Our Region In Action – The latest in Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusion and Connectivity

Our Region in Action

The June sun has shone brightly on all four CCR hotspots of Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Connectivity – with the MediWales Connects 2022 conference promising to spotlight the wide range of state-of-the-art breakthroughs that are making Welsh Life Sciences such a vibrant landscape of innovation … Cardiff Bus revealing that 36 new electric vehicles have helped save 558,000 tonnes of CO2 in the first few months 2002 … two South Walian construction companies being shortlisted at the WalesOnline D&I awards for their work in employee mental health … and Smart Money Cymru Community Bank achieving a 45% growth in revenues through digitisation …



MediWales Connects set to spotlight vibrant life science innovation landscape

The MediWales Connects 2022 conference will be held in Cardiff on June 29th, bringing together colleagues from NHS Wales and the wider industry sector, to discuss clinical innovation in practice.

This year’s theme “Innovation for a healthier Wales” will explore the impact of innovation adoption and collaboration, highlighting how it can deliver better health and economic wellbeing for our nation.

With MedTech growing impressively as a CCR priority sector, it’s good to see this in-person event being enthusiastically supported by all major stakeholders, including Life Sciences Hub Wales who will be presenting on the subject of future ambitions of cancer diagnostics – with the wider event at Mercure Holland House promising to shine a light on further leading-edge innovations, through a packed programme of presentations and interactive workshops covering topics such as Value-Based Care, Digital Transformation and Strategic Product Design.  

Over 400 delegates are expected to attend a keynote conference that has already earned a prestigious reputation as a leading showcase for the innovative work being undertaken by health and social care communities in collaboration with industry and research.


Cardiff Bus saves 558,000 tonnes of CO2 with new Electric Buses

A fleet of 36 electric buses launched at the start of the year has saved over 550 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere, reports Cardiff Bus.

The bus operator has released the figures ahead of Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest campaign against air pollution, aiming to encourage local people to travel by bus and help save the environment.

Since taking to the roads in January, the distinctive Yutong E12 zero-emission single-decker buses have already clocked up an impressive 714,322 kilometres in operation – helping the CCR race to zero by preventing a total of 558,000 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

This green landmark is a significant achievement for Cardiff Bus as it focuses on reducing its emissions (and air pollution) in the capital city.

Alongside the introduction of the revolutionary new electric vehicles, the bus operator has retrofitted 20 of its enviro200 buses from Euro V emission standards vehicles to Euro VI emission standards – currently the cleanest diesel technology available.

Bus travel is one of the greenest modes of travel, currently accounting for only 6% of emissions, compared to cars which account for 71% – as well as offering the additional benefit of alleviating road congestion at peak times, with a single bus carrying the equivalent of 30+ car passengers on the road.

Given those startling facts, it’s good to know that after 120 years of serving the capital, Cardiff Bus continues to upgrade its engine technology and accelerate the electrification of its fleet – making ongoing advancements towards tackling air pollution in the city, and providing a greener and more sustainable transport option for Cardiff.


Male construction worker Mental Health highlighted at Wales’ leading D&I awards

Two South Wales-based construction companies have highlighted the worrying mental health issues faced by male workers in the industry – with Green Hat Consulting and Whitehead Building Services championing change through programmes that have been shortlisted at this year’s WalesOnline Diversity & Inclusion awards.

The Chartered Institute of Building’s 2020 research revealed devastating results about mental wellbeing in the male-dominated construction industry – finding that male construction workers are three times more likely to die by suicide than the national average, with figures now suggesting that more than one worker a day will take their own life.

With the side-effects of the pandemic only likely to exacerbate the issue, Whitehead Building Services have been shortlisted in the Wellbeing/Mental Health Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year category, for establishing a mental health first aid training team to normalise speaking about mental health, take away any stigma and encourage employees to view mental health as part of their overall wellbeing.

Green Hat Consulting are also shortlisted for introducing a company wellbeing strategy that has even seen client managers approach the company for help in making changes in their own construction business.

Backed by the Welsh Government, the awards ceremony will see diversity champions gather at Cardiff City Stadium on July 13, for a night of celebration with winners also being announced in the following categories:

  • Gender Equality Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year
  • LGBTQI+ Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year
  • Disability Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year
  • Race and Ethnicity Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year
  • Social Mobility Champion, Initiative or Campaign of the Year
  • CSR Initiative of the Year
  • Peer Network of the Year
  • Inclusive Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Diversity in Tech Initiative of the Year
  • D&I Specialist Business of the Year
  • D&I Podcast of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution Award



Smart Money Cymru Community Bank digitises for record growth

Smart Money Cymru Community Bank has achieved record growth through the pandemic,  with a digital drive that has seen +44% growth in members, +95% upturn in loans made, +56% increase in deposits made – and +45% growth in revenues.

That astonishing surge is a direct result of a digital strategy based on Aiming High, Enhancing & Adapting and Working With Partners to Find Solutions: representing a remarkable two-year transformation for an inclusive credit union and mutual society formed in Caerphilly in 1989, set up by a group of local volunteers keen to encourage savings within their community – and lending to members who typically (but not always) struggle to get finance from mainstream sources such as banks, building societies and other commercially-based lenders.

Lack of access to fair and affordable banking services and finance through loans has long been a contributor to social exclusion in our region and across the UK – and amplified in Wales, where many of our communities are socially, financially and digitally excluded through economic deprivation, rural isolation and lack of access to both financial and digital services.

Digitisation has enabled Smart Money to transition from a purely paper-based operation in 2020 and expand its FCA-regulated services from the traditional heartlands of Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent to other areas of Wales – through a co-operative model that is empowering communities to take more control of their banking services, at a time when the country faces one of the biggest economic challenges ever seen.

Smart Money’s inspired vision and actions shows that the four CCR strategic goals of Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Connectivity inform and support each other – with this pioneering enterprise demonstrating an outstanding capacity to think innovatively and inclusively connect people to a sustainable banking service.

To discover more about the latest CCR developments across Southeast Wales, go to www.cardiffcapitalregion.wales




Related News

August brought welcome news in the fields of Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Connectivity - with the world-leading Games company Rocket Science opening their European HQ in our Region, The Royal Mint launching its own Local Energy Centre, Admiral being named as a top 3 Best UK Workplace for Women, and a new transport collaboration creating an integrated link between Cardiff Central and Cardiff International Airport ….

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