Aberavon AM, David Rees, has welcomed the new Strategy for Science and Innovation, Science for Wales, in the Senedd today (20.03.12). The new strategy sets out how the Welsh Government will build a strong and dynamic science base that supports the economic and national development of Wales.

David Rees AM said:
‘Science for Wales sets out a compelling vision for where Wales should be going in the future to enable to science, research and employment to flourish. Over the last year in Wales, major decisions have been made on Government spending priorities. These decisions will help to define what we value as a nation and the direction in which we want to head. I believe that the decision of this government to invest in science and research is a critical part of that. This new strategy builds on areas where Wales already has a track record of excellence, and where the route from research to commercialisation is relatively clear.’

Just last week David Rees welcomed the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to SPECIFIC, based in Baglan Energy Park, where the energy policy was launched. SPECIFIC, a new Innovation and Knowledge Centre led by Swansea University and Tata Steel, was chosen for the location of the launch as it is one of several cutting edge centres in the Aberavon Constituency which is making its mark in the field of science and innovation. David Rees, a former lecturer at Swansea Metropolitan University, and the current Chair of the Cross Party Group on Science and Technology has long been an advocate for greater academic collaboration with industry.

David Rees AM said:
‘In my previous job I saw how businesses have gained and grown as a result of the research undertaken in partnership with universities. Here in Aberavon we have many examples of this: TWI ; SPECIFIC and the renewable hydrogen centre. These all demonstrate how in recent years the Welsh Government, along with industrial partners, has funded leading edge technologies. These also reflect how our economic future is intrinsically linked to the country’s research-intensive universities matching the best in the world, and I am pleased that the Government’s growth strategy reflects this.’

The Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings (SPECIFIC) is a new Innovation and Knowledge Centre led by Swansea University and Tata Steel. It is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, (TSB), the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, (EPSRC), and the Welsh Government as well as the main partners.