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Cardiff University constructs new £8.65M facility

Cardiff University has received £3.6M in funding from the European Union to construct a new Electron Microscope Facility (EMF) at the Innovation Campus on Maindy Road in order to help Welsh production industries create cleaner, greener, low-cost products.

The bulk of the funding for the new facility came from the university itself, which provided £4.3M, while a generous donation was also made by the Wolfson Foundation, £750,000, to make up the remainder of the £8.65M that was spent on the facility.

The facility will feature a suite of next generation, ultra-sensitive microscopes, including the new AC-STEM electron-microscope, as well as an environment that will be ‘ultra-quiet’, electro-magnetically shielded and vibration free.

The microscopes will be used in the research of catalysis which is the process of speeding up chemical reactions as a means of developing cheaper, cleaner, and safer ways to manufacture products.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Professor Rudolf Allemann stated: “No facility comparable to the EMF exists in Wales. The Facility has a crucial role to play in supporting business in South East Wales, nurturing ground-breaking discoveries and enhancing Cardiff’s reputation for world-leading research and innovation.”

The EMF will be situated at the future home of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI), the Translational Research Facility, and will allow researchers to study materials and processes on an atomic scale.

The new facility will be one of the top five catalysis research centres in the world and will be the leading centre in the UK, supporting more than 100 academic staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students.

Counsel General and Brexit Minister, Jeremy Miles who is responsible for overseeing EU funds in Wales, stated: “This investment will support major research collaborations between Cardiff University and industry which will lead to the development of new, innovative and sustainable manufacturing techniques.

“Research carried out at this facility will also help the UK to transition to a more sustainable low carbon economy – and boost Cardiff University, and Wales as a whole, as a centre for scientific study.

“Wales continues to benefit enormously from EU funding, and this is another example of that investment strengthening our economy.”

Over the past ten years, EU funded projects in Wales have provided over 48,000 jobs, 13,000 new businesses, and have helped 86,000 people find employment, with Wales continuing to benefit from over £2Bn in European Structural Funds that have been, and still are being, provided between 2014 and 2020.

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