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Pioneering work at OpTIC Technology Centre showcased to Wales' Skills and Science Minister

21 February 2017

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Photo: OpTIC Technology Centre Director Caroline Gray introduces Julie James to some of the world-class science in action at the St Asaph facility, part of Wrexham Glyndwr University

Research and innovation companies at a leading technology complex showcased their pioneering work during a visit from Wales’ Skills and Science Minister.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James was given a tour of the OpTIC Technology Centre by Director Caroline Gray, and met with businesses and engineering groups producing world-class research and scientific processes.

The Minister praised the facility – part of Wrexham Glyndwr University – for its “cutting-edge” vision and nurturing of start-up firms, encouraging collaboration with industry and academia.

She said: “This is a fantastic centre, I always love coming here because it’s so impressive to see the whole journey from research through commercialisation into actual living companies creating real jobs,” said Mrs James.

“The diversity of OpTIC is incredible, there’s real cutting edge stuff in a variety of areas and it’s a pleasure to see this in action.”

She added: “Science, skills and innovation in Wales is in a very healthy state, and I’m currently working to rejig some of the support we currently offer in these sectors so we can make the most of the commercialisation opportunities coming out of our universities.

“That’s with a view to bringing academia and innovation together and doing more, because you can see from the OpTIC Technology Centre how successful collaboration can be.”

During her visit, the Minister was given a demonstration of the process technology behind efforts to speed, simplify and significantly lower the production costs of the latest generation of anti-cancer blockbuster drugs, by ADC Biotechnology’s Chief Technology Officer, Dave Evans.

She also met with representatives from leading firms Acuity Products, JR Biomedical, and MC Diagnostics, the Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER), the Welsh Optoelectronics Forum, G2G Communities and Glyndwr Innovations.

The team which successfully polished prototype mirrors for the world’s largest telescope – the £900million European Extremely-Large Telescope – then gave Mrs Davies a glimpse into the revolutionary project.

Mrs Gray thanked the Minister for embracing the work taking place at the Denbighshire site, which houses 18 businesses and more than 100 staff.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Mrs James and give her a taste of the amazing work and projects we have here in St Asaph,” she said.

“As well as being at the forefront of science and engineering, it was also vital we addressed the other important aspects of what we do, notably the support of businesses as part of our incubation centre, and the strides we are making in the space sector, offering financial incentives and support packages to companies in that arena.

Mrs Gray added: “We have up to 30,000 visitors through the doors every year, hold major conferences and meetings for organisations across the region and are plugged-in to a range of sectors developing leading-edge technology and world-class products.

“OpTIC is a living, breathing success story and things are getting better and better, so I was delighted the Minister got to see this first-hand.”

Visit the Glyndwr Innovations website to find out more about the OpTIC Technology Centre.

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