New Laboratory Helps Build a Reputation for Research; UNIVERSITY: Morgan Praises Hi-Tech Development

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OPENING a new physics laboratory at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said Wales is fast building a reputation as a centre of excellence for technology research.

Visiting the new centre last Friday, Mr Morgan said there were encouraging signs that Wales was blazing a trail in new technology development.

Earlier in the week, he chaired the first all-Wales Knowledge Summit, attended by top Welsh industrialists and academics, to look at ways of further developing the knowledge, research, development and innovation capacity of the Welsh economy.

"We are now taking great strides towards creating the knowledgebased economy that Wales needs and there are already promising signs ahead, " said the First Minister.

"Our 10-year economic plan A Winning Wales is designed to encourage more technological innovation and to create more successful links between businesses and our education institutions.

"We also want Wales to be home to new commercial successes in the field of technology, and we can see that this is already happening and that our successes are being recognised on a UK level."

The prestigious new Material Physics laboratory at Aberystwyth, built over the past two years, has attracted pounds 2m worth of research equipment awards from the Research Councils, the EU, industry and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. …