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Major technology research boost for Wales

29 Mehefin 2007

Cardiff University is embarking on an innovative partnership with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) as it launches a major new Research Foundation in the UK.

Cardiff is one of the leading universities involved in EADS’ ‘Innovation Works UK’ programme which aims to develop the group’s technological innovation capability through closer links with the UK Government and higher education. Other partners include the Welsh Assembly Government, the South West of England and South East England Regional Development Agencies, and the universities of Southampton, and Bristol.

Commenting on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which sets out the framework for this pioneering Foundation, Louise Casella, Cardiff University's Director of Strategic Development said:"Forging strategic partnerships with industry and other leading academic institutions is important for Cardiff University as part of our drive to deliver our knowledge transfer and innovation agenda.The Research Foundation with EADS and our other partners has the potential to deliver major advances in fundamental and applied research, with benefits to the regional and UK economies."

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services and the new partnership will stimulate and support world leading research in the UK. Initially, work will focus on EADS UK’s key strengths in technology for advanced secure communications, simulation of complex systems, software engineering and advanced wing design and manufacture. Dr Jean Botti, EADS’ Chief Technical Officer commented, "Innovation and ingenuity has always been the driving force behind EADS. We take pride in our ability to attract the best people and develop the best ideas and technologies to stay at the technological cutting edge. The universities of Southampton, Bristol and Cardiff have been chosen as our initial partners because they are at the forefront of technology critical to the future of our business. We strongly believe that technological cooperation between business, academia and Government put into practice by Innovation Works is the best way to harness talent and inspire us all to future success."

Already a major employer in Wales, EADS announced that Newport will be one of three locations for the project, a move welcomed by the First Minister Rhodri Morgan who said: "The Welsh Assembly Government is keen to facilitate and encourage this collaboration between business and our world class universities. This initiative is an excellent example of what can be done for the world’s top technology companies by a joined up Wales and we welcome EADS continued investment."

Within three years, EADS hopes to have built a core of up to 150 engineers and scientists as part of the Research Foundation, spearheading the Company’s advanced technology research and development efforts within the UK.