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

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Our Region in Action
The past month has seen our Region showcasing the best in Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Connectivity, through an inspired $100m+ investment in a new innovation centre for SPTS Technologies, international recognition for Kepak’s carbon footprint reduction in Merthyr, BITC launching a Place Programme to help address inequalities in Newport – and the Wales Technology Awards celebrating 12 enterprises that are connecting the world through the power of tech …

INNOVATION

KLA invests $100m+ in a new R&D and Manufacturing centre for SPTS Technologies in Newport

KLA Corporation has announced a $100m+ investment in a new R&D and Manufacturing centre for its SPTS Technologies business in Newport.

As a key part of CCR’s unique Compound Semiconductor Cluster, SPTS has a proud record of continuous innovation, providing solutions and delivering technologies that make a meaningful impact to the everyday lives of billions of people.

This latest investment by parent KLA will help SPTS continue to develop the wafer processing solutions for high-growth industries, building on existing expertise in advanced packaging and compound semiconductor processing technologies – strengthening a portfolio of solutions that stretches across 5G communications, electric vehicles, consumer electronics, datacentres, medical devices and many more industries that shape and power our world.   

The three-floor 200,000 square foot facility will be home for a state-of-the-art innovation centre, accommodating up to 750 employees in a working environment that includes over 25,000 square feet of cutting-edge cleanrooms for R&D, and more than 35,000 square feet of bespoke manufacturing assembly halls, as well as ample storage and support facilities.

This major new centre of innovation will be built to globally recognised science-based sustainable and energy efficient design standards, to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. 

SUSTAINABILITY

Kepak in Merthyr wins plaudits from international Carbon Footprint expert

The Kepak flagship meat processing site in Merthyr Tydfil has won prestigious applause for its sustainability – from a leading international expert in carbon reduction.

The company – a major employer in Merthyr, supplying prime cuts of meat across the UK and internationally – has been on a sustainable mission to reduce the carbon footprint of its long-established site, with impressive results.

Kepak’s focus on sustainability has significantly reduced emissions through initiatives that include a specially-installed wind turbine which delivered 1,726,354kWh in wind-generated electricity last year  – providing enough energy to power 400 households for 12 months.

With a further 14 sustainable energy and water projects in the pipeline – and the business also conserving nearly 4000 square metres of native wildflower meadows on the Merthyr site – Kepak’s work has been spotlighted as “exemplary” by international meat production carbon footprint expert, Dr Holland Dougherty.    

Kepak’s commitment to sustainable meat production extends to ongoing knowledge sharing of farm-to-factory best practices with farmers and supply chain partners, which Dr Dougherty notes can help inform ways to develop targeted solutions that highlight the unique role of ruminant animals in sustainable world food supply.

INCLUSIVITY

BITC launches Newport Place Programme to tackle inequalities through business action

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has launched its Newport Place Programme to help tackle inequalities in Newport.

The programme is the first of its kind in Wales, bringing together residents, businesses and many other stakeholders, with the aim of supporting communities across the city, through business action.

Under the Chairmanship of Simon Gibson CBE (who also chairs the Alacrity Graduate Entrepreneurship Foundation) this landmark represents BITC’s ninth Place programme in the UK – and a welcome focus on enhancing community action programmes already in place, investing additional energy and expertise into mobilising the people, ideas and passion of Newport.

BITC Place Programmes work with all sections of the community to create meaningful shared outcomes for everyone, based on a common agreement of challenges, opportunities and solutions – drawing on the strengths of each community, whether they are a business, a community organisation or a public sector body.  

Newport’s population of 159,600 has seen one of the UK’s highest rates of growth (9.5%) since 2011, with 64% of its population aged between 15 and 64 years old, and 76% of the working age population in employment.

The growth and regeneration of the city is bringing new investment and job opportunities, but with challenges that include one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country, BITC’s Place programme is a welcome boost to the future prosperity and inclusivity of Wales’ third largest city. 

CONNECTIVITY

Wales Technology Awards spotlight innovations that are connecting the world

The eighth Wales Technology Awards celebrated the increasingly influential technology innovations of our Region and Wales as a whole, at a gala evening held in October.

Founded by Technology Connected, the awards ceremony saw more than 350 key industry figures come together to help spotlight technology’s benefits to society – and the positive impact that Welsh technology is making at home and abroad – in a sector that is a critical driver of economic growth and quality jobs, employing over 39,000 people in over 3,000 companies that collectively generate more than £8.5 billion for the Welsh economy.

No fewer than eight of the 12 category winners are based in the Cardiff Capital Region, highlighting the critical mass of tech and connectivity companies that have chosen to make Southeast Wales their home.

Wales Technology Awards 2022 Winners

  • Sir Michael Moritz Tech Start-Up Award: Ship Shape
  • Best International Impact Award: Prodigi Group
  • Tech for the Planet Award: YASA
  • Tech for Good Award: CanSense Ltd
  • Tech for Healthcare & Wellbeing Award: Creo Medical
  • Digital Transformation of the Year Award: Davies Group
  • Best Photonics Application Award: Microlink Devices, Wide Blue and Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult
  • Best Blockchain Application Award: QPQ
  • Academia & Business Partnership of the Year: Aspire2Be & Swansea University
  • Best Tech Leader Award: Victoria Mann, Near Me Now
  • Best Tech Place to Work: Big Lemon
  • Rising Star of the Year Award: Eleni Sofroniou, ActiveQuote

The awards were judged by an international panel of technology experts including former winner Wealthify and leading voices such as AberInnovation, Merian Ventures and Veeqo. The panel was chaired by Aled Miles, President and CEO of Sauce Labs, and the Welsh Government Envoy to the United States, helping to raise the profile of Wales and our Region on the international stage.

 

Keep up to speed on the innovative, sustainable, inclusive and connective developments that are shaping Southeast Wales – go to www.cardiffcapitalregion.wales

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