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Webinar Explores High-value Compound Semiconductor Cluster in Net Zero Week


An online webinar marking Net Zero Week will show how Cardiff University’s leading research translates into real-world benefits for people across South Wales.

Register here

The UK’s system for benchmarking the quality of research in universities – known as REF 2021 or the Research Excellence Framework – recently ranked Cardiff as a top 20 UK university for the quality of its research (19th), impact (11th) and environment (16th).

But how does Cardiff’s academic excellence in the REF boost the wider world of business and improve lives in the Cardiff Capital Region?

“The Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) at Cardiff University provides a great example,” says Chris Meadows, Director of Cardiff University-led CSconnected, the world’s first Compound Semiconductor cluster formed through a successful bid for £43m in UKRI Strength in Places funding through UK Government.

“It’s a perfect case study that shows how economic impact begins with fundamental academic research and travels from lab benches to boardrooms and into new industrial products and processes, creating high-value jobs.”

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 scientists are experts in finding new applications for CS technologies,” added Chris.

“Combining ICS expertise with support from UK and Welsh Government, and private sector partners allows us to support cluster industries along the M4 corridor and beyond.

“Cardiff’s supply of leading-edge CS research helps to advance our products and processes, whilst at the same time providing a training ground for work-ready graduates with expertise in a range of CS processes.”

The impact of the CS industry on South Wales was recently captured in an annual economic evaluation published by Cardiff University’s Welsh Economy Research Unit.

The report showed that 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 online webinar, will be chaired by former First Minister Carwyn Jones. It marks the cluster’s commitment to Net Zero and the COP Cymru 10-year Net Zero pledge.

Carwyn 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.

The webinar takes place from 9am to 10am on Thursday 7 July 2022. Please click here to sign up for the session via Eventbrite.