A NORTH Wales technology centre is to help launch businesses from across the UK.
The team at Wrexham Glyndwr University’s OpTIC Technology Centre in St Asaph is celebrating a £50,000 grant that will nurture firms which operate in the sector. Led by OpTIC Centre Director Caroline Gray, a bid was entered following calls from the UK Space Agency and its Innovation and growth strategy: space growth action plan. The proposal highlighted the need to grow space industries in UK regions by providing a supportive commercial environment to assist entrepreneurs to grow and develop small companies. One method of doing this is through expanding support for business incubation centres across the UK which is why OpTIC was chosen. The centre will also be promoting and hosting a series of industry relevant networking events in order to utilise their extensive business and conference centre facilities. Caroline said: “The vision is to ensure a high-quality, consistent supply chain for the sector. “Glyndwr Innovations will maximise and expand current links to form a North Wales base of knowledge transfer, technological expertise and a programme of business and technical support in an environment which allows small companies to concentrate on growth and development without the constant pressure of everyday business concerns. “We are thrilled to have received this backing, which comes as we refocus the centre and build on our already strong reputation in the fields of high technology, optics and scientific research.” The investment will support start-up companies across the breadth of the space arena and grow the industry - an important path in realising the UK sector’s ambition to achieve a 10% share of the global space market by 2030. Colin Baldwin, UK Space Gateway Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, said: “North Wales, northern England and the Midlands all have the potential to make a significant contribution to our thriving space sector. “There are opportunities for a range of companies developing innovative products that can match the needs of the space industry. “We’re committed to nurturing business and research in these regions, and showing small businesses how they can benefit from our £11.8billion space industry.” Professor Graham Upton, Interim Vice-Chancellor at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said the OpTIC Technology Centre is perfectly placed to capitalise on the grant and support firms in the space sector to develop further. He added: “This is great news, and I would like to congratulate Caroline and her team for all of the hard work that went into this.”