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Growth in Environmental Marine Science

The project’s aim is to support marine and aquatic science businesses in Wales, to assist them in gaining global business by encouraging them to work together as well as to encourage Welsh graduates to start up enterprises in this sector. This will help increase employment within this sector in Wales, stimulating business growth and supply chain activity. It will also contribute to the creation of strong and sustainable economic growth in Wales.

"This cluster has both a strong local dimension and global outreach and visibility.  Its multi-faceted support method makes this project original while its achievements to date and the strong private support are encouraging for its impact and sustainability." – RegioStars Jury 2011

The project resulted from work done for the Welsh Assembly Government that identified the growth potential of this sector in a very rural area. The region has low gross value added compared to the UK average; high unemployment, low number of quality jobs and high economic inactivity. The project was conceived in partnership with Government and active private sector involvement to positively influence all the above indicators with an economic multiplying effect. With its ‘win work globally’ strategy, global presence and science based SME cluster, the project is clearly aligned with the principles of the Europe 2020 strategy. The principles of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth are integrated across a number of the planned initiatives outlined in the strategy.

The project has two key objectives. It directly supports and proactively encourages Welsh graduate and post graduate students to start up businesses in marine science and to stop the migration of talent from Wales.  This will include the signposting of graduates into Welsh Assembly Government schemes including those helping business, innovation and R&D. It is also working to enhance global business opportunities for new and existing marine and aquatic science Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).  This is done particularly by drawing on the diversity of their collective scientific skills sets to win and deliver this work in a co-operative manner and make the whole of the cluster greater than the sum of its parts.

Although the project is still in the early stages of delivery, achievements to date are strong with 92 SMEs assisted, 4 new businesses created, 20 gross new jobs created, 42 businesses adopting an environmental management system, 50 new equal opportunities systems created, 60 individuals assisted to start new businesses.  A key impact for the area is that the supply chain has been strengthened, for example marine scientists becoming aware of the capabilities of other businesses.

Through clustering, a natural, supportive, business-enhancing and learning experience has emerged with a view to achieving the project’s aims. Building trust and demonstrating the benefits of clustering was especially necessary in order to overcome the natural tensions between cooperation and competition amongst small businesses in the same sector. With growing demand for the project's service, the creation of a digital ecosystem is being considered to allow the cluster to operate even more effectively internally and externally to the market. Such a system could have particular benefits in rural areas where distance, poor physical communication structures and snow bound winters can be overcome.

Technical information

Program

ERDF from 11/2008 to 12/2013

Total Investment

EUR 2 789 090

EU contribution

EUR 1 310 870

Contact

Bridge Marine Science Group
United Kingdom

Draft date

28/04/2011
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