Swansea-led Science and Innovation Audit Given Green Light

Swansea University is delighted to have been chosen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to lead on a Science and Innovation Audit for Wales, covering steel innovation; smart manufacturing; health innovation; and agri-tech, underpinned by two pervasive enabling competencies (digital technologies and renewable energy).

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Swansea University’s Senior Pro Vice Chancellor said: “This now means we have a great opportunity to strengthen our place on the map in these key areas, giving us the best chance of securing future investment in research and innovation. Our long-standing and emerging world-class research and innovation strengths shaped our plan and the South Wales Crucible will focus on compelling areas of excellence where we can build the UK’s global competitive advantage.”

The South Wales Crucible consortium includes world-leading universities (Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth), research centres of excellence, internationally significant firms, and is backed by the Welsh Government.


Through the audit process we aim to validate our claims to be able to exploit high value steel opportunities and reduce production costs thus diversifying and securing the future UK steel market share; apply smart manufacturing technologies and solutions to overcome energy, technological and productivity barriers; create a global destination and test bed for new products and service development in healthcare and create high-value employment in the agri-food and environment sectors.

Whilst the core geography for the South Wales Crucible and analyses will be South Wales, our consortium importantly extends to other parts of Wales including key science and innovation areas such as Deeside (automotive and aerospace), Bangor (energy) and Aberystwyth (agri-tech) and has well-developed links to significant sectors, clusters, universities, RTOs and science parks across the wider UK and globally. 

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation said: “Now in its third wave, the Science and Innovation Audits are providing valuable insight into the ground-breaking work taking place across the UK and the contributions we are making to solve challenges across the world.

“The work of the successful regions undertaking their SIA in this wave will support the development and delivery of our Industrial Strategy and allow local places to build on their strengths.  This will ensure that the UK remains competitive in the global market and is best placed to continue leading scientific discoveries and taking them to market.”

The Science and Innovation Audit process is expected to run from November to May and will produce valuable and informative evidence that will contribute to the future economic direction of their areas. The SIAs will also help Government and local organisations examine how investment in science and innovation leads to local productivity.

Note: The objective of the audits is to improve the UK’s capability to identify and validate where existing and growing research excellence is coupled with emerging innovation strength. To do this well, links between research and innovation organisations and businesses need to be forged and strengthened, and we need to build a robust and powerful evidence base which can underpin future investment decisions.