ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY has welcomed the news that two of its flagship projects have been given approval to proceed to the second stage of the multi-million-pound Mid Wales Growth Deal.
Following the announcement, further work will now be undertaken on the business cases for a National Spectrum Centre (NSC) and a Green Futures Innovation Park.
Professor Colin McInnes, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation at Aberystwyth University, said: “We are delighted that these two important projects have been selected for inclusion in the second stage of the Mid Wales Growth Deal’s assessment process. Both projects are underpinned by the exchange of knowledge between academia and industry, and the harnessing of research to drive innovation. We will continue to work closely with the Mid Wales Growth Deal team and our industry partners to further develop these ambitious projects aimed at bringing about positive employment and economic benefits for the region.”
The Aberystwyth University proposals are among eight major projects currently shortlisted for consideration for Growth Deal funding. Final decisions on the award of funding will be made following the third stage of the business case development process.
The NSC would help address the rapidly growing demand for new applications and technologies which use radio spectrum including areas such as intelligent farming, the Internet of Things, autonomous land, sea and air vehicles, beyond 5G and remote health monitoring.
Training would also be offered to the current and next generation of radio spectrum and systems engineers, led by the University’s Department of Physics which already offers degree courses in Radio Spectrum Engineering.
The centre would make use of the region’s varied coastal, upland and rural environments with a main base on the University’s Gogerddan campus in the Lord Milford building, recently refurbished thanks to investment from the University and the Welsh Government.
The Aberystwyth University proposal for the NSC is based on a collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including BT, QinetiQ and others to help realise the full potential of the concept.
The Green Futures Innovation Park is aimed at promoting green business growth and economic development focussed on sustainability, offering new opportunities for collaboration between academia and industry.
It would build on the success of recent investments led by Aberystwyth University, including AberInnovation which provides world-leading facilities and expertise at Gogerddan for the biotechnology, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors.
The Chief Executive of AberInnovation, Dr Rhian Hayward, said: “Investment in AberInnovation by Aberystwyth University; UK Research & Innovation, through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, is already paying dividends in high value jobs and a growing cluster of start-up businesses. The AberInnovation pipeline of projects is expanding quickly and shows great promise in attracting new partnerships between the University and industry. The Green Futures Innovation Park would offer additional space for expansion and enable further collaborative research and innovation with industry.”
The location of the Green Futures Innovation Park is being explored, with a final decision to be taken during the business case development process.
Changes to bus services in Ceredigion confirmed by local authority
THERE will be changes to local bus services in Ceredigion from Tuesday 3 January 2023.
The tenders received as part of a procurement process for operating several services have shown significant cost increases. This has resulted in substantial increases in subsidy levels being requested at a time when public finances are under tremendous pressure. The higher costs are largely reflective of particular challenges affecting the bus industry currently which includes considerable increased operating costs, lack of qualified and available drivers, uncertainty around future funding mechanisms as well as declining passenger numbers and changing travel behaviours.
Bus passenger numbers have been in decline across Wales and essentially halved in the period between 1982, where there were 181 million passenger journeys and 2019/20 where there were 91 million passenger journeys. This has been severely compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a drop to 26 million passenger journeys in 2020/21, that has further impacted on the viability of local bus services.
The 22T (Aberystwyth-Devil’s Bridge), 27T (Penrhyncoch-Penbontrhydybeddau) and T29 (Tregaron Circular) demand responsive services will stop at the end of December 2022. This is due to the significant costs associated with providing them and the very low level of usage, which equate to unviable levels of public subsidy per passenger journey.
There will be changes to the timetables on the 525 (Aberystwyth-Ponterwyd), 526 (Aberystwyth-Penrhyncoch) and 585 (Aberystwyth-Tregaron-Lampeter) services. The timetables for these services, subject to submission by the operators and approval by the Traffic Commissioner, are attached. These timetables are based on proposals provided by the local bus operators and reflect what is operationally deliverable with the resources available, in terms of buses and drivers, at this time.
The T21 (Aberystwyth-Llanafan-Tregaron) and 552 Cardi Bach (New Quay-Cardigan) services will continue as currently.
