Welsh government’s £5.9m for business innovation 

More than 50 businesses across Wales are to share government funding so that they can invest in equipment to develop and embed innovative products and services 

Among the beneficiaries are further and higher education provider Coleg Y Cymoedd in Nantgarw, which will invest in a new centre for digital innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship and knowledge exchange. Meanwhile, the Welsh Blood Service will procure specialist equipment with which it can research and improve the manufacturing and storage conditions of blood components. This should, of course, result in improved care and outcomes for patients receiving transfusions. 

 Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, and Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister

Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, and Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister, photo courtesy of Welsh Government

Not all the innovations are tech-based. For example, Wern Heulog Farm in Powys has received support to develop more sustainable poultry farming by using black soldier fly larvae to feed on the litter in a controlled environment, breaking it down and reducing its volume by up to 70%. 

These are just three of a nearly 50 businesses across Wales, in all areas of the economy, being supported to invest in innovation that aims to improve people’s lives, grow the economy and address the climate emergency. The funding has also been targeted towards initiatives that will help achieve the goals outlined in the Welsh government’s innovation strategy, Wales Innovates. Grants have been awarded from both the economy and climate change portfolios; among the projects receiving funding are those that support Wales’ move towards a circular, net zero carbon economy. 

The grants are provided through the SMART Capital Equipment Fund and the Circular Economy Fund for Business.  

Businesses of any size in Wales were invited to apply for the funding, as well as research organisations, academic institutions including further education colleges, and third-sector organisations. 

Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister, says: ‘Innovation is the tool that has the potential to enrich our education, our economy, our health and wellbeing, and our environment. As I recently set out in my priorities for a stronger economy, I want to bolster Wales’s innovation and digital capabilities including in new and rapidly evolving technologies. 

‘We want to create and nurture a vibrant innovation culture for a stronger, fairer, greener Wales so I’m glad we have been able to support these projects, which I believe will drive transformational change.’ 

Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, adds: ‘This is a great example of our Circular Economy strategy, Beyond Recycling and Innovation Strategy, Wales Innovates working side-by-side. Moving towards a circular economy in Wales, where we increase the use of recycled and re-used content in products or components, or extend the lifetime of products and materials, is a key part of the action needed on climate change. 

‘I’m therefore delighted we’ve been able to support these projects and the economic opportunities they bring while on our journey towards a more sustainable future and a zero waste, low carbon Wales.’ 

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