'Industry and Academia collaboration is essential to address climate change'


An Industry summit hosted by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) MADE Cymru team has discussed how Welsh manufacturing businesses can turn post Covid challenges into opportunities through collaboration with academia.


An Industry summit hosted by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) MADE Cymru team has discussed how Welsh manufacturing businesses can turn post Covid challenges into opportunities through collaboration with academia.

The Summit, which followed a similar, successful event held last year, was opened by Julie James, MS, Minister for Climate Change, who delivered the keynote speech entitled, ‘What is the role of Welsh industry in tackling climate change? And how can being sustainable be good for business?’

The University is collaborating with industry partners to deliver emerging skills and training initiatives to support the UK and Welsh governments’ commitment to achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

A series of free online and in person events delivered by leading industry speakers including Gethin Roberts, Managing Director, ITERATE, Chris Probert, Innovation Specialist, Welsh Government, and Eoin Bailey, UK Innovation Manager, Celsa Steel, took place at the University’s SA1 Waterfront Innovation Quarter and AMRC Cymru, Flintshire, with sessions on a range of topics including ‘Sustainability and Net Zero’, ‘Investing in Your Future’ and ‘Collaboration’.

Julie James said: “I was pleased to be asked to open the MADE Cymru Industry Summit. This event is important, not only because of the conversations that took place, but the collaborative legacy it set in motion. As a sector, manufacturing can play a considerable role in tackling the challenges of climate change. Together we must work towards achieving a net zero Wales and this event plays a part in this process. I look forward to seeing the power of industry, academia and key stakeholders combined.”

Gwion Williams, Operations Manager, SMARTInnovation, Welsh Government said: “It was so refreshing to see the level of collaboration that was achieved with so many different partners coming together with a clear aim to work together in order to support Welsh manufacturing businesses. During the session on Thursday afternoon, it was particularly encouraging to see this in action with close working between UWTSD, AMRC Cymru, KTP, KTN 4 Manufacturing and the Welsh Government Innovation team.”

During the Summit, there was also an opportunity to meet other departments and projects at UWTSD that play a role in supporting Welsh industry.

Barry Liles, OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Skills, and Lifelong Learning at UWTSD said:

“Supporting industry’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic is a key priority for the University, which has a demonstrable track record for working with industry through knowledge transfer, research innovation, workforce development and by providing a ready pipeline of skilled students and graduates, in partnership with employers.”

UWTSD's MADE Cymru initiative was established to support manufacturing industries in Wales to adapt to the challenges of Industry 4.0. The initiative, funded by the EU via the Welsh Government, aims to support the economic recovery of manufacturers in Wales by offering part and fully funded training to businesses to upskill staff, as well as research and development that improves processes and products to reduce waste and costs.

Graham Howe, Executive Head of UWTSD’s MADE Cymru said:

“Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do, both at MADE Cymru and UWTSD, and we hope that this event really demonstrates and celebrates what can be achieved when we work together.

“The impact of the last few years on our supply chains has been prolonged, and we need to work together to increase resilience and reduce vulnerabilities. With manufacturing being the largest contributor to the Welsh economy (in terms of Gross Value Added), we must collaborate, knowledge share and invest in the sector. Universities play a crucial role in this.”

Craig Jones, Tooling and Process Development manager, Fibrax Ltd said he had enjoyed being part of the panel at the annual event.

He added: “We raised some interesting points about barriers to collaboration. I look forward to seeing momentum around the MADE Cymru program continue to grow, and I'll be looking for more opportunities to advocate the great work the team is doing to support and bolster Welsh Manufacturing.”

You can watch recordings of the sessions here


Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk