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 Friday, 26 July, 2002, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
High-tech project wins backing
Technium centre, Swansea
Technium in Swansea is a growing business network
The expansion of a building network to nurture a high-tech revolution in south Wales has been signalled with the news that it is to get 7.6m of European Union Objective One funds.

Two new Technium buildings are to be built in Swansea representing a total investment of 17.2m.

Innovation is crucial to the future success of the Welsh economy

Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies

It is hoped the expansion - part of a planned rolling programme - will lead to the creation of up to 50 new companies and 300 jobs over the next three years.

One of the new centres will be built next to the existing one on Swansea's Port Tawe Innovation Village, offering more facilities for users.

Last month plans were revealed to turn Swansea docks into a 200m "innovation village" with the Technique project an integral part.

The other the 10.8m Digital Technium will be developed on the university campus in the city.

They are part of a growing cluster unveiled last October with the help of Wales's telecommunications entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews.

Welcoming the investment, Welsh Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies said the Technium concept was a "fantastic example of how organisations can work together to support business innovation and development."

"Innovation is crucial to the future success of the Welsh economy," said Mr Davies.

Andrew Davies and Professor Robin Williams
Andrew Davies and Professor Robin Williams

"The Swansea Technium is successfully nurturing a culture of innovation in business, and these new projects represent a significant expansion in the number and range of companies we can support."

Digital Technium will support and nurture young business involved in all digital technology sectors including communications, multimedia, animation, telecommunications, e-learning and IT.

It also aims to attract satellite research and development projects from major international corporations.

It will accommodate two centres of excellence with specialist facilities including a virtual reality cave.

It will also support the activities of Swansea University in developing the knowledge economy in the region.

"Many of our departments of engineering and science will collaborate in this exciting initiative which we believe will have a significant long term impact," said Professor Robin Williams, the university's vice-chancellor.

Specialist services

Technium 2 will provide a home for expanding young companies that have outgrown their original incubator units in Technium.

It has been developed by a public sector partnership supported by the private sector with specialist .accountancy and legal support services being supplied free of charge.

Welsh Development Agency executive director Mike King said the whole Technium initiative was playing a key role in delivering "a tangible increase in regional investment in research and development".

"We gave significant inward investment projects attracted to Technium as well as indigenous businesses adding value to the products and services they are developing."


More from south west Wales
See also:

13 Jun 02 | Wales
19 May 00 | Wales
06 Jun 01 | Wales
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