Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns MP will give the keynote speech at a special focus event at Aberystwyth University on 18 September 2018, convened to explore establishing a pioneering new UK innovation and research facility in Mid Wales.
The National Spectrum Centre will research, develop and test the next generation of spectrum-dependent systems and applications needed by the UK, whilst creating new high value jobs for Wales.
The aim of this new facility for the UK is to create an ecosystem between government, industry and academia to train the next generation of engineers.
It will identify, develop and demonstrate the enabling technologies and applications necessary to secure, broaden and maximise the value gained for Digital Britain by those systems that depend on using the radio spectrum such as intelligent farming, autonomous vehicles, digital health care, 5G and the internet of things.
The centre will support the UK Government’s aim to meet its vision for spectrum and double its annual economic contribution to over £100bn by 2025 by supporting strategic initiatives such as the fourth industrial revolution.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “Aberystwyth University plays a central role in the local economy, and makes a crucial contribution to the wider Welsh and UK outlook. There is no better demonstration of this university’s success than that of an industry leader investing in a project which it believes will be a commercial success.
“This project will help the university build on its foundations of teaching excellence, training the next generation of radio systems engineers. It will also provide a home for ground-breaking research, both for the university’s purposes, but also to ensure the UK meets wider industrial or government challenges.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said: “We are experiencing a new industrial revolution, with the potential to bring with it huge economic benefits locally and nationally. We have the skills, resources and facilities in Mid Wales to become world leaders in driving forward the latest digital technologies. Working with QinetiQ and other local partners, we are ideally placed to create a National Spectrum Centre for innovation, engineering and experimentation. What we now need is government support for this pioneering proposal for Wales and the UK.”
James Willis, Managing Director of QinetiQ’s Cyber, Information & Training business said: “QinetiQ is pleased to be involved in this exciting opportunity to use our extensive radio spectrum knowledge and experience to help build a world-leading position in the testing, evaluation and assurance of spectrum-dependent technologies for both Wales and the wider UK”.
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, leader of Ceredigion County Council, said, “We are very pleased to be supporting the exploration of establishing a pioneering National Spectrum Centre in Mid Wales. As a Council, we are working with some of the larger businesses within the county to begin preparations for a Growth Deal for the region. Developing businesses and technologies is key for growth and development. This will ensure opportunity and a future for our young people, and create high value new jobs in the area.”
The focus event being held on 18 September 2018 aims to bring together over 200 delegates from across the diverse spectrum stakeholder community to demonstrate the need for a national centre and help define its requirements.
National Spectrum Centre
The UK Government has set a vision to double the radio spectrum’s annual economic contribution to over £100bn by 2025. To achieve this, new policies, skills, spectrum dependent systems, and innovative technologies and applications need to be developed to support, for example, the fourth industrial revolution and the digital economy in areas such as intelligent farming, autonomous land, sea and air vehicles, interconnectivity of things, future cities, cyber-spectrum security, resilience etc. However, the radio spectrum is a finite resource and part of the UK’s soft infrastructure, and these applications need to compete for spectrum with legacy systems in an already congested and contested radio spectrum environment. There is a need, therefore, to accelerate spectrum innovations and grow the skills needed to ensure that spectrum exploitation can be maximised.
Aberystwyth University and UK leading technology and scientific company, QinetiQ, are working together on a proposal to establish a National Spectrum Centre for the UK in Mid Wales. The aim is to draw on other expertise from academic, industrial and government stakeholders and create a novel ecosystem to train the next generation of engineers, and to identify, develop and demonstrate the enabling technologies necessary to secure, broaden and maximise the value gained for Digital Britain using spectrum dependent systems.
Aberystwyth University is a world-class university that has been attracting students since 1872. It will use its practical engineering and academic expertise in area such as robotics and autonomous vehicles (Department of Computer Science); radio spectrum and sensors (Department of Physics); agri-tech, future foods and smart farming (IBERS), and Earth Observation and spatial data (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences). Its world class status will enable it to develop new national and international research collaborations to support the centre.
QinetiQ, which has a base in Aberporth in Ceredigion, is a company of over 6,000 dedicated people providing technological and scientific expertise. It provides unique solutions that combine its depth of knowledge and experience with a collaborative and enterprising approach. QinetiQ’s breadth and depth of experience spans many markets and industries that use radio spectrum. The centre will draw on QinetiQ’s programmatic expertise in managing complex facilities, management experience of large research consortia and complex experiments, and QinetiQ’s position of being a trusted industry partner with linkages across all industry sectors, as well as technical expertise in radio systems, cyber security, spectrum resilience, assurance, governance, autonomous systems and 5G testing.
More than 200 delegates from government, academia and industry have registered for the focus event at Aberystwyth University on 18 September 2018 to find out more about the proposal to set up a National Spectrum Centre, to demonstrate the need, and help define the centre’s requirements.
AU Research, Business & Innovation www.aber.ac.uk/en/rbi
Department of Computer Science www.aber.ac.uk/en/cs
Department of Physics www.aber.ac.uk/en/phys
About QinetiQ www.qinetiq.com
Listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:QQ.L), QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and aerospace markets. Its customers are predominantly government organisations including defence departments, as well as international customers in other targeted sectors.
About Aberystwyth University www.aber.ac.uk
Established in 1872, Aberystwyth is a leading teaching and research university. It was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) in June 2018 and was named University of the Year for Teaching Quality in The Times | Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. In the 2018 National Student Survey, Aberystwyth was the best in Wales and one of the top universities in the UK for overall student satisfaction. The latest Research Excellence Framework in 2014 reported that 95% of the research activity submitted by Aberystwyth was of an internationally recognised standard or higher. The University is a community of around 9,000 students and 2,000 staff committed to delivering teaching that inspires, research with excellence that makes an impact, engaging the world, working in partnership and investing in our future. Registered charity No 1145141.