More than €9m of EU funding will be invested in a new two-nation project to expand the life sciences sector in Wales and Ireland.
The funding will support research and development programmes at more than 240 small and medium sized businesses in the two countries over the next four years.
The programmes will form part of the new Celtic Advanced Life Sciences Innovation Network (CALIN), which will be led by Swansea University in partnership with Irish and Welsh universities.
Businesses will benefit from research and development partnerships with experts from the participating universities and global healthcare leaders, including Unilever and GE Healthcare.
The scheme has been funded through the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme, which aims to strengthen economic links and stimulate cross-border collaboration in areas including innovation, climate change, cultural and natural resources, heritage and tourism.
As part of CALIN, businesses will have access to specialist technology and a network of experts and industry partners, including those involved in supply chains, markets and healthcare provision.
The network aims to support the development of new technologies, products, processes and services, leading to new jobs and further investment in the life science sectors in Ireland and Wales.
In addition to €9.3m of EU funds, the network has been co-financed by €2.6m from the participating universities.
The Welsh Government’s Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said:
“Life science is a key sector in Wales and Ireland and this funding will support research and development, which is vital to the creation of new products, technology and jobs.
It is excellent news for more than 240 small and medium-sized businesses and I’m delighted that expertise in the participating universities will be shared and used across both our countries.”