Over the last five years, FLEXIS’ consortium of strategic partners – Cardiff University, Swansea University, The University of South Wales, Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and Tata Steel UK, has worked together to successfully develop and create an energy systems research capability in Wales.
Our aim was to create a culture of research and innovation across Wales so that we are known across the world as a leader in energy systems technology. Part of our activity included driving innovation to create jobs and produce real economic impact. One of our key FLEXIS objectives was to create significant critical mass and attract new researchers to Wales. This we have achieved.
Part funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the ambitious 5 year, £24M project now approaches its final stages.
Since the project began, FLEXIS have generated over £25M in research income, recruited 95 new researchers into Welsh universities and invested over £2.4M into research equipment and technology to aid current and future research. More about our impact can be seen here
As a project, we have supported cluster development through collaboration with private and public sector research organisations and industry in Wales, throughout Europe, and worldwide. Our aim is to promote the products of Welsh research, produce the graduate research engineers that are needed to make Wales one of the global leaders in energy research and of course drive forward net zero solutions to help achieve 2030, 2040 and 2050 targets.
The following projects and organisations were generated because of FLEXIS and will continue its legacy:
FLEXISApp – A £4million WEFO funded research, development and innovation programme led by Cardiff University. European Regional Development Fund Priority Axis 1: Research and Innovation, Specific Objective SO1.2.
This project is complementing the current research and demonstration capacity of FLEXIS by taking forward the collaborative research into commercial projects.
South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) – set up in 2019, Cluster brings together industry and academia in order to explore and develop their route to NetZero. SWIC already won a £1M to initiate several investigative work streams.
Reducing Industrial Carbon Emissions (RICE)– a £9.2million WEFO funded RD&I programme led by Swansea University, ERDF Priority Axis 1: Research and Innovation, Specific Objective SO1.2. This project is testing and driving forward next generation technologies to help reduce carbon emissions from Welsh industry.
13 projects delivered by the University of South Wales in collaboration with Industrial Partners under an ERDF funded Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS II). Total value £1.2M.
FLEXIS was also heavily involved in programmes stimulating regional growth in Wales:
The Caerau Mine-water Heat Project
£9.4M WEFO funded project led by Bridgend County Borough Council, Priority Axis 3: Energy Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Specific Objective SO3.
It is the first ever large scale mine-water energy scheme to be created in the UK. The scheme is a demonstrator project for the UK Government led Smart System and Heat Programme. While the initial heat network involves 150 properties as well as the nearby school and church, there is potential for the scheme to eventually warm up to a thousand local homes.
West Wales Zero Carbon Demonstrator Area
FLEXIS worked closely with Welsh Government, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven, to deliver phase 2 recommendations for Smart Living Demonstrator.
This project was part of Welsh Government’s Smart Living Initiative to develop a zero-carbon area demonstrator together with the MHPA Trust Port mission to ‘build the Haven’s prosperity’ and Pembrokeshire council and develop and test the Zero Carbon Area (ZCA) route map tool as part of that development.