South East Wales

£300m 'innovation' centre for Cardiff University

A model of the proposed Maindy Road campus Image copyright Cardiff University
Image caption Cardiff University said the development would turn the Maindy Road land into a 'cutting-edge campus'

Cardiff University is unveiling £300m plans for four new research centres in the city focused on innovation and building the Welsh economy.

The proposals for a former industrial site in the Cathays area include a social science research park and an entrepreneurship centre.

The other buildings would host research on semiconductor technology and turning academic work to practical uses.

Last month the university moved back into the top 125 of world universities.

The university said it aims to put innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of its strategy to be an "engine for future prosperity, health and growth in Wales, the UK and the wider world".

The innovation centre would offer advice to local firms as well as business "spin-outs" from the university itself, while the semiconductor research institute would test the technology "in realistic environments", college officials added.

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Media captionProf Colin Riordan said universities have shown they can be 'engines of prosperity'

The social science research park would be the first in the world, the university said, and would provide an environment for "creating, sharing and applying new knowledge".

Practical "real-world applications" for society, healthcare, culture and the economy would be the focus of a research facility for academic research, according to the university's leaders.

"What we're going to do is come up with a new way of doing innovation," Prof Riordan told BBC Radio Wales.

"We want to orientate the university and all of its capacity towards innovation in a way that I don't think has been done before."

The university, which has 28,000 students, is a member of the Russell Group of UK universities.

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