Welsh ministers and dignitaries were welcomed on to site in Swansea last month to sign the steel at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Innovation Matrix, a new centre for digital innovation and enterprise.
Minister for the Economy Vaughan Gething and Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, were first shown around the project virtually using a Revizto digital model of the build in the UWTSD’s immersive training room before signing the steel column on site.
Funded through a strategic partnership between the University and the Swansea Bay City Deal £1.3bn investment plan, the Innovation Matrix will provide a platform for the university’s research and knowledge exchange, support cross-sector enterprises, entrepreneurs, and investors to stimulate commercial growth in the region.
The £11m project, situated alongside the university’s existing IQ and Y Fforwm buildings on SA1, will provide 2,200 square meters of floor space to provide a home to small-scale but growing enterprises and businesses which are developing the region’s digital technology economy.
"With state-of-the art facilities, collaborative spaces and academic research space, UWTSD’s Innovation Matrix will serve as a hub for nurturing the growth of enterprises and empowering the next generation of innovators.
We are excited to play a pivotal role with UWTSD in shaping the future of Swansea’s digital landscape, and we look forward to witnessing the transformative impact this hub will have on the local community and economy."
Vaughan Gething, Minister for the Environment, said: “The Welsh Government has a clear focus on creating a stronger, fairer, greener economic future. We want Wales to be a country that’s at the forefront of innovating new technologies that will benefit people in their day-to-day lives.
“The Innovation Matrix has an important role to play in delivering that vision serving as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity.
“The Innovation Matrix is an excellent example of academia and industry working closely to help drive innovation and excellence.
“It has the potential to unlock collective intelligence to tackle complex challenges more effectively, accelerate the pace of innovation and drive meaningful change in our society.”
Professor Ian Walsh, Provost of UWTSD’s Swansea and Cardiff campuses said: “The Innovation Matrix provide a vital link into the University’s wider Swansea campus, including the iQ and Y Fforwm, Technium 1 and 2, The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Business Campus, and the Arts Quarter of Dynevor, ALEX and BBC Building.
“It represents a major expansion of the University’s innovation ecosystem and reinforces our commitment to supporting economic growth and transformation in the Swansea Bay region.”
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD added: “The Innovation Matrix is the next phase in the University’s ambition to transform Swansea’s waterfront into a neighbourhood where people will work, study and live and where the University and its partners will collocate and collaborate.
“Together, we are creating new enterprise hubs and high skill accelerator schemes to grow new businesses linked to our portfolio.
“We are also developing the skills of current businesses and are attracting new investment into the region”.
Kier also worked with UWTSD to deliver Phase One of the £300m development of the university’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront. This included the £6.5m Construction Wales Innovation Centre (Cwic) which teaches students from schools and colleges about the construction industry first-hand.