Coleg Sir Gâr run the Innovation for Industry department from The Beacon, Centre for Enterprise in Dafen. They support the development of new products, processes and services with a particular emphasis in research and development, expertise and identifying funding routes. The team also have access to specialist equipment and academic support throughout the college. Innovation for Industry is in its infancy but it’s already engaged with 70 companies and has sourced funding for feasibility studies to allow business growth.
With businesses lacking time and resource to develop their ideas, the team are on hand to assist, whether it’s acting as a conduit between business and government, advising on tenders or sourcing research and development opportunities. A successful example of this is Dr Brian Minty, who used our support to source funding to assist with the development of a product - a supercritical fluid extraction system, which is a decontamination tool for brownfield land. “I’m a scientist at the end of the day, so their help and support has been invaluable,” he said. “And already we’re looking at patenting and further opportunities for growth into poly aromatic, hydrocarbon and pesticide extraction.” Environmental companies approached Dr Minty, indicating that there is a clear need in the industry for his new system, which is competing against other methods such as incineration, but they wouldn’t invest until a prototype was developed. The IFI team has helped overcome this barrier and work is being undertaken on the industrial size extraction system which has a capacity of clearing tonnes of material per hour, onsite.
Medi Williams, Co-Ordinator, said: “Our focus is to develop sector networks between regional businesses, funding providers and the college’s business development services, as well as creating better fluidity and collaborative working with other support services, such as Business Wales to offer a full support mechanism to business. After such a short space of time, we are currently working with many businesses following innovation routes to funding, a KTC in textile technology and a further three collaborative projects. This illustrates the level of need for the service. We encourage the prospect of economic growth and safeguarding of businesses within Wales, as well as the creation of new businesses from innovative products and services.”
The Innovation for Industry team’s services are not restricted allowing them to offer a bespoke service to each business they work with.