Posted: Mon 22nd May 2023

£10m Boost for Sêr Cymru Programme: Building a Dynamic Scientific Base in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Welsh Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced a £10m funding package for the internationally renowned Sêr Cymru programme over 2023-24 and 2024-25. This move underpins the government’s commitment to fostering a “strong and dynamic” scientific research foundation in Wales.

Set up to guarantee science’s integral role in the economic and national development of Wales, the Sêr Cymru programme has continuously evolved over the last 11 years.

By aligning with changing research, development, and innovation drivers, it has responded to major challenges, such as Brexit’s economic aftermath and the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects.

The programme has generated an impressive £252 million in research income against a £110 million investment by the Welsh Government, proving to be a successful catalyst in building research capacity and capability in Wales.

This includes supporting Research Chairs, PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and cutting-edge research projects, particularly those addressing the impacts of Covid-19.

The new funding round, dubbed Sêr Cymru IV, is set to support the objectives of the Welsh Government’s Innovation Strategy. This strategy aims to establish Wales as a leading innovation-based nation, and Sêr Cymru stands as an essential delivery component of the Strategy.

The funding will prioritise sectors such as low carbon, life sciences, advanced engineering, and advanced computing. Likely funded activities will include PhD studentships, capacity building awards, and National Research Networks, all in line with the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething, announcing the launch of Sêr Cymru IV, stated, “Science has a huge and essential contribution to make in meeting the diverse challenges faced by Wales and the rest of the world. I’m delighted with the progress Sêr Cymru has already made, particularly with the Tech Valleys programme. The investment I’m announcing today shows Wales is a progressive, confident country which is open for business and international collaboration.”

Echoing Minister Gething’s sentiment, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, Professor Jas Pal Badyal FRS, emphasised, “Science is pivotal for Wales’ economic success. This investment in Sêr Cymru will support other interventions to inspire and nurture future generations of scientists on which so much will depend.”

The previous phase of the Sêr Cymru programme will remain operational until the end of June 2023 when the European funding for the programme concludes.

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