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How Academia and Manufacturing can Help Accelerate Decarbonisation

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The Welsh Government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions in the next decade is a steep challenge, with Welsh manufacturing producing a considerable portion of it. But with recent partnerships between Welsh academic institutions and manufacturing, are they the key to helping accelerate the reduction of emissions?

Business News Wales spoke to Professor Paul Harrison, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Innovation and Engagement at the University of South Wales, to learn more about some of the exciting innovation projects that the university has been working on and licensing to manufacturers across Wales to help contribute to the Welsh Government’s decarbonisation vision:

It comes with the news of the CBI’s ‘Seize The Moment' Campaign, which aims to enlighten businesses as to how they can help transform the UK economy. It sets out three distinct areas that will contribute to the achievement of decarbonisation: Lower Energy Usage and Reduced CO2 Emissions, Early Mover Opportunities in Green Products and Services, and Exporting Opportunities in Fast-Growing Products and Services.

Professor Paul Harrison had some important insights on exporting, commenting on how Wales has already been leading the way nationally through inward investment and capitalising on the blooming relationships between academia and manufacturing:

“There’s a great heritage of heavy industry in South Wales [for example], and that continues to this day but it’s being supplemented now by a knowledge industry in South Wales. And where I think we have shown the way is [through] the connection between the knowledge industries and traditional heavy industries to help them innovate themselves. That’s an ecosystem that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the UK.”

He continues:

“Together with the Welsh Government’s commitment to seeing economic growth and prosperity in Wales, it has invested wisely in many projects to help with that. And we’ve also been a beneficiary of that, so in recent times, we’ve had funding through Sêr Cymru (the Welsh Government’s funding programme) into sustainable environment research projects.”

“That inward investment by the Government has been helping to generate that knowledge economy, which I think will attract [further] inward investment into South Wales.”

You can read more about the CBI’s Seize the Moment Campaign here.