A NEWPORT innovation centre will receive a share of £30 million of Government funding to fuel research and development into electric vehicles.

The CSA Catapult Innovation Centre at the city's Imperial Park will use its share of the investment to become one of four ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ Industrialisation Centres.

The centres will bring together climate change pioneers to research and develop green electric machines including planes, ships and cars.

"Places like this can have a global impact, let alone in south Wales," said Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart MP, who paid a visit to the Newport centre.

"It's breathtaking what is going on here and how it can help drive growth and innovation both long and short-term.

"Both the UK and Welsh governments have ambitions of carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. Organisations such as this are going to have such a part to play in this.

"There is a huge cyber security hub emerging in south Wales. "There will be long term, well paid jobs here for the next generation of the workforce - something which has not always been the case."


Martin McHugh, chief technology advisor at CSA Catapult said: "The compound semi-conductors we develop will give advantages in size, weight and power.

"They will be smaller, weigh less and be more powerful.

"Electric vehicles, for example, will go further, be lighter and quicker to charge."

CSA Catapult was set up back in 2016 with employees starting work the following year.

They moved to their current site at Imperial Park, west of Newport, in July 2019 and began working from the purpose-built laboratories in the September of that year.

"Catapult is at the heart of a unique semi-conductor cluster which reaches from Caldicot to St Mellons," said Mr McHugh.

"We're one of the original partners, there are 10 now."

At present, there are 75 members of staff at CSA Catapult but plans are already under way to increase that to 110-120.

"A third of our staff are also PHD graduates," said Mr McHugh.

"It's a real melting pot of research experience and industry expertise."

Councillor Jane Mudd, Newport City Council’s Leader, said: “This announcement is brilliant news for the city and another feather in the cap for the Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult Innovation Centre.

“This investment will be crucial for tackling one of the country’s biggest challenges today and we can be proud that a Newport-based business will be at the forefront."