As Wales transitions to a post-Covid, post-Brexit economy, place-based innovation clusters of expertise hold the key to creating well-paid high-value jobs that bring wider prosperity to the Cardiff Capital Region.
Highlighting Wales’ contribution to Net Zero Week, an online webinar will bring experts together to examine the wider economic power of CSconnected – the world’s first Compound Semiconductor (CS) cluster based in South Wales.
Compound Semiconductors are tiny next-generation electronic chips that are smarter, faster and more powerful than their silicon cousins, capable of supporting emerging technologies that require ultra-high performance.
CS technologies are used in a range of applications that can help reduce global carbon emissions, from more effective navigation systems to more efficient electric vehicles.
Based on a successful Cardiff-led consortium bid for £43m from the UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund, CSconnected is the collective brand for advanced semiconductor activities in Wales.
Chaired by former First Minister Carwyn Jones, the session in July will discuss recent findings from Cardiff University’s Welsh Economy Research Unit which highlighted the impact of the cluster and how it can contribute to Net Zero.
The Annual Report: Compound Semiconductor Cluster in South Wales showed that the CS cluster in total supports 2,390 jobs and contributes £277m in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Welsh economy.
Cluster employment grew by 14% to 2021 Q4 (14%), with over 80% of employees resident in Wales. And the cluster generated over £71m in wages and salaries, with average pay levels around 60% above the Welsh average.
The report, published in January, noted CSconnected’s resilience to the economic shocks of Brexit and Covid-19 pandemic, in part driven by a global uptick in demand for goods driven by next-generation CS chips.
During the online webinar on 7 July, Carwyn Jones will be joined by Peter Davies, CS lead for Cardiff Capital Region and Deputy Chief Executive, Monmouthshire County Council; Max Munday, Director of the Welsh Economy Research Unit, and Chris Meadows, Director of CSconnected, which signed up to the COP Cymru 10-year Net Zero pledge.
The one-hour session, will also focus on the question of how Wales can build an economy based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future – and what lessons can be learned from existing success stories both within the cluster and across the Cardiff Capital Region.
The webinar takes place from 9am to 10am on Thursday 7 July 2022. Please click here to sign up for the session via Eventbrite.