The Welsh Government has renewed its package of support for businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through a better use of knowledge, technology and skills, with a new £8.4m deal with Innovate UK.
Both parties will work collaboratively to help businesses across Wales commercialise their innovative ideas by signing a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to run until March 2018.
Innovate UK promotes the research, development and exploitation of science, technology and innovation to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life in the UK. It does this by supporting collaborative research and development (R&D), knowledge transfer networks and knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP).
Each KTP is a partnership between a business, an academic institution and a recently qualified graduate. The scheme is managed by Innovate UK but as part of the renewed arrangement, the Welsh Government has agreed match funding of £4.2 m to run the KTP programme over the life of the Memorandum.
Over the life of the last Memorandum, more than 70 Welsh companies completed KTP projects creating more than 200 new jobs as a result. Many of these jobs went directly to the graduates involved in the KTP, representing higher quality and higher paid jobs.
Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, said:
“Increasing the amount of research, development and innovation undertaken in Wales is vital for business growth, a healthy economy and the creation of high quality jobs.
“We are a pro-business government and I am committed to our agenda for collaborative working with industry and academia. Over recent years we have worked hard to build relationships in this area and this renewed MoU and funding agreement with Innovate UK reinforces that goal.”