LONDON Swansea University is to receive a multi-million pound investment for telecommunications research. The £30million Institute of Advanced Telecommunications (IAT) is a collaboration between the Welsh Assembly Government, Swansea University and several multinational telecommunications companies, including Marconi, Sony, IBM, ALPS, BT and Agilent. Construction companyLaing O’Rourke and Traffic Wales, the Welsh ASsembly Government's traffic information service, are also partners.
The Institute is to work on new research in areas including deep space telecommunications, optical systems and networks, wireless communications and telematics.
The IAT is expected to attract further large-scale investment to the Swansea area, with other major companies expressing a interest in locating research and development operations alongside the research institute. Planning is advanced for the creation of three spin-out companies in the first year of IAT’s operation.
Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, said, “This is excellent news for Swansea and builds on the success of Technium Digital at Swansea University, and the development of the £50m Institute of Life Sciences announced earlier this year. IAT will not only propel Wales into the forefront of international research into the fast growing telecommunications sector, but will drive the development of a communications cluster around the City, attracting high-value, knowledge-driven companies to the area, and delivering considerable and sustainable economic benefits for the Welsh economy.”
“Wales is already home to over 1,000 ICT related companies, and the potential commercial spin-off benefits from IAT are considerable,” added Davies.
Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B Davies, said, “Medical research and engineering commentators are predicting major expansion in telecommunication applications in both life science and transport and we in Swansea are positioning ourselves as world leaders in these areas. This is a particularly timely investment given the new confidence appearing world-wide in the telecommunications sector.”
IAT builds on links with industry in the UK, North America and Japan established by the Communications and Photonics Group, set up in 2000 by Professor Jaafar Elmirghani, Chair of Optical Communications at Swansea University and head of IAT.
IAT will also provide a range of flexible MSc courses, determined by close liaison with industry, as well as meeting the needs of SMEs for innovative telecommunications applications and training.
IAT will initially appoint 40 academic staff, including six professors, with as many as 150 posts eventually being created.