The AgorIP Project which has helped the Welsh economy and innovation in west Wales to prosper over the last four years, has been extended to benefit all of Wales, with a total investment of more than £20m.
AgorIP brings academics, clinicians and businesses together to pioneer research into cutting-edge technologies and drive commercial success with the support of Swansea University, and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Since the AgorIP Project was launched, the Team working in West Wales and the Valleys, including North Wales, has assisted more than 200 opportunities; helping to create jobs, protect Intellectual Property (IP) and bring innovation to the marketplace. The Project has also helped companies to spin out of Swansea University by securing private investments.
Of these, around half have been related to health and wellbeing, which goes towards AgorIP’s overall aim of improving the health, wellbeing and economy of Wales as a whole.
As well as working with academics and businesses, the AgorIP Project is working closely with NHS Wales to find innovation directly from within the NHS which can improve existing technologies and medicine.
The Project currently has three secondees working within Hywel Dda and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Boards to seek these out on AgorIP’s behalf.
AgorIP has helped to bring a range of innovation to the marketplace; including novel collagen production, mountain bikes accessible to wheelchair users, innovation bringing virtual reality to classrooms, nutrition bars using locally sourced seaweed in north Wales, novel protective face masks in response to the Covid-19 crisis, and metal coatings to name but a few.
The extension means that the Project will now run until June 2023, with funding of more than £15m assigned to west Wales, and nearly £5m assigned to east Wales thanks to Swansea University, the Welsh Government and EU funds.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The AgorIP project is full of examples where science and healthcare are working together at the forefront of clinical innovation.
“I’m pleased we can continue to support the NHS working confidently with university and industry partners, linking better health technologies and services to economic growth opportunities in Wales.”
Ceri Jones, Interim Director of AgorIP, said: “We are delighted with the additional investment to support the expansion of AgorIP in West Wales and the Valleys and also the growth of our provision into South East Wales.
“It’s a tribute to the hardworking Project team at Swansea University and with the health boards that we have secured this enhanced investment, which will enable us to deliver significantly more high value impacts and outputs for the benefit of university, industrial and NHS research development in Wales.”