Vince Cable: Glyndŵr University scientists’ world-leading research “massively impressive”
27 March 2013
“Massively impressive” world-leading science research being carried out by Glyndŵr University scientists is setting an example for university-industry collaborations, says Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Speaking after meeting scientists involved in a €5m project to build prototype mirrors for the E-ELT, the world’s largest telescope, Mr Cable said the work at the university’s St Asaph campus showed that the university was ahead of the game at a time when there is increasing pressure on higher education to deliver.
Universities have two major contributions to make to Britain – and Glyndŵr University is delivering on both, said the Liberal Democrat MP.
“The major contributions which universities make to the local economy are providing local kids with proper high level education and training and working with businesses on high quality research, the type of which is taking place at St Asaph,” he said.
“I first heard about the telescope project three years ago and I wanted to come and meet the scientists involved. Today, I finally met them – and I have to say that their work is massively impressive.
“Britain is a world leader in some areas of the technology involved with the E-ELT project and the mirrors project in particular is a very, very good example of universities working with businesses and operating in a business-like way.
“I’m enormously impressed with what this university is doing and not just in providing a good education for local kids but world class research too,” added Mr Cable.
Following his meeting with Glyndŵr University scientists, members of the local business community were given an opportunity to meet the business secretary at a question and answer session in the Centre for the Creative Industries.
Investment in the economy, loans for small businesses and the future direction of the construction sector all came under discussion.
Andy Gunson, finance director at recruitment firm gap personnel, said: “The event provided the ideal platform for senior business figures from across the region to discuss government policy and gauge the economic landscape. We were pleased to be invited and to attend.”
Mr Cable was visiting the university as part of a tour of North Wales, which also took in a visit to one of Glyndŵr University’s industry partners, Airbus, at Broughton.
Mr Cable said: “Most universities are starting to realise that the traditional university ivory towers model doesn’t fit any more. Indeed, this appears to be something which Glyndŵr University realised from the beginning, sooner than most. Universities need to be working with industry as much as possible.“Linked to this, Glyndŵr University’s stats for employability are very impressive indeed. The university has identified a need to support engineering, for example, and with the development of a new nuclear power plant on Anglesey this will be one of the main institutions in North Wales for filling the skills gap.”