A project that will revolutionise building construction by developing steel and glass materials capable of generating, storing and releasing energy is being showcased in a new video.
The video, which can be watched here on Wales World Wide, was produced to coincide with the launch of a pilot production unit at SPECIFIC, the Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC).
Led by Swansea University and based at Baglan Energy Park, near Port Talbot, the production facility was opened in October by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable and Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones.
Enormous environmental benefits underscore the Baglan project, which could reduce the UK’s CO2 output by millions of tonnes a year. The technology focuses on developing functional coated steel and glass products to incorporate into existing and new buildings – in effect, turning them into power stations.
Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “SPECIFIC is an invaluable asset to Wales and helps to cement our reputation as a country with high skills and the ability to make clean, green high value products of a global standard. The facilities, expertise and the science demonstrated here is amongst the best.
“The Welsh Government will continue to work closely with our Universities and industry to create the research, capacity and jobs to prepare our economy for the future.”
The £20m, five-year project at SPECIFIC, one of six IKCs in the UK, is backed by £10m funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Technology Strategy Board. A further £2m funding from the Welsh Government recognises the IKC’s strategic nature and potential economic impact, giving it added impetus.
The IKC represents a powerful fusion of academic and industrial expertise. In addition to Swansea University, it is a partnership of University groups including Imperial College, Bangor, Cardiff, Glyndwr, Bath and Sheffield and multi-nationals such as Tata Steel, BASF, and NSG Pilkington. Its open innovation approach relies on engineers, scientists and business people working together under one roof to develop and test potential world class technology.