Defence firm General Dynamics has opened a new facility to help small and medium-sized enterprises and academics to work together.
The Oakdale-based company opened its EDGE UK innovation centre on June 12.
The centre gives SMEs and academia access to a wealth of expertise and equipment to help develop projects – with an emphasis on their commercial application.
The opening ceremony was conducted by Islwyn MP Chris Evans and Andy Nicholson, Head of the UK Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE), in the presence of guests representing the British Army, Welsh Government, academia and small business.
The company has said the new Oakdale centre will build upon the successes of the original EDGE UK that opened in 2008 at the company’s Newbridge site.
Mr Evans said: “The EDGE UK is a pioneering facility that opens doors to high-tech small businesses and to academia who would otherwise find a route to the defence market a significant challenge.
“Already there are innovations delivered through EDGE UK that are enhancing deployed capabilities for the UK Armed Forces, and today’s demonstrations show that innovations developed through EDGE UK continues apace.”
Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart said: “General Dynamics UK is a key partner for the Welsh Government as it promotes open innovation and collaboration amongst businesses and academia in Wales.
“It is one of our key anchor companies, and I am delighted that they have opened a new EDGE UK facility, and have demonstrated their commitment to working collaboratively with small businesses and academia in Wales.”
Steve Rowbotham, chief operating officer at General Dynamics UK, said: “EDGE UK enables SMEs to gain a competitive advantage in developing their innovations rapidly into capability that can be fielded with the UK Armed Forces. This new facility in the heart of the Welsh Valleys will continue to build upon past EDGE UK successes.”