines and drives; electronic systems; industrial systems; magnetics technology; manufacturing engineering; medical systems; microelectronics; and thermoelectronics. Research expertise within mechanical engineering includes: control and dynamics; emissions, effluents and processes; energy; renewable energy; fluid power; materials; thermal fluids; and tribology.

4. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.