An EU-backed project which has helped businesses in parts of Wales develop cutting-edge technologies and boost productivity is expanding to cover the whole of the country. The Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies (CEMET) was launched in 2016 and has already helped develop iPad software to detect sight problems in young children, a virtual system that improves safety for both children and workers on railways, and a product that communicates with children through a remotely-operated animal character that appears on a TV screen, amongst others high-tech innovations. Led by the University of South Wales (USW) and backed with £4.3m of EU funds through the Welsh Government, CEMET has been working with companies in the Valleys, West Wales, and North Wales over the last two years. A further £1.2m of EU funds, announced today by the Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, will allow companies across the whole of Wales to benefit from the expertise. The pan-Wales CEMET is now a £8.9m project, with £5.5m of EU funding, and will run until March 2023. Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said:
“This expansion will see CEMET build on the support it has already given to a number of SMEs to design and test new mobile and emerging technologies to create products and services for commercial success. In an ever changing businesses landscape, mobile and emerging technologies play an ever important role for companies and it’s fantastic to see Government, Universities and businesses working together to look for solutions and innovations that are of real benefit to companies, consumers and the wider public. This comprehensive package of support has already seen a number of businesses develop innovative, and in some cases truly life changing products and services. With this latest, welcome, EU funding allowing that invaluable work to reach all part of Wales, I look forward to seeing the project contribute to further business successes in the coming months and years.”Mark Griffiths, Co-Director of CEMET said:
“Since its launch, the project has gone from strength to strength and has given support to SMEs which are now rapidly expanding. For example Motion Rail uses pioneering Virtual Reality technology to help children understand the dangers of the railway, while Evoke Education’s virtual avatar Moe has successfully encouraged a non-verbal child to speak and has gained interest from both the legal sector and child psychology experts. We have also worked with a company which has put Augmented Reality in the hands of local high street retailers in South Wales and is gearing up to launch across the country. With the support of this funding these entrepreneurs have been able to advance their ideas, develop cutting-edge products, and expand their businesses. Now we are operating across the whole of Wales, CEMET will be able to provide support to more SMEs so they can develop their ideas and turn them into a market-ready product."In the last decade, EU-funded projects have created 45,000 new jobs and 13,000 new businesses across Wales, while also helping more than 85,000 people into employment.