Swansea University recognises Europe 2017

Swansea University is today recognising Europe Day and the key developments at Swansea brought into being through European collaborations and funding.

Europe DaySwansea University’s £450 million campus development programme has been made possible through support secured from the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund.   The Engineering Quarter at the University’s new Bay Campus has benefitted from a significant buildings and equipment funding award of €49.4m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Welsh Government.  In addition, the University has attracted £60m of European Investment Bank (EIB) funds – the first EIB investment in Wales.

Construction began on the new Computational Foundry, at the Bay Campus, in February this year.  The Foundry is backed with £17m from the European Regional Development Fund and will drive research into computer science and make Wales a global destination for computer scientists and industrial partners. 

Researchers at Swansea University have been highly successful in securing funding for a diverse range of other European Funding programmes, including a number of structural fund projects of significant value to the University and local economy and community.  These include:

  • The CALIN project is a €11.96M EU-funded Ireland-Wales life science network, led by Swansea University’s Medical School. The Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) collaborative programme  aims to connect Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)  with world leading Higher Educational Institutions including  Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities in Wales, and University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland Galway and Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland. CALIN hopes to engage and assist over 240 enterprises throughout Wales and Ireland.
  • Dr Emily Shepard has been awarded a €2 million ERC Starter grant to investigate how wind and other airflows affect the costs of flight in birds. The project involves building a unique wind tunnel at Swansea University to fly birds. It is only by understanding how birds alter their flight behaviour in relation to this complex flow field, and the consequences this has for the energy they spend, that we can start to understand how changing wind conditions may affect birds. The project team brings together international experts from a range of disciplines, including Professor Anders Hedenström, a leader in the field of flight biomechanics (University of Lund, Sweden), Dr Andrew Ross, a meteorologist based at Leeds University, UK, and Dr Steve Portugal, a comparative ecophysiologist (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK). 
  • SPECIFIC (Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovation in Functional Coatings) SPECIFIC is an academic and industrial consortium led by Swansea University with BASF, NSG Pilkington, Tata Steel and Cardiff University as strategic partners. At its heart is the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, which is funded by the EPSRC, Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board) and has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
  • The ION Leadership project Led by Swansea University in partnership with Bangor University, this project is backed with £2.7m from the European Social Fund.  The initiative aims to help business owners and managers gain new leadership and management skills and drive forward productivity and turnover in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as in larger organisations.
  • Swansea University’s Materials and Manufacturing Academy This £14m EU-backed project will develop the next generation of leaders within Wales’ engineering sector.  Backed by £8.6m of EU funds, Swansea University’s Materials and Manufacturing Academy will provide training in specialist technical and management skills key to the advanced engineering and materials sector.
  • Materials and Manufacturing Education Training and Learning (metal). This industry demand-led project aims to up-skill over 360 people in the field of Advanced Materials and Manufacturing.  The project has been made possible through £1.1 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.
  • The ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) operation led by Swansea University in partnership with Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University & the University of Wales Trinity Saint David supports industrial Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) through world-class academics and a team of highly qualified technical experts and project managers. The five-year operation (2015-2020) has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.
  • Swansea University is leading AMBER, a €6.2 million multi-disciplinary research project that will deliver the first comprehensive Atlas of river barriers across Europe and will apply adaptive barrier management to reconnect Europe’s rivers. In collaboration with 20 partners from 11 countries and led by Prof. Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, AMBER (Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers), will combine citizen science and cutting-edge advances in environmental DNA, use of drones, and valuation of ecosystem services, to map the distribution of barriers and assess their effects on freshwater organisms. It will work with hydroelectric companies, water providers, NGOs, anglers and local authorities to restore river connectivity in a way that maximizes the benefits of water abstraction but reduces environmental impacts: http://amber.international/
  • Led by Professor Sonia Consuegra from Swansea University’s College of Science, AQUAINVAD-ED is a €2 million H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN), the first of this kind being awarded to the University. The project consortium, consists of multi-disciplinary experts in invasion biology, ecology, marine and fresh-water biotechnology, citizen science and environmental policy working in three different countries, the UK, Spain and Italy. The main research goal of AQUAINVAD-ED is to exploit novel molecular advances combined with the power of crowd data sourcing (citizen science) to develop innovative methods of early detection, control and management of Aquatic Invasive Species: www.aqauinvad-ed.com

Ceri Jones, Director of Research, Engagement and Innovation Services said: “The level of funding we have received from the EU through the Welsh Government is testament to the calibre and proven success of our researchers of which we are immensely proud.

“We now look forward to the opening of our Computational Foundry which is set to make Swansea a world-class hub for computer science research.

“The significant funding received through European collaborations shows that we are going from strength to strength and recognises the University’s potential to become a world leading institution, promoting partnership with industry, excellence in teaching and continuous innovation.

“In the coming few years our relationship with Europe will be changing significantly and at this point it is unclear what this will mean in terms of European research funding coming to the UK.  However, Swansea University is an international University and whatever happens with the negotiations, we are committed to continuing to work closely with our European colleagues, maintaining and wherever possible expanding our research collaborations.”

Pictured: Members of Research, Engagement and Innovation Services with the European flag.