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Cardiff University’s New ‘Magnet for Innovation’ Opens for Business

The 129,000-sq-ft. Translational Research Hub (Canolfan Ymchwil Drosi) is the largest of its kind in Wales and exemplifies the commitments of the UK and Welsh governments to new collaborative scientific solutions to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Home to two leading research establishments—the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) and Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)—the Translational Research Hub (TRH) is designed to foster collaboration.

The TRH, which has been funded by the UK and Welsh governments, brings industrial partners alongside researchers to design, develop and test new cleaner, greener products and processes. It includes custom laboratories, offices, shared collaborative spaces, a bespoke cleanroom funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) and a state-of-the art microscopy suite.

“The significant investment we’ve made in the center will help bring some of the most brilliant minds in Welsh academia together to find and develop made-in-Wales solutions to the major problems facing Wales and the rest of the world,” said Wales’ Economy Minister Vaughan Gething. “Developing next-generation practices and technologies that will both shape our lives today and improve our experiences tomorrow will be crucial if we are to meet the climate emergency head on and build a greener, more sustainable economy.”

The TRH forms part of Cardiff University’s biggest campus upgrade for a generation: a £600m investment in the University’s future, including the sbarc|spark building, the Centre for Student Life and the Abacws building.

“Cardiff’s leading researchers will use these fantastic bespoke facilities to work with partners across exciting sectors, including energy, advanced materials, transport, communication and healthcare, pioneering new technologies and charting innovative research directions that lead to future funding proposals,” said Professor Rudolf Allemann, pro vice-chancellor, international and student recruitment and head of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.

HOK provided architecture, interiors, lab planning and sustainable design services for the six-story TRH, which can accommodate up to 350 academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

“Today’s great universities are centers for learning as well as economic engines that drive development that can transform their communities and beyond,” said Gary Clark, regional leader of Science + Technology for HOK. “HOK tailored our design of Cardiff University’s Translational Research Facility to meet the specific needs of each institute while providing shared areas for interaction and collaboration. The sustainable design ensures that the building meets stringent targets for conserving energy. We also designed it with flexibility to easily adapt to the University’s needs as they change in the future.”

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