In our latest regional roundup, we look at some of the key developments driving transformation across the CCR – from the unique Cyber Innovation Hub that will put Southeast Wales at the leading edge of cybersecurity … and the critical work being done by University of South Wales to secure sustainable renewable energy from sewage … to warming news that both Admiral and the Principality are amongst the top 10 most inclusive large employers in the UK … and Ogi’s continued progress in connecting our region to the smarter, greener, faster broadband that our homes and businesses deserve …
£9.5 million Cyber Innovation Hub to transform CCR into a leading UK cyber cluster by 2030.
A unique Cyber Innovation Hub (CIH) powering Cardiff Capital Region’s ambitions to become a recognised leader in this critical digital sector will become operational later this year. The new Innovation Hub is being led by Cardiff University in partnership with Airbus, Alacrity Cyber, Thales NDEC, Tramshed Tech and the University of South Wales – and co-funded by Cardiff Capital Region and Welsh Government, who have both committed £3 million to this groundbreaking development, with a further £3.5 million of in-kind match-funding being contributed by consortium partners.
The brainchild of Professor Pete Burnap, Professor of Data Science & Cybersecurity at Cardiff University, the CIH aims to upskill and reskill c.1750 cyber-skilled Welsh workers by 2030 – growing Wales’ cyber sector by 50% and attracting more than £20m in private equity investment to scale around 50% of these businesses.
The CIH represents a major stepchange for CCR and Wales as a whole. There are currently 51 cyber-related businesses in the whole of Wales – and the CIH is committed to creating at least 27 new cyber start-ups, to nurture a deep critical mass of cyber businesses anchored in the Cardiff Capital Region, as well as widening and diversifying a sustainable talent pool that feeds directly into the cyber cluster.
This inspired investment is unique in the UK – leveraging a coordinated approach to skills, innovation and new enterprise creation, focused on fostering collaboration between the private sector, government and industry partners – enabling CCR and Wales as a whole to take advantage of the huge growth anticipated across cybersecurity in the UK and globally.
Dwr Cymru’s ‘major stepping stone’ hydrogen-from-sewage project awards funding to USW
The University of South Wales (USW) is one of three partners awarded £267,954 funding to explore how hydrogen derived from sewage can help cut environmental pollutants – on a project being heralded as a major stepping stone towards the water industry becoming the bio-refineries of a Net-Zero future.
The HyValue project is being led by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, working in collaboration with USW and Costain – benefitting from the £200m Ofwat Innovation Fund, which aims to support sustainable developments in the water sector.
The Water Industry has already adopted anaerobic digestion as an effective waste treatment process and source of recovered energy. USW and the other partners will take the approach a step further by investigating the generation of hydrogen to be used as a clean fuel – as well as capturing the CO2 to potentially use in the production of valuable chemicals.
Projections show the process could help cut the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere by up to 90% – with the project also looking to further develop hydrogen as an alternative to diesel engine transport, aiming to reduce emissions of both carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants such as nitrous oxide and airborne particulates.
If HyValue can demonstrate how the process offers environmental benefits and value for money, the ambition is to design a sewage gas conversion plant at one of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s anaerobic digestion facilities.
Admiral and Principality amongst the most inclusive large employer workplaces in the UK
Two CCR-based financial service companies have been recognised in the top 10 of Great Place to Work UK, for their inclusive working culture.
Motor insurance to loans venture Admiral, which employs nearly 8,000 people from a wide variety of people at offices in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea has been ranked fourth in the super-large employer category (1,001+ employees) with Cardiff- headquartered Principality Building Society, employer of just over 1,000 people, ranked a highly-creditable ninth.
The awards were made by the Great Place to Work Institute, the global authority on workplace culture. 2022 is the 22nd consecutive year that Admiral has been recognised by the Institute, with Milena Mondini de Focatiis, Admiral Group CEO, commenting: “I’m so proud to see Admiral ranked 4th in this list as we work hard to create an inclusive workplace where all our colleagues feel they can be themselves”.
Highlights from Admiral’s colleague survey results showed that 87% of colleagues rated the company as a great place to work, 96% believed it is a friendly place to work and 86% felt the company supported workplace wellbeing.
The Great Place to Work awards are based on rigorous evaluations of colleague survey responses alongside a unique culture audit – using these data insights to measure levels of inclusion and the employee experience.
Ogi continues to connect CCR communities to a smarter and greener gigabit broadband future
Ogi continues its mission to bring a gigabit-capable broadband future to local communities, with the Dinas Powys roll-out of the ultra-fast service already enjoyed by thousands of Vale of Glamorgan homes and businesses in Llantwit Major, Rhoose, St. Athan and further afield across Wales.
The Ogi team is helping to realise faster speeds, greater access and better support for places that have previously found it harder to connect, pursuing a vision of a smarter, greener, faster future that has already distinguished this venture-with-a-difference as a ‘network for good’ – with the company investing around £10m in their current build areas of the Vale alone; as part of a long-term plan to generate a positive economic impact of over £50m.
The fibre-optic cables used by Ogi are greener than traditional copper-based services, and the ultrafast speeds enable more people to work from home – driving down carbon emissions for a cleaner planet while giving young people the opportunity to stay and work in the fast-growing digital world of the Cardiff Capital Region.
Headquartered in Cardiff, Ogi is building an all-new infrastructure from scratch, to meet the need for a broadband that can bridge the digital divide in our region and across Wales, helping to transform the digital landscape for all communities – and playing a real part in our own mission to build an innovative, sustainable, inclusive and connected CCR.
To find out more about the ingenuity and investments driving innovation, sustainability, inclusion and connectivity across our region, go to www.cardiffcapitalregion.wales