Business and uni unity call to boost growth in Wales

Welding Image copyright PA
Image caption Report calls for action to spark business growth between academia and business innovators

Creating new partnerships between businesses and universities could help boost the economy, according to a report.

Lead author Prof Kevin Morgan said a "lack of long-term vision" weakened the efforts of the sectors.

His report calls for new ways of teaming experts with new research and development businesses.

It comes as a new body is launched to provide specialist advice to unite the different groups.

Be The Spark, supported by the Welsh Government, brings nine experts from Welsh business, academia and finance together to offer support.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates has welcomed the new partnership and the publication of the report, Growing the Value of University-Business Interactions in Wales.

'Unleash latent talent'

Prof Morgan cited the approach taken to develop the Institute for Compound Semiconductors at Cardiff University as a "blueprint for the development of hot spots involving key sectors, businesses and Welsh universities".

Welsh firm IQE, which is based in St Mellons, Cardiff, and exports around the world, has joined with Cardiff University and the Welsh Government to invest in developing a compound semiconductor cluster in the area.

The technology, which is behind smartphones, tablets and satellite communications, is key to a multimillion pound project in Newport which could create about 2,000 high skilled jobs in five years.

The report has been published by the Growing Value Wales (GVW) Taskforce which, with the National Centre for Universities and Business, is developing an online portal that helps businesses find expertise and identify collaborative projects.

GVW chairman Dr Drew Nelson, boss of IQE, said: "By launching Growing Value Wales alongside Be The Spark, we hope to unleash latent talent in our universities, team it with industry, and seamlessly develop really powerful partnerships for growth."

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