All these contracts have been awarded on a 6 month basis to allow for a wider review.
Councillor Keith Henson, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management said: “I would like to thank the local bus companies for their ongoing engagement in what is very challenging operating environment. We continue to work with them and in partnership with the other key stakeholders including the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales, seeking possible solutions and a way forward. Bus services and networks are dynamic and subject to change. Further changes are likely as the reality is that, in addition to the sparsity of resources, the amount of subsidy now required to provide the services is unaffordable, unjustifiable and unsustainable in the current financial climate.”
Urgent police appeal for missing Ceredigion man
POLICE in Ceredigion are appealing for help to find Dyfed who is missing from the Talybont area.
He was last seen at his home address in the Ceredigion village at around 10.30pm or 11pm on Saturday, 3 December.
Dyfed is described as being 5ft 10ins, of medium build, with short mousey brown hair with short ginger beard, and was wearing grey waterproof trousers over jeans, a blue-check padded shirt and woolly hat and wellies.
Have you seen Dyfed, or do you have info that might help us find him? Please, let us know:
New Rural Health Economics Professor builds on University healthcare provision
AN ACADEMIC who played a key role in decision-making in the adoption of medicines in NHS Wales and NHS England has been appointed as Professor of Rural Health Economics at Aberystwyth University.
Professor Murray Smith, an expert in the use of economics and statistics to predict outcomes in health and health-related behaviours, joins Aberystwyth Business School.
His recent research has centred on the quality of use of pharmaceutical medicine, with one project exploring the use of an inhaled analgesic for acute pre-hospital trauma pain, and others on topics that have spanned medicine use across a number of chronic disease areas.
After beginning his career in Australia, Professor Smith moved to the United Kingdom in 2007 and has worked at the universities of Aberdeen, Nottingham and Lincoln.
Professor Smith said: “I am delighted to join Aberystwyth Business School. Health economics is a vital subject because it provides methods and tools to help decision makers in the choices they face when trying to deliver high quality healthcare in a modern resource-limited economy.
“I am excited about adding to Aberystwyth Business School’s existing portfolio of expertise in research and to being given the opportunity to continue to use my skills to help the NHS to identify and deliver cost-effective healthcare and services to the people of mid Wales.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “It is vital as a society that we continue to innovate in our approaches to healthcare and Aberystwyth University is stepping up to the challenge with the launch of our first ever nursing degrees in September 2022 and through interdisciplinary research into combating diseases, using artificial intelligence to improve patients’ health, and exploring new techniques to improve human health through diet.
“The appointment of Professor Smith demonstrates our continuing commitment to developing and delivering high quality healthcare education and research at Aberystwyth. His expertise will focus on the economic aspects of healthcare, and his teaching and research will benefit our students and beyond.”
Professor Smith’s appointment coincides with the awarding of Honorary Professorships to three executives from Hywel Dda University Health Board, further strengthening Aberystwyth University’s expertise in healthcare as well as building on its partnership with the local health board.
Dr Helen Munro, Consultant in Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare at the Board; Dr Leighton Phillips, the Board’s Director of Research, Innovation and University Partnerships, and Huw Thomas, its Director of Finance collectively have decades of expertise in the health sector in the United Kingdom.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the Board I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Helen, Leighton and Huw on their appointment as Honorary Professors at Aberystwyth University. Our partnership with Aberystwyth University continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to continuing our vital work together in the future.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure added: “I am delighted to welcome our new Honorary Professors, who together will bring decades of experience to our research and teaching. Their expertise will further contribute to the role we have to play as a University in helping improve healthcare provision for everyone.”
Popular This Week
News1 week ago
Ceredigion public transport services arrangements challenging
News6 days ago
New Litter Picking Hubs for the county
News3 days ago
Ceredigion MS’ back striking Uni staff
News1 week ago
Winter Fuel Support Scheme open for applications
News1 week ago
Flood warnings issued in parts of Ceredigion
News5 days ago
Police in Aberystwyth launch appeal following alleged assault in Marine Terrace
News1 week ago
Have your say on the draft Local Well-being Plan 2023-2028
Education5 days ago
821% increase in homeschooling for Ceredigion area