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£300m Cardiff University investment includes compound semiconductor institute

Cutting-edge facilities proposed to make Cardiff a leader in translational research

Cardiff University's vice chancellor Colin Riordan has outlined plans to invest £300m in four new research and innovation centres including one dedicated to compound semiconductor technology.

A unique facility in the UK, the proposed Compound Semiconductor Research Institute would demonstrate and test compound semiconductor technology in realistic environments, he said. 

The aim for the institute is to provide cutting-edge facilities that allow for greater engagement with industry, and excellent research and development, to position Cardiff as the UK and European leader in translational research in this field.

The other three centres planned for a disused, former industrial space include a Translational Research Facility for turning academic research and innovation into  real-world applications; an Innovation Centre for start-up companies; and the world's first Social Science Research Park.

Riordan revealed his vision to an audience drawn from business, industry, government and academia at the University's first Innovation Fast Forward Festival. 

Professor Riordan said: "Cardiff Innovation System matches a multi-million pound investment with a vision to put innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of our strategy.

"Working with the Welsh and UK governments, local authorities such as Cardiff Council, the NHS in Wales, business partners and civic society, Cardiff Innovation System can establish the University, the City and Wales as international leaders in innovation.

"Cardiff Innovation system will help us demonstrate the relevance of our work to the communities we serve, better connect industry, business, government and charities with our academics, and nurture student entrepreneurship and grass-roots business development.

"Through Cardiff Innovation System we can take the strengths we have at Cardiff University and effect a change such that Wales becomes an exemplar of the knowledge economy."

Riordan also outlined how the University would develop and embed an ethos of innovation across the University. Plans include a practitioners/innovators-in-residence programme, high-level training and skills development for postgraduate students and the development of existing enterprise education and opportunities to strengthen the culture of entrepreneurial and innovative thinking among students. 

Business cases are being developed for the proposed new buildings and are subject to the approval of the University's Council (its governing body).

Cardiff university has 28,000 students and last month moved back into the top 125 of world universities.

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