CARDIFF UNIVERSITY'S Geoenvironmental Research Park (GRP) will be the first occupant of a new centre of excellence for sustainable technologies.
Six such 'Techniums' are being built by the Welsh Development Agency for specific sectors of the technology industry.
The GRP's tenancy was announced last month at a ceremony to mark the start of work on the £8.6M facility on Baglan Energy Park, South Wales.
The Technium will use its expertise to create hi-tech companies to tackle environmental problems in Wales and around the world. Led by Professor Hywel Thomas, head of the School of Engineering at Cardiff University, the GRP is supported by European Objective One funding.
The main thrust of its involvement in Technium will be to create additional companies, new jobs and significantly increase the turnover in assisted firms.
Last year the GRP set up several working groups to identify key concepts that could be taken from initial ideas through to commercialisation.
Some new and exciting products emerged which used waste stockpiles in Wales, including quarry dust, slate and colliery shale.These products are undergoing development trials before being tested in the market.
The Sustainable Technologies Technium, which has received £2.2M Objective One funding, is being developed in partnership with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, the Welsh Development Agency, University of Wales Swansea and BP, and is supported by the Welsh Assembly.
The solar centre on Baglan Energy Park will be incorporated into the Technium, which is expected to be ready by April 2005